This will be quick, because I don't have time to be particularly verbose, but I wanted to post this.
We went out to the Italian Festival today in Memphis. It was great for us to get out, but holy cow - its crazy different with a baby. Before, we could just shower and dress and hop in the car and we were gone. Now its an involved and complicated process involving checklists and committees and such.
Anyway, we drove up there, found some parking about a solid block away, and made it to the festival shortly before 1, fortuitously just in time to get in for free, instead of the $10 a head they'd be charging. We wandered around, skimmed past all of the private booths, stopped and grabbed some food at the vendor stations, enjoyed some delicious Fat Tire beer, and did another loop around the park. We were there for a little over an hour. The weather was pretty nice, in the low 80's, and alternating between a little overcast, and really bright. In short, we had a really good time getting out and walking around the park.
Now my gripe: I'm glad we didn't have to pay to get in. In retrospect, $10 a head would have left me feeling disappointed. Granted, we were there before the band was playing, but that was okay with me, we didn't come to see the band. And our baby is confined to a stroller, and could not go and enjoy the little kids park area. But my biggest beef with this (and with Bar-B-Q fest) is that its a big private party that the public is pseudo invited to. Now, I'm not trying to pick a fight with any BBQ fest people or anything, I know they do these things as food competitions, but it seemed weird to walk by the fourty-odd food tents, each of which was marked 'private party - invite only', and to then make our way back around to the little vendors selling pizza. The food that we got from the vendors was fine, but the private party thing is weird, it feels like a high school party, and I'm not cool enough to do anything aside from stand against the wall and sip my soda.