Saturday, August 21, 2010

Horses and Bears and Kites, Oh My!

Just a short note on today, our last full day in Seaview and Long Beach, Washington. The girls and I cruised back up to kite festival center to take part in the Teddy Bear Drop. There were probably close to 200 kids under the age of 10 who put their names in the drawing for a chance to take part in the Teddy Bear Parachute Drop. Fifteen kids' names were chosen, and while V wasn't one of those lucky ones, we all enjoyed watching the process.

Volunteers first put a medium-sized sled kite up in the low winds. Another volunteer hooked the bear into his parachuting harness and linked the parachute to an apparatus which allowed the kite flier to slide the 'chute up the kite line. When the audience hollers "Bear in the Air," the kite flier lets the bear drop. The parachute inflates and the kid on the ground runs for it. The littlest kids had help from their parents, and volunteer helpers on the ground made sure each bear made its way to its proper new owner while the parachute was returned for another jump. All in all, it was very fun to watch.

Later, the girls and I headed to Skipper's for an hour on the beach on horseback. Skipper doesn't hear well anymore, and if you're not a smoker you probably want to stay out of the office shack. But he's a good-hearted guy who keeps his business running, his horses fed, watered and shod, and his employees apparently happy. We've always had great luck with getting wonderfully friendly guides at Skipper's. (We also blogged about our ride in 2008.) It's $25/hour per rider, and the horses are definitely used to the routine. I got a kids' horse and it rebelled whenever I tried to take it out of its routine (like passing the rider in line in front of me to catch up with V & E), but V was particularly happy with the ride.

We returned to the kite festival center again to try our hands with our new kite - a Bebop two-line beginner's stunt kite. There wasn't enough wind to keep it up, so we dug in the sand and enjoyed the heat before grabbing an Elephant Ear for our cousin and headed back to the house. Tonight...fireworks. Tomorrow...we hit the road.

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