Mom came up from Lake Jackson to stay with me for an extended weekend. After work, mom & I headed up to Discovery Green for the Art Car Sneak Peek to check out some of this year's entrants. My favorites from the event:
T-Bone aka Tex Mex Rex
Peep Jeep - Yeah Baby!
Entry #255, it doesn't match car in the book so I doubt "Peculiar Thoughts" is the correct name
The Spooter (spider scooter)
My Crumby Art Car aka "Pastry Resistance"
We had dinner at The Grove, which was very good.
I took the day off as we didn't know when everybody would get to town. In the morning mom & I took my S2000 to an upholstery shop to see about getting a new top and some interior work done as I've decided to keep my car for a while longer. We checked out some work they were currently doing, including a car they'd just finished. I liked work, and the price, so put money down so they'd order the top (we dropped the S2000 yesterday, I should get it back in a few days).
Eric, my brother in law, and his dad ended up leaving Corpus Christi around noon. The jeep has a top speed of 55, so they they towed it up on a trailer made up to look like a Hot Wheels track. The original plan was for the track to be suspended from the jeep, but they ran out of time to do that for this year.
They'd opted to stay at a hotel close to the parade route, so mom and I met up with them once they got in town. We took a short walk to The Refinery: Burgers & Whiskey for dinner.
Excellent food was had by all - I had the Red Adair, a very tasty bacon cheeseburger made with jalapeño bacon, jalapeños and sharp cheddar on a pretzel bun. I liked how their sign was made from bits and pieces of signs from various oil companies:
After dinner mom & I headed back to my place for the night as Saturday was going to be a busy day. About the same time my sister left Corpus Christi, she'd FCC deadlines for work that had to be meet.
Even though the parade started at 2pm, we had to be at the staging area soon after 10am because our entry was in the first 100. Breakfast was included with their hotel, so mom and I grabbed a quick bite on the way up from Taco Bell (we were curious about their new breakfast menu - I liked the crunchwrap, mom thought the taco biscuit was too sweet).
The hotel was just 1/4 mile from the parade route, so I gave the spectators walking directions on how to get there. We also met a couple other people who were entering vehicles - including the Cozy Toaster from Denver, Colorado. Yes, there were two giant toasters in the parade!
Eric and I then left for the staging. The parade route is on Allen Parkway, which is blocked off for its entire length (Shepherd Dr. to Bagby St). We made our way to Shepherd then took it to Allen Parkway. The entrance was barricaded off so a couple police officers directed traffic while Art Car volunteers opened/closed the barrier so the art cars could enter.
Short drive down was the check-in where they confirmed our entry and made sure we had the requirements, such as a fire extinguisher.
Another short drive took us to the judging area. To have your entry judged, stay in the left lane, else go around on the right. Eric opted the left lane, the judges were quite nice.
After the judging, another short drive took us to the photo area where a number of photos were taken from all around the car.
Finally we made our way to the actual staging area. During that drive, we passed the Enterprise
The rest of the crew were down the street for some reason. All were decked out in uniforms from the original series. If you look closely you can see they're dealing with a tribble infestation Here's some addition photos on flickr, taken by Alex Barber - click right to view a few more. He also took a nice photo of us
Allen Parkway is three lanes each way. They had it set up so cars 1-50 would line up on the left, while 51-100 would be on the right - the center remained open for the cars to get to their spot. The 50-50 breakdown repeated again with 101-150 on the left starting just behind car 50, and 151-200 on the right behind car 100. The last entry was 277, so the breakdown repeated a third time.
Cars 1 and 51 were near the Taft St. intersection. The staging was marked off in groups of 10, so we looked for our number and got in line.
The public is free to walk up and check out the vehicles in queue before the parade starts, so someone needed to be with it at all times. Eric stayed while I headed down to find where the rest of the family had staked out a spot to watch the parade so I could let my friends Keith & Theresa know where to find everybody. Find My Friends is very handy for events like this!
Eric had matching T-Shirts made up for everybody - and the spectators did notice, a number approach my mom and Eric's folks asking if they were with the giant Hot Wheel
I headed back to the Jeep to help keep an eye on things. We let a number of kids sit in the car, grinning ear to ear, for photo ops. Eventually it was time for everybody to get ready for the parade to start. At 2 pm the line on the left started to move, about 2:20 we finally got under way.
The response was awesome, we heard stuff like
There were 6 different MC areas along the route where they announced information about each entry for the spectators. For ours the announcements were variations on "Big Hot Wheels Toy from Robstown, Tx. By Eric, Zander & Chelle Walker, it's family project built on a '74 Jeep".
It took us a little over an hour to make our way along the entire route. Afterwards we met up with everybody back at the hotel and decided to go once again to The Refinery for a late lunch/early dinner. Afterwards mom & I headed to take care of my folks' dogs.
Mom & I headed back up to the hotel. From there we all headed to Smither Park, next to the Orange Show Monument, for the Awards Ceremony Brunch. Over $20,000 in cash prizes were given away. No, they didn't place, but we still had a great time!
The trophies were awesome, all were custom made:
Afterwards we stopped at Churrascos for an early dinner. From there, everybody headed home to recoup from the fun filled weekend.