My husband had to work for a few hours on Saturday, so I decided to take the kids out to Seattle’s VegFest while he worked.
Once at the Seattle Center, it took us a little while, but we did find the Exhibition Hall. The cost was $8 for me, and the kiddos were free. I thought it would be a good chance to check out some vegetarian and vegan companies since I’ve still not gone back to eating animal products and am seriously considering making a life change at this point in the game.
The place was VERY busy. In fact, as soon as we walked in, we found ourselves in a mess of a line (if you could even call it a line) for Odwalla bars and juices. Navigating it all with a stroller made it a bit more challenging. Navigating it all with two children fighting for turns in the stroller made it even more challenging.
I decided pretty quickly that this would not be a leisurely “get to know all these great companies and try to network with them” sort of a trip. It was just packed and loud and crazy. I quickly devised a plan to race through the place as fast as I could and get my money’s worth.
As for the samples? Pretty fantastic!
Here Piper samples a very tasty pink sprinkle donut – all vegan! She didn’t actually sample too many things, but my son on the other hand, has become quite the adventurous taste tester lately! He tried everything from cucumber pineapple juice to chickpea curry and lots of stuff in between. And he had a good attitude about it, too. (We’re still working on sister – but in the meantime, vegan donuts and ice cream samples it is!) There was also this AMAZING saffron pistachio smoothie stuff that I MUST find. So good….
At one point I was walking down an aisle with Indian food samples on one side and the Vitamix demonstration on the other and I realized I was sandwiched in. We were NOT moving. I should probably mention that I’m a bit claustrophobic. Crowds aren’t usually a trigger for me, but at that moment, I knew it was time to get out. Thank goodness for the kind lady who must have read the panic on my face! She leaned over and asked, “do you want me to get you out of here?” and I said, “yes, please!” and just like Moses’ staff, she parted the Red Sea of the VegFest craziness so my kids and I could make it out unscathed. (Thank you, kind lady!)
All told, we only spent an hour in there. I could’ve spent longer, but having the kids with made for a harried experience. (Those with small kids know what I mean.)
The best part was the coupon and sample loot I ended up with:
The So Delicious booklets were my favorite – they contain $8 in coupons each! I also found a RARE Daiya coupon. I do have a couple concerns about some of the coupons, though: 1) will I even FIND half of these items at stores near me? and 2) some of these companies are really small and may not be used to coupon campaigns. One coupon reads “store coupon” on it, when it’s clearly a manufacturer’s coupon. Another coupon had NO barcode, just a series of numbers for the cashier to key in. Could make for some spicy checkout experiences.
After we left my son insisted taking a picture by the Chinese lion statue. I told Piper to strike a pose.
And then of course, my kids got to walk back through the water fountains.
Because my kids were such sports, I took them for a treat at the Starbucks afterwards. We sat down so they could enjoy their snack. And then my daughter announces VERY loudly “I have to make a poop!” Few things strike fear into the heart of a mother quite like those words uttered in a public space. So it was a quick pack up the snack and hurry to make it to a restroom. After that little pit stop, I decided we’d had enough fun for one day and it was time to go pick up Daddy from the fire station.
It was then my daughter decides this was NOT how she wanted to spend her time in Seattle. Maybe she’d tried one too many healthy juices or granola bars, but she decided this was NOT a fun day. Her idea of a fun day would’ve consisted riding up and down the Space Needle at least a couple times and paying a visit to the Children’s Museum and then chasing pigeons around the fountain or something. I am sure I got more than a few looks as I pretty well ignored her little crying meltdown and worked our way to the car.
Oh, but not before I insisted we take a picture to commemorate Mommy’s bravery for hauling the two littles by herself to the Seattle Center, to a vegetarian festival, no less.
So would I go again? Probably, yes, but I wouldn’t bring the kids and I’d try to get an earlier start. Oh, and I’d bring my husband and make him drive. That drive to the I-5 entrance from the parking garage was torturous.
Incidentally, Terry was curious if the VegFest would basically be a bunch of hippies with dreadlocks banging on drums. I assured him that no, that’s the FolkLife Festival, which doesn’t happen until May. (I’m thinking I should just go ahead and mark my calendar for that now as vigorous drum beating would no doubt fall under Piper’s definition of a “fun day.”)
I’d love to hear from you. Did you go to VegFest this weekend? What other fun food festivals do you look forward to attending? Ever find some great coupons or samples at food festivals?