Sunday, January 22, 2012

Stock Show and Painting with Light

Our day began yesterday much like any other Saturday around here when the calendar shows not one plan for the day....slow morning, extra cup of coffee, long morning nap for Owen, all of us lounging around in our PJs for an obscene amount of time...not a bad way to spend a Saturday for sure, but Nathan changed it up when he asked us what we thought about going to the National Western Stock Show in Denver.  We'd talked about going before but the thought was always fleeting and we never really looked into when it actually was held so it was a fun, out of nowhere suggestion and Zoe and I jumped right on board.  We quickly got dressed and ready and headed out the door, all of us buzzing with the excitement of an unplanned adventure.  We ended up spending a few hours there and it was an action packed few hours, to say the least:  finding parking in one of the 5 or 6 HUGE lots (that all cost $15-$20), dodging piles of horse crap as we neared the coliseum (realizing after about 5 feet of it that this was what we would be doing all day so I might as well be Zen about it)....getting our tickets and going in the nearest door only to spend about 15-20 minutes trying to figure out which direction we should turn in to actually find the animals (the place and experience is so was hard to wrap our brains around HOW to actually experience it)....finally finding our destination and walking through crowds of people gnawing on gargantuan turkey legs (as if it's the most normal thing in the world to be doing while walking around in a crowd of people) and vendors selling things like Fried Twinkies (and said gargantuan turkey legs)...entering the VERY crowded "Petting Farm" where goats, pigs, sheep and llamas roam free along with all manner of kids and adults (I had to laugh at myself as I spent the entire time wanting to run for the "Exit", fearing for my life as I watched in envy as all of these little 5-6 year old children calmly pet the animals, not caring that they were standing directly behind another animal that could, in my mind, decide to give them a swift kick at any moment)...trying to find someplace to sit and eat (an enormous challenge in a place like that for a wacko vegetarian like me....I ended up having french fries for lunch)....stumbling upon the John Deere section, where the kids were allowed to sit on all of the tractors (thrill of Owen's life) walking through the seemingly endless stalls and lanes of cows, then sheep, then chickens and finally horses (once in a while being suddenly and alarmingly shooed out of the way so a team of beautiful Clydsdales could make their way down the lane we were on....or the time I happened to look behind me to see a 15 year old boy with a panicked look on his face and a number pinned to his shirt, trying to wrangle a clearly much stronger cow to the exact spot in which Zoe and I were trying to take a picture)....finding the Kid's Floor and caving to Zoe's request for a pony ride and trying to divert her attention from the face painting station....finding our way out to head home and stopping at the tent where they were holding a "stick rodeo" (little kids in cowboy hats and chaps riding stick ponies and doing "tricks" on them all the while being enthusiastically cheered on by the cute and funny)....realizing we had forgotten to change Owen's diaper all day (he was completely soaked and I hadn't brought any extra pants...I was forced to put his legs through the arms of his coat for the ride worries though, if you know him at all you won't be shocked to learn he thought it was really, really funny)...finally, stopping at the mini donut vendor for a well deserved helping of cinnamon/sugar donuts dipped in gooey chocolate (and a cup of coffee for Mommy)....We. Were. All. Exhausted....and really glad Nathan thought of it!

That's Owen all the way up there on that big seat


Zoe took this one of those times we were quickly shooed to the side so these guys could pass.

"Daddy, what's that big thing hanging down between that one's legs?"

Under Armour for sheep, I guess!

Phew!  When we got home it was dark so I told Zoe and Nathan I wanted to try this "Painting With Light" experiment I'd seen on a blog that I check for ideas once in a while.  I had seen it last week and fiddled around with my camera for a while after bedtime one night to see if it was capable of doing it.  I found (after looking at the product's website for a bit) that if I put it on the "Night Scenery" setting and took off the automatic setting that helps correct any hand shaking movements it worked...basically, you just need to figure out how to get a slow shutter speed and I think it would work.  I had gone to the dollar store on the way home from the stock show to get some glow sticks, and had bought this crazy bubble machine for Zoe at the show (it's also also a multi-colored flashlight) thinking it might be a cool thing to use for this experiment as well.  It ended up being SO FUN that Nathan practically had to drag me and Zoe away to eat dinner.  She and I were going picture crazy as we would take turns executing ideas and then run to the camera to see the results, yelling "OOOOO COOOOL!" at almost every single one.  You should definitely try it...she and I had a blast with it for a really long time and I bet we will revisit it.  By the way, though, while the glow sticks added a layer to the pictures, they were definitely not as spectacular as flashlights and the bubble machine...

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic! Loved reading about the adventures and then -the icing on the cake! seeing some incredible photographs of the entire day!You guys rock-your kids are so lucky to have you for parents! No wonder they're so creative-they come by it naturally!!