At the beginning of the year, we set up an only slightly tentative schedule of the Festas we would be attending this year.
It was pretty certain.
We wanted to attend enough that St. Anthony of Pismo Beach was represented well...
we wanted SPF's attendants to have fun, but not have their family time together suffer...
we, (I) didn't want our entire summer gone every weekend.
We also wanted to attend some Festas that might not be the same ones that the Senior Queen attended.
Between the two girls, more ground could be covered and more places would have a queen representing Pismo.
It has worked out very well, I think.
I plan on sharing what I have learned through this process when it is over, but right now, I must say that the Senior Queen's mom is fabulous.
We get along...
...she is easy to work alongside, although her job is MUCH more detailed and stressful than mine...
we feel much the same way about things and it has been a dream in that regard.
But, I digress.
In planning our summer, we planned on attending the Festa in Cayucos on the 17th, spending the week in Pismo and driving up the California Coast to the Festa in Newark the following Sunday.
It was perfect.
Well, it turns out that Cayucos's Festa was cancelled.
Seems that their hall does not meet safety standards or some such unimportant matter.
(I am only kidding...I know it was a very difficult decision for them to make)
BUT...my perfectly orchestrated plans were now messed up!
Back to the drawing board.
It seemed from the schedules I could locate, Santa Cruz might work.
It would require at least a couple night stay.
The Senior Queen was not attending it.
It would not be hot.
The location was pretty.
The only downfall was it being on the long holiday weekend.
We tucked our aversion to travelling then up and made a decision to go.
As you know it was to just be the Queen and her Mommy and Daddy.
As you also know, her brother has able to come for the parade.
He kind of likes her.
He kind of gets a kick out of what she is doing and what it represents.
As we waited in the parking lot at the beginning of the parade, we watched other queens arrive and get dressed...in the parking lot.
We have done that as well, but not today.
Dressing in the hotel and driving a few minutes was pretty nice.
Another thing that we have noticed...every Festa has its own level of organization.
Most have been very organized, while a few have seemed willy nilly in that department.
As we checked in, we were told what number SPF was in the parade.
We then went and stood by the number that was written in chalk on the pavement.
SPF was 12 out of a bunch of queens.
We people watched, which is almost always a favorite pastime and just enjoyed each other.
LPP even called and we pretended she was with us.
And then we were off.
People viewed the parade from the tops of buildings as well as the street.
It really was nice to listen to the comments as we passed.
SPF was complimented numerous times for her always smiling face...even the priest after Mass mentioned it.
Another said she looked like she was walking on a cloud.
I have said this before.
SPF and her two attendants are ALWAYS smiling, respectful and aware of what they are representing.
Had the other two girls been with us, the compliments might have been too much for this Mama's heart.
The parade makes its way up...down...over (no idea what direction we were travelling)...on Pacific Avenue and it is gorgeous!
There were cute little coffee shops, and clothing boutiques.
Even bookstores that hours could have been spent in.
Another time, I hope.
As we left the downtown area, we made our way UP to the church.
YES, you are almost there!
The church is stunning!
The priest so welcoming.
Flag and Banner Bearers line the walkway to Mass.
It was really something to see.
Some people stayed in the lovely grass area during Mass.
Queens took their shoes off and relaxed.
The doors to the church were open part of the time during Mass and we were witness to the angelic sounding choir.
Once Mass ended, the parade formed again to make its way to the hall.
When I looked on Google Earth earlier, I had seen that there was no road to the hall.
Sure enough, there is no road to the hall across the highway.
There is a pedestrian overpass.
That reeks of things I don't want to think about.
The path from there to the hall meandered up hill and down
It was pretty...albeit slow going.
And the Sopas.
They were pretty doggone good!
This special treat almost made me feel as though I were back in the Azores.
We are in the back stretch of Festas.
Only two more.