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December 11, 2010

Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade

I had a great time at this year's Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade. The night opened with a spectacular fireworks display. I have only a small Cannon PowerShot digital camera, and rarely use the video function as it's not really meant for that application--you get what you pay for in that department, I've always thought. But the fireworks reflected in the water over the beautiful boats at the dock took my breath away, and I wanted to share the experience, mostly with my folks. So here's the last half of the (fireworks) show....

And in case the video doesn't import, a still showing my view....

I got a couple decent shots of the boats before the parade. The theme this year was "A Rock 'N Roll Christmas." Most of the boats took off from the theme in some way, but a few were just seasonal or pretty.

The huge green elf on this boat caught my eye, and I thought the wording read "elves rocks." If you watched long enough, you'd see the second "e" in the word "elves" change to an "i." It wasn't till much later that I saw the huge Elvis form lit up, and by then my camera's battery had died. This is the float that won the grand prize in the boat parade contest.

It was fun to watch the crews prepare the boat and take off from the dock. Especially the crews dressed like elves and Elvises.

The atmosphere was enjoyably festive, but the beginning of the parade seemed to have wide gaps between boats. There were a couple of hosts emceeing the night, but they weren't provided with musical accompaniment. To fill the gaps, they kept asking children to come up to the mic and sing Christmas carols, softly and off-key. That got old with nothing to watch on the water.

Chance and Claire enjoyed the atmosphere and crowds. Eventually the crowds grew to the point that I was a bit fearful of the pups getting stepped upon, and with my camera dead anyway, half the fun was gone for me.

So we ditched the parade in favor of dinner at Mendocino Farms. I tried their seasonal Vegan Mushroom Confit Sandwich, with vegan mushroom braised seitan “wheat meat” with pickled Portobellos, almond romesco, and baby spinach on toasted ciabatta. It had a bit of a kick that I didn't expect, not being familiar with a "romesco". I'd eat it again but like it better with half the amount of confit spread and a couple slices of swiss cheese. It was fun to try both a new restaurant and foods that I was unfamiliar with, and the dogs got some practice on their down-stays while I ate. I wouldn't have known about this place but for a daily deal on Living Social. Group buying sites not only save me money but expose me to new experiences.

Did anyone else go to the parade this year? If you have photos to share leave me a comment on the blog so I can check them out!


I just uploaded pictures off my iPhone, which I used after my camera battery died (darn video function!). Here's a poor shot of the Elvis, all lit up:

You can see how huge he was, even in comparison to the Elf on that boat (see earlier pictures), and how much fun it was to watch him dance!

This year definitely renewed my enthusiasm for this event. I'll be back for more next December!

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