Melbourne Art Festival

This weekend was the 26th Annual Melbourne Art Festival in historic downtown Melbourne.  I took the boys on Sunday while J removed and cut up a tree that had fallen over in our backyard.  I have fond childhood memories of this festival that I hope I can pass along to my boys.

We managed to find a sweet parking spot right near downtown so our walk to get to the action was not too long.  Minimizing our trek is key when I have two small boys in tow…  There were over 250 artist booths set up along the tree-lined streets.  The air heavy with the scent of kettle corn and hot dogs.

Up first was a visit to the frozen lemonade cart.  Two, please!

Then we were on to look at some amazing works of art.  Here are some of my favorites:

This painting was glorious.  I would have this in my home if my money tree would simply grow.

Just look at the texture of the oil paints!  Heavenly!

The boys had fun checking out all of the artists’ wares as well.

There was an area of the festival designated just for children where they could create art to their heart’s content.  The best part was that it was absolutely free of charge.  So, I made sure to tip the wonderful people manning the stations generously.  Like the Balloon Guy who whipped up a couple of guns/hair dryers for Wildman and Cutie Pie:

I enjoyed the spin art station almost as much as the boys did.  It was so cool to watch the paint and glitter splatter out onto the paper.

I might just have to frame the finished products:

By the time we’d finished up in the kids area the boys were dragging.  It was pretty muggy out and the streets were crowded with patrons like this unlikely Rasta Man:

I was ready to call it quits too so we made our way back to the car with me balancing the wet artwork and encouraging my flock to stay together.  But we could not leave before purchasing a bag of yummy kettle corn for the road!

I don’t think there’s a much tastier snack out there than a bag of fresh kettle corn.

It was a wonderful couple of hours filled with nostalgia and truly magnificent art!  I’m so glad that Melbourne puts on this festival year after year.  It’s one of the events I look most forward to attending.


The “K” Word

Clearly I’m not as ready for this as he and his buddy are…

Yesterday Wildman and I toured the school where he will attend Kindergarten.  My heart breaks a little thinking about him entering the public school system.  It’s such a big step.  He’s going lose that innocence I love.   Just look at him holding hands with his buddy from preschool:

Sweet innocence like that does not last long, unfortunately.  *sigh*

Both J and I went to Wildman’s future elementary school.  In my memory the campus and classrooms were huge.  In reality they are quite tiny.  Which is a good thing.  I like that the school is really small and that all of the staff and teachers (from K through 6) make an effort to learn every single child’s name and vice versa.  It makes the leap from preschool to elementary school seem not so huge.

But it is huge.

And my poor mother’s heart is breaking…

One in a Million

As part of Disney’s Give a Day.  Get a Day. volunteer program, I participated in a local beach clean up on Saturday morning while J and the boys were at the t-ball game.  I consider our beaches pretty darn clean at least when compared to the beaches that we frequented when we lived on the TX Gulf coast.  You don’t see abandoned cars, diapers, liquor bottles, etc. polluting environment here.  But that does not mean that we don’t have litter bugs here in FL too.  Now that I’ve done the 2010 Trash Bash and seen how much junk was collected from our shoreline,  I’m looking forward to coming back year after year.

This lady and I were one of the first ones to head north on the beach armed with our black trash bags and latex gloves.  As a result, we found most of the bigger garbage.

The irony of finding a trashcan washed up on the beach was not lost on me.  However, I was not exactly strong enough to unearth the thing and drag it back to the pavilion…  Another strapping volunteer came to the rescue instead.

An army of volunteers headed south.  After I dropped off my northbound trash bag full of junk.  I grabbed another black bag and decided to see what the south had to offer.  I figured that since so many volunteers had already canvased the area that I would not find too much debris.

I was wrong…

This photo does not do justice to the size of the rope that I found lying near the dunes half a mile away from the pavilion.  It was HUGE.

And HEAVY!!!

It weighed at least 50 lbs.  I drug that thing through the sand and seaweed for half a mile taking breaks every couple of hundred feet.  Needless to say, I got a great workout!

The nice lady in the photo with me and my rope coordinated the event.  She’s super sweet and attends my Zumba classes too!

Like I said, I was surprised by the amount of litter that we picked up on Saturday morning.  It makes me want to carry a bag with me every time I go to the beach so I can pick up trash.  I’m definitely going to mark my calendar for this event next year!!!  I think J and the kids would love to do it too.

Now I’m looking forward to joining the other 999,999 registered volunteers in a free day at Disney!

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