Sometimes, I wake up crabby. Sometimes, I let her sleep. Today’s launch hour wasn’t as early as yesterdays was, but still there was some grumbling. Even a seafood avocado toast breakfast did little to mollify her. Anyway, we got out-the-door on time and made it to Tower Grove Park by nine. I was trying to get going early enough to beat the heat, but more importantly also beat the crowds. Today, in addition to hosting the usual Saturday farmer’s market, the park was also hosting the Festival of Nations. This annual event was on again this year after a two-year hiatus. To make matters worse, the adjoining Missouri Botanical Gardens was hosting their official grand opening of the new visitor’s center, with free admission. Parking was going to be a bear.
It is always hot the weekend of this festival. The festival’s combination of heat, humidity and humanity makes for a terrible triumvirate to overcome, but this festival brings with it a trio of attractions with which to do this with—song and dance, arts and crafts, and food, lots and lots of different foods. This festival doubles as a fundraiser for almost every ethnic charity in town. We arrived at the park an hour before the festival was scheduled to open and already parking was becoming a problem. Usually, we bicycle to this event, making parking irrelevant, but not this year. I guess we are getting old. We shopped the farmer’s market, where I snagged a new t-shirt. After that, it was time to hit the festival. Most of the food booths were still getting started, so we listened to a little music and then hit the arts and crafts booths. When we finally got around to looking for food, most of the booths were already mobbed, but we were still able to find good stuff to eat. After our feeding, we decided that it was time to bail and headed back towards the car, completing our regular circumnavigation of the park. I got the car turned around, but traffic was stop-and-go, all the way home.