What a trip!
Our trip to the 124th Rose Parade was everything that we hoped for - and much, much more. We spent seven days in euphoric joy as we traveled to Southern California with a group of 190 students, staff, chaperons and tour guides. Every day brought new experiences and memories that really will be remembered for a lifetime.
My top 10 Highlights/Memories from the trip:
10. Walking into my office in early May of 2011 and finding an application for the Rose Parade on my desk. I do not know who put it there but I'm glad that they did!!!!!
9. Receiving the phone call and invitation from President Sally Bixby on September 14, 2011. I called her back to ask her if she was really serious or was it a joke.
8. Announcing the trip to the band members after our finals performance at Festival of Bands in Sioux Falls in October of last year. It was exciting!
7. Both of our rehearsals on December 28th. The field and street practices were outstanding.
6. Watching 170 crazy Iowa kids take to the beach and the Pacific Ocean. I don't know which was more fun - watching the band members jump in the cold water or watching the Californians shaking their heads.
5. The band's warm-up before they went on the field at Band Fest. Peter Connell and Paul Connell ran the band through some excerpts of the show during the warm-up. It is the best that I every heard the Pride of the Dutchmen play - ever!
4. Marching through Disneyland and turning the corner down MainStreet USA. The christmas tree and decorations were beautiful, the crowd was lining the street and the band was cooking!
3. Chaperon meetings! What a great group of chaperons! We laughed for an hour every night - most of the time with Dan Roghair.
2. The Sunday morning student led prayer service. Students singing praise and worship from their hearts - chaperons and staff crying their eyes out - it was beautiful.
1. The 124th Rose Parade - cheering crowds, playing for the "home town crowd", making it 6 miles with NO DROPOUTS, playing Championship one last time before the parade ended and sounding just as good as when we started.