I took the last day of July off from work and drove south to see my girlie! She has been in northern Cali with her daddy since June 12th. I miss her so much!! Her dad was good enough to split the distance driving, so that his little girl could go to the fair with me.
It was time for our annual trip to Faerieworlds in Eugene, Oregon. I had purchased the tickets in December – that’s how much we look forward to this event.
We arrived to check in at our hotel in Eugene rather early. After cranking up the AC in the room, and going for a swim, we trekked into the city of Eugene. I don’t know the city at all, and was rather proud of myself for getting all around it without trouble (I’m a country girl, this kind of thing is a big deal for me). We found some darling shops and I was so thrilled to be with my T that I was able to tolerate clothes shopping, which I typically can’t stand.
Everything in Eugene closes at 6:00 p.m. Can you believe that? So back through the sweltering summer evening we went, in search of the dragon wagon.
We got back to the car and discovered that I had locked my keys into it. Dude, if I had in a pile all the money I’ve paid to locksmiths to get my keys out of my car… I could buy a NEW car. Good grief. What a bubblehead. Escaping this predicament was the quickest and least expensive so far (discount for military veterans – yay!), and we were quickly on our way, and off to Fred Meyer because – if it isn’t the classiest shopping spot – at least it’s open later than 6pm.
Saturday morning we played dress-up till we had our outfits planned. I brought T’s wings from last year, and a whole suitcase full of faery finery. My monarch wings finally fell apart last year, so this year I planned to splurge on new wings. T’s wings are green and gold and blue gauzy huge wings that attach to her neck and wrists and flow when she lifts her arms. Saturday promised to be even hotter than Friday, and we chose our faery gear with that in mind. Still, I knew that no amount of planning can make 95 in the shade seem cool.
It was a quick 15 minutes from the hotel to the new home of Faerieworlds, which outgrew the Secret House Winery grounds. So many of us faeries want to celebrate together, we required more room. We were grateful to be welcomed into Buford Park which hosted campers and weekenders and day-players alike, as well as provided the massive space we needed for our faery wagons and the vendors to tempt us with their wares. Our first stop inside the Realm was the First Aid tent, where they generously lavished sunscreen on our pale faery skin. And off we went.
Sadly, the heat truly did dampen the delight. The new location was set up in a large field and thus did not enjoy the benefits of the many trees at Secret House. Oregon was experiencing near-record heat and even the magical fae faery folk can’t change the weather.
As always, excellent excellent merchandise, food, entertainment, gifts, camaraderie, and delights of all kinds. I found perfect wings rather quickly, and T found a gift for her stepsister who couldn’t come, and jewelry and other delights. I bought us ice cream and a scarf to wrap over shoulders to protect from the onslaught of fiery sun.
This year it was huge! Unbelievable! Mythical creatures traveled to join the celebration from all over the world. My daughter and I roamed for hours, and absorbed as much as we could. It’s a three-day festival, and we were there for only one day.
One Saturday was not enough to see every vendor. We made an earnest effort and flitted in wide arcs across the yellowed fields, ducking into shady stalls to gaze in awe at the creations, try on headgear, model some jewelry, and share tales with the vendors. While in Tickle Thy Fantasy, we had a bit of a view of the stage, for when a female fae creature belted out a stirring melody. “Wow, that faery’s got soul!” said our vendor.
Tents appealed to us for the shade they provided, and the variety of crafts, clothes, and accessories was unequaled by previous years. There was a sea of booths, familiar as any temporary market might be in any place on earth. In between tents, lovely faeries carried devices to spray mist over anyone nearby. A universal signal to beg for mist was created spontaneously. When one was spotted, we would spin to face the mist faery and throw our arms into the air!
From the moment we arrived in the Realm, there was a fantastical musical backdrop. Percussion throbbed among the rows of booths, and called us always in slow loops back to the stage for a look and a dance or two. Some creatures stayed for the dance, some found a patch of shade and were content to listen.
Before we knew it, the clock was striking our virtual midnight, and we had to scoot away quickly to meet T’s dad at a Interstate exit. Our makeup and faery garb – which had, only moments ago seemed modestly understated – was now remarkably out of place at the gas station exchange point.
As the promoters of the festival like to say: “It is not really over if you take the magic from here back into your daily lives.”