Saturday, July 16, 2011

Forest Fair

I've written plenty about Forest Fair in the past, so I'm sure all my readers (yes you, Dave!) are waiting for this year's rundown of FF fun.

Friday, July 1, was the first day of the Fair this year and it was a rainy, cloudy, chilly day.  Friday is always a good day to hit the booths because it usually isn't crowded and everyone has full inventories.  And the weather meant even fewer Friday fair-goers.  I scored a new utensil crock in my favorite color scheme from Irwin Pottery (Alaskan Summer 2, if you must know) and I also worked the t-shirt shack that evening.  Always a highlight of my fair experience.

Moriah and Susannah decided to make and sell duct tape wallets and recycled juice pouch totes again.  This year, though, because they were 13, they had to buy a 'real' booth space.  It was at a greatly reduced rate, thankfully, and was at the very end of one of the newer loops at the fair.  Their spot made them nervous about whether or not people would actually come all the way down the loop, but it ended up being just fine and they saw plenty of traffic.  They made almost $500, too.  Not a bad haul for a couple of teenagers.

At some point on Friday, a friend of theirs took a card, wrote her name on it and taped it to the canopy.  Then another friend wrote + and her name and taped it up.  Then another friend and another...and so on and so on (isn't that from a shampoo commercial?).  Anyway.  Turns out that even perfect strangers were intrigued by this and wanted to add their names to the growing collection.  By the end of the fair, 50 people had taped up their names.  Ah, the randomness of Forest Fair.  Not nearly as random as the weird couple walking around dressed as rabbits and carrying a rabbit 'baby' (hand puppet) or the guy wearing only a Speedo and a cowboy hat (ewww), but random enough.

Saturday morning was the Forest Fair parade and as usual, over half of our family was involved in some way.  Jim wore a lovely fish and marched proudly with the Lions Club.

The little girls dressed as princesses (Ariel and Cinderella) and marched with their Summer Playground buddies.  Oh, what a thrill to throw candy to the masses!

And, as usual, Samuel donned the ever-so-tasteful (or tasty?) ice cream suit to ride on the Ice Cream Shop's float. 

We enjoyed great food (DJ's cookies, cheesy spinach bread and corn fritters for me!), great music (Melissa Mitchell, Rogues and Wenches and Hobo Jim) and plenty of chances for little girls to improve their hula hooping skills.

Bethany shaking her tail feathers

Abigail whirling while twirling

We even captured a good picture of this nice couple that was walking around the fair together:

All in all, a wonderful weekend.

The rest of the (baseball) story

Yes, baseball is finally over.  It's actually ended more than two weeks ago but somehow it feels like it was just yesterday.  That could be from the overload of a lot of games in a short amount of time, but whatever the case, we were glad to end our late-afternoon drives into Anchorage.  Don't get me wrong, the games were fabulous and it was a joy to watch each and every one.  But daily trips into Anchorage and sitting on bleachers and being tense over plays and batting and fielding...well, it kinda wears one down.  Or more than one.

Absolutely ZONKED out.

On the plus side of multiple-trip-mania, having little girls who are absolutely exhausted can provide a smidge of entertainment:

Didn't expect Cousin Itt's cousin to come to the game!
As the last couple of tournament games wound down for Moriah's team, they continued to play hard and really gave it their all.  The Cubs made it to the championship game(s), winning the first to force the second in a double header thriller.  If those kids had had a little more rest and their best pitchers (as the team from the 'winners' bracket had), I do believe they may have pulled off a victory.  But really, what they achieved was amazing and we were all incredibly proud of how they played and how they conducted themselves throughout the tournament.

Moriah was able to pitch once more.  Literally.  Once.  She threw a pitch that was hittable, the batter popped it up and it was caught for the final out in the bottom of the sixth inning of the final game. 

It was clear that her team was running out of steam (yeah, that rhymes), but they still set up an incredible opportunity in the top of the seventh.  They started the inning four runs behind and one run had come in.  With two outs making everyone nervous, two more players got on base and the 'home run hitter' came up to bat.  It was quite exciting, and cautious optimism had crept in just a bit.  The batter hit a deep fly ball...waaayyyyyy back...that was caught.  Just a few feet from the fence.  It was a 'awwwww' moment for our team but boy was that kid who caught it justifiably thrilled with his running catch. 

If the Cubs had to lose, they at least did it in a way that showed they came to play to the very end.  They took second place in the tournament and have every reason to be absolutely proud of the way they played through that tournament. 

Thanks for memories, guys!