A FESTIVAL OF WONDER
A beautiful sunny day. Perfect for a festival. A Wine and Arts Festival that is. This day’s adventure was my foray to the La Jolla Arts and Wine Festival. My MTS Access Chariot picked me up in the morning in front of my local Target (I have no active bus route on the weekends sadly).
The day was already promising to be a success for the festival. The whole block was sectioned off for the Vendors. The streets surrounding the area were jammed packed full of busy and excited attendees. My driver had to carefully park me on the next street over to allow me to get close enough to my destination. Thankfully, it was early enough in the day for it not to be too full of crowds but just enough to have a good number of people in attendance.
I walked around to check out the booths. There were many amazing independent artists there. One vendor, Sean Forgione, specializes in gemstones. Recently moved from northern California, the gentleman decided to set up his Honest Gems Etsy shop in Southern California. He had a table full of beautiful stones that ranged from moonstone to quartz. Little note cards explained each stone’s significance and attributes. I’ll admit, I succumbed and purchased a gorgeous bracelet with rose quartz and amethyst. It was a stretchy elastic type. Perfect for a gal with paralysis in the hands.
A nice variety of talented pieces that ranged from jewelry to metalworking to photography to painted masterpieces. I introduced myself to many owners that worked their booths. I wore my crown and sash and introduced myself as the new Ms. Wheelchair California 2022. Everyone was nice and friendly. They showed me their beautiful work and the backstories of some of them.
One of the booths included beautiful ocean life artwork, created by Joshua Serafin (Art By Serafin). The painting ranged from sea turtles to surfers to whales. One particular piece I took my time to gaze at. A gorgeous wall piece depicting a humpback whale with her calf. The way the artist painted it was lifelike and mesmerizing. The eyes in the piece really drew me in. The whale was very hard to resist. Those that know me know well my fascination with the ocean, especially whales.
Another great vendor included a talented painter, Sarah O’Connor, who specializes in resin and acrylic artwork. The artist showed me her wonderful paintings and prints. She gets her motivation from her daughter’s travels. Her daughter travels and takes photos of the ocean and wildlife. Which the artist then uses for inspiration for her masterpieces. Her paintings are very eye-catching. My favorite was a jaw-dropping image of a whale swimming in the ocean. The wave she depicted the water moved by the whale’s movements was amazing. I also succumbed to her work and bought one of her gorgeous prints. Manta rays gliding through the ocean. A very peaceful and elegant piece. Perfect to hang on my wall.
The San Diego Opera even had its own business booth. Brochures were handed around for the season’s performances and they had a fun spinning booth for prizes. I hope to keep in touch with that organization to see how to include more disability diversity in their performances.
Of course, I definitely had to try one of the local business food booths. One of the food vendors
was a handmade ice cream business. Ice Cream! My kryptonite in boiling hot weather. Ok. I’ll admit, it’s my kryptonite in any situation. The vendor named Cali Cream is located in two locations. One in Encinitas and one in the downtown San Diego Gaslamp district. Cali Cream was great. Those manning the booth were energetic and excited. They were highly knowledgeable about the flavors they were selling. Cali-Cream, my highest regards to your employees that worked the booth that Sunday! They were nice and friendly and smiled all day. They were very helpful in helping me make the big decision of the ice cream flavor, Apple Pie. The gentlemen were patient and very accommodating with my disability, they made sure I got my payment out and got my ice cream easily enough in the bowl. I enjoyed my choice immensely! It was so smooth and creamy. Its sweet flavor burst in my mouth. A moan or two may have escaped me, catching looks from a group next to me.
All in all, it was an amazing day. I met a wide variety of amazing people, customers, and vendors alike. The bathrooms included a wheelchair-accessible stall, a rare find in events like this. I saw masterful pieces created by truly talented people. It inspires me to even maybe pick up my own paintbrush and go to work! La Jolla is a beautiful city and I hope my work at the festival created an impact on those in attendance on disability awareness and how inclusive we can be in society. We too enjoy the artwork and attend events such as this.