The hospital I work at hosts a terrific picnic every summer.
It's held at a place called "Pioneer Park" in town.
There are numerous original little houses and cabins that
have been moved here and are now
converted to gift shops and ice cream parlors.
There are playgrounds, a grounded steamship,
concert hall, gazebo and museums.
A few low-keyed amusement park rides, as well.
This picnic includes a food tent mounded with burgers,
chicken, hot dogs, salads...the yummy, typical stuff.
I've gone each year but this year was the most fun.
Because I got to experience it through the wondering eyes
of a blonde little pixie I happen to love.
Young enthusiasm makes everything fun!
Her sparkle and amazement are contagious.
I found myself overjoyed at each little detail!
The bandstand had performers singing and playing all day long.
These little dancing feet started tapping in rhythm.
(A 4th generation tapper/clogger, I wonder?)
Soon Grandma joined her in a rousing
spin on the grassy dance floor.
My favorite performers in all of Fairbanks is a steel drum band.
Called "Cold Steel", they bounce and play and bop to jazzy calypso beats.
I always long to be a part of them.
It made me so happy to hear Cold Steel when we arrived at the park.
Afterwards, lucky Abigail got a brief lesson.
The sun was hot and her first taste of an ice cream sandwich
was both delicious and cooling.
Who can resist the pull of calliope music from the carousel?
At first timid on the moving horse,
her brave spirit soon returned and she rode one-handed.
The moving gears above her head especially fascinated her.
But the highlight of the whole day was the train!
The track circles the park on a mostly elevated track.
No matter what we were doing, whenever she heard the airy
whistle blow (over and over-dozens of times),
she'd cock her head and point in its direction.
So we finally stood on line for our turn.
She was in awe of the clacking of the track and the view from above.
So much to see! Such excitement!
She waved and waved to everyone she saw.
And on a sunny Saturday in a park,
people gladly wave back!
Though her mother thought it unwise,
before the day was over
Grandma handed her a bag of blue cotton candy.
Her delight was obvious as the spun sugar melted on her tongue!
What WAS this stuff???
But all things come to an end
and big balloons escape to the skies.
Little pigtailed girls grow weary from so many
new, fun adventures.
When she could no longer hold her tired head up,
we packed up and headed home.
I'll bet her dreams were filled with train rides
and cotton candy.
I know mine were!