This weekend San Francisco celebrated the Year of the Rabbit with their annual Chinese New Year Parade. It's supposed to be one of the few remaining illuminated night parades in the country, and one of the best parades in the world.
I can't even remember the last time we attended the parade; it must have been 8 or 9 years ago, because The Pea was still in a stroller. In fact, The Pea was the only one of us who had a decent view of the parade, because she was on Alfie's shoulders. The only things Alfie and I saw were some dragons dancing over the crowd's heads. Almost 1 million people gather to watch the parade every year; that, and the fact that it's usually raining cats and dogs (or dragons) on the day of the parade has pretty much kept us from going back to San Francisco to watch.
Until this year. This year, I was determined to take the kids to see the parade. It's time, I thought; they're old enough to wait patiently for an hour, and the spectacle will be worth it. Despite days of wet, cold weather, the weekend forecast was actually good, and Sunday dawned bright and sunny. I spent quite a few hours poring over the website, looking at the parade route, looking for possible parking lots, reading about other people's experiences on Yelp so we'd know where to stand, how early to arrive, and where to go to the bathroom.
The kids weren't too happy about shutting down their videogames and going to see an actual live performance, and Alfie was still doubtful about the crowds, but I can be quite
We decided to park about a mile from the parade route, so we could hopefully avoid the traffic after the parade ended, but that also meant a decent walk to the parade. We arrived about an hour before the parade started, and I was already nervous that we were too late, so I
As we neared the parade route, I relaxed, because there actually weren't as many people as I was expecting. I was quite pleased with myself, and hopeful that we were actually going to get a good spot.
Then we got to the place where the parade was going to start, and saw....
The parade had already happened, on Saturday.
Once again, I had messed up my event schedule. Even though, when we got back, I saw that the date and time were clearly mentioned on the front page of the parade website. The website that I had studied diligently for hours.
I've gotten school pickup times, playdate times, practice times and birthday party times wrong many times. I've dropped my son off for a birthday party one week early. Fortunately for me, since my family is used to it, they didn't give me a hard time; we made the best of it and walked over to Chinatown to enjoy the Chinese New Year street fair.
Let's hope I get it right next year!