A person never stops learning throughout their lives and the smart ones are happy about. I hope to include myself in the smarty britches category because I have learned so very much since we have moved here. See that's what happens when you embrace change. You learn new stuff.
Point in case: This weekend, for the 2nd year in a row, we attended the Venice Boat Parade. Yes, I know, I wrote about it last year. But this time it's more about what I learned than the parade so please bear with me. This year was the twenty-ninth annual boat parade in our little town as a matter of fact which is pretty awesome just all by itself.
Last year, we didn't really do any research at all, didn't realize it was necessary. We read about the upcoming parade in our local newspaper and having never seen a Boat Parade before thought it might be fun to check it out read about the parade route and just before it started mosey'd on foot over to the general vicinity. Oh my Gracious! People for days. Mobs of people, scads of people, hordes of people! This being a small town, we certainly did not anticipate the number of people attending. Eventually we kind of insinuated ourselves into a teensy corner that had a diagonal view. Once the parade started it was fine, we could certainly see everything and enjoyed the view but it would have been nice to occasionally have a seat.
We also didn't guess that the wait would be so long. Also the people around us clearly had been there for a long time. They brought food and drink and music. They came in groups, very few solo viewers and while we had a good time, they seemed to have a holly jollier time than we did. Hmmmm. Next year, we vowed, next year we would do things differently.
And we did. This year, my sister and her beau came with us. A small group but nonetheless, a group. We found a good spot ahead of time and set up chairs marked clearly with our name in permanent marker. It felt odd abandoning our chairs on the side of the Intercoastal waterway like that and just driving away. "Bye bye chairs" I sniffed, waving from the side window of the care, "Be good, Take care". But it was the smart thing to do. People had already set up tables and chairs, roped off huge sections, wound caution tape around pegs hammered into the ground all along the viewing area. As it was, even though we went early on, we were a second row. All of the first row was taken.
Next, I made cookie snack bags and brought bottles of water. Hurrah, nothing enhances the boat parade experience like Christmas Cookie snack bags and water unless perhaps it was a picnic dinner and a thermos of hot Cocoa which we saw other people doing. There were boxes of pizza, pot lucks, boom boxes of music and kids playing games nearby. Dang! I did better this time but I could step it up more I see.
Wisely, this time we also drove over. Tim found a place to stash the car that was a short walk from our viewing so carrying the chairs (and whatever else we think to bring along next time) was not such a big deal and we were home before other people even had their chairs folded up. We have learned that if you are walking at night on a street with a sidewalk it's no big deal but if you street has no sidewalks (our street does not) even carrying a waving a flashlight as if you were directing planes to land does not guarantee that cars will see you. Very dangerous. Car...check!
Still have more improvements to make for next year. Bigger group...maybe if possible. Clearly, the more the merrier is true for boat parades. Get there earlier and stake out our section in the first row! Arrive even earlier but bring more food...dinner of some sort perhaps! Music would be nice. Blankets would be even better. It's chilly at night this time of year, especially all along the water.
Otherwise, I'm proud of fact that we learned form our experience last year and learned even more this year. Also, Boat Parade...Awesome! I love it all, the pageantry, the lights, the creativity, the energy of a very enthusiastic crowd..... If you ever get the chance, first Saturday of December would be a great time to visit here. Just sayin'. I'll bring the cookies.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.