That Time We Wandered Into An “Alternative Life Style” Fair…with our entire family

AUTHOR: | POSTED: June 27, 2013 | COMMENTS: 2 Comments
CATEGORIES: Blogging Honestly, Shenanigans, Travel Trouble,

Carolyn Savage

As we pulled into Portland, Oregon on the last day of our recent vacation we were mesmerized.  It was the perfect day outside.  Sunny, 80, and it just seemed that the waterfront of downtown was beckoning us to “come…walk…explore the sites, sounds and culture of our beautiful city”.

After scouring my Fodor’s Oregon travel guide, we settled on a late lunch at a Portland stronghold, Mother’s Bistro, and then figured we’d walk the waterfront before heading to our hotel.  Imagine my excitement upon sighting a long line of white pop-up tents dotting the river front.

Me:  An artfair.  

Sean:  How do you know that’s an artfair?

Me:  (With an err of ‘duh’…) Of course that’s an artfair.  Any long line of white EZ up tents spells art fair.  Or crafts…or something probably even better because we are in Portland and this city is supposed to be super cool.

(Note to self – Assumptions are dangerous…or at the very least misleading.)

Anyways, after our lunch we made our way to the waterfront.  Sean was by my side and being the old people we are quickly becoming we were soaking in all that we thought was important.  The landscape, the architecture….it all seemed, um..I don’t know…hipper because we were in Portland.  And Portland is ‘hip’.  My Fodor’s travel guide said so.  Even the pigeons had swagger.

As I kept my gaze skyward, I apparently missed a few clues as to the fact we weren’t making our way to an artfair.  The first one would have been Drew and Ryan walking behind us…snickering.  The second might have been the plethora of rather revealing leather get-ups that many of our fellow pedestrians were donning.  In retrospect, one would think the dude in the leather peek-a-boo chaps might have caused me to reassess our destination, but nope.  I wasn’t going to judge because I was all, “ I’m going to be all Pacific northwest urban today because ‘when in Rome’.  Leather peek-a-boo garb?  Live and let live.  Right on, brother.

It was only when we entered the artfair that I finally realized that perhaps this wasn’t exactly what I thought it was.  Yes, there were the typical booths with some homemade jewelry and tie-dyed scarves that you apparently can wear twenty-seven different ways.  But…the art?  It was missing.  It was when we walked a few tents further and I spotted the banner advertising, “female sex toys” just as Sean was muttering something to the tune of, “Jesus H, what the hell?” that I realized that this was not what I thought it was.

That’s when I swung around and realized the the boys were about fifty yards back.  Apparently, they’d stopped to watch us wondering how long it would take for us to tune in.  Before I knew it I was buckled over laughing while all of Sean’s blood ran out of his face.

What a site we must have been.  Me…in my Talbots twin set clutching my pearls  (I wasn’t wearing pearls but at that point, I should’ve been).   Sean, practically sprinting his way towards the nearest exit.

Upon making our way to a more family friendly perch we realized the people watching was actually fantastic.  You see, there was a more mainstream street fair going on but it led directly into the alternative booths.  We weren’t the only stunned and very confused family to suddenly find themselves surrounded with tents selling whips, toys and swings (not the kind for kids, folks).

After we regained our composure we truly enjoyed what downtown Portland had to offer…

Mother's Bistro

Mother’s Bistro

More family friendly "fair"!

A more family friendly “fair”!



This little guy could play...

This little guy could play…

A word to the wise, though.  If you ever go…pay close attention to your surroundings and remember…just because it looks like an art fair doesn’t mean it’s your kind of art fair.

Lesson learned.

2 Comments on “ That Time We Wandered Into An “Alternative Life Style” Fair…with our entire family ”

  • Jessica | June 27th, 2013 11:47 am

    This made me laugh out loud. Being a pacific northwester I have experienced such things on occasion:).

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  • Jill | July 16th, 2013 2:31 pm

    Love this! hahahahahah, great post.

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