Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Big Balloon Parade

On Wednesday (December 28) we went and watched the "Big Balloon Parade". This is not something we would normally do but as it turned out, the group that Sarah volunteers for was in the parade. Sarah has volunteered for a couple of years now with "Sports for Exceptional Athletes". I guess for some reason the Special Olympics left San Diego and these are the guys who filled the void left behind. When they learned that Sarah had a nephew in a wheel chair they invited him to be in the parade with them and so how could we not go and watch Evan in the parade?

The parade was actually quite good and Kira of, course, loved all of the bands. For those who may not know, Kira actually marched with her band in the Rose Bowl Parade one year. My skinny little girl carried a humongous Sousaphone for the entire distance.
While Kira was getting Evan to where he belonged before the parade started they happened to run into Captain Jack Sparrow. While Evan was thrilled to see him, he was just a bit scared of him too.
And finally we saw the Sports for Exceptional Athletes arrive and we anxiously looked for Evan.
And there he is with a very cute girl walking right behind him. 
 It looks like he's a natural at this doesn't it? I guess he was like that the entire parade, just waving at everyone. When the parade finally ended Sarah told us that Evan looked at her and said, "why are we stopping?" He was ready to keep going. The guy with Sarah is Oliver. He also volunteers with the group.

After the parade we all headed to Old Town for lunch and then the Mormon Battalion visitors center.

Our favorite place to eat in Old Town is the Old Town Mexican Café. Unfortunately when we got there they told us the wait was like two hours or some dumb thing like that. We weren’t really up to a two hour wait so we headed across the street to “Fred’s Mexican Café”. With a name like that how can you go wrong? I think it is the atmosphere at the Old Town Mexican Café that makes it so cool more than it is the food. 

After a wonderful lunch at "Fred’s" we then headed up to the visitors center. A year or two ago the Mormon Battalion Visitors center was completely redone and if you haven’t seen it yet you really should go. I love it every time I’m there. Evan has been excited to go to the "Mormon Italian" long before e arrived in San Diego. He has called Mom several times just to let her know.
Landon liked it too. He's riding his horse.
And pumping water.

Evan, on the other hand, is helping his mother do the laundry.

And helping his Dad make some bricks.

And I'm panning for gold in the nearby stream.

Wednesday night we had a surprise planned for our kids. Last year a friend of ours, Rick Daynes, invited us to a song and dance show called “Mixed Tape”. As you may know, I’m not much into popular music but this show was a lot of fun and brought back all kinds of memories from when I was a teenager. 

Rick has a friend who is in the Mixed Tape caste and she had tickets waiting for us at will call. So we got the kids loaded up (always a challenge), got the baby sitter set up and then we piled into two cars (I'm thinking we need to rent a bus for the next time we're all home) and headed for down town. About the time we're decending into mission valley we get a panicked call from Rick. Apparently for the first time in over a year the show has sold out and there are no tickets available for us. Not even at full price. We were quite bummed but we turned the cars around and went home and played games into the we hours of the night. Justin had a new game called Telestrations. While I don't think it was quite as fun as Settlers, the girls liked it more and twelve people could play so it was definitely more fun to get everyone involved.

The Mormon Battalion made the longest infantry march in American history. 
They also constructed the first brick building in California.

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