Friday, October 10, 2008

I Survived the Fall Festival

I promised them that we'd go this year. Last year I publicly confessed that I do not like to go to the Foothills Fall Festival. Yes, it's won national awards: "The Best Festival in the Southeast!" and "One of the Top Ten Fall Festivals in the Country!" Foreigner is playing there right this minute, and my teenager is somehow hanging outside the festival area listening. There are 13 more acts this weekend, including Billy Ray Cyrus and my personal favorite from my childhood, Kenny Rogers. I'll never forget the joy my 8th grade year when my friends Ros and Lisa gave me a Kenny Rogers Greatest Hits album for my birthday, along with a green Izod golf shirt! That was a great birthday.

But I digress. Besides the very reasonable $35 weekend pass for the concert area, there is also a gigantic FREE children's adventureland and a craft show. And like I said, this year I promised I'd take them.

Here are the back of their heads as they watch the dog show along with 62,000 other people. (Yes, I made that number up.)

I'm sorry, but I don't understand why we get so excited about animals doing tricks. I try to be enthusiastic, and I do clap as if I'm truly enthralled with these talented beasts, but I'd rather be raking leaves than watching dogs catch frisbees. I am quite sure I am lacking some fundamental character trait, and I probably shouldn't have admitted that.

There's Duncan, fourth in line in the brown shirt. He went on this particular inflatable many, many times while Laurel and I sweated profusely.

Obviously, she deserved a sno-cone when he was done. But didn't sno-cones used to be, well, flavorful? I'm just saying.

We did run into some friends midway through our outing. Friends do make everything so much more enjoyable.

Duncan could spend every waking moment with his friend Noah, so it was an extra treat to run into Noah at the festival. Next year maybe I could get Noah and his mom and sister to skip the fall festival and just hang out here for a few hours. I would even blow up balloons and make deep-fried Twinkies.

We spent less than three hours there, and I was utterly exhausted. Crowds, noise, heat, long lines, bodies: that kind of stuff wears me out. I would have loved the fall festival when I was a teenager—the people watching, the thrill of independence, the throngs of people. Now, not so much. I just want water and a bench in the shade.

But the good news is, I've done my duty! I've fulfilled my promise, with a smile on my face, and I'm home in my quiet kitchen. The house is very quiet tonight. Dr. H. went on a solo backpacking trip; Jesse is hanging out at the festival with a friend; and Laurel is at a sleepover. Duncan and I enjoyed a rare evening together, just the two of us, with a movie and Zaxby's chicken wings. And 5 hours after returning from the festival, I'm beginning to recover. A good dose of quiet goes a long way.


  1. when we moved to cincinnati, i was shocked at all of the summer festivals. every single catholic church on every single corner had one. so, of course, we went. once! after one time decided it would be much more cost efficient to spend one whole day at the local amusement park. i always feel like a criminal mom every summer when we pass up every festival. my kids beg and plead. i make promises of said amusement park. last year we bought season passes. this year we just went one day. i love seeing the faces of my littlest ones! but i, like you, would rather be hanging out on my deck watching them do tricks off the swing.

    aaahh, i have quiet tonight as well. david and 4 of the kids are camping. aidan is at a friend's house. i am alone in my house. my ears feel really good.

  2. You definately did your duty! Yeah You!
    I don't like those noisy thing. I do like the Strawberry Festival, though. It's much simpler.
    I'll come over if you're making funnel cake!

  3. I survived too. I don't see the greatness of the festival either...the concert yeah, but the build up of the adventureland is great and it's not so great. We saw that dog show at the Hot Air balloon Fest. and thought it was pretty bad. Too much of the guy giggling....

  4. Oooohh... chicken wings.
    But do you know where the ice came from for that sno-cone? Was the water filtered?!

  5. I know EXACTLY what you mean about crowds and noise exhausting you. I love people, but in small numbers and for short periods of time. I am an introverted hermit by nature and I am recharged by solitude. Too much socialization drains me. It's good that you went. You made a memory for your kids. Now just vegetate and recover today. ;-)

  6. I don't enjoy any of those "festivals", dreadful crowds, circus atmosphere, etc. I equally don't enjoy the football games, gigantic musical spectacles around Christmas done by megaChurches in colliseums, etc.

    As to animal tricks, etc. I totally agree. I think the animal trick people more often than not are making up for NOT having kids and the animals have become their dear little children.

  7. how did I miss this post?especially since I have seen "the light?" anyway, please include us in your own fall festival next year...i will bring paint for face painting....:)


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