James’ SLO Life…Avila Valley Barn

james avila valley barn

The vendors have all packed up, the monster trucks have blown through their oil tanker worth of fuel, the grease from fried twinkies is dissipating from the air, and the Fresnecks and Bakoes have, for the most part, all caravanned east back to their respective troughs. Yes the Mid State Fair has come to a close. San Luis Obispo can now start to clean itself up and return to the quiet paradise I have come to love. With the ending of the fair, the weather has also taken a turn for the cooler. It’s as if nature is giving us a reward for making it through this last week and a half of less than optimal people and conditions. For me, it makes the last week of fasting through Ramadan look like it’s going to be quite pleasant. Because of the heat letting up a bit, I am able to go out and enjoy the outdoors with the family more than I have been able to the last 3 weeks. Soon Monday we headed down to the Avila Valley Barn.

When I arrived, I was surprised to see that the parking lot was almost completely full. All the cars had SLO license plates so it looks like I wasn’t the only one itching to take advantage of no fair folk around. The cool thing about the locals, everyone is so polite to each other. No one is shoving you out of the way to pet the animals and all the kids share their scraps with other kids so that everyone gets to experience feeding a horse or Emu from their own hands. The young kids, including my own, tend to let off a screech of joy when their piece of lettuce gets gobbled up from their hands by a creature 5 times their height. Seeing my daughter’s curiosity and joy while at the farm sends me back to my childhood at the petting area of Knott’s Berry Farm (don’t know if they still have the petting area anymore). Everything is so new and wonderful to these little ones (even if not the first time here) that one can’t help but be filled with warmth when watching their reactions to all the various creatures here. Although once and a while you’ll get kids taking off and trying to chase down a chicken or rooster that is wandering free through the area, most of the kids are very well behaved while here (slo kids are awesome).

After getting their fill of animals and Daddy loading them up with organic raisins and honey sticks, I loaded up my kids into my wife’s car to send them south to Santa Barbara to visit their grandpa and uncle while I head back to North county to prepare myself for the final week of Ramadan and maybe (if my wife is lucky) work on organizing the garage. I love seeing my kids happy and even getting a ticket for using my cell phone while driving (which I never usually do. Fasting may cause a lapse in good judgement for these types of things), won’t ruin my day. Thank you officer, at least you are doing what we pay you to do, despite that it was me that you were doing your job to. I’m sure once the bill for this ticket comes in, I will be singing a different tune. But for now, I am completely grateful for my life and my position in it.

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