Saturday, October 20, 2007

Weekend Expeditions

Since the weather is finally starting to cool down, this is the time of year all the local towns have their annual events. You know the kind I mean, with the concessions and the craft booths and the regional specialty.

In September the town of Caldwell held their annual Kolache Festival. Kolaches are a Czech pastry, and owe their regional popularity to a strong Czech population in at least this part of Texas. So we piled in the car and drove the 30 miles for the privilege of getting kolaches from our choice of about 25 vendors, and comparing them with each other. Fun, educational, and tasty, too!

We also enjoyed walking around the town square to see all the local arts and crafts being offered for sale. There is definitely a regional theme bias toward tractors, horses and stars. I have to admit, I never thought of a tractor as a decorative theme option until moving here. And now it seems perfectly natural! The highlight of this festival for the kids was the petting farm enclosure.

The first weekend of October we could have gone to an open house at an alpaca farm, but we had previous plans. We hiked ourselves 90 miles over to Temple for the 31st Annual Early Day Tractor Show. There, from all over the nation, were assembled literally hundreds of antique tractors illustrating America's rich farming history. Maren's thrill of the day was getting to ride a pony. For the rest of us, the highlight of the event was getting up close with a steam tractor. We were invited to ride this ear-splitting beast, and felt like royalty on parade as the crowd parted in front of us.

Every tractor got its moment in the spotlight during the tractor parade past the grandstand, including a 5 year old girl on her little purple tractor! At the end of the day we scored some homemade ice cream as a bonus. We developed a whole new appreciation for tractors that day, and Jesse keeps asking to go back.

Last week on my birthday we headed south 35 miles to Brenham, where the St Clare Monastery maintains a miniature horse farm. Again, the kids loved the experience of petting horses, not to mention the friendly dog that accompanied us on our self-guided tour. We captured some humorous video of five or so of the horses working together to gang up on the dog, who seemed to deliberately plant himself in their enclosure so he could get them mad, then jump up and bark to make them run away! We considered the possibility of bringing one of the horses home, since it could carry the kids for another couple of years, but decided to keep looking and researching the best mix of livestock to put in the empty pasture.

This morning we are headed up to the country feed store for some fun kid games, door prizes and wiener dog races. After that we'll hit the local pumpkin patch for supplies for our afternoon craft time. Found out from the paper this morning that we could have gone to the Mushroom Festival (or, “Fiesta de Hongos”) over in Madisonville today. Ah, the missed opportunities.

Fall is definitely a good time to be in Texas. Viva la small town festivals!

1 comment:

  1. cute! its like im a million miles away, and this is my lifeline. lets not tell anyone that we live under the same roof!


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