It’s hard to put into words what it means to be recognized for workin’ hard. But I’m gonna try, because being asked to be the Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade not only made my year, it made every sack lunch I packed, every sleepless night and every penny I squeezed, so worth it.
As a girl growin’ up in southwestern Georgia, I didn’t have the imagination to ever dream of visiting California, let alone leading a parade through the crowd-filled streets of Pasadena. So when I rolled in that lead car down Colorado Boulevard, waving both my hands like a windshield wiper gone wild (I knew I wouldn’t last two seconds doing that princess wave), I got emotional. I had expected parade-loving families and football fans, but for some reason I didn’t expect so many people to be cheering for me. People were waving signs that said, “We love you, Paula Deen,” and using pots and wooden spoons as noisemakers! Half the time I couldn’t even see their faces because my eyes kept filling with tears of joy.
You know, the Rose Parade is something that I’ve watched on TV for years. It’s a tradition in our house to have it on while I’m cooking my turnip greens and black-eyed peas to ring in the New Year. And for me to be there after feeling so connected to it all these years was surreal. I couldn’t believe that I had been chosen out of every person in this United States to lead that parade.
Surely the best part of the whole celebration was being able to share it with my family. And the parade organizers were kind enough to understand when I showed up with an entourage made up of our children, aunts and uncles. They even let the men in our family gather at the sideline of the Rose Bowl game to watch me flip the coin. I’ve tried so hard to impress my children and show them that hard work and a passion for what you do can really pay off. And y’all, I’ve gotten so many accolades over the years, but this finally impressed them. When we walked off the field, my sweet son-in-law (who’s married to Michael’s daughter), turned to me and tried to tell me how much it meant to him being a part of our family, but he got too choked up to get the words out. It was one of many moments over the course of the week that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.
Y’all, 2011 is gonna have to be one helluva year to beat the start I’ve had. And I’m looking forward to see what’s in store.Read More From News.
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Join Paula, Bobby and Jamie for a book signing at the Lady and Sons restaurant in Savannah from 2 to 4 pm. Only 350 tickets will be given out starting 1 hour before the book signing. No cameras permitted; a professional photographer will be on site to take your photo.
Join Paula and family for a Party at Sea to the Eastern Caribbean (San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maarten - roundtrip from Miami) aboard the Celebrity Reflection presented by Alice Travel. Click here for more information, and please note that the Paula Deen cruise is only available by booking directly with Alice Travel. We are running out of space, so book as soon as possible!
Paula Deen is coming to Buffalo, NY to perform a live cooking show and let VIP ticket holders enjoy a delicious Southern feast with a menu created by Paula herself! Both events will be held at Samuel’s Grand Manner in Williamsville, NY which offers a refined elegance in a classically modern setting. The VIP lunch will be held at 12:00pm on February 8th and will go until approximately 2:00pm (doors will open at 11:30am). The lunch will include a hearty helping of Southern style cuisine which is personally selected by Paula, a Southern Cooking Bible cookbook, a photo op with Paula where she will also be signing autographs, a gift package, and preferred seating at that evenings cooking show! The cooking show will begin at 3:00pm on February 8th and run about 60 minutes long (doors will open at 2:15pm). Paula will be cooking up some of her favorite meals live for you at Samuel’s Grand Manor! Seating is unreserved and is “first come, first served”.
Click here for tickets.
Join Paula and family for a Party at Sea aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas to Labadee, Jamaica, and Cozumel (roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale) presented by Alice Travel. We will be having special, separate events for kids on this one with Jack Deen hosting the kids program! Click here for more information, and please note that the Paula Deen cruise is only available by booking directly with Alice Travel Book now before the prices start going up on the cruise and air!