Monday, November 20, 2006

Not All My Ideas Are Crazy

One of the things I love about Christmas are the lights on the homes and one the commercial buildings and trees. The Embarcadero Center outlines its buildings with thousands and thousands of white lights (to the left is a very poor picture of the effect). Last Friday was the Winter Carnival and Official Lighting. Since I work nearby, I asked Hubs if he'd like to meet me there. And maybe bring the kids.

Hubs thought it was a grand idea. DS#2 thought it was "stupid," but asked if he could bring a friend. DD#2 was skeptical. DD#1 came because she had locked her keys in her car and Hubs drove out to the college with the spare set.

DS#1 was no where to be found.

The kids, electronic leashes (i.e., cell phones) turned on were let loose during the "boring" part. The San Francisco High School Honor Jazz band (not to be confused with JROTC, mind you) was the opening act at the outdoor ice rink. They were followed by a Cirque du Soleil type show, combining ice skating, rhythmic gymnastics, aerial acrobats, and a drum line. Sounds weird, but it worked. Mayor Gavin Newsome did the countdown and flipped the switch and then there were fireworks. I knew we had a hit when DS#2 tried to capture the fireworks on his cell phone video display.

The fireworks were pretty awesome, considering they were set off between one of the office towers and the Hyatt Regency with a few hundred people clustered in the plaza below.

After the outdoor show, we went into the hotel for the lighting of the Christmas tree in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency. The San Francisco Girls Chorus sang Christmas carols; young students from a local Circus arts school did a great show; there were stilt walkers and clowns strolling through the crowds, and the lobby had several displays of miniature villages from a private collector. Each display had several moving parts: trains, balloons, streetcars, toboganners. When the switch was flipped, not only did the 47' tree light up, but there are thousands of strings of lights cascading down from the ceiling.

The kids were impressed.

The best part was the cost: a BART ticket, hot chocolate and a sandwich.

I love it when one of my ideas works out!