Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Friends, Knitting and Pumpkins

Located in Southern California, in a suburb of the San Fernando Valley, lies a small city called Calabasas. They are famous for their annual Pumpkin Festival. Having lived near the city for more than twenty years, it's not something I go to regularly. But this year was special. A friend that I "know" from Ravelry was traveling through our state while on vacation with her husband.
She lives in Chicago, so she was a long way from home, and this may be our only chance to actually meet face to face. When she found out about the Pumpkin Festival, she scheduled in a Saturday of her vacation to go and for us to meet up there, in person, for the very first time. You see, Michelle has a serious thing for pumpkin. It's one of her favorite foods, so the idea of a festival with food booths and pumpkin themes was a wonderland to her.

Saturday dawned a little foggy and cool, but being Southern California it burned off by ten am or so. I arrived at the gate of the Pumpkin Festival, excited to finally meet up with her. We were texting back and forth on our phones trying to locate each other. We finally found one another and we were off on our adventure of exploring every booth, exhibit and pumpkin food concoction ever thought up.

One of the most interesting food items that we found was a pumpkin whoopie pie. I just had to take a picture of it to show people. Isn't it amazing what food creations people can come up with when there is a theme involved? I didn't try the whoopie pie but Michelle did. She said it was good but very rich. We also sampled pumpkin cakes, pies, cheesecake, cookies, scones and a score of other pumpkin goodies. There were even things like Pumpkin Olive Oil, Pumpkin Spice Vinegar, Pumpkin Salsa and other oddities.

When it came time for lunch, we weren't all that hungry, but the food choices were endless. I don't know what it's like where you live, but in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, Food Trucks are big business. They have competitions, cook offs and you can actually get a Twitter feed from your favorite food truck so you can find it when you have a craving for it. Every time they change their location during the day, they post it on Twitter. (Just for the record, I don't follow any food truck tweets.)

The Pumpkin Festival had scores of Food Trucks. They were all parked toward the back side of the festival, so we headed that direction. There were so many choices! Besides the typical Fair foods, like funnel cakes, kettle corn, and deep fried items, you could have Thai food, barbecue, Mexican food, pulled pork, smoked tri-tip roast or chicken, burgers and fries and endless other choices. Michelle and I settled on splitting a Chicken Quesadilla from the Mexican food truck and were fortunate enough to find an empty table with an umbrella for shade. Which was a good thing, because at this point it was about ninety degrees and we were hot, thirsty and needed to sit a bit.

We also met up with another Ravelry friend while we were there. She and her family go to the Pumpkin Festival every year, she lives right there in Calabasas. So Dani met up with us while we were eating and took a few minutes away from her kids and the rest of her family to chat with us. I met Dani on Ravelry several years ago, and when we realized we only lived ten minutes from each other, we have been best friends ever since.

Of course, being good little Outlaw Knitters, we both had sock knitting with us, so after we ate we sat in the shade, resting and chatting and knitting on our socks. Both of us had cast on Halloween socks a few days before, which we thought was amusing.

After our rest we went and explored another section of the festival. Here we bought matching Calabasas Pumpkin Festival tee shirts. That's Michelle in the picture holding hers up. That was at the booth for the City of Calabasas. I also bought a canvas bag with a pumpkin on it because we all know that you just can't have too many knitting bags!

Sadly, before we knew it, the day was over and it was time for us to go.

We had a great time, even if it was hot, and said our goodbyes. Is there anything better than meeting up with friends and spending the day chatting, eating and knitting? I don't think so.

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