i ended up having to drive. the website directions were crap and mostly consisted of: get off the freeway at any one of these points and follow the signs. I hate following signs, but what could I do? i missed the turn for the lot where the shuttle takes you to the festival, and ended up driving the extra 8 miles to the fair parking itself. I was pretty sure we were going to die, lost and alone in farm land, but after the initial missing of the turn, i didn't make anymore bad choices (+1 for the places I don't have to drive)
it took, like, 100 years to get through the line to pay for entry. and really, it wasn't a line, it was a blob and a baby kept kicking me. and finally at the end of my torture i had to pay $12 admission. (+1 to avocados for being free, +1 to garlic for having tons of ticket sellers and very little, if any waiting)
weather.com told me it would be 75 degrees, it was closer to 85. i wore a t shirt instead of a tank top, but i was only a little too hot for a little while. and unlike the garlic festival, there was shade, and the shade was cool (+1 for strawberries)
at first i was overwhelmed by the amount of food choices, but 3/4 of the choices didn't involved strawberries at all. hmmph. for some reason I had it in my head that there'd be strawberry sausage (like chicken apple, or something) I spent forever trying to find one, but alas, no strawberry sausage. in fact, savory use of strawberries was pretty much non existant. disappointing.
the first thing we ate, oddly enough, were $5 garlic fries. they were battered and fried and the perfect crunchiness, and better than the ones at the garlic festival (+1 strawberry)
then I found the strawberry nachos and decided the strawberry festival was the best thing they ever invented (+3 strawberries)
jana didn't like her strawberry smoothie, but for only $2.50 and made by a bunch of high school kids, what can you expect (+1 for the smoothie at the avocado fest (not avocado flavored))
satiated for the moment i went for a strawberry beer in an adorable souvenir pilsner glass $10 ( pilsner glasses, second only to martini glasses in the form over function glasswear category). I saw that it was amber, but i was surprised about how ambery it tasted, and how unstrawberry it tasted, after a few sips i adjusted, and it was decent. and i was left to carry that damn glass for the rest of the day. now, the sign clearly stated it was Widmer's
, but the ventura county star article clearly states that it's firestone.
i am a bit confused, but since it's only made for the strawberry festival, and you can't buy it anywhere else, i suppose it doesn't matter. gosh the glass is cute. it was even cuter when i got home, and i was kicking myself for not buying another glass. (+1 strawberry festival for having the theme ingredient in beer. -1 garlic festival for selling crappy beer in a souvenir tin cup with a budweiser logo on the back--you're paying enough for the damn thing, if you're going to have advertising give it for free)
the second round of food involved jana's $7 chicken skewer, which seemed expensive, but it was more food than she could eat, and my horrible, horrible choice of $6 fried zucchini. not only was the portion small, they were very mediocre. I was very sad, and disappointed for letting my fried food urges win over my craving for a sausage, or filipino food plate (-1 strawberries for fried zucchini)
full again, we set off for more craft fair shopping, passing by all sorts of treasure from corian cutting boards in teh shape of animals, a ridiculously expensive, and ridiculously ornate mad magazine jewelry box, expensive hats, skirts made from retro embroidered table cloths and much much more. i ended up coming home with a wooden cat ceiling fan pull, a hula girl necklace, lightning bolt earrings (very misfits), and a small non-retarded strawberry present for lydia. (+1 strawberry)
unfortunately I wasn't hungry enough for the $4 make your own strawberry shortcake tent sponsored by entemann's. i was very sad, because these things were works of art (although I'm sure they weren't as good as the strawberry nachos). (-1 me)
so we headed home and found the freeway, despite the efforts of the info booth people to get us lost by sending us the worst possible way to the freeway. i was disappointed about how little i ate, but after the sixty-some dollars i spent that day, i was glad to go. before we left we picked up a box of strawberries and I won a free liter of soda from my bottle cap
two things struck me that the festival was lacking:
1. man in a giant strawberry suit
2. strawberry ice cream
Honestly, strawberry ice cream. After eating garlic ice cream, and guacamole ice cream, i was waiting for something that actually tasted good. they only ice cream in the whole place were dove bars, vanilla with chocolate coating. ridiculous.
also, now that i'm getting to be a festival circut regular, i've started noticing vendors. the berry dessert people who were at the garlic fesival were at the strawberry one. one of the guacamole vendors at the avocado festival was at the strawberry festival. and the generic corn sellers at the oc fair were at the strawberry festival. i guess they're like carnies. I know i'd be much happier if i ran off to join the fried potato vendors than if i ran off to join the circus. yum!