Short Track Medal

Short Track Medal

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, the Good, Bad and Ugly

I'm back from a rainy weekend in Maryland. We drove down on Friday evening and it was a pretty good trip. It's 230 miles from our house to the hotel we were staying at in Baltimore, which was wonderful, btw. More on lodging later. Saturday morning, we got up early, had the complimentary hotel breakfast buffet and headed out to the festival. The weather was drizzly and a comfy temperature, mid to upper 60's. Traffic wasn't terrible although the last 1/4 mile took awhile and the parking lot was filling quickly. We arrived at 9:30. This was good.

As soon as we walked in, I knew that I wasn't going to like it as much as Rhinebeck. I know, I know, it's just 'different'. Rhinebeck takes place in the fall. The air was crisp, the sky was blue, the leaves were in full color. Maryland was cold, wet, early spring. But that wasn't it. The parking lot had grass that was up to my knees. It was difficult to wade walk through it when it was wet. Plow the field, dagnamit! This was BAD. Wet ankles and sneakers!
Anyway, that was my first impression. I was keeping an open mind.

Then, there were many, many tents. I didn't really shop in them. I missed the handout of the map so I had no idea where any of the vendors I wanted to see would be. That wasted some time as I walked around looking for whatever it was that I wanted to find. This was BAD.

I bought a pound and a half bag of SW Merino / Tencel (my latest fetish for spinning) in light blue and gray flannel. I have no idea what I am going to do with it but the color was pretty and I had a coupon knocking nearly $6 off the price. You know I can't resist a good price.
After that, I showed the kids some sheep. A little sheep smiled at me.

The kits watched sheep shearing, in awe.

This sheep wanted to come out and play!

This little guy had such a cute haircut.

There were tons of spinning wheels for me to play with and pile and piles of wool and bad lighting just about everywhere, as you can tell. This was all good.

Both kids got to try a loom. Missy paid attention while DS tried it first. This was also good.

She LOVED it.

Naturally, she walked away wanting to buy it.

Now, the ugly.

My daughter, who has allergies and was on her meds, really reacted to the hay. At least, I think it was the hay. Sheep haven't bothered her before. Her eyes really swelled up. I had to get her out of there. She had to go to the bathroom. I knew the bathroom scene was bad. I wasn't expecting this bad. First stop, mens and women's rooms. The women just 'took over' the men's room. There were two LONG lines for the rooms. Now, how many people attend this thing and other fairs they have whenever? Alot. How many stalls? There were 2 in the men's room. The whole family stood on line for 45 minutes...2 stalls. A few urinals but that did no one any good. There were some portapotties out by the field and there was another bathroom with an equally long line by the main hall. After that, plus DD's eyes, I knew we couldn't stay much longer. It was not raining so we watched some sheepdogs but DD was out of it. There was no place to wash hands and although I brought wipes and antibacterial, I didn't want them eating with sheep poop everywhere. This was all bad. Inadequate facilities!! BAD.

So, we left at about 2:30 and headed down to my cousin's house in Annandale, VA, stopping for lunch along the way. Seeing family and eating, always good!

I went all the way to Maryland, I bought some stuff and got to see my cousins. It was a GOOD weekend, there were some BAD things and there were some UGLY things.

Stay tuned tomorrow for photos of my haul and more sheep. Oh, and I have to update you on the Pinkaboo Blanket!

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