Sunday, June 22, 2008

Vacation on a Budget - Festive Backyard Vacation

June 20 - 22 Gahanna - Creekside Blues and Jazz Festival

Columbus Jazz Orchestra - photo by Devon age 11

Day 1: Friday evening, Dad who is not a festival guy stayed behind for "me time" and I took all three boys. We arrived at the festival shortly after it started and could not find nearby parking. Parked at the local High School and took a shuttle bus. Turns out it was the same bus and driver that my boys had during the school year. Not sure how thrilled Mr. M was to see my 3 bad boys but it was neat for me to get to experience their daily "ride".

The bus was packed to capacity, 3 to a seat. I chose to sit behind my boys so I could keep a close watch. They started with their Three Stooges Routine: my eldest is always Moe! As I sat at the edge of my seat, ready to intervene, they moved on to the singing portion of their act.

Not sure what triggered this jingle, but they started to sing " Viva Viagra!" from the television commercial. I quickly popped up, leaned over the seat and issued some death stares and motioned the cut sign. Not sure if anyone noticed. I was a bit flushed. In my defense, it is summer vacation and those commercials appear a bit earlier than they ought to. I mean, 10:00 p.m. is still early, right? Any way, after a short ride, we were dropped off near the sectioned-off party area.

I stopped to visit a friend at a nearby business and then we were off to check out the festival. We did not have dinner so we canvassed the food vendors for some nourishment. After a lovely meal of Funnel Cakes, Curly Fries, and Slushees, we went down to the creek to rent a paddle boat. At this point there was a 2 hour wait and reservations were shut down for the night.

My oldest was disappointed about "missing the boat" on the paddle boats and decided we needed to go home. Not wanting to push my luck, I called it an evening. We boarded the next bus back to our car.

Day 2: Saturday Afternoon, I first made sure the boys had lunch. As I would not guarantee we would try to get a Paddle Boat, my eldest stayed home with Dad. We parked and took the shuttle and proceeded to the festivities. Managing two boys was much easier and we were able to visit several businesses and booths before heading down to the Creekside banks to check on our chances of getting a boat. We were in luck and after a short wait and for the low price of $2 for 30 minutes we were happily peddling away. Unfortunately five minutes into our journey, the skies clouded up and winds picked up. We peddled as fast as we could back to the base, just as all the boats were being herded back. Just as we were removing our Life Vests, it started to pour down rain. Did a little bit of shopping; the boys brought their own money and were allowed to buy what they wanted. They each bought a trinket which they didn't need but hopefully will be a treasured remembrance of the day. We stopped to listen to some music and went home.

Day 3: Sunday Early Afternoon, and all three boys decided to go. We suited up with backpacks filled with the essentials: Bottled water, tissues, umbrellas, suntan lotion, a digital camera and money. We arrived at the parking lot just as the bus pulled in. We ran and made it to be the last people to get a seat. The skies began to cloud up as the bus pulled out and by the time we were dropped off, it was pouring. The boys were game to go. We were the only passengers to get off the bus. Every else went back to their cars.

Armed with umbrellas, we survived the short storm. We made our way directly to the boat dock and were the first in line. After a ten minute wait, donning our life vests, set out on our adventure.
Bad Boatin' Momma & her Badd Boyz - photo by next person in line for our boat.
Not sure why we needed life vests when the water is knee-deep in most spots;
deepest point could not have been more than three feet! Oh, well: Safety First!

After a couple of laps around the creek, we worked up an appetite. My oldest is now hooked on Funnel Cakes, thanks to me, and we split one. He came prepared with plastic baggies, in case we couldn't finish ( we devoured it - sadly no left-overs ). The other boys had ice cream AND Italian Ices and my oldest bought a Coldstone Creamery confection ( $4.75! Thank goodness it was his money!).

Spotted a woman with a Parrot on a leash & had to take a photo.
We visited a bunch of booths, played games and filled out forms for raffles.
Won't my husband be surprised with the sudden increase in telemarketers calling our house!

Mad Money! I now almost have enough for an ice cream cone! photo by Devon

I did win a turn in a money machine. It was a sparsely filled wind tunnel with a combination of fake and real dollar bills. Couldn't have been more than $20 of which I was able to grab 3 real dollar bills and a couple of fake ones ( which entitled me to a gift bag of promotional items - whoopee!) and $3 dollars cash!!!

We stopped to listen to the Columbus Jazz Orchestra for a bit ( see top photo ), walked along the creek and went home; tired but we all felt like winners!

This concludes our "Vacation on a Budget"!


Ann said...

This sounds great!
Yummmmm...Funnel Cakes!

Jenny said...

Sounds like SUCH a nice couple of days...rain and all! LOVE the pictures...the one of you and the boys is darling! You have such an attractive family. And I made darn sure to eat a funnel cake at Hershey!!! YUMMY!!!!!!!!!!

Momo Fali said...

Our vacation on a budget was to a campground last weekend. It's amazing how much fun kids can have in a creek!