I have never been more exhausted in my life.
Whatever possessed me to go out to the Giants World Series parade I’ll never know.
Typically, I don’t really enjoy crowds. I think it comes from working with tourists, but being around a huge group of people usually provokes an anxiety attack. I couldn’t really not go do this though. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
My day started very early. I woke up to sounds of helicopters. Yep. My friends Facebook’d me and told me to come on down earlier than we had planned. After waiting in the longest Starbucks line known to mankind, I went to Civic Center to try and find my friend.
No problem. I’ll just pull out my phone and give him a call. Or not. The network was so jammed from the THOUSANDS of people in downtown San Francisco, cell phones didn’t work! No facebook, twitter, texting, phone calls, e-mail or anything. Just each other. If you could find each other, that is.
Believe it or not, I actually found my friend, even without my cell phone! A couple more of his friends came down and the four of us hung out somewhere about halfway between the Buddha statue (you can kind of see it in the first picture of the post…kind of…) and City Hall.
At first, it was cool, but I have to tell you, I was ready to take off long before the Giants ever got to Civic Center.
First of all, we were in the dirt, so we couldn’t really sit down. Then there was the fact that it was like 80 degrees and we were baking in the noonday sun for what felt like a lifetime. There was no water. Seriously. Where were the refreshment stands? I found someone selling Coke, but given how dehydrated I was feeling, soda was the last thing I wanted. Also, we couldn’t see anything or hear anything. They had two huge screens, neither of which was visible to those standing in the center section. The speaker system was AWFUL. They had coverage of the parade being broadcasted, but I couldn’t understand what was being said. The crowd kept chanting, “TURN IT UP! TURN IT UP!”, but no one ever did.
When the parade floats and motorized Cable Cars finally came, people cheered. I never saw any of it though.
I wonder if these people in the trees did?
This is all I could see:
After standing there for about 5 hours, I got really close to just going home. I was hot and pretty cranky. My friend’s two buddies actually took off. I wound up staying. I had stood there so long, it seemed silly to leave….even if I was dying of thirst. It was weird though, as soon as the Giants got there, people started to leave. Uh….I don’t know why they stood there for 5 hours just to leave as soon as the Giants got there, but whatever. Better for me. By the end of the ceremony, I could almost see the podium…almost!
In case you can’t tell (which wouldn’t be surprising, really…), that would be Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson.
And the World Series Trophy!
I know, I’m far away. You don’t know who it is.
It’s the Governator…Arnold Schwarzenegger. He got booed. A LOT.
Really, you should know better than to come to a San Francisco celebratory event, Arnold.
I’m sorry to report that I don’t have a picture of Aubrey Huff pulling off his thong. I was behind a bunch of tall people at the time. I’ve been informed, however, that it was quite funny.
After the ceremony was over, I bid my friend farewell and started to make my way towards water. Water. Waaaaaatttteeeeerrrrrr!
Have you ever been to a parade? After your experience, would you ever go to one again?
(I’m thinking I’m all paraded out!)