Sunday, July 15, 2012

Oregon Country Fair 2012!!!

Thursday, July 12th we packed up the car and left for our favorite 4 days of the year. 

 The car was full.

Upon arrival at Zumwalt campground, some other members of our group were able to grab the same shady spot under the big trees where we camped last year.

Fast Fair friends Max and Jake immediately found one another and got started on their long weekend of playing.
 And Porter and Ryan started hanging out together as well.
Spent Thursday setting up camp, eating dinner, and being happy that we were there at Zumwalt campground for the 4th year in a row!

The next day we got ready to go to the Fair. In line for the bus, Jake discovered that his wiggly tooth had become even MORE wiggly and was so, so close to coming out. (It actually came out later that afternoon, while we were standing in line for the bus to go back to the campground!)
 Waiting in line with friends.
 Ninja stick-fighters.
 A snack while waiting for the bus.
 On the bus, YAY!!!
We arrived at the Fair and got food and went to our base under the big tree at Chela Mela. Ryan needed a nap right away.
In the afternoon, at a show. Actually this was the show before the show we wanted to see. We were waiting to see Nanda, and the show prior to this was this really weird, trippy, mime show with clouds and a rocking horse and topless women. The boys seem to be trying to figure out what is going on.

After the shows, Coconut Bliss ice cream.

Back at Chela Mela. I love my boys.
And then back to the campground for a tired, happy picture.
Porter loved Ryan. Wanted to hold his hand and walk around with him. Sweeties.
The older kids played with Beyblades all weekend.
3...2...1... let 'er RIP!!!
Saturday morning. Friend G joined us this year for the first time! 
After a morning of breakfast, chatting with new and old friends, and a nap for Ryan, we packed up toys, lunch, drinks, and sunscreen and headed over to the lake (a 5 minute walk from our tent). It was the perfect, hot, sunny day to spend at the lake. We were all in bliss!

 Sunday morning. Cold and misting slightly. Time to eat breakfast and start packing up.
 Camp is all packed away, but the Beyblades arena stayed out until the last.
Back at the Fair on Sunday. We started with an adventure... oy. Parked the car and walked to the first gate (Cabal Gate) where they do bag checks. After that it is another 5 minute walk to the ticket gate. Before Cabal Gate, we spotted our friends from the campground. Went over to say hi. Jake ran over to this ship play structure on the field next to the gate. After a few minutes, I realized I had not seen Jake climbing on the play structure. I walked over there and he was nowhere to be seen. I had a sneaking suspicion he'd gone ahead through the gate but was also starting to freak out. Urgently but calmly I told Mike and our friends that Jake was missing. We did a quick scan of the area but he was not there. So at that point I went over to one of the security staff on a bicycle and let him know my 6 year old was missing. He immediately walked me over to another staff member who had a radio. She took Jake's name, age, and description and radioed up to the ticket gate. In the meantime, Mike and Ryan had gone through Cabal Gate to start looking.
The security person was very sweet. She kept saying "Kids are our #1 priority here, they are very important to us." It was at that point that I burst into tears because I'd done all I could and could only wait. Fortunately, within 5 minutes the staff near the ticket gate had found him. And shortly after that Jake spotted Daddy and Ryan. They returned to Cabal Gate for me.
Honestly, it is a testament to how familiar and comfortable the Fair is to Jake that he knew where to go and was so excited to get his arm stamped at the Fair entrance. And this is the best place that this could have happened -- friendly people and a totally organized security system that found him quickly. But Jake now understands how scary that was for us and that he can't do that again.

After some deep breaths, we continued our day at the Fair. First stop, we got 2 plates of French Toast and shared them. Really yummy and a much-needed treat! This was a new food vendor that we hadn't tried during our previous 5 years visiting the Fair, so it was fun to try new foods on this day after spending Friday noshing on all of our old favorites.

We dropped our things off at Chela Mela and then went to the Children's Playground to hang out and just relax.

 Later in the day I walked around the North Loop of the Fair with Ryan napping in the carrier on my front. Daddy and Jake got snow cones and hung out at the meadow. Later Jake went to the kid's arts and crafts booth and made this cool paper kite.
 Then played for a few hours at the juggling center.

 We were waiting for the finale of our day -- the March 4th Band which happened to be playing at the stage next to our spot at Chela Mela!!!
 The band was awesome, we were all happy and satisfied, and after grabbing a fantastic burrito, some Indian food, and some amazing cinnamon rolls on the way out, we got to our car at 8pm (the latest we've ever stayed at the Fair!) and arrived home at 10pm.

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