Two Moms Finally Let Loose at the Fair, Part One

We made it!

We came, we lingered, we laughed. Oh, how we laughed.

Black Magic roses... stunning color and shape!
Black Magic roses… stunning color and shape!

We delighted in the floral specimens, scarcely believing that roses could achieve that color or dahlias could be that perfect. We wanted to die for the level of fluffiness we witnessed in the bunnies on display. The student art floored us- what talent! The collections and cooking entries included everything from the amazing to the confusing. We left with enough examples of beauty and to fodder for laughter for ages to come.


Fair Award Winner "Charlotte Ann"
“Charlotte Ann”
"Ketchup and Mustard"
“Ketchup and Mustard”

Roses have names, we know that. “Peace, Mr. Lincoln, Iceberg, and Julia Child” are all common varieties, but today at the fair we found many far from common- names like the enigmatic titles given to race horses or those found on the back of sailboats… a few could be romance novel titles, honestly.

Stunning "Memphis Magic"
“Memphis Music”
"George Burns," what a fabulous tribute!
“George Burns”
"Power Point" is another winner
“Power Point”

A sampling: “Renegade, Black Magic, Playboy, The Fairy, Wise Portia, First Kiss, Super Hero, Betty Boop, Foolish Pleasures, Mother’s Love, Power Point, Nemesis, Seattle Destination, Bees Knees, Shameless, Lusciously Lucy, Monkey Business, Jump for Joy, Hot Cocoa, Gourmet Popcorn. ”

Huge dahlias!
Huge dahlias!
"Clouds and Rain"
“AC Clouds and Rain”
"Mary Eveline"
“Mary Eveline”

The dahlia displays were no less stunning- what amazing symmetry and size! Annika’s take-away after seeing the dahlias was how much these flowers seem to jump right out of a Dr. Seuss book. I left wishing I could come back with a golf club. “Fore!!” Just kidding… kind of.


We were both sad to see that there were no fancy chickens in the livestock barns, but were completely delighted with the bunnies. Oh my GOSH, it was a fluffy overload. How can something be that impossibly fluffy? Here are a few of our favorites:

Annika’s Goth Bunny
World’s Cutest Bunny
Fluffiest Neighbor #2

These are a few of the fluffiest, cutest, most adorable critters I have ever seen at a state fair.

Fluffiest Neighbor #1

There were as many people crowded around the bunnies as there were anywhere. Everyone wants to just marvel at their sweetness, and who can blame them?

We left the animals saying goodbye to the mama pig and her piglets, reminding Annika of how she prefers to eat marzipan pigs to the real ones. Mama Piggy gave me an entirely different idea: it was high time to visit the corndog stand.

Why I am really at the fair...
Why I am really at the fair…

Coming up in Part Two- Student Art and Photography, and the Home and Hobby collections, displays, crafts and foods.

Two Moms and A Lot of Fun…

The Intention:

Zumbar- the best coffee in San Diego
Zumbar- the best coffee in San Diego

Two moms have all teens and pre-teens either in school or otherwise accountable. They meet for coffee and pastries, have tickets to the San Diego County Fair, and plan to spend AS MUCH TIME AS THEY WANT, all morning and afternoon, to pore over the art, horticulture, cooking, and any other exhibits WITHOUT KIDS SAYING “Mooooom, we’re booooooored, can’t we leave the exhibits and ride the Throw ‘Em Upper Coaster now?!??”

Hidden Agenda:

Get the Swedish partner in crime to try Fair Food. Fried Fair Food.

The Reality:

The fair is closed for the first two Tuesdays. Dammit!

What We Did:

Liberty Station
Liberty Station

Sat in the fairground parking lot for five minutes wondering how it escaped both of our attention to this Tuesday closing… kept getting distracted with twenty other subjects, then decided to hit another San Diego landmark instead. Liberty Station? Great idea! I’ve never looked around this beautiful site or explored the grounds.

Need to come back to see more!
Need to come back to see more!

We had a great time wandering around, looking at all of the different art shops that were open at the time… less than half, I’d say, but we picked up flyers about a bunch of upcoming local events, classes and restaurants. There’s a WINE AND CHEESE AND CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL!! June 26th, people, mark your calendars- I know I am!


I kind of covered the hidden agenda, but it was a total compromise. Stone Brewing has an appetizer that can convert any vegetable hater- Deep Fried Brussels Sprouts, with Pancetta and a Honey Balsamic dressing. Holy Explicative, these are great, and I’m glad I got to introduce my friend to this snack and the lovely Stone restaurant.

We are trying for the fair again later this week. We are bound and determined. And I will make Annika try fair food- corn dog or funnel cake… her choice!

February Tourist Trip- Dragging the Family to Oceanside

It’s getting difficult to get the four of us together for a tourist day. Between college and high school entrance requirements we are more scattered than ever.
Plus, the half hour ride in the car to get anywhere means 30 minutes of butt jokes coming from the back seat.

Aside from bringing The Girl to her friend’s house in Oceanside (pre-licensed teenager days), the only thing I associated with this city was a long drive down the coast to my great-grandparents condo when my brother and I were younger. We had nothing to do but read the books we brought along. Our other option was to slip and slide down a long iceplant covered hill, cross a highway and buy candy at a 7-11 mini mart. When the great-grandparents’ health began to fail, I don’t remember helping out with any of moving or cleaning… we were probably just under foot while others took care of the work, but then again, we were just flaky little punks back then. My brother did a complete turnaround not long after that, and since then he’s the one the family can count on when the older family members have needed anything.

Clear at the start of the walk...
Clear at the start of the walk…
15 minutes later at the end of the pier.
15 minutes later at the end of the pier.
I'm guessing this is a California Brown Pelican. His beak can hold more than his belly can, you know...
A California Brown Pelican? His beak can hold more than his belly can, you know…
Egret posing for my camera on the Oceanside pier.
Egret posing for my camera on the Oceanside pier.

Today we spent the afternoon driving through beach towns before arriving in Oceanside. We walked to the pier with the sun in our faces only to have the marine layer roll in by the time we reached the end of the walk. After five days of Santa Ana conditions, I was in heaven! My kids played on the boardwalk like I did decades ago. They loved seeing the sand underneath give way to the rocks then the waves. We snapped pictures of birds waiting to snatch the catch away from people fishing on the pier. I busted them before they could spit on the surfers below. Fourteen-year-old boys are such… fourteen-year-old boys. Especially when egged on by the big sister.

“OK, now we don’t have to go to Oceanside again.” That was The Husband’s observation.
He prefers the Encinitas, Cardiff and Del Mar scene.

There are about 25 surfers just to the right of this photo, taken at 4:15ish...
There are about 25 surfers just to the right of this photo, taken at 4:15ish…
There are still at least 25 surfers and one BIG sea lion in this pic taken at 4:45
Still at least 25 surfers and one BIG sea lion in this pic taken at 4:45, I swear.
Robert's Cottages are available to rent on a weekly or monthly basis... details found here:
These cottages are available to rent on a weekly or monthly basis… for details click here:

Tourist Time

In January last year we went whale watching. A more perfect day could not have been designed- the water was like glass, the temperatures were San Diego’s finest, and just enough high clouds made for great photography. Whales even made a few appearances, but it didn’t matter because the whole morning excursion was worth the effort and price- both of which were minimal, actually.

Whale Watching January 2014
Whale Watching January 2014

The family all agreed that we would get out and do the tourist thing once a month so that we could really get to know this area better. Aaaaannd we promptly forgot, getting caught up in the happy business of life.

My mom is funny...
My mom is funny…

I swear, I am holding us to that goal. We WILL get out there monthly to see the sights that So Cal has to offer.

This month is a little boogered up as one kid’s fencing tournament has had last minute scheduling changes, but that isn’t stopping us… we have places to see today.