Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday Memories-Bob Evans Farm Festival

In the interest of saving time, I'll go ahead and write about a more recent memory (happened Saturday) rather than one in the distant past.  Saturday, we met Hollie and Justin at the Bob Evans Farm Festival in Bidwell, OH.  It looked like everyone from a three-state area (and even more!) was there on Saturday, but other than watching people exit shows (like the ax-throwing contest), it didn't really feel crowded at all.  Oh, well, except when we left part of our party somewhere and said, "We'll catch up."  You'd think we would have learned after the first time.  We always found each other but there were a few moments of, "Do you think s/he knows where we are?"

The Festival takes place at the home where the eponymous Bob Evans and his wife Jewell raised their 6 children and lived for 20 years.  It was apparently also a stagecoach stop and an inn and is on the National Register of Historical Places.  The pink brick building sits in front of a massive hill (taller than the two-story house) that was arguably the best part of the Festival, at least for my children.  We had followed Justin and Hollie over to the pond for the water sports demonstrations but as soon as we reached a vantage point, David announced in clarion tones, "I have to go potty!"  So, back down the steps, back down the hill to stand in line at seemingly the only PortaPotty within half a mile.  We did catch up with Friend Husband there (remember the "I'll catch up with you"?) and after everyone had done their business, we set out to return to the hill where we were presumably to catch up with J&H.  Only the shows were letting out and a steady sea of people streamed down the path right in our direction.  Changing course, we decided it would be cool to let the children play on this hill that a few children were already on and that they'd been clamoring to be on since lunchtime.  From my vantage point halfway up, I could easily keep an eye on the teeming masses and hoped to spy the rest of our party coming down.

We spent a lot of time on the Hill.  It was a very high, very steep (about a 45º slope in most places) hill and the children had a blast running down, sliding down (on cardboard, if they were lucky, rear ends if they weren't), rolling down, and stopping halfway to throw dirt at each other.  David and Keziah played especially hard but I must say that Rachel and Abby got into the act as well.  What a swell place!  I can't imagine how much fun it would have been to have grown up there.

The children were pretty well worn out by the time we finished at the Hill (and this mama was too, if the truth were known) but Rachel wanted to finish up at the kiddie arcade tent, so we headed off in that direction.  The children went through a hay bale labyrinth which was pretty fun (probably would have been more fun for me if I had been in a skirt with more give).  We also took another spin on the covered wagon ride, which was highly enjoyed by all who partook a second time.  Then it was off into the sunset for the 2 ½ hour drive home.  The girls were highly enthusiastic about all the fun they'd had as a family and Dave fell asleep before we hit the main road.

It was a gorgeous day to go out there and enjoy watching the various exhibits they had going.  It was chilly (and quite foggy) on the drive over but it soon warmed up and the sun shone clear and bright the whole day.  (Guess who got a sunburn?)  We took in a couple of shows (tractor and horse) in the corral, watched them making apple butter and bean soup and watched a number of clogging groups perform.  I also (finally) got to meet a couple of sisters from West Virginia that I'd been "seeing" on Xanga for a while (hey, Jennifer and Shannon!) and I'm hre to report that they are every bit as lovely in person as they are on their blogs.

We didn't spend a lot of time in the vendor area but that was fine with me.  I'm not much for browsing aisle after aisle of crafts, however lovely they looked in passing.  The only downside of the day were the PortaPotties.  Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for their presence there and these even started out being equipped with hand sanitizer, which is not something you see every day, but if I never have to take one twin (much less two, which I had to do once) into one of those foul environments again, it'll be ok by me!  Yick.

The children had a great time and the twins finally got to meet Titus and Vaida, whom they had been talking about pretty much constantly for a week.  We got to spend some time with another Christian family in the outdoors.  It was a lovely memory in the making.

So, this week.  I don't know how often I'll be able to get on here.  As I mentioned Friday, we're planning to muck out today and tomorrow and then Wednesday will be spent getting ready for the epic jaunt to Texas.  I'm kinda excited, kinda nervous about it.  Dave has been a little wacky with the steroid but not as bad as he was last time he got his dosage upped.  The girls have been bickering a lot as well.  Oh well, I'm hoping/praying that it turns out well in the end.  Since Friend Husband (slave driver that he is) will be here, I imagine I won't have a lot of time to be online (not that I need to be spending a lot of time online with what all's going on in my life right now anyway) so I guess I'll bid you a fond adieu until we return, Lord willing, from our trip.  I'll probably be thinking about everybody, blogging in my head (only to lose it all when I try to compose in front of the computer), and trying to decide which story I want to proceed with for NaNoWriMo next month (I signed up this morning!  Yay!).

Is this enough update (and parenthetical statements) for one Monday?  I think so.  Party on, dudes!

Oops, sorry, just have to say that Hollie has pictures up if you want to see some.  My camera did its usual coy trick the minute I brought it out to take pictures of the children hanging out on the wood pasture fences.

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