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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Maker Faire 2012

We went to Maker Faire yesterday, our second annual visit. Lots of fun but also LOTS of stress, since it was extremely crowded (and I don't do all that well with crowds). All in all, though, the day was a success.

The kids enjoyed the R2-D2 robots very much. The guys in the back had the robots zooming around their little roped-off area, interacting with the crowds. Too cute.

BJ giggled and waved and tried to talk to this little guy for quite a while. I think the man standing up behind is the one with the remote for it -- he was laughing too.
 Three blue R2s and one red R2 and two excited kids!

Alas, BB continued to be nervous about many of the exhibits, especially in the Fiesta Hall where it was dark and LOUD. BJ wasn't nervous at all. He especially loved this "Land Shark" light up robot and tried to wave and talk to it just like he had with the R2s.

 The flash washed out that pic -- it was much more impressive in the darkness of the hall.

Though the darkness of the hall also stressed me out, since BJ kept darting out into the crowd to see some other cool thing. (Sigh.) Happily, the organizers are smart about this tendency and had a station where you could get your kid an armband bracelet that would be linked to your cell phone number, so any lost kids could be quickly reunited with parents. (And even more happily, we didn't have to see how well this system worked in person.)

Both kids were enchanted with the ball chain sculpture, which hung strands of ball chain from a platform and encouraged folks to walk/dance/twirl through it.

Sort of like metallic rain! Very cool.

BB was much happier outdoors, where there were plenty of other things to see and do. We spent a good amount of time at the make your own underwater ROV area, where the kids created vehicles from PVC pipe and foam floaties. By this time, we'd met up with our friends J and J and were spending good time together. Nice to have another adult and someone BJ's age to hang around with!

 Then we hooked up their creations to the propeller motors and tossed them in the pool to see how they did!

 Another popular attraction: the LEGO Jeep!

While the boys (and J) headed over to see the Mentos and Coke show, BB and I went to the Baz Biz booths. Great to see so many of my Etsy peeps doing so well! I didn't manage to get any pics or really have time to focus on shopping or browsing, but I enjoyed zipping through and saying hi and getting hugs. BB toted along all her piggybank change and wanted to buy something so badly -- we finally found some pinback buttons at the booth of my pal Steph from NerdJERK, so BB is now the proud owner of a pin illustrated with some of Steph's crocheted Mario mushrooms.

The Mentos and Coke show was still going on when we went back to find the boys (and J). Crowded much? The stage is up there between the red robots.
We did manage to see a fair amount of the impressive soda geysers. And afterwards, BB wanted to go back and make her own cape at the Swap a Rama Rama. This part of Maker Faire was very  much more her speed -- she could have spent much more time here!
 We swung through the Expo Hall on our way out, in search of the Munchkin artist that she remembered seeing last year. (Alas, it seemed he wasn't here. Or if he was, we couldn't find him.) While BB and S searched for him, BJ and I checked out this remote controlled ball maze -- you stood on the platform and controlled it with your body. Very cool!

There was so much more that I wish we'd had time to see and explore -- so many more pics I wish I could have taken! This is why people get a weekend pass, right?

But no way are we up for two full days like that. Not yet. We hoofed it back to our parking (a good 15 minute walk away) and grabbed some dinner before heading home. A long, tiring day, but all told, I'm very glad we went.  (Especially since I'd scored free tickets for me and S, so it wasn't nearly as ridiculously expensive as it might otherwise have been!) I'm hopeful that this can become a tradition for our family, and one of these years I'll probably give it a go with a Mama's Magic Studio booth at the Baz Biz section. Just think: someday, the kids will be old enough to help me out in such an endeavor! Something to look forward to.


tierramor said...

Ah, and you were near me! Nex time maybe you'll come to Tia's for a rest and a snack before heading home. Glad you had a good time, my dear!

Jen (Mama's Magic Studio) said...

I had thought about giving you a call, but by the time we were done at the faire, the kids were WIPED OUT. Didn't want to descend upon you in all their whiny glory :-) As they get older, they will be better able to handle these long days, so yeah, maybe next time!