One of the few things left on my “to do” list while living in the northeast was to go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This year seemed to be the year to go: the weather this November has been unseasonably warm, we weren’t leaving town,and our turkey eating plans weren’t until later in the afternoon. Here’s how the day went:
4:00am: Wake up, get ready and head to the train station.
The best choices we made at this early hour: making egg sandwiches at the house before leaving, buying round trip tickets from New Brunswick to NYC and back.
6:45am: Head to the C/E train uptown toward 72nd and Central Park West. I had researched and read the night before that the express train runs on the local stops so when the express train came first, we hopped on and lucked out – 72nd/CPW was the third stop! The coolest thing happened on the subway and I’m bummed I didn’t get a picture of it! Our subway cars we’re FULL of parade goers but one station was PACKED with all of the brightly colored dancers that were heading to the start of the parade. There were so many of them, we had no idea how they would ever fit on a subway train full of people. Somehow they made it to the parade. See!
7:30ish: Arrive at the corner of 71st and Central Park West. Decide that there is a fairly open spot to stand on the corner and rather than continue to push further up Central Park West, we stay here hoping our view of the parade stays this clear! We spend the next hour and a half chatting and eavesdropping on the conversations around us. By the time the parade started we’d formed a little group with the people around us and we were all so excited for the parade!
9:00: The parade started! Because we were so close to the beginning of the parade route it didn’t take long for the balloons and floats to make their way to us. For the next two hours I was like a kid in a candy store! It’s amazing to be in a crowd of people all so excited and the balloons are magnificent in person! We had so much fun snapping pictures, oohing and aahing and watching the eyes of all of the kids lined up in front of us light up as they saw all of their superheroes go by! Spiderman was definitely the big hit on my little corner.
11:00 or so: Santa Claus! Now I’m not a believer in or a big fan of Santa Claus, but I will admit, this float was magnificent and it really was an amazing end to the parade! All of the kids get SO excited at this point and everyone talks about how it “ushers in the holidays”. Santa was pretty spirited too – he did a great job showing his jovial character and having a great time interacting with the spectators. It was a fantastic finish!
11:15am: We were among the first to see the end of the parade and as soon as it ended, we booked it up to Amsterdam and 72nd to hop on the 1 train back to Penn Station. It was great to be among the first crowd to head back and feel like we were moving away from the crowds still watching the parade. It was a great walk up to the subway station. I’d been in NYC on Christmas Day but it is something else to see all of the hustle and bustle on Thanksgiving Day!
Noon: Back on the NJT towards New Brunswick and a fantastic afternoon and evening with friends giving thanks and sharing a wonderful meal!
In all, the parade is one of the best things I’ve done since moving out here. It is just a parade with floats and balloons and all but it is magical to see it in person and it’s great to see it through all of the kids that are there. I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to go. It was another one of those things that I was able to cross off of my life list. I grew up watching and admiring the parade on TV and it really was a dream come true to see it in person.