Now yes, this picture is blurry but I so don't care, because doesn't it look like Slater just saved The Max? OMG, I LOVE HIM. There was a lady next to us, and she was like, "Oh, I just got the best picture ever because of your sign! Did you know he was going to be here?" Ummm ... well, yes, because the only other option is that I carry around giant posterboard signs with said verbiage just in case AC SLATER HAPPENS TO SHOW UP. But I was totally excited for her, and I admitted that we stalk which celebrities are coming for weeks in advance on the 500 festival website.
Also, speaking of Slater saving The Max, if you are a Saved by the Bell fan and haven't seen the clip of Mario Lopez on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, OMG, you must Hulu it. It was so, so hysterical.
Something that's awesome about the parade is that I bring my massive lens, and it's damn near impossible to miss. The celebs totally recognize it, so they'll usually pose for me or pay a little extra attention, which rules.
Also, I should tell you now that we basically demand two thumbs up from everyone who passes, so that we know that they're specifically acknowledging us, and not just anyone. Mario apparently only gave one, but he gave us so much other attention that he is CLEARLY off the hook. :)
This hot babe is Kate Flannery, and I take special pride in how cracked up she got because that was at my sign. You may recognize her as Meredith from The Office, and if you watch that show, you may also recognize what I put on the poster I made for her, which was, "Meredith, where are your panties?" I LOOOOOVED her reaction, AND she put on a little show for us!
This is what I would call her "ow ow!!!!" look.
Also, it's INSANE how pretty she is in real life. They really do a good job of downplaying her looks on the show, because she's a super hot babe in real life.
Notice the guy in the passenger seat taking pictures of us? That's pretty much a slam dunk in our parade lives.
I know I'm showing you a ton of pictures of her, but Kate was probably the highlight of the entire parade for me. And now we're on a first name basis, and I love her.
Here she is reenacting hiking her dress up ...
And one more for good measure.
And the point as she's leaving us. She was so fun--they should bring her back every single year.
You may also notice Melora Hardin (a.k.a. Jan from The Office) in the car beside her. We did have an I Heart Jan sign that Amy made, but I didn't get as many pics because I was so busy with Kate and because Melora was on the other side of the street, but she also is incredibly pretty in real life, which seems impossible since she's so gorgeous on TV you think it must be magic.
And here she is giving us the I Love You sign, but mostly I just loved how much fun these two were having. I should've totally followed their cars and stalked them until they had girly cocktails with me, but alas, my work was not yet finished.
Our friend Megan needed pics of Josh Duhamel and her camera was getting ready to die, so naturally, I was all over it. Now Josh isn't looking particularly excited in these pics, but keep in mind that we were at almost the very end of the parade route, and it was HOT out there. He looked like he was really wilting and possibly feeling a little nauseous, but he was hanging in there and being a trooper anyway.
Now, I didn't realize this, but this was Megan's first parade. I guess it just felt like she had always been there, because it seemed so appropriate that she would be. She brought a sign along instructing Josh not to "phunk w/ her heart", but he was so out of it when he passed us that he didn't see it. But was Megan going to accept that? NO! Hell no! She straight up took off and sprinted four blocks after him until he saw her sign and she got the reaction she was looking for. He was all touched and happy and she felt good about the whole thing. And that is why Megan is a champion at life.
I included this one of Dario Franchitti and Ashley Judd because I love her every single year. She's never on the list as a celebrity attending and she doesn't get any special billing because she's just there being a supportive wife. And she always looks like such a beautiful, charming southern belle, and they always seem happy together. Oh, it's almost just too much romance for a parade celebrating a car race. :)
And here is our Helio! Someone (I think Natalie) made a sign saying that they heart Helio with a little heart dotting the "i" in Helio, and he gave us such a good, sweet, genuine, cheerful reaction. And we were all totally excited when he won. (Funny sidenote: Billy's mom told him "that dancer won" the 500. Billy was like ... "Ummm, I think he was a racecar driver before he was a dancer." Hilarious!)
So you know how I said double thumbs up is our thing? We finally made a sign this year telling people specifically what to do--it said "DOUBLE THUMBS". And we got totally excited when a float came down the parade that had one thumb up ... we think it's just a matter of time before double thumbs up becomes the symbol for the entire parade.