Thursday, August 20, 2009

photography & dwarves

last month i got a call from my mother-in-law asking me to attend a summer social with her. she heard about it through a friend who reads the posey gets cozy blog and thought it would be fun to check out. i love most anything craft related and said sure. the day arrived and we set off early on as i had a birthday party to get to later that afternoon (and a pabst beer can crown to deliver!).

we arrived at a house not even half a mile from my own. we walked up through the large grassy yard which was set with lovely quilts and the cutest refreshment table ever. there was popcorn and rainbow colored soda in glass bottles. on into the house we were greeted by the most charming looking cupcakes and beautiful pies, and then a room full of wonderful wares: photography, prints, linens, jewelry, etc. the decorations and displays were lovely and it was all almost overwhelming.

in fact, i haven't been able to stop thinking about the event! turns out, it was hosted at the home of abby of abby try again blog. i popped into abby's blog last night to see what she's been up to since. well, she's been visiting one of my favoritest places ever and has taken a slew of... geez, i'm running out of adjectives here! but seriously, a slew of wonderful photos.

so what is this place?? the enchanted forest.

ah, the forest. i have no idea how old i was on my first visit but i'd have to guess that i was three or four. the EF is the brainchild of roger tofte, who living in salem in the 1960's, was dismayed at the lack of family friendly places and events in the area. so what's an imaginative family man to do?? build a storybook themed amusement park, of course!*

so back to me, the EF was my number one destination as a kid and i badgered my parents and grandparents into taking me there many times each year. then, when i was eight, it happened. i was wandering through the seven dwarves diamond mine... and i noticed one of the animatronic dwarves smirking at me. well, i didn't like that look one bit so i stuck my tongue out at him. mature, i know. well suddenly, his look seemed less like a smirk and more a grin of homicidal intentions. i high-tailed it out of that mine and told my grandpa i had to get home immediately. looking over my shoulder the whole way back to the car, i was convinced that dwarf was coming for me.

what can i say?? i had an imagination! it took years for me to forget about that dwarf and his intentions to flay me alive, and by then i was a teenager living in seattle. the forest had lost it's hold on me, at least for a while. i moved back to portland about seven years ago and had a visit from my best friend jordan around the same time. having only recently been reintroduced to portland myself, i was racking my brain trying to think of things to show jordan when it hit me- the EF!

jordan and i are friends because he is awesome and likes to do things like visit fairy tale theme parks when he's in oregon. or spill sodas in the theater, you know, cool stuff. in fact, i spilled my soda right after him, that's how cool he is. anyway, we drove down on like, a tuesday and as i walked through the entrance into the shady pine tree enclosed park, it was like i was home.

just as i knew he would be, jordan was in awe of the place. the english village, the haunted house!, the crooked man's house, the fantasy fountains water show, everything. i have this picture taken during a fountain performance, i thought i took it but now i remember it was jordan.


so you're in this theater that's made to feel like a cave, full of stalactites and the like, and there's these fountains that shoot rainbow lit water geyers to the time of music described by jordan as 'a zelda soundtrack meets the synth from a binyon's commercial'. then this kid is spazzing out in front of you, but quietly and actually pretty benignly, and he's wearing a feathered indian head-dress and a pair of those sneakers with blinking red lights in the heels. and that's the fantasy fountains water show.

so what happened when i visited the dwarves cave after 16 years?? it turns out the cavern water is just day-glo nickelodeon brand gak and that dwarf was a total pansy. he did not age well, i'll tell you that. i made my peace and, safe in the knowledge that i didn't have to worry about being murdered by an animatronic dwarf anymore, made my way to the gift shop.

*as a side note, it seems these parks were semi-popular in the 60's, especially in california. the EF official history doesn't mention how mr. tofte was inspired theme-wise but it makes me wonder if he perchance visited another fairy tale park or what.

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