Posts Tagged ‘Festival’

Orchids under Golden Gate: 2012 Orchid Expo

The sky is clear, there is a farmer’s market to my right, and a Crystal Fair to my left. But those are not my goals that day. I was there for the 2012 Orchid Expo at Fort Mason, San Francisco.

As someone who like to get into the depth of things, naturally I didn’t attend. I volunteered as well. My position was suppose to be Security, but through a series of events, I ended up helping with volunteer check-in (I am not getting into the detail, but l will just say that getting from Bayview to Fort Mason apparently can take 2 hours and half instead of the 2 hours I planned, and google maps can make mistake about locations in park. So beware if you live around that area and remember to bring a map.)

I was pair with another older, regular volunteer. The people at the volunteer booth was friendly, and my volunteer partner had many stories to tell. Being so engaged in the orchid world, the volunteers and leaders has traveled and seen quite a bit, so I loved listening to them.

Eventually, mys shift ended – early in fact, since the next group of volunteer arrived early themselves. To my surprise, I got a meal ticket. I was really there because a) I am curious about orchids, b) I want to meet people with common interest, and d) my curiousity does not warrant me to spend $15 on a ticket, but does warrant me to give hours of volunteer. So, I have apparently not read the fine print and didn’t realize that I get free meal. Extra bonus!

So I took out my camera and went out the volunteer room. I have no idea what the expo will be like. I had been late and rushed inside the volunteer room, and thus have no idea what the place look like. A giant Golden Gate Bridge surrounded by orchids was a bit of pleasant color-shock:

People gathers around the front displays. They are quite stunning as flower, but even more so as companion in display. The theme this year, very obviously, is Golden Gate Park.

Eventually I caved and got myself an orchid. I wondered around, amused and slightly horrified by the prices (since I wanted to buy an orchids and my budget don’t agree with me. The flowers are still beautiful as always). Eventually, I discovered a small numbers of booths that sell baby orchid, and one of them shows the pictures and indicates whether the full-grown version would have fragrance. One of them was the Chocolate Drop Kodoma. Fragrant, deep red flower with waxy petals. The name was attractive, and while the fragrant wouldn’t be chocolate-scented, it still seems like such a good choice. It’s just $6!

It will take me at least 2 years to get it to blossom, but I am willing to wait. Makes it all the more exciting, wouldn’t it?

Oh, I finally post image up on my Flickr, so take a look. It is fortunate that I know how to use this tool now, because converting and putting all those photos up my blog post not only would take forever, but it will probably take quite a while to load for my readers. Alas, the displays are stunningly beautiful, and I can’t stop clicking!

In addition, I also went to the Crystal Fair. They can make some amazing object from crystal, to my surprise. I had to strongly refrain from being tempted to buy anything, with only one goal – a amethyst bed to put my tumbling stone on, from a seller that knows what where her stone are sourced (<—concerns about ethical and mining chemical byproduct problem)

I was quite successful in that mission. Patience is indeed a virtue, and now I shall happily go coo over my orchid… (Float in clouds of happiness)

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Happy Earth Day, 2011!

Love, love Earth Day!

This year, for the first time since I came to San Luis Obispo four years ago, Earth Day festival was held at the El Chorro Regional Park near Cuesta College. It was very disturbing for me at first, because I don’t have a car. Then, to my happiness, I found out that there is RTA shuttle and SLO transit bus running all day to the park for free during the festival!

Go SLO public transit!!!

I took the bus at 10:00 AM, when I found another bonus to the free bus day during Earth Day – guarantee double decker! I got to ride at the top front sits all the way to Cuesta. The scenery was beautiful, as the Central Coast has always been. I was rather pleased, and so was the little kid sitting next to me. Everyone on the car was just having a very peaceful day, and they all started talking as soon as they got on the bus. I joined in for a while, but as most of the rider were the elder local residences, I slowly recede to quiet listening. It was very peaceful and calming that way.

We switched to a shuttle when we got to Cuesta. The lady sitting next to me wore a hat decorated with jasmine. We somehow struck up a conversation about it. Before I know it, I was at the festival. There were so many booth! No wonder it is not hold at the Mission Plaza this time. The area had a lot of wild grasses though, so it was a good thing I wore jeans and sketchers shoe (which also help me struck up a cute conversation with the little child at the bus when I was waiting for the Cuesta shuttle :D).

I took a quick walk around first – or I intended to. I wouldn’t deny that I got distracted a couple of times… *cough* Ummm… I was surprised to realize that I gotten quite into the SLO nature society. I saw several people that I know – Wendy from Bali Isle (she’s finally getting a booth during Farmers!) , a gardener I know from Growing Ground (We started talking about a plant that I suspected to be edible), three people from Growing Ground (one which I met once a year ago, which I recalled because of her necklace, to her surprise – and mine. Memory is an amazing thing…), and two people whom I know frequents the library (I didn’t know them personally though, just saw them around). In addition, I found three of guys from my year of architecture just hanging out at the festival.

Around mid-day, I visited the Botanical Garden for the first time. After walking back and forth to for a while (they were very busy, and I asked very specialized questions regarding gardening and culinary. I also visited the library.), I got their memebership (50% off due to Earth Day, and comes with a free subscription of Better Homes and Gardens!), a pot of French Lavender (which I got with a $7 coupon for new member, resulting in a total payment of only $2), and a magnetic tin box containing Nastutuim seeds (Can’t resist…). I am hoping to make some lavender cake and nasturtium butter once they’ve grown.

I was also planning to buy a new shirt from Morro Coast Audubon Society since their shirt was somewhat cute, but they don’t have the size I want (Extra small, of course). I wanted to take a free tree from One Cool Earth too, but I don’t have a garden to grow a tree.

Finally, I finish the the day off with a Strawberry Banana Smooth – made using solar powered blender. The bus came right when I was ready, so I ran over and hope onto the bus. It is a bit sad that the day is finally over – I would say that this is one of the best Earth Day festival I have had so far! I am looking forward toward next year already!

My Renaissance Faire Adventure, San Luis Obispo 2010 Version

As some of you may already know, I got the chance to go to the Renaissance Fair last week.

As some of you may also know, I was psych both before and after the event. It was absolutely fascinating! Being a big fan of Renaissance art and a history nerd certainly adds to the joy (anyone remember me reading about Michelangelo, Tahj Maho, and Greece/Egypt myths back in… oh, middle school at the library’s little dark corner? Not that I don’t still do that… oops!)

Before hand, I did my research well. I followed the Fair’s web site advice and borrowed Elizabethan Costuming (For The Years 1550 – 1580) by Janet Winter through Cal Poly’s Library Link+ service (Very, Very useful service). While I am not that skillful (making an entire costume in less than 2 weeks while in summer school? You’re kidding me, right? I am human, after all. I think…), I am quite adapt at finding strange things. The book can be found here, very informative and interesting book:

Wait, I am getting a bit ahead of myself, am I? What is the Renaissance Fair that I am talking about? You see, San Luis Obispo host a Renaissance Fair each year.  This year, it is on July 17 & 18, and it is located next to Cuesta College.

While it is call Renaissance Faire, the events focuses on the Elizabeth periods. The people who work there will dress up for that period (There are also belly-dancers), so will some guest. Most store will sell products that fits in. In this Faire, most stores sold foods and drinks, jewelry, costume, music, and fragrance body care (soap bar, lotion, etc – DIY stuff). I also came across two fortune telling store. There was a section for fencing, horse riding, and archery – very neat to watch.

The musics were lovely. I definitely plans to check out one of the musician’s online web site. (I think I like folk quite a bit, especially the flutes and strings.) Along with music, there were also dances – all the fun of a festival!

Foods were pretty good, at least from the vender that I went to. I ordered fried shrimp, egg roll, and lemonade (Interestingly, the vender and the food is obviously Asian).

Oh, the queen hast arrived! I couldn’t tell what bird she’s carrying, but it looked pretty cool.

On that note, there were a lot of birds and animals at the festival. They are very nice and tame, too.

Look! A bird! On my hand! >-<

My library supervisor Stephine said it’s probably a cockatiel bird. Who knows? I just really like it – it’s very cute. We even have the same outfit color!

There is also a queen-like aristocratic lady (I think…) around with his people. A girl came to greet her out of curiousity – very cute and heart-warming scene.


There is also this cute pair of Renaissance-dressed girls with their mothers walking around. A very adorable trio.

And belly dancers~ Indian version of renaissance perhaps?

So, did I dress up in the end? I did! I promise that I will post the photo up, so here it is!

Credits to my roommie Kristina for taking the picture. She ride a bike all the way from San Luis Obispo to here, too. Crazy girl,isn’t she? (Oh, I can see you giggling all the way from Africa!) She’s hiding in the second photo – could you find her? (She’s hiding in the shadow – literally ;D)

I basically found a white blouse from Ross and a long flowing skirt from Rite Aid, then pair it with a yellow blouse, old antique-looking necklace, and a stretchable hairpin that forms a butterfly. Comes out surprisingly well, and one vendor commented that she thought I was one of them (Them being the people that work there). Of course, I was a customer, so she may just want to start a conversation. Still, I am pretty satisfied. It was a wonderful faire, so I hope I can attend again next year – in fact, I think I may volunteer next time around. I always did like volunteer – see all the behind-the-scene action and meeting all sort of different people. Summer is definitely the best time to be active, and nothing creates a better memorable and fulfilling summer than volunteering outdoor!