Trip of Giants - Da Vinci Days Festival


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North America » United States » Oregon » Corvallis
July 17th 2010
Published: July 19th 2010
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Another warm, sunny day that blended with the food and atmosphere at the Da Vinci Days Festival to make the day idyllic. Almost too good to be true.

The boys looked around the kids' area after we arrived at around 9:30, while I stopped to look at two absolutely gorgeous carousel animals. There is a group of volunteers making a whole carousel with the animals being carved out of wood and painted (see Albany Carousel ). I hope to get to their studio next week to have a better look.

The kids' area was awe some ( I get the feeling I'll be emphasising a lot this trip). There was stick insects, mantle movement demos, flood demos, cube puzzles, juggling stuff, magnet and visual tricks, crystals, and lots more with every display having a real hands-on element and people there to explain what is happening.

Liam held a Thorny Devil stick insect from Papua New Guinea, and Joseph was elbow-deep in white muck that simulated the movement and fluid-solid characteristics of the Earth's mantle.

Avery performed in a Ukraine dance on the stage which we rated as on a par with the funny and clever juggling show that came on later.

The noon parade was of entrants in the Graand Kinetic Challenge. The idea is to design and decorate a person-powered vehicle that races on road, can traverse sand dunes, mud and goes across (or through) water. My favourite was the Cosmic Cows with the great big wheels and eight-person pedal-power.

One of the people in the bike-thing was throwing out candy, so Joseph took off after him to get some more.

We exited after about 2pm to have a break at home. I went with Matt Avery and Joseph, admiring the chalk drawings on the footpath. Some really nice work there. At home Ky had a nap because she's still suffering a croaky voice and cough from NZ. Then we went back to the festival for dinner and music.

The food area was excellent. A really wide variety of stalls, all with tasty dishes and hardly any of the typical hamburger and chips style stand that we are accustomed to in Aus. We had delicious pizza slices ($4), curly fries made by spinning a spud with a drill against a cutter ($4 and a little oily). At lunch Ky had a Mesquite Chicken Fajita Wrap with big chunks of chicken, onion and capsicum ($4). I had a fruit cup for $3.50 that included blueberries, strawberries, honeydew melon, rock melon, grapes, pineapple and watermelon. Wow! After dinner I also couldn't resist trying an "Elephant Ear". It's a large disc of pastry coated with sugar and cinammon that tastes like a doughnut.

Getting a cappucino was a little more difficult. The coffee stand was advertising "American", Latte, Mocha and Hot Chocolate. They said they could do one, but the young lass was fiddling around with the froth with the cup only half full. I prompted her to fill it up (with the hot milk), but she then thought I wanted more froth. A little bit of explaining resulted in a nice mild cap ($2). Surprising to find some of the things that in Aus we would consider to be international foods and drinks, are not everywhere.

The music was good. First up a single (married) singer singing folksy stuff with a banjo. The songs were nice but at one stage he started monologueing about some name of a song that was the name of his son, that wasn't, that was also his favourite singer whom we'd never heard of. Anyway it was long and not enthralling. The music was pleasant and not dancy, but that didn't stop an old weird geezer slow-loping around and waving his arms like you would expect someone to if they were in the 60s and stoned. Next up was a band that played some sort of easy listening/ jazz/ folk stuff. Somebody must have been having a fire sale on hoola hoops because suddenly a bunch of them appeared in front of stage left. A few of them were really coordinated, one lady continously hooping for three songs and another lady making it go up and down and around her neck. (or is it hoola-ing?).

We left before the third music act started, tired not from too much stuff but from too much idyll. What a great day.






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