Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The One Good Thing About the Marion County Fair

The cotton candy was good.

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So good in fact that one small boy didn't run while his mom snapped pictures.

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And so, his mom snapped a lot of pictures.

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And still the boy was willing to share his cotton candy with his mom.

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That's just the kind of sweet boy that he is.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

In Contrast: the Marion County Fair

Remember how much I love the Oregon Country Fair? Impossible to overstate, actually. It just totally rocks.

Well, the Marion County Fair. Er, not so much.

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It was definitely a case of overblown expectations. First, we'd just been to the un-toppable Country Fair. And then, somehow I didn't realize that this was different from the Oregon STATE fair that is held at the same venue.

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Yeah, I know. It is at a different time of year and has a totally different name. But somehow I just thought that a fair at this venue would be just like the state fair. Uh, wrong. Way wrong.

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It was an inferno all set up in a concrete parking lot. It was one small barn with about 1/4 of the animals as at the state fair. There were literally only 4 rides suitlable for Soren.

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But you can see from the photos, my impression of the fair didn't matter one bit. We were smart and showed up at the last 2 hours of the fair which meant free admission. One $20 ride bracelet and Soren rode those 4 rides to his heart's content.

I'm a little worried though that I may have shown him too good a time...and he'll ask to go again next year.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Country Fair Love

Anyone know where I can send my nomination for The World's Best Festival? I'm totally recommending the Oregon Country Fair.

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I've decided that while the name is accurate...it is in Oregon, it is in the country, and it is technically a fair...I think the name give people the wrong impression. The word fair conjures up images of elephant ears, fat people in tank tops eating said elephant ears, dust, rides and carnies, and all the other details that go hand in hand with our usual impression of fairs in the summer.

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But the Oregon Country Fair...just so, so, so much more. Delicious, often organic, foods. Amazing musical diversions. And people watching to beat all people watching.

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Even random free craft booths for kids to create their own hats to ward off all the sun.

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...and blend in with all the revelers.

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This year I learned more clearly about what I love about the fair. Food? Yes, it is yummy. Music? Yep, it is good and so diverse. But for me, it is all about walking a bit until I find a bench and then settling in to watch the parade of people walk by.

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Then wandering a bit further until we come across another open bench. And if the guy sitting next to you happens to be toting a drum...well you may as well just join in and add to the music of the scene.

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We're so lucky to have friends who have a booth at the fair. They graciously allow us to come and enjoy their prime vantage point for awhile. (That would be Soren misting the crowd.)

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Even with all our sitting, it seems like we cover a few miles of ground and enough stimulation to send two out of the three of us into dreamland as soon as we get back to the car for the drive home.

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(I was driving and the red light didn't last long enough for me to get a picture of Peter sleeping too!)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Yeah, I Admit it...

Sometimes I do walk into the room, take one look at my kid and run dashing to get the camera...

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He's got it all going on, wouldn't you say? The gangsta underwear hanging out of the preppy shorts, the hippie necklace and the pirate tattoos.

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Back to Cape Perpetua

Cape Perpetua may be becoming one of my favorite stops on the Coast.

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After having so much fun there Memorial Day, we stopped in again on the 4th of July. This time Peter shared his love of Ranger-talks with Soren.

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Which was made all the better since it was about one of Peter's very favorite sea creatures.

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I can tell, you think I'm joking. Nope, not a bit. I promise Peter loves everything about Nudibranchs. Soren seemed pretty pleased, too (and relayed ad infinitum the details of the snail he'd caught at the campsite when the Ranger asked him if he knew anything about snails or slugs. The Ranger intended it no doubt as a segue to his Nudibranch topic. He was just not expecting his young guest to have such a lengthy explanation of his snail knowledege...)

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One of these days we're going to go stay in the B&B at this lighthouse. One of these days.

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But, until then, we'll happily occupy our time with Nudibranchs and our tummies with diner grub.

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fourth of July Weekend

For the 4th of July we spent another delightful weekend camping, this time back to the Oregon Coast.

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There were so many fun things to explore. Like rocks made of dinosaur stuff (I can't recall if this particular rock was made from dinosaur bones or dinosaur poop!)

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Being the early risers that we are, we got to watch the fishing boats come in. The captain even invited Soren on this boat to see the stockpile of huge Tuna they'd just caught.

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Soren is pointing at the highlight of that morning. A hungry sea lion who'd come in to scavenge the bits of tuna that the fishermen would throw out as they'd clean the fish.

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Every time we drive through Florence, I always want to go out on the dune buggy rides.

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So this time we did!

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It was staggering how many miles of dunes there were to explore. And also how many additional places there were to help separate you from your money.

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This was the first year that Soren was old enough to bother staying up for the fireworks. And truth be told, I couldn't tell you the last time I'd stayed up for fireworks either. Of course this entails quite a bit of waiting once you've secured your prime vista.

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There were about a million other people killing time at the coffee shop too. But Soren seemed to think it was worth it because as he sipped his first bit of hot chocolate he said "Ah, nothing like a warm drink on a cold night." Like he's up on cold nights all the time!

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But, it was fun.

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And Soren was suitably impressed.

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Friday, July 09, 2010

Summer Ice Cream

Ice cream in the summer is so yummy. I remember so well that from my childhood that the two favorite kid flavors were Blue Moon or Rainbow Sherbert. Looks like somethings haven't changed.

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