Because of problems with my blog I'm going to post this here for any who could not view all of it on the other blog. Sorry about the inconvenience!
Oh, I just can't help myself. I love pictures!! I love it that I have you all scratching your head over today's mystery post. (It's really not that exciting but hey, it's fun keeping you in suspense!) I'll tell you what it is tomorrow.
When we were on our way to California by way of Amtrak train, we had a bit of a layover in Portland, Oregon. We had to find a place to have lunch near Union Station on a Sunday afternoon. Pleasantly there just so happened to be a street fair going on only mere blocks away. Having been cramped in small spaces with little ones underfoot we were happy to go for the walk and enjoy the afternoon out and about rather than cooped up in the station.
It was a colorfest. I loved looking at all of the handmade wares. Everything from clocks, to natural wood carved bowls, handbags (be still my beating heart) to brilliant home decor. On top of all that there was to ogle, the food was gorge-worthy. My husband and I ate the best lamb pitas I think we have ever had the pleasure of coming across. And do you think I was going to let that moment go by without being duly noted in the form of a digital image? I think not!
Drool. Drool. Drool.
Pretty pretty purses.
I loved these baskets. It was a color feast.
And dang, if only I was still into these... I was sorely tempted.
Okay, so that was the street fair. There were a lot more pictures but I don't want to bore the bile out of you.
So you know that we went to family camp at Mount Hermon in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Every week of Family Camp all of the campers take the old train that winds through the Redwoods, on the very railroad tracks upon which I met my husband for the first time, and takes the whole lot of them (campers that is) to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. It's a gorgeous trip in an open air train car.
So we all spent the day down by the sea and it was just delightful. The baby experienced sand for the first time ever (poor deprived little soul doesn't have a sandbox at home). He expressed his joy in this new texture by picking it up. By eating it. And by rubbing it right into his cheeks and eyes and hair and every other imaginable spot. Sadly, in doing so, he rubbed off all of his sunscreen and hence had quite a bad sunburn later.
Once he learned not to do that anymore he, like the rest of us, had a wonderfully exhausting day.
I love the Boardwalk. I have so many funny memories there. So many sweet memories. Some stinkin' scary memories. And I love this picture. It brings them all back.
So I love the Boardwalk. But I do not love everything about it. Numero Uno, why on God's green earth is there nothing unfried there to be purchased and consumed? Aren't there enough granola types in Santa Cruz to have created a real demand for organic, healthful, non-artery clogging foods at the Boardwalk? It's despicable. Luckily we had lunches packed so we didn't have to partake in any of the billions of calories that assailed us at every turn.
Secondly, there is one ride there that needs to be put into the world's largest slingshot and sent into another galaxy. It's evil. It's hellish. It's vomitrocious. It's the Fireball. It's what is now known in our house as the Sinister Spinning Pendulum of Death. The beastly ride turns in circles, oh... I'd say at about the speed of light while swinging back and forth. Don't ask me what the world looks like at that speed. I had my eyes closed and every single muscle in my body clenched more tightly than ever. I actually left a semi-permanent indentation in my arm where my bracelet had been so forcefully impressed. The thing was of course attached to the ground but for pity's sake, there is no earthly excuse for that kind of machine. I wanted to hurl so badly and I went to bed that night curled up in the fetal position rocking myself and moaning to my husband, "Why?! Why did I do that?!" He said he had no pity for anyone stupid enough to go on the thing. (This is how we love each other you see. It's a symbiotic thing that you may not understand.) The Giant Dipper on the other hand is pure splendor. And for some unknown reason they sent us on a second go 'round with no explanation as to why. Yay! Almost made up for the horrible Fireball experience. Almost.
We ended our time at the beach by walking down the wharf so as to completely exhaust the children in order to ensure a quality night's sleep that night. (It worked like a charm by the way.) We surveyed the sea gulls with caution (if you saw the very white splattered state of the wharf you would understand the caution.) We watched sea lions. We saw a gorgeous Rolls Royce. Then we caught the train back to camp and fell into our beds.
One thing that I saw while walking along the sidewalk between the Boardwalk and the wharf was this sign:
I thought, wow... rarely do you see such a blatant call for such things. I know I need to change in so very many ways but rarely am I reminded of the fact by street signs. I then quickly realized that this was no spiritual charge to the peoples of Santa Cruz, it was merely letting people know that there was a change machine nearby. Hmph. (Okay so I really knew it meant "change machine here" but still, I thought it could be just the thing for some poor soul who was looking for a sign from God that something needed to give in their life! Had to take the picture.)