Monday, December 05, 2005

Holidazzle Parade

As I mentioned yesterday, on Saturday afternoon Linzy and I went out with Dan, Nikki, Tristan, and Amy. We started the evening out with dinner at the downtown Buca Di Beppo.

I haven't been to Buca's for quite a while, and it was fun to go there again. Since their claim to fame is large "family-style" dishes, it is not really a place just Linzy and I would go, but having a big group go is fun because you can try a little bit of everything. We all shared some garlic mozzarella bread, caesar salad (complete with stinky anchovies), tortelloni, chicken parmigiana, fettucini alfredo, and some cannolis for desert.

The food was quite good, except for the salad because of those damn anchovies. My favorite was probably the chicken parmigiana, although the garlic bread was very tasty too. Our service was a bit questionable, as there was something about our waiter that rubbed everyone at the table the wrong way. I couldn't exactly put my finger on it, but something about him annoyed me (along with everyone else). It was sort of like he was smirking at some joke the whole time that we were privy too.

The only real downside to Bucas is the prices, since after appetizers, drinks, and dessert, the bill gets pretty steep. Regardless it was a fun time and somewhere different to go.

After dinner we walked a few blocks over to Nicollet Mall for the Holidazzle Parade. I had never been to the Holidazzle parade, but it was pretty much what I expected.

First, it was cold. It didn't seem particularly cold when we were walking over to the parade or around to find a good spot to watch from, but once we settled in one spot to watch the parade it started getting kind of cold. Linzy and I were reasonably well prepared, so it wasn't terribly uncomfortable but my feet and face got a little cold. Nikki on the other hand was pretty miserable with her tight boots and lack of gloves.

The parade was short, around a half-hour. That was good, since I don't know that I would have wanted to stand around in the cold much longer (let alone force other people too). The problem was that they only had about 10 floats, and everything was spaced out to fit between the traffic lights. So one float would come down the block and then there would be a several minute delay while traffic went by before the next float came by. That meant that most of the time you spent waiting around for the next float, and that isn't much fun when people are cold.

Still, the parade experience wasn't terrible. It was something new that no one had really gone to before, and it was kind of fun to be out at something with some holiday spirit.

I had a good time having a fancy dinner and shivering in the cold with friends, so all-in-all it was a good night.

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