We were able to sneak in a trip to Territory Days over in Old Colorado City this Memorial Day weekend. It's a three day festival celebrating the history of Colorado Springs and the heritage of both the Native American tribes that occupied the land as well as the time when settlers arrived on the scene. Like most festivals there are blocks and blocks full of booths selling local honey, homemade soaps, tie-dyed dresses, and random overpriced toys for kids but there were also a ton of handmade jewelry and fine art booths with a Native American bent as well as beautiful carvings, woven blankets, and tooled leather items.
We'd heard from our friend, Tara, that there were pony rides so we told Ruby we were going somewhere fun and had a surprise for her. She guessed that we were going to Horseyland so she wasn't far off. There was also a petting area full of young goats, sheep, pot-bellied pigs, bunnies, a llama, and a not so young tortoise. I about died from all the cute.
As I was flipping through photos to post I was struck by this one because Sebastian was looking straight at me with a great smile. I got a little sentimental about how he's growing up so quickly and how he's telling funny jokes and talking about how he loves spending time with me.
Then I realized Thunder had it hanging out plain as day for all the lady horses to see. In fact, all five of the photos I got of Sebastian smiling and looking at me as he went around in circles were displaying Thunder's thunder. So, my apologies.
We let the kids get some treats because half of the fun of going to a festival is paying too much for shaved ice. Sebastian was over the moon that they had root beer flavored cones and then saw the root beer bottle stand next to it and absolutely needed one of his own! He was proudly walking around with bottle in hand when we happened upon a teepee that he and Ruby wanted to check out. I stood back a bit to try and capture how pretty it was on my iPhone when all of a sudden he comes flying out, catches his foot on the bottom of the teepee entrance and falls on his hands and knees as his full root beer bottle breaks on the sidewalk and sprays the passers by.
It was immediate tears and me shoving the phone in my purse so I could get to him to make sure he hadn't cut himself. Suddenly, the bare-bottomed man dressed in his tribal gear on the white horse from the photo above appeared with a rake and a lovely assistant to help bag the glass. His bare cheeks showing through his chaps probably made for quite a sight behind us as he stooped to help clear shards of brown glass from the sidewalk. Apparently, you have to watch out for all kinds of exposure at Territory Days.
Sebastian was given another full bottle of root beer compliments of the nice booth workers and Brett surprised me with a caramel apple so we were all happy campers. At least until we said we weren't going to shell out the $9 per child to do the bungee trampoline and that we would try to catch the bounce house at the next festival because it was time to go home. I remember that feeling as a kid wanting something so badly and thinking your only hope of happiness depended on making it yours only to be told no by a well-meaning parent (who had already spent more than they'd planned on snow cones and petting zoos).
We got to see lots of animals, people watch, and see the white horse dance to an interesting mix of tribal rock so it was mostly a great afternoon. After hauling the kids back to the car with their free balloons we stopped in to see Tara and oogle her new vintage Airstream. She and her husband are joining forces to overhaul it and are turning it into a creative business venture. We got the scoop on their own drive through the Rockies with battery doors (and regular doors) flapping in the wind at 11,000 + feet on their way home from picking it up. I may drive by her house once a week just to stare at it!
The afternoon ended over coffee with a very talented photographer friend sans children. We got to chat about interior design, connections to Seattle, and her fantastic work over at Chris & Melodie Photography. Then it was back home to enjoy shrimp tacos in the backyard along with most of our neighbors that were grilling or sprucing up their own yards.
It was a full day but a relaxing one. A far cry from last year's tragic interruption.
I hope your Memorial weekend was just what you needed - some extra time to work in your yard, hang out with friends, or just do nothing at all.