Paula Hyman will be contributing columns to each Wednesday. Here's her eighth installment. It is currently 12:20 a.m. and I am on my couch, watching the television show "Fear Factor." In this episode, the contestants have to jump off of a ledge and try to cling to a net that is directly across from them. Crazy stuff -- but not as crazy as the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade that I went to! Seriously though, I had a fantastic time. It would be way too much for you to read if I went through the whole event in detail, so I'll just give you the highlights. When we got to the city Wednesday evening, some of us started off the night at Applebee's. I had the grilled oriental chicken salad -- it's my favorite thing to get there. Matt ordered ribs and then looked at the price after the waitress left. I believe they were about $27. Yes, the NYC Applebee's is a little more expensive than your regular "neighborhood grill." After a fun-filled dinner, we made our way downstairs and started to walk around. We had the option of seeing the musical "42nd Street" with the All-Star Color guard kids, but chose to walk around the city instead. Matt actually decided to go watch "42nd Street." He said it was excellent. In last week's column, I talked about how we were going to go to the Cold Stone Creamery while in the City. We had big plans of going three times, but only ended up going once. That's alright though, because I don't know if I could have handled it three times in one day. Being quite the risk taker that I am, I decided to try a new flavor -- The Mint Chocolate Chip Brownie Fudge Blast! I am pretty sure I made that name up, but it was something similar, I just can't remember. They pretty much take mint ice cream and mix in chocolate chips, fudge and a whole brownie. I chose to eat it out of a waffle bowl and even threw some rainbow sprinkles on there for GE. It was so good. Thank you, Cold Stone Creamery. We pretty much walked around the city for the rest of the night, going into stores and looking around. It's such an exciting atmosphere out there. Just walking around is so much fun there, it's weird. After a great night in the city, we headed back to the hotel to sleep. Some of us actually brought our horns and silent brass so we could practice -- and we did. Not dorks at all. Anyway, we went to bed pretty late and had to be on the bus at 5 a.m. It was pretty awesome. They took us to the Hard Rock Caf?© for breakfast. Good stuff. We then made our way to the parade line up on some back street. It was very cool being behind the scenes. But by far the coolest part was meeting and taking a picture with the Crocodile Hunter! I left that camera at Matt's house on Long Island, but when I get it back, I'll see if I can get that picture on here. So after seeing the Croc Hunter, we decided to go on a celebrity hunt. We stopped to meet Fantasia from American Idol so Jay could take a picture with her, and also took pictures with Joe Namath. It was a pretty cool experience. I am not sure if you know what Weebles are, but let me try to explain. Weebles came out in the 1970s -- they were little toys in a rounded shape that didn't have feet. "Weebles Wobble, but they don't fall down" was their slogan. Well, there were GIANT Weebles at this parade that were remote-controlled. I'm talking like 50-feet high. The turtle Weeble was having some issues. It wasn't working properly and got left in the dust by the rest of his friends. Anyway, the crew eventually fixed it and then people in golf carts started speeding down the parade route, trying to get people out of the way because this gigantic Weeble was coming. So I looked up and a huge turtle was speeding down this road, wobbling from side to side to catch up to its friends. Because these things were remote-controlled, it looked like they were just moving on their own. Eventually, the turtle couldn't take it anymore and broke down so they moved onto the side of the road. Anyway, the parade was a lot of fun to walk. The color guard did an excellent job and had a great time. I would definitely do this again. After the parade was over, Matt had Laura, Jay, and myself over to his house for a Thanksgiving feast. Just as predicted, we ate incredible amounts of delicious food. You name it, and it was on that table. So we ate and then took a nap. When we woke up, it was time for dessert. Once again, the table was filled with everything you'd ever want. After eating dessert we took a quick nap and then went to the movies. We saw "The Incredibles." It was very good -- well, the parts that I saw. I kept falling asleep towards the back half of the movie. Food coma was setting in, hard core. After the movie, we went home and, believe it or not, ate some more. David Heinsen (a Cadet baritone) came over as well. He brought the 2004 DCI DVDs, so we watched some of that and then passed out. I drove to my sister's house in New York the next day and spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday with her. Sunday was her birthday so it worked out really well. I love spending time with her. All right, I think that is all. I hope that was an acceptable recap of last week. Now I am preparing for this weekend -- the first "real" camp of the season if you will. All the vets are back to mix in with the rookies to begin what I know is going to be a very special season. This Sunday, we have our 2004 Awards Banquet. Another milestone in my Cadets career I guess. It sounds cheesy, but I definitely cherish all my time here with this group of incredible people. I really am looking forward to sharing the banquet experience with everyone -- especially the rookies from this past season, because much like their rookie season, they do not really know what to expect at the banquet either. It is a very special day and I can't wait! Ok enough sentimental stuff, I have to get going. I hope you all have a fantastic week/weekend and I will be back next Wednesday with a recap of the camp and lots more. Paula Hyman is a fourth-year member of the Cadets where she is the mellophone section leader. She is 20 years old and currently single. Originally from South Florida, Paula recently made the move to Allentown, Pa., to work for YEA!, the umbrella organization of the Cadets, Crossmen and the U.S. Scholastic Band Association. She ages out in 2006. Past columns by Paula Hyman: Macy's Day extravaganza Your not-so-typical day Trick-or-treating at a band show Trick-or-treating at a band show It's a show day! What's a free day? Rest stop or heaven? The Move to Allentown Welcome back to the real world