Thursday, November 22, 2012

Much Ado About Balloons

When this trip started coming together, the initial thought was to go see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. But after talking with some parade-going veterans, the idea of getting up at 5 a.m. to snag a spot in body to body crowds to maybe catch a glimpse of the floats started sounding less and less appealing. So, we decided we'd go the night before to see the balloons being blown up and prepped for the parade. This is an annual event and the balloons are visible as you walk around the block that surrounds the American Museum of Natural History.

We headed down to Central Park West where the bleachers for lucky ticketed spectators were already set up.

See? Almost as good as seeing the parade. 

As we neared the festivities, it became clear that everyone and their brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousins and nanny wanted to see the balloons, too. See that arrow? The line just to enter the block around the museum started there. It went down that side of the street...

... and then across the street. INSANE.

Finally! We could spot the balloons!

Very very cool to see a part of Americana!

Here's something you should know about this event- the block around the museum was barricaded off by metal gate barriers. Additionally, the event staff and officers weren't regulating the number of folks who entered at all. There were no exits which meant that you had no choice but to go around the entire block in the body to body massive crowds. 

Dumb. Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb. 

We saw one kid that had gotten separated from his family, but thankfully they realized it quickly and were reunited within minutes. Still, it was nerve wracking not to have any option to exit. This definitely made the whole thing less enjoyable than it could have been and confirmed our decision to not try and attend the actual parade.

Love me some Charlie Brown.

Kermit! He was my favorite.

At this point, we were seriously starting to lose it. So. Many. People.

And then Hello Kitty made it all better.

We finally reached the end of one side of the block which meant there was breathing room at last!

We paused for a few minutes on the steps of the museum to catch our breath, people watch and research dinner options.

A quiet stroll down a blocked off street before dinner is always good for frayed nerves. 

Dinner procured and groceries purchased for the next day's Thanksgiving brunch, we hit the subway (my eighth mode of transportation for the day, thankyouverymuch) and headed home.

Yeah...when I saw this shot this morning, I was really happy to still be in my pjs on Robyn's couch eating quiche. 

Good decision.


  1. I've always dreamed of going to the parade, but I don't do well in crowds. I'll just watch in HD. :) I'd love to be a balloon handler someday.

  2. I think if you survived that balloon viewing - you could TOTALLY handle the parade. But, I could be crazy pants.


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