The timeline was a bit as follows:
9:00 - meet at the preschool to gather up the crew.
9:20 - start walking the 4 blocks to the start of the parade, the term "herding cats" comes to mind when thinking of how to make this happen.
9:40 - arrive at start of the parade and stand on hot black asphalt for 30 minutes hearing a crowd of children constantly asking when the parade begins!!
10:10 - FINALLY it is our turn to start walking/riding. By now Nora is a bit worn out so I end up pushing her back pretty much the entire parade. Plus her attention wasn't always focused so I would need to keep a hand on the handle bars to ensure we didn't crash into our friends or go careening into the crowds. Oh, and I should mention I was lugging a bag full of possible supplies we may need (first aid kit, water bottles, energy snacks, spray bottle for heat), had the camera around my neck and was carrying a #@$*&^@* bubble machine that was working fine until the MINUTE the parade began and then didn't work for the rest of the parade. I am sure I was quite the sight to see:-0 To bad I have no pictures of that!! Needless to say, we began the parade at the start of our group and by the end of it were bringing up the rear.Madison, on the other hand, was making her best attempts to ride her bike in the crowd. I really didn't think through how complicated that would be. Between the very slow speed of the parade, the constant stopping and starting (Madison blames the cheerleaders ahead of us for this) and the large amounts of people in our group it is very difficult to ride a 2 wheeled bike, keeping balance and steering accurately. I was very proud of her for keeping it up for the parade route and not hitting anyone or having a crash.
10:40 WHEW we reach the end of the parade route. GREAT. Oh wait a minute, now we have to walk/ride back to the preschool where our chariot (i.e. mini-van) awaits. And now that the parade is over, any remaining energy and enthusiasm the girls may have had has completely disappeared. So now I am continuing to lug all the above mentioned items, pushing Nora on her bike and pushing Madison's bike that she has decided to abandon.
11:00 We arrive back at the start of this whole ordeal with Madison asking "Mom, next year can we just watch the parade so we can get the candy and see everyone?" With my answer being a resounding "YES"!!!!!!
So, if you would like to learn a lesson from my poor parade planning - do NOT have your children ride bikes. If I were to do it over again we would have decorated the big jogging stroller/bike trailer and the girls could have walked and rode in that. Lesson learned!!!! Really we did have some fun and it wasn't all bad, but it was ALOT of time and work for a 20 minute parade.