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Monday, January 4, 2010

Sleeping on the streets of LA

New Year's Day (NYD) is kind of a big deal for me and Matt. Our first date was on January 1st so with each New Year's Eve, we're not just ringing in the New Year--we're turning the sand over on a whole new year for the two of us. This year marked our 3-year anniversary since our first date and was thus our 4th January 1st spent together. See?
Natually, we like to celebrate in style. Our first NYD was spent in downtown SLC, the next in Disneyland, the next in Dallas, and this year? On the streets of Los Angeles! Our good friends the Hendrickses were in town for the holiday and invited us to camp out for the Rose Bowl Parade with them (not the official name, I know, but that's what we football fans have always called it).

Matt had to work till about 4, so we decided it'd be a good idea to avoid the New Year's Eve highway traffic on our way into the city. It was not. Our sweet little Garmin took us through a full hour of the most crooked street I've ever seen in my entire life. I, the one who never gets motion sick, was carsick. Matt, the one who does get motion sick, well... let's just say I had to force feed him a few good doses of pepto at our destination.
We waited out the sickness in the car for a little bit, people watching some very interesting characters from behind the comfort of our very-tinted windows. Isn't that the best way to do it?
Then it was onto the street! Jodie's friends, the Laupers, had arrived at NOON to stake out our claim in the median of Sierra Madre Boulevard. See the masking tape squares? That's how it's done, people. You tape it out, make sure the cops know it's yours, and then wait until the road is partially blocked off at 10 p.m. to move in.
We set up a barricade of chairs to further mark our area and somewhat "protect" us from where the road was not blocked off behind us.
And then we sat around (or lied, in my sickie's case), eating snacks, chatting and laughing while we waited for the big countdown.
When it was almost time, we broke out the sparkling cider!
And then, it was midnight.
Happy New Year!
You should have heard the party on the streets! Actually, I should have recorded it so you could hear it. But picture about 10,000 car horns, 37,000 noisemakers, and 100,000 people cheering, and then unplug your ears. (Okay, so those numbers are slightly exagerrated, but you get the idea.) Anyway, after the party, it was time to settle down... which unfortunately included a trip to these frenemies down the block.
At least it provided for a good little walk, though, right?
When we got back to our camp, Taylor and the other kids were already fast asleep.
So we followed suit.
What followed was a (shockingly) sound night's sleep. And before we knew it, we woke up to this view overhead:
And this view all around:
Let me tell you, it was the weirdest, most hilariously awkward thing in the world to fall asleep with just rows of other campers and then wake up and have literally thousands of people staring at you. (And taking pictures of you sleeping! See the guy to the right of Matt's feet in the picture above??) It's like having a hundred people in your bedroom. Just feels kind of funny, right? Jodie's face captures the feeling pretty well:
Once our situational awareness returned, we did the usual morning things like comb our hair, eat some breakfast, play games in the middle of an intersection...
...and then anxiously await the start of the parade!
And boy, was it ever worth the wait! But now you'll have to wait, 'cause the 121st Rose Parade deserves a blog post all it's own.


  1. Fun, fun. I'm so jealous of all of your adventures. not the carsick part.

  2. That sounds amazing to sleep in the street for New Years what a cool experience. Sorry I missed you while you were here I would have loved to have done lunch but I have been sick on and off, we will have to try it again another time!
    Hope you had a great holiday!

  3. You sleep on the street for a parade? That is by far the craziest thing I have ever heard!

  4. I only slept on the city streets once and it gave me a new appreciation for the homeless. oh my, I am way to old for that kind of party!

  5. I love your adventures and I love how many pictures you take. Everytime I force Wes to take a picture I giggle cause it reminds me of you. Ha Ha.

  6. Wait, aren't you the girl who refused to camp? Where will you camp next? In the actual wilderness!? Peeing in the woods is better than those port-a-pots! (Can I say peeing in a blog?) Ha, ha, love the pictures and love reading your blog.

  7. I loved seeing your progressive NYD pictures. So fun that you have those! For some reason I didn't get that there was more to this event than just watching the fireworks at night, so when you said everyone went to sleep in the street I was like, "What?! How can LAPD allow that?! People can sleep on the road just because it's New Years?" And then you said you were going to sleep on the road too, and I was like, "Were they just really tired? Why didn't they drive home to sleep?" Then in the morning was the parade and I had a major Ah-Ha moment. Sleeping on the road was the plan so you had a spot for the parade. Oh boy. I need to get some more sleep. Not in the middle of the road, either.

    Happy New Year!

  8. Haha! Sydna I love you. I suppose I'll have to give the actual wilderness a shot one of these days :-)


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