Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Smallish town fun

We moved to the town my dad still lives in when I was 9 years old. It was pretty small, and in my opinion boring. Within walking distance there was the main street (with little more than a church, a hardware store, and a bar), and the baseball fields. My best friend's parents owned the hardware store so I spent a bit of time there, but we mostly kept ourselves busy watching baseball and playing softball.

I don't remember festivals or celebrations, unless you count the demolition derby that was held next the the Medina Ballroom. No, not much happened in that town. But now it's different... the farm field next to my dad's house is filled with new homes, the ballpark and playground has been renovated, new stores have moved in, houses fixed up... and now there are celebrations.

In September, we went to Medina Celebration Day for the second year in a row. Last year was a hit for Riley so I made a point of putting it on my calendar to return again. This event has food, games and activities, and ends with fireworks. Riley was blown away that fireworks could happen on a day other than the 4th of July. I'm blown away about how much she loves fireworks now after years of fearing them.

Riley's favorite activity was the bouncy slide. She easily went down this thing 100 times and she has the black socks to prove it.


All the activities started around 4:00 and we arrived around 4:20 with the plan to stay for fireworks which started at 8:00. This was a little long in my opinion, but on the upside, we did arrive before all the free ice cream and popcorn ran out.

This year, I was also smart enough to bring chairs with so my dad and I could sit down during the fireworks. Riley jumped around and yelled "ooh's and aah's" while I tried to keep my camera steady taking pictures.

A couple weekends ago there was another event that my dad invited us to - The Hamel Fire Station open house (Hamel is part of Medina). This was a much smaller event, but still allowed us to have some time with my dad. This time we walked into town so we could stop at the Little Library on the way. Riley initially balked at walking (maybe a mile, if that), but when I mentioned the Little Library she was in. My sister, Judy, joined us for the fun.

On the way there, we took a little pit stop where my dad and Riley sat down at the bank to read their books. My dad has always noted that he's not much of a reader. He's actually looking at the book my sister picked up for her grandson, but he gets a kick out of seeing how much Riley loves her books.

The open house had food, a silent auction, and other activities. Riley most enjoyed the coloring station and the cupcakes.

We then said goodbye to Judy and made our way back to my dad's house. Until, next year small town festivals...

One last pose standing next to my dad's neighbor's fence.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Project 52 - Sun - Week 41


I'd been planning to do a photo shoot with one on of my nieces for fun, but we had to reschedule a couple times. The last time it happened, I really wanted to get out and take pictures so I took Riley out. She's used to being my model and was excited when I told her we were going to stop at Party City and a new playground. We stopped at Party City because I thought it would be fun to get some props for our pictures. To make it even more fun, we visited a playground in our city that we've never been to before which means we've hit 17 out of 35 playgrounds so far.

We didn' t have a scissor so the plastic band was still on this. We'll play with it another day.

We had a picnic dinner at the playground and then my plan was to drive towards the sunset to a spot I found online (I just 'drove' around on Google streetview). Instead I made a wrong turn and found this cool bridge that went over Minnehaha Creek so we had to stop.

This pose is all her own.

At some point, Riley hit her wall and just wanted to go home. I didn't blame her, but I still wanted to drive closer to Meadowbook, the area I found online. I tried to ignore the sun, but the golden light was amazing.

A couple days before, Riley had pointed out some early morning golden light and noted how beautiful it was. At first she didn't want to make another stop to take pictures, but she agreed that we had to since the sunlight was so pretty - just like the other morning.

I don't get to take pictures in this light very often so I was fun to experiment with this light. And, I appreciate when Riley is willing to be my model. Even though she was reluctant to take these last pictures... at first, in the end she was directing me and asking me to send them to grandma. Such a photographer's child, that one is.