Wednesday night we met M's parents for sizzling Chinese food downtown, and they handed over our niece Victoria to us for the night. We arrived back home to find that Lakeside had opened unexpectedly for a "sneak preview" night before their usual season opening. We got in a bit late and most of the crowds were gone. Free admission and the place practically to ourselves? You can't beat that with a stick! What a terrific kickoff to summer (well, if it hadn't snowed the next morning, that is).
We hit the merry-go-round first. My favorite. Actually, it's more like "my one-and-only". I don't like rides. The attraction of Lakeside for me is the vintage carny look of the place. In more than five years I have yet to tire of photographing it. Have you ever had a merry-go-round entirely to yourself? We did. There's a certain poetry to it. And the merry-go-round guy didn't even complain when we ran around from one animal to the other while the ride was moving...during the season he'd never let us get away with that (and yes, we've tried before!).
Here's Mike threatening to tickle Victoria.
And me. Never happier than when on a merry-go-round horse.
Mike took this lyrical photo, which I love. Mike is a terrific artistic photographer — or he was. Until he stopped. Nowadays he hardly ever picks up a camera. It's a tragedy, I tell you. Secretly I'm afraid he doesn't shoot anymore because I shoot so obsessively that I've spoiled the charm for him. I don't know.
Our lovely niece.
Victoria was my flower girl at our wedding, and a lovelier flower girl you never did see. She even did a terrific job of directing, soothing and prompting our ringbearer, nephew Harrison who was only about 2 at the time and a bit on the wobbly side!
Then we wandered the park. It's rare to see it so empty of people. Great for pictures, though.
When we got to this one, there was a small crowd, and something came over Victoria. Suddenly, she wanted to try a ride. It looked nasty to me - especially after a big dinner - but she was determined, so Mike agreed to ride with her.
He told her several times that he wouldn't blame her if she changed her mind while they were waiting. But she had set her mind on it and wasn't turning back.
Here they are, caged in and going tippily upward.
I was afraid I'd hear shrieks of terror from Victoria.
But when their round was over, she wanted to keep riding! She came off grinning like a cheshire cat and skipping with excitement.
I like this sign.
Back home, we made paperdolls until everyone had wound down enough for bed.
Mike showed Victoria how to cut them so they chain together.
And this is my favorite photo of all...he's going to be such and amazing father.