Monday, September 17, 2012

Fair Wedding

 Well, I've photographed somewhere between 70 and 80 weddings, but this was a first.  A local couple decided to tie the knot at the top of the ferris wheel at the Tunbridge World's Fair and I was the lucky photographer hired.  All the surrounding cars on the ride were filled with family and friends who cheered from their own hanging baskets as the newlyweds kissed.  When the bride threw her bouquet overboard, it smacked into an unsuspecting fair-goer far below who had no idea of the happenings up above her.  It was an adorable and unforgettable wedding, Vermont style.  Congratulations to Jim and Kerri, and thanks for letting me be a part of your special day!  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Clark's Trading Post

Oddly, until this summer, I'd never heard about this place.  When we were camping in the White Mountains a while ago, one of the kids picked up a brochure and my dad knew all about it, but it somehow, it slipped under my radar all these years.  Clark's Trading Post.  Been run by the same family since...forever.  A small theme park revolving around trained show bears.  There is, of course, the bear show, but they also offer an antique steam train ride with the very exciting twist of a wild miner attempting to hijack the engine, we nosily went to ask the conductor more about the train and the boys made a new friend as they got a full tour of the engine.  (Not to mention we met Wolfman himself, as he was leaving at the end of the day, since we were, as always, the last stragglers heading to the parking lot.)  There were several wonderful museum buildings with old fire engines and such, a Man In The Mountain climbing wall, a Segway park, a few, old school optical illusion houses, bumper boats...basically a little boy's heaven.

It's strange, we live right next door, but I've never been a huge New Hampshire fan.  I guess just because of that silly, my-state-is-better-than-your-state attitude we Vermonters tend to adopt.    Randomly though, many of the trips we've taken this summer are to NH attractions and as loyal as I am to good ol' VT,  I've found every one of these places to be super clean, safe and all together enjoyable.  This one wasn't fancy, didn't cover acres and acres, was relatively simple and inexpensive, but again, just like the Polar Caves, it HIT THE SPOT.  We had an awesome day and I got the Wolfman's contact info so I can do an article on him at a later time.  One of the most interesting and colorful characters we've come across lately.  It's great, the more you talk to people, the more interesting people you find.  And after a while, you find out that practically EVERYBODY's interesting.  I love that.

We also happened to be in the right place at the right time (as we usually try to be, with curious boys and a curious ME) and got to see what goes on behind the scenes after the show and we asked a lot of questions. I was originally rather uncomfortable with the idea of captive "show bears" when my dad told us about this place and how fascinated he found it as a kid, it just seemed sad and wrong to me.  But after we watched the Clark family working with the animals, and talked the brother and sister who train them, I must say...I felt almost OK with it. In this case anyhow. Some of the bears were rescued by the Fish and Wildlife Department after being left for dead as newborns and were bottle fed and raised in the family's kitchen. They literally sleep in the same bed with them as babies, like a dog or cat. The older brother told a funny story about a cub chewing up his prized GI Joe figurines. I still don't think wild animals should be held in captivity, but I could clearly see how well cared for and happy these particular bears were. Ira laughed until he fell out of his chair at bears playing basketball and riding on scooters. And Eli loved watching the bears eat ice cream with spoons and the trainers snuggling and kissing them and scratching their itchy spots. The kids wished we could bring one home with us, but I think we'll stick with our teddy bears.