Sunday, June 8, 2008

Lavender Festival, with a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich Chaser

My little family (plus 1 - Meme came along) made the drive to Lavender Hill Farm yesterday for its 6th annual Lavender Festival.

I was having a great morning. We aimed to arrive at the festival at about 10, an hour after the opening. I got myself ready early so I could get the baby fed, changed, dressed and packed. I got to eat breakfast and drink a full cup of coffee. I even packed a sack-full of stuff I needed to return to Wal-Mart.

In all my preparedness, I forgot to make sure the battery was in the camera. I almost cried when I realized.

Not really, though in these recent months of late nights and raging hormones, I've cried over less. We had a good time at the festival, even if I don't have photos to prove it.

Lots of vendors were plying wares and whatnots, especially lavender plants, dried bunches and bath products. Lots of jewelry makers and plant and herb growers were set up, too, and there was some food and sweets available as well - namely, pulled pork sandwiches and lavender lemonade.

The winery set up a wine tasting table at the far end of the festival, sort of behind the building in which the winery actually is and in a place that wouldn't have been visible from the vendor and lavender farm section of the festival had it not been for the swarm of folks bulging out from the corner of the building.

The actual lavender farm section was smack in the middle of the festival. I was surprised by the size of the plot. For some reason, I had imagined cascading hills crammed with flowering lavender plants, not as far as the eye could see, but at least for a longer distance than I could walk in 30 seconds. The lavender hadn't flowered, and there really wasn't much of it planted, at least from what I could see. I'd heard rumors that festival patrons could pick their own lavender, but I guess that was either never a feature of the festival, or they just don't do it anymore.

A friendly suggestion for the folks in charge at the festval: Maybe next year the winery could set up in the middle of the vendors section. That way, the throng of people rushing the wine tasting table could sip their samples while shopping around, rather than feeling like they have to sip while standing in line for another sample since there isn't anything else to do without making the five-minute walk back to where the vendors and live entertainment are. The vendors would make more money, I bet, which could attract more vendors, which could help grow the festival, which could bring more see where I'm going with this. Nothing but sunshine and rainbows and, duh, lavender and wine.

Not that we didn't have fun at the festival, but the long, scenic drive to and through Stone Bluff was, for us, the most enjoyable leg of our trip. The countryside is green and lush, even if most of the trees look a little lopsided, thanks to that oft-scorned December ice storm. The little shops that have sprung up along 191st Street in response to the traffic generated by Lavender Hill Farm and Winery and Stone Bluff Cellars were fun to peep in on as we drove by, as were the yard sales that had set up in anticipation of the festival goers.

We went to The Brook afterward for burgers - well, Aaron and Meme had burgers. I had the buffalo chicken sandwich, which is my favorite thing on the menu there as well as one of my favorite things to eat anywhere. I get it with the mac and cheese. It's junk food the way the good Lord intended.

If you missed the lavender festival, head over to The Brook for that buffalo chicken sandwich. It'll make you feel better. It will also make you feel really, really full - bonus.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

First Family Outing

Guess what I've been doing for the past four months.

That's my puppy. That's also totally beside the point.

Since February I have gone from this:
To this: To this:To taking care of this (Lord help me):And finally, to cuddling and cooing with this:
Hello, Golden Age of Babyhood, a.k.a. the period between about three months and the point at which the little guy goes mobile. In the name of all that is good and holy, let the fabric of time warp to make this time last longer than the 2.5 seconds it will seem like it lasted a year from now.

Now that we're pretty much done with the night wakings and spit-up rockets, it's time I get my new little family out to re-explore Tulsa. I say "re-explore" because it's been a really long time since I've been both a citizen of this city as well as part of a "traditional" family unit. I'm sure there are lots of new things going on now for families and kids that I was too early to enjoy.

I also know that my little isn't going to remember one gosh-darned thing about anything we do from now until he's about two. But, everyone has that trip to Disney World or someplace that they don't remember because the trip took place too early in life - safely beyond the veil of nothingness and no-time that infancy represents when we all get older.

In a way, I'm kinda glad my little won't remember this time. Or the time I bonked his head on the door jamb. Or the corner of the hallway. Or on the lampshade. Or with an empty can of Diet Dr. Pepper.

The can was empty, I swear!

Ah, parenthood. Anyway. I'll be getting my parenting skills on this weekend at the sixth annual Stone Bluff Lavender and Wine Festival. It's Saturday from 9-4, and according to the event flier, there will be lots of lavender goods to sniff and fondle, as well as yummy food, opportunities for wine tasting and entertainment. Adults pay $5 to get in, and kids under 12 are free.

"Free" meaning they gain entry to this festival at no charge. Not that they don't cost anything. Because they do. Just a little.

For more information (such as directions on how to get to this place - it's not totally out of the way, but the directions on the event flier seem like they'll come in handy once we head out), visit

See you there!
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