Sunday, 23 June 2013

San Diego County Fair 2013

We go every year.

For the Swifty Swine Pig Races. The Photography and Design in Wood and Landscaping exhibits. And soft serve ice cream.

There is a rhythm and order to our fair adventure from the moment we board the bus at Torrey Pines High School to get over to the fairgrounds.

Thankfully the event itself offers a few surprises each year to mix things up.

Like the theme.

Took turns playing Ms. Pacman while others hogged Donkey Kong and Frogger. Watched little kids play Operation, move life-size chess pieces and sit inside a Monopoly piece (a large silver car).

Yes, we went to the races, as per usual and flagged down the gal to purchase a Pooping Pig keychain (taking a pass on the plastic snout and dangly earrings).

This year they introduced Honey Boo Boo Pig and kids scrambled in line to have their picture taken while holding her in a blanket.

Wandered down fried alley to see what was cooking.

Klondike bars in a deep fryer. Krispy Kreme doughnuts as sloppy joe buns....yikes.

Kept walking. 

Had a hankering for an Appalachian pulled pork sandwich and grabbed a fresh squeezed lemonade.

As we wandered around looking for a bench and possibly some music...


A genius must have come up with this contest.

Here are the rules. Baby must be 12 months or younger. Baby must stay on the carpet. Baby must not get up and walk. Baby must completely cross the finish line to win a ribbon.

Here are the first 3 contestants.

Those 25 feet look like miles to the young tots.

Baby in pink gets into position while baby in purple meditates and visualizes the race.

Baby boy looks determined.

Pink baby is giving it all she's got while purple baby poses for the camera.

Oh no, purple baby down.

She has done a face plant with 20 feet of carpet left in the race.

Baby boy forgot the rules and takes a breather without FULLY crossing the finish line.

Pink baby, with a full steam of energy, easily clears the dotted line, leaving the other kids in her dust.


Pink baby is thrilled with her ribbon and takes a little rest before the next heat.

Caught up in the excitement and yelling 'Go Baby Go' along with the rest of the crowd, we stayed for the 2nd competition.

Pink bow baby motored across the finish.

Drum roll please.

Here is the final heat.

Pink baby faces off with pink bow baby. Our gal on the right clearly is ready to race. Pink bow baby is showing some distress before the start.

With a HUGE lead at the midpoint, pink baby gets rattled and starts to crawl backward.

Laughter erupts from the crowd as the announcer says, "This has never happened before."

Adorable for sure.

But definitely cost her the win.

Pink bow baby took home the trophy.

......oh the drama.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Celebrated Father's Day in San Juan Capistrano, too late in the season to see swallows, but perfect day for admiring the architecture, succulents, fountains and bells.

Derek, our tour guide, kept us hustling around the grounds for a full hour.

Here are some highlights...

The seventh of the twenty-one missions founded in California, Mission San Juan Capistrano is often referred to as the 'Jewel of the Missions'.

It is perhaps best known for the annual 'Return of the Swallows' which is traditionally observed every March 19th on Saint Joseph's Day.

Man-made nests, as shown below, are being used to entice the dwindling swallow population.

Books, such as this one, found in the gift shop...

are perhaps used to fill the church pews.

Friday, 14 June 2013

More Sand at Torrey Pines State Beach

Lots of activity at the beach this morning.

Truckloads of sand being dumped along the shore.

While a bulldozer moves it all around.

If you think about all the sand we take home in our shoes, hair and bathing suits after a day at the beach and then you multiple that by the tons of visitors that go to the beach every day.

That is a lot of sand that is no longer at the beach.

Or do they bring in mountains of sand because of natural erosion from tidal conditions?

Hmmmm, probably the latter.

Wish they would dump a load of shells while they are going to all that trouble.

Our beaches have lots of pretty rocks but there is a dearth of sea shells.

You heard me.

A dearth.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013


Our boysenberry bush has gone wild!!!

Which means it is time to hunt for berry recipes --- like boysenberry ice cream, boysenberry pie and oh, the best darn scones I have ever tasted.

Lavender Blackberry Scones from Joy the Baker.  (I substituted boysenberries for blackberries.)

Have you been to her website?

Get there pronto, you won't be sorry!

Raw dough just before I brushed with egg wash and sprinkled with sugar.

Summer day, on the patio, with scones and fresh fruit - my kind of breakfast.

Here is my blooming backyard berry bush.

Best crop we have seen in years!

From green to pink to red....

Middle one is halfway ripe -- I'll be keeping my eye on it!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Making Music

Teacher Harla's face is expressing what we all felt!

Today was the last day of class for our refugee students in City Heights.

It was celebrated with music --- an assortment of colorful drums and other percussion instruments that we shook and struck and tapped.

Although the classroom was filled with adults, it felt like one gigantic play date.

There is something wonderful about letting loose.

And feeling the music.

Keeping the beat.

With plastic sticks.

Drums angled, just so, between our knees.

And wooden fish.

Lots of ways to fill a room with music!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Comedy Improv Workshop

Last night a dozen people gathered in a room for three hours to participate in a Comedy Improv Workshop.

It was an interesting mix of performers (doing voice work, auditioning for commercials in Los Angeles, getting into stand-up) and folks that were shy and came to have fun, meet people and improve their public speaking skills.

I went because I enjoy new experiences and this seemed like a hoot.

Which it was.

There was an ice-breaker bingo card whereby we had to go around and find people that:

1) had the same thumb size
2) loved their job
3) had a mystical experience
4) were wearing the same color of clothing as ourselves

and so on and so on.

I found the questions intriguing and it broke down some walls right away.

Which was the idea.

We make judgements about people immediately but those can change as we discover more about each individual. At one point, the instructor asked us to visualize our favorite male friend and favorite female friend as if they were sitting next to us. Think about that. Are they the folks we would have pictured if we were to go out now and choose new friends?

Then there were games.

And acting out favorite was the woman who embodied a car travelling down the road and getting a flat tire. She really threw herself into it and I was ready to call Triple A.

The instructor turned on the music and told us to dance.

So we did.

Later we formed small teams. Using only the first two lines of a children's song, we had to express an emotion --- angry, suspicious, etc. until the others guessed our word/emotion.

My 'determined' face and tone was described as 'psycho' so perhaps I need to work on that skill.

Good enough reason to go back next week.