Tea for…twenty-two?

Once upon a Fair, a Hatter invited a few friends to a tea party…several times a day! The chairs were mismatched, the crockery too, and the hosts presided over the proceedings in raiments resplendent with IMG_3443clockwork.

In a delightful blend of Wonderland meets Steampunk,IMG_3438 Dr. Artemis Peepers engages visitors while his partner, Earl gives instructions on proper tea party etiquette. Who would have known that there is a proper angle for pinky raising, or that it is precisely 65.2 degrees?

Nearby, the Red Queen holds court, oblivious to the festivities occurring almost beneath her haughty nose.IMG_3435 Nevertheless, in keeping with the good cheer and Fair theme, it will please you to hear no heads leave their shoulders. Both Queen and Hatter were perfect hosts, serving tea and greeting guests with courtesy and style. I hear tell they were even seen sharing a joke over a cup of tea!

IMG_3436The Theme Building also houses several exhibits, including paintings by Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane/Starship fame. She wrote and performed the song White Rabbit. She shares space with author Cynthia Diamond who promotes both her own books and those of Marie Andreas.

“The time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of many things…”


Celebration of the Fair theme continued in gardens designed with the whimsy and creativity of Wonderland in mind. At the entrance, you’re greeted by a shrub which bears a remarkable resemblance to the White Rabbit resting on a stump while reading Alice in Wonderland (of course!) It was no surprise this display bore a green ribbon proclaiming it a “noteworthy plant”.

While across the way, the Walrus and the Carpenter’s conversation is depicted organically with real-life cabbages, sealing wax and kings.


A stroll through Her Majesty’s Gardens

With surprises lurking around every corner, we soon found ourselves in the Queen’s rose garden rose with beewhere blooms of every IMG_3572conceivable color grow in profusion, inviting the local honey makers to drop in for a sip.  With so many beauties on which to feast, all comers surely went away satisfied, keeping their own queen’s temper sweet.

Tea tables arranged throughout the garden in traditionally mismatched glory and children playing on an oversized chess board remind us of our own unquenched thirst. Fortunately, the Queen provided a beverage station for her thirsty guests, hosted by an affable barmaid and barman who served beverages to go in bottles labelled “drink me”. (Perfect for a late evening concert in the Arena).

Music Al fresco to end a perfect day

I’ve yet to meet a fair which disappoints when it comes to evening entertainment, and San Diego did herself proud. 26 concerts featured artists from enough genres to satisfy most music lovers including us. We had the privilege of seeing Lady Antebellum bring the crowd to their feet with their personal brand of Country music, passion and style. The rest of the lineup included greats from years past like Kenny Rogers, Brian Wilson of Beach Boy Fame and Grand Funk Railroad. All this and bingo too!

A summer of fairs

We’ll spend July resting our feet in preparation for one of our favorite fairs, the Ventura County Fair. Stay tuned for previews!

Heather Hewes is an amateur photographer and aspiring chef who specializes in gluten- and allergen-free baked goods. She is currently launching her cake business, Bakes by Heather.