early morning carnival

It's nearly impossible for me to believe that tomorrow is the first day of Spring. We are having mad mad weather this weekend. Tons of rain all day today and the wind is just howling and rattling everything from our windows to the trees. I was hoping to see that enchanted super full moon tonight but I don't think that's going to happen.

I was up bright and early this morning to drive my son to an all day science competition. On our way to the event I saw a carnival set up in a small shopping center parking lot. After I dropped him off I headed right over to it. It was still closed and completely empty. Luckily I had my camera with me this time.

The wind was blowing so hard that the candy colored flags sounded like they might rip in two. But I loved walking around the empty lot under these grey skies. All the bright colors popped even more and there was just something deliciously eerie about seeing an empty carnival right before a storm was about to roll in.

I checked to make sure there were no little fishies freezing in those little bowls!

My dad was in the Navy which meant we lived on a military base most of my childhood. One of them was in San Francisco and I remember how a carnival would come once a year for a few days. My friends and I always looked forward to it. We would ride our bikes the day they came in and watch them set up.

Most military bases had very limited places to go for fun, especially for kids. There's a very uniform and nondescript look to the entire landscape so having this magical and colorful carnival come once a year was such a glorious treat.

However, I was never a big fan of most of the rides. I had such a weak stomach that just looking at them made me nauseous (and maybe I also didn't trust them). But I always loved the whole atmosphere of a carnival. The storybook colors, the mechanical sounds of those crazy rides and the intoxicating smell of cotton candy, candy apples and buttered popcorn.

 And I liked the silly game booths, not the prizes so much but just the way they looked...the riot of banners and colors, the lively game keeper inviting you to part with your change....and the not so gourmet food that you would try to keep down if you actually got on a ride.  Even the slightly seedy reputation associated with old carnivals was part of it's curious charm. It was like stepping into another world which was always gone much too soon.

I only had a few minutes to snap these pictures and reminisce before big drops of rain started to fall. But what a lovely surprise I had this Saturday morning. It brought back a few warm memories and reminded me of why I find a carnival and circus so fascinating.

Happy First Day of Spring!


Scrap Vamp said...

Gorgeous photos! Carnivals are such magical places!

Amber Leilani said...

stunning photos!

Toni said...

beautiful pictures !!!! Happy Spring :)

OmaLindasOldeBaggsandStuftShirts said...

Great photos....brings flashes from the past for me as well. How lovely on the first day of Spring. The Olde Bagg, Linda

pchickki said...

I hear you about spring. IT is still 38 degrees here and raining. It has rained for days now and the poor daffodils are getting drenched and ruined as they did last year. I am so ready for spring.

I hate carnivals, all those rides made me sick as a child. I feel a panic when I see people on them too. It is just scary to me.

Thanks for sharing the photos

Linda said...

Oh how wondrous...the carnival photos and your new header.I really like the angles you choose. Today is the first day of Spring and from our weather you wouldn't know it...cold.
I love carnivals too...can't wait for them to come to our town.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful photos! I adore carnivals! Well, mostly the smells and sounds and foods. Not a huge ride fan.

A Magical Whimsy said...

Your carnival photos are scrumptious! And to have it all to yourself with your own photo shoot too!
What fun! Yes, I remember those times on the rides where they made the rides go faster than normal...fun, but not after you got off.
We had a lot of wind and rain last night and today. I'm in Visalia and have relatives in Sacramento.
Have fun creating! I like your lovely banner.
It's full of whimsical delight.

Justina said...

LOVE the carnival pics... there is something so haunting and beautiful about an empty carnival setup....the colors pop so nicely in your pictures...

I hope the rain clears up for you soon... The skies in Jersey were pretty clear for the most part, I was able to see the "Supermoon", but it honestly didnt look THAT much different or bigger than any other full moon I've ever seen... It was still beautiful though ...
Happy Spring!


Margaret said...

STUNNING photos! love how you've captured the spirit of the carnival! superb! Mx

Buccaneers and Ball Gowns said...

Those carnival colors are just fantastic! What wonderful photos! I also love a good carnival, or a spooky carnival for that matter.

Cameron said...

I agree, the whole laughter, lights and loud music mixed with the spooky stories...give carnivals and circuses such allure!