November 11 is for remembering. One of the best ways is to kick off the day with some gratitude at the Veterans Day parade in Hollywood to honor those who served and sacrificed. Then, you and the no-school-today set can make a day of it in this fam-friendly hamlet. There’s no limit to the merriment, except maybe time, energy and of course, daylight. charlie vet day parade SEE
The Veterans Day parade kicks off at 9:45 a.m. sharp. Get there early for a flag to wave and a curbside view. The parade runs from NE 40th @ Tillamook to NE 48th and Sandy. It’s a quick, respectful way to say hooray and hearty thanks to those who gave (and continue to give) of themselves. And if it’s rainy there are many storefronts along NE Sandy with go-your-umbrella-one-better awnings. The parade also rocks school bands, groovy vehicles, local politicians and first responders. If there’s a parade to hit all year, this is it, for the attitude of gratitude alone. And when it’s done…time to tend to the bellies.

rose city food park

EAT
Some of our faves in H’wood include Shandong (ooooh those tan tan noodles), Laurelwood Pub (with kiddo menu extravaganza and a play area), Rose City Food Park cartopolis o’ nosh and two big thumbs up for – Panera Cares. One of but a few in the whole US of A, Panera Cares is a chance to further the day of appreciation. The sandwich and salad mecca will take your order, tell you what it would cost, and then ask that you simply pay what you can into a donation box. More, less, the exact amount – whatever works and no one is turned away for not having enough cash. Anything you spend over the actual fee helps subsidize food for those who cannot pay full price or is (after all operating costs are met) donated to programs like job training for at-risk youth. It’s a superbly-worthy biz model and another fab way to instill a sense of thankfulness in our next gen.

spark arts ctr

EXPLORE
Once bellies are full, think about some ways to burn it off! Hollywood Bowl is here where you can rock strikes and roll spares. We also heart Spark Arts Center (NE 39th) for their drop-in messy art fun. If the sun shines, or really, the rain does not pour down in buckets, run on over to Grant Park (NE 33rd at US Grant) and check out their fab new turf football field and track. While there, say hello to Ramona and friends at the statue garden.

SHOP
Wander and ponder, avec les petites, Hollywood’s many unique boutiques of dig-for-it hip and dusty consignment, vintage and antique deals.  Then head over to Popina and pretend you’re on vacation. The bathing suits, cover-ups, and uber-resorty vibe will transplant you and the kiddos will hang just fine with the toys, fish tanks and flatscreen cartoonathon. When and if you must get back to reality, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are right here for dinner munitions before you pile back into the truckster and head for the homeland.

vet day parade 1

Where are you sharing a bit of attitude and gratitude this Veterans Day? Will you hit up the parade or go elsewhere? 

— Liz Overson

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Thank yous for the photos go to – Spark Arts Center, Rose City Food Park and Popina  Facebook pages, Brian Ebert and Amanda Armington.