Friday, August 24, 2012

Just an afternoon at the pier with Nick...and Art...and...Fred...???

There are many fabulous things about where I live.  In past posts I’ve referred to the ever-fascinating entertainment on my front lawn (known to everyone else as the “parking lot”)….and the big water feature located on the side yard.
But the other thing in our neighborhood that was a key factor in our relocation decision is the restaurant/entertainment center (known as “The Pier”) that’s within walking distance of our home.  I remember it clearly….nearly a year ago.....standing on the balcony of our soon-to-be apartment during that first 15 second guided the view was rapidly sucking me into the idea of renting this place (and at the same time I was trying to not hyperventilate at the prospect of our rent skyrocketing),  I remember glancing down The Pier – with people milling about on the boardwalk and a gentle glow from the lights of the restaurants nearby – and thinking, “a margarita sounds REALLY good right about now – and if we lived here, we would never have to worry about catching a cab home again.”
Yes, these are the slightly demented things that help influence my decision on where to live.
Anyway, The Pier has a lot of awesome events throughout the year – one of which is a Chalk Art Festival – which was held last weekend.  You stop by, sign up, pick a square on the pier and show the world your artistic side.  I, having no artistic ability whatsoever, was in absolute awe at what people were able to do with some chalk against a chunk of concrete:


my personal favorite - i love the transition from black and white to color

As we were walking around enjoying the art, a sign for a "Dolphin Dash" caught my eye.  Well...I love dolphins - and I'm always on the lookout for a chance to blow-out my knees in any type of race - so we meandered over to the booth.
OK - so it wasn't exactly the type of race I imagined it was going to be.  It turns out, a small entrance fee got you a dolphin (plastic) with a number painted on its back. 

As you can see, I chose a very ferocious and competitive dolphin
The dolphins were then all gathered in the bucket of a bulldozer...

And at 4:30pm, they were dumped into a lagoon area near the pier where the tide would carry them to shore.   
bulldozer bucket high in the sky full of dolphins...

 and....bulldozer dumping dolphins into the lagoon

The first 15 dolphins that reached the shore were the winners.
If you remember as a child splashing around in the bathtub with your rubber ducky, watching it float along your hand-made waves, you pretty much get the idea of  watching hundreds of plastic dolphins drifting in the ocean. 

Truly...on the scale of 1 to Silly, this ranked near ridiculous.  But the $10 paid, and our dolphin listing towards land, the longer we watched (and believe me, it takes a while for plastic dolphins to drift 100 yards from pier to shore), the more anxious we became.  My competitive nature began to take over.  Where was our little guy in that sea of blue?  Was he going to fight his way through the crowd to be victorious?  I started to feel confident that I had backed a seaweed was going to keep him from success.  Meanwhile, Nick was already contemplating in his head how we could have amped up the horsepower (fin-power?) of our dolphin by adding a small motor to its tail....

As the pod got closer and closer to shore I almost felt like cheering my little guy on to victory.  "Go Fred, go!!"

As the volunteers/judges started gathering up the dolphins from out of the ocean and lining them up on shore in the order they were retrieved, we tried to catch a glimpse at the winning numbers.

But to no avail....  It wasn't until I received the call the following Monday that we learned our dolphin's fate...


Well...we were last place amongst the winners...but our little guy did it!  He battled seaweed and salt,  he overcame mammoth sized obstacles and drifted hundreds of yards to shore in water that I will barely dip a toe into. 

So it was a great day all around; our donation helped the local library, we were the happy recipients of a $25 gift card, and we got to spend a little time at the pier enjoying the sun, surf, art and plastic toys floating around in a huge nature-made bathtub.  I can't wait 'til next year!  Maybe I'll even get brave and sign up for a box of chalk and try my hand at drawing on the pier.

Nah.  Let's be honest.  You're more likely to find me with that margarita in my hand cheering on a plastic dolphin named "Fred". 

Y'know....the one with the tiny little engine strapped to its tail-fin.