Friday, October 06, 2006

time for some guacamole

This weekend is the 20th Annual Avocado Festival!! hurray! and I am here for it! This little festival, which is expecting over 100,000 visitors this weekend, is the reason I decided to move to this town.

Last year, I flew out here from Baltimore to visit the school during orientation. I had planned on staying the weekend so I could explore a bit. Of course, I had to visit the beach. I stuck my foot in the water, brrrrr.... I asked a family that was fishing nearby whether the water was always this cold? No, they assured August/September it gets to about 72F (they were wrong...) And then they told me that there was a festival going on in Carpinteria and that I should go (they were right!)

So, I came to Carpinteria, and was enchanted. It's a small town, with about 14,000 residents. The Avocado Festival is held each year in early October to celebrate the local culture and commerce...apparently, Carpinteria is a major producer of avocados!! I walked around last year, and visited different stalls and talked to people. Everyone was friendly, the sun was shining and I decided then that this is where I wanted to live.

To tell you a little bit about this lovely little town. We have two main streets running perpendicular to each other. We also have two grocery stores. Every Thursday, one of the main streets closes for the Farmer's Market. There is the TruValu, which carries quite a bit of things you might need for the house, from tools, hardware and paint, to bicycle pumps and patio sets!! They even have the old fashioned metal tricycles on sale!! (I thought about buying one for my nephew...but I don't think shipping it to Italy would be that easy...) There are several cafes, including Starbucks, but I would rather go to the locally owned ones, and other boutiques and small stores. Target, Home Depot, Walmart? Nope. If you want to go to one of these stores, you have to leave town. I'm glad about that. At times it might be inconvenient, but that's ok. I'll drive the 20 miles.

So, last night I walked down to the Festival with a neighbor. We browsed the stalls, I had a taco from a local restaurant. I learned the hard way not to ask them for the spicy sauce. My mouth burned for about 20 minutes afterward! My neighbor got a batch of guacamole and I had a taste. It was gooood (funny to say considering I have been vehemently anti-guac for most of my life. I must have had some nasty stuff the first time I tried it, but fresh, homemade guac..bring it on!!)

We listened to a local band, and I do mean local. Just some of the locals that get together and jam to some loungey stuff and crack jokes in between their songs. Then we saw another band on the main stage. The lead singer is Kenny Loggins' son...he walked by me at one point and holy crap! The boy looks just like his dad!!! Spittin' image!

I'm glad I went. I'll go again later today. I realize that lately I haven't been doing anything fun. I've just been concentrating on school so much that I'm starting to get in a rut...just work, work, work. Well, enough of that. I needed the break and what better than the Avocado Festival.


G-Lo said...

You really have to watch out for hot sauces in California. Remember, Mexico is right next door! What's mediano to them might burn your lips off!

Anonymous said...

Avocado Festival sounds wonderful! And yummy. Your town sounds lovely. I'd rather drive the 20 miles too..

C. said...

G...Lips? What lips?

mj...yes..I definitely made a good choice.

Anonymous said...

I love guacamole... I've heard it even makes a nice face mask.

My dad called Avacado's "alligator pears" and sometimes Calavo's. He would eat them with a spoon.

The festival that you described is the most fun of all.

Matt said...

I had no idea avocados were grown here in the United States. I was joking around the other day that terrorists have lost their edge and are now being evil in small ways, making our lives just more annoying: having to take off our shoes before boarding a plane, not being able to bring water or gels aboard.

I thought, what are they going to do next? Wipe out our avocado crops?

No more guacomole! Bastards.

Karmyn R said...

I LOOOOOVE the Guacamole! Hmmm - and your town sounds so cute.

When I went to college (Washington State) - the town of Pullman has a Lentil Festival. Not as exciting as it sounds. For a whopping $1 you can get a scoop of lentil ice-cream

Anonymous said...

I envy you, California has some great festivals. If you're prepared to drive that far, Gilroy has the Garlic festival(better than it sounds) and San Jose has Tapestry in Talent. But there are even more in your neck of the woods.

Karmyn, I think I'll pass on the lentil ice-cream.

C said...

I am so jealous! I would have loved that. I love fresh guac.

Nihilistic said...

MMMMMMmmmmmm...I want some Guacamole now! With a little fresh lime in it...YUM!

C. said...

I had no idea everyone felt so passionately about guacamole!!

Pamela, growing up we used to mush it up with sugar and lemon...mmmm...

matt, funny funny guy!! damn bastards better leave my guacamole alone!!

Karmyn, I think I'll stay away from the lentil ice cream...unless it's chocolate-lentil!! :)

Willow, yeah festivals seem pretty big here. I hear that there's a Lemon Festival not too far away (don't know when..) and here in town, in June/July they have RodNRoses! I think it really builds that feeling of community.

C...well get your butt back out here, no??? said it!!

SongBird said...

The festival sounds like so much fun. I love quaint small towns with interesting shops to snoop in and friendly people.

Doppleganger said...

Wow - this sounds like my kind of town. It's small and quaint, but if you want part of the big city life, it's only ~20 minutes away. Love it! So jealous