Saturday, March 15, 2008

Day Fifteen: The French Response to Victoria Gardens

Victoria Gardens is a mellifluous name for an intermittently charming and depressing farm in Lakeside, CA, the town itself alternately charming--sheep, horses, hand-painted strawberry signs--and depressing--RV parks, old tractors, fast food sprawl. Because I am not only a mother, but also an intrepid explorer, I must visit every weekend destination in the Family Magazine before my inner wanderer can be satisfied. And Victoria Gardens, unlike some of the other territories we've lit out to, is not very far away.

As I've mentioned previously, I like driving into the boulder-covered hills of East San Diego, and right now the grass is billowing and the embankments ripple with lupines and Golden Poppies. And then we continued on to Barona Casino for lunch. Why? I don't know. It hadn't been discovered yet.

THE JOIE DE VIVRE

Jarrah got crazy-excited as soon as she saw the pony ride from the car window.

THE ENNUI

We drove right by the ponies and then had to make a harrowing U-turn halfway up a mountain while Jarrah shrieked like she was being killed because we had driven past the ponies.

THE JOIE DE VIVRE

A folksy lady welcomed us, cooed over Jarrah, and sold us a sweet wicker basket to hold our U-Pick strawberries from their patches.

THE ENNUI

Somehow the tickets for the pony ride, tractor pull and jump-jump cost a million dollars.

THE JOIE DE VIVRE

Jarrah looked adorable waving to us from the top of the hay bales in the tractor pull.

THE ENNUI

The tractor roared to a start and the pastoral effect was lost.

THE JOIE DE VIVRE

They had a train ride--Jarrah's adoration of trains is touching to behold.

THE ENNUI

The train was actually some sort of wheeled cart with a couple of wooden boxes painted and nailed to the top. It looked like a death trap and sounded like a Zambonie.

THE JOIE DE VIVRE

The petting zoo promised some face time with sweet bunnies and ducks and goats.

THE ENNUI

Up close, the chickens were molting nastily and lacked a certain vitality, leading Jarrah to moan softly, "No....no...I don't want chickens to eat me."

THE JOIE DE VIVRE

Jarrah kicked off her shoes and shimmied to the top of the inflatable obstacle course, joining a small group of happy children.

THE ENNUI

One of the girls said to David: "Please ask her to stop following me around."

THE JOIE DE VIVRE

I was excited to get down in the mud and fondle the bright, shiny berries peeking shyly from under their cap of blossoms and leaves.

THE ENNUI

Lots of berries had bugs in them, and after about three minutes I thought I might need back surgery.

THE JOIE DE VIVRE

Barona Casino rises like a green and white castle out of the hills, gleaming in the sun. Everyone smiled and waved like we were visiting royalty. As we parked the car, a van stopped next to our car and a gentleman asked if we'd like to be driven to the front door.

THE ENNUI

The front door was 50 yards away.

THE JOIE DE VIVRE

As we flung open the glass lobby doors to reveal the lights and sounds of the casino floor in all its glory, Jarrah had only one response: "WOW." She couldn't even speak--she whispered it.

THE ENNUI

Jarrah could end up as one of those ladies who spends her pension check on the slots every month.

4 comments:

Cheri said...

Better buy stock in the company that makes those Bingo markers right now.

What a lovely list of compare and contrast activity descriptions. Well told, Wordy Girl.

Melissa said...

First off let me say it's been a blast reading your daily blogs. I look forward to them.

One question, they let you bring Jarrah through the casino and to the eating areas (like the buffet)? I think they won't let you do that at Viejas.

Mel :-)

Sam said...

@Mel: Yay! It's you! :) You are not going to believe this, but I KNEW this would be the post to lure you to the comments. ;)

I will confess we did not see a single other child while we were there, but I did ask if children were allowed in the cafe and they were. And there was a changing table in the bathroom--that's a clue! :)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I hear you on the Lakeside descriptors!