Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Boat Parade at Tempe Town Lake

As I mentioned in my previous post, one of the holiday events 'round these parts is the boat parade on Tempe Town Lake. They have activities starting at 4pm - snow pile, arts and crafts, Radio Disney stage, and various other stages with music, including Tuba Christmas. Plus all the vendors who come to hawk their wares, including some "buy a toy for charity" thing, which Kylie somehow knew about telepathically.

I took Kylie, Shannon, Danni, and Danni's boyfriend. Steve stayed home, because earlier in the day he had fallen down in the bedroom (?) and wrenched his left knee, which is the fake one. It swelled up and he could barely walk, and since this venture requires quite a bit of walking, I told him to stay home. Is it bad that at one point Danni pointed out to me that it was a lot more relaxing and fun without him there? Sad perhaps, but also true.

You'll notice I have pictures of boats, Kylie and Shannon. Danni and Boyfriend kind of went off and did their own thing, which is fine, because really what are they going to do in the middle of 30,000 people? Oh...go to the top of a parking garage and watch the parade from there, that's what. Hmmmm.

So anyway, on to the pictures.

Here are Kylie and Shannon in one of the two snow piles. Well, snow isn't exactly the right word, and no, it doesn't snow here. You see, they truck in some snow from somewhere where they've manufactured it at about 3pm. When it's like 63 degrees. So of course the stuff immediately starts to melt. Then when the sun goes down it gets a bit cooler...but basically what you end up with is a mound of ice that's hard to walk on without falling on your butt, with a lot of watery-slush around the outsides of the ice pile. Fun stuff!

This is Kylie while we are waiting in line for hot chocolate. Hot chocolate is absolutely necessary while watching the boat parade. Two larges and one small, $13.75! And it's not even Starbucks!

Yay, lighted boats!

Kylie and Shannon sitting on the wall that separates the walkway from the lake. Pretty much everyone sits on the wall to watch the parade. As far as I know, no one fell in the lake last night.

I don't know if you can tell, but there's a Grinch on that boat!

The guys on this boat were so drunk. They kept punching the top of the inside of the roof of their boat, so that bear was dancing and hopping all around. It was quite entertaining.

I know you can't see the people on this boat, but there were many, many old ladies, wearing Santa hats and trying to sing Christmas carols.

I think this one is my favorite, it's pretty.

Kylie playing with the spinning light toy thing she just had to have. Hey $5 for charity is a good thing, right? I just tell myself that as I tune out the whining.

So after the parade is over, they end with a nice fireworks display. Then I call Danni to find out where she and Boyfriend are. They meet us down by the lake, and since it's still early, we decide to go to this one street we go to every year, where every single house in a cul-de-sac is done up quite elaborately in lights. However, at this point Shannon starting whining that she didn't want to go because she was STARVING. I have to mention right here that I made a nice spaghetti dinner before we left, and told everyone to fill up, because I wasn't going to buy any over-priced food at the parade. I had to save my money for, you know, toys and over-priced hot chocolate, and parking.

And it's not that she didn't eat dinner, but she doesn't eat a lot at a time, and she seems to burn it off quite quickly. Fast metabolism...I hate her. Anyway, so I made a detour to grab a couple of cheeseburgers at Burger King. I mention that I made a detour, because I want to make it clear that had she not been whining about being hungry, I would have taken a different route. But, I went the way where I knew there was a B.K.

What I was not aware of, since I don't live in Tempe, is that the city of Tempe has recently installed red light cameras at certain intersections. My detour happened to carry me through one of those intersections. I was making a left turn at said intersection, and going through on a yellow arrow (yes, I swear it was YELLOW!) when a camera flashed in my face, nearly blinding me, and causing me to hit the brake briefly, followed by another flash taking a picture of my rear license plate. Ok, yeah...that's safe, blind me with a damn flash. Plus, the fucking arrow was YELLOW, and last time I checked, it was legal to enter the intersection on a yellow.

When I got home, I checked the city of Tempe website, and found out that there had been a 30 day grace period between the time they installed these insidious cameras, and the time they would begin sending out your by-mail ticket. The grace period was from Nov. 1st to Nov. 30th. So yeah, this was Dec. 8th. We already have these cameras in the city where I live, but I wasn't aware of these new ones in Tempe. Yes, I probably should have stopped, but I didn't, so there you go. According to the website, the fine is $160. I'll be sure to watch the mail for the ticket. That was one expensive cheeseburger Shannon...I hope you enjoyed it.

On a lighter note, as I was driving Boyfriend home, I had the radio on a station that insisted on playing nothing but commercials, prompting a shout from the backseat:

"Hey, can you put on some music?"

The first station I turned to happened to be an "oldies" station, and they just happened to be playing Barry Manilow's cheese-tacular hit, "Copacabana". If you ever want to make a car full of kids laugh hysterically, dance in your seat and sing along to this song while driving.

"She lost her youth and she lost her Tony, now she's lost! her! mind! At the Copa...Copacabana...the hottest spot north of Havana..."

Oh yeah, I'm cool.


Jenifer said...

music and passion were always the fashion at the Copa.....

So was the parade in better in the parking garage?

Yes, I think it is kind of sad that you had more fun without Steve. Poor Steve, like Rodney, gets no respect.

onthegomom said...

$160 for going through a YELLOW arrow?!? Really??? That's crazy... do keep us posted to see if this materializes, I am waiting with baited breath. I have heard of these cameras, but we don't have them yet...thank god!

Loved the Copacabana story! I am "cool" all the time with my teenagers...waahhhhhhh *evil laugh*

Lish said...

Yeah, keep us posted on if you actually get a ticket. I know the ones around here flash periodically (every 20 seconds or so?) so you MAY or may NOT...let's hope for the not!

When I start singing in the car, my kids threaten to jump from the moving vehicle. *LOL*

Shelley said...

I'm familiar with these cameras, and I know they only go off if the camera detects that you've actually entered the intersection on red, because I've seen it happen to other people.

Now, *I* think the arrow was still yellow, and that their camera calibration is off. However, the reason I will get the ticket is because according to their camera, it was red. I will let you know, but I'm pretty sure that's the way it works.

I think the thing that pissed me off the most is that the flash scared the crap out of me. It doesn't seem to me like flashing a bright light in your eyes while you're in the middle of making a left turn is all that safe.