Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Operation Pumpkin

This past weekend, John and I took in a local festival we had never before attended. It was called Operation Pumpkin. I had a really good feeling about this festival for some reason. I think it was its clever name. The previous weekend, we attempted to take my in-laws to an apple festival that was a disaster. No parking. Huge crowds. Long lines for food. We spent as much time searching for a parking spot and walking to the festival as we did at the actual festival. So, I wanted to redeem my festival mojo with this one.

Come along with me!

Yes, that is a pumpkin. Many people carve out pumpkins of this size, or larger, and compete in the Pumpkin Regatta. This was happening the next day so we missed it but apparently, pumpkins are quite buoyant. Armed with an oar, sailors paddle their way down the river, praying not to capsize. Fastest pumpkin wins!

There weren't nearly as many craft vendors as a festival this size should have had. Lots of jewelry booths and random things like soap and olive oil. Can't a girl get a nicely crafted wooden, holiday sign or something? Oh well, we spent our money in other ways. And when we got hungry, we noshed on Pulled Pork with Pumpkin BBQ sauce which was tasty but not very pumpkinny. We also had sweet potato fries which I simply cannot resist.

Then we perused the pumpkin carving contest. These ain't yo mama's jack-o-lanterns.

This is a big face. Sorry for the fuzzy pic. The pumpkin probably came up to my hip.

Jack Skellington from Nightmare before Christmas -- so cool

I voted for this one in the contest. I thought it showed the most creativity and transformed the pumpkins into something else completely. The detail up close was insane. I hope he wins!

Then, we were off to the main reason I wanted to come to this festival (no joke)..........Wine Garden!!!

Sorry again about the fuzziness when I enlarge - this was taken with the new panorama feature on the iphone5
Five local wineries had tents set up for tasting. You purchased tickets, $1/taste or $3/glass. You'd be so proud at my restraint. I only bought 10 tickets and I split them with John. The tastes were just that, not overly generous. You would not be proud at my bottle purchasing. We bought 5 bottles. But before you scold me, hear me out. 1 is a gift. 2 we would have to drive 45 minutes to buy normally, and the other 2 were only $7/each. BARGAIN!!! And none of them have been opened yet. So there.

All but one of the wineries were familiar to us. In fact, one of them we had just visited the weekend prior with our guests so we skipped tasting at that one. We tried a red and white, various varietals, at each spot and revisited our favorite for a second time. It was fantastic! Standout for me was a warm, mulled spice wine and John's fave was a Ruby Red Port. I would have hung out there a lot longer if I felt like spending even more money, but I didn't. Remember? Restraint. Plus, I had to go to the bathroom and was avoiding the port-a-potties like the plague.

And that was it for us and Operation Pumpkin! They had live music and there was also a 5K that I had considered running but knew the wine might put the kibosh on that. John and I got our run out of the way in the morning (39 degrees!) I am glad we went though. Next year, we'll take my in-laws to this one instead!

T-Minus 4 days until 13.1..........

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