OK, actually, I just realized that Ian and I went to the Bellevue Arts Fair shortly before Benji was born in 2012. But this is his first one ex-utero.

We drove to the South Kirkland Park and Ride and took a bus to downtown Bellevue. This saved us the misery of trying to drive there. Like any good mom, I had us take a selfie.

On the bus.

We had to walk a ways from the bus stop to the fair — not super far, but with legs as short as Benji’s, it was still plenty long. Plus, he had to circle around every tree, naming them as planets: “This Mercury.” (One loop around the tree.) “This Venus.” (One loop around the next tree.) Etc. This was predicated by the fact that the trees were growing out of round iron grilles set into the sidewalk that, honestly, did look a bit planetlike, especially all lined up in a row. OK; this is probably a case of “if you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail” — “If you like planets, every round thing resembles planets.”

Eventually we reached the Arts Fair, and after some detours to examine the aid car and police motorcycles stationed there, we started our quest for trucks. The entire time, Benji kept stating “Benji want truck.” He wasn’t yelling, screaming, crying, or being obnoxious (other than the obnoxiousness of repetition); just firm and convicted. We looked for trucks everywhere and found them in some odd places.

Um, there seems to be a truck in this goat statue.

After a brief diversion to play musical wooden boxes (apparently officially called tongue or slit drums; that site isn’t the people we saw at the fair), we persevered until we finally found the tiny Jake Toys booth. Jake himself was sitting patiently, doing not much. I didn’t get a picture of the booth, which was vehicle toy nirvana, but Benji finally selected a very cool truck he dubbed a “mobile crane ladder dump truck.”

After much searching, finally found a booth with all wooden toys.

Oh, this picture is taken in the lounge of the women’s bathroom at Bell Square, where Benji’s patience finally paid off and he got to actually play with his new truck for a while.

After that we did some other stuff, including spending some time watching the coolest marble maze Benji had ever seen. It was one of many such pieces a person could buy as a sculpture. Put it up instead of your TV, and you’d have endless entertainment.

Coolest marble maze Benji has ever seen.

I also got convinced to switch our Seattle Times subscription from Sunday only to 7 days a week; I like the Sunday paper, and it wasn’t a lot more to do all 7 days. But later I realized I probably wouldn’t actually have time to read even the sad, wasted-away version of the paper that remains, so now I have to cancel that. Plus, the free umbrella they gave us for switching turned out to be a complete dud — when I opened it, a zillion tiny pieces fell out, and it was clearly broken from the get-go. Classy.

After a brief visit to the police booth again, this time to have our banana-y snack, we realized it was raining. I started us on our way back to the bus stop, and Benji told me his ankle really, really hurt. I carried him, the dud umbrella, the wooden truck, and our bag of stuff for what felt like miles (perhaps 1/4 of a mile, if that). When we got to the stop, I realized it’d be 25 minutes until the next bus. For some reason, my mommy brain didn’t work, so instead of sinking down onto the bench and breathing a sigh of relief while waiting there, I decided to walk us to the Bellevue Transit Center to catch any number of other buses that would also work.

Mommy fail.

By the time we dragged our sorry selves there, my arms were about falling off, Benji and I were both exhausted, we were wet from the first and only rain we’ve seen in weeks, and we ended up catching the exact same bus we would’ve gotten if we’d just waited at the bus stop in the first place. Benji was just so happy to get to play with his truck, he didn’t care about anything else. I merely felt grateful to sit stationary for a while.

So, good learning experience there.

Overall, I think we did have a good time. We saw interesting art, experienced all sorts of things, and found a truck for Benji. The only things I wish I’d done differently would be to wait for the bus and not take the stupid Seattle Times subscription-and-umbrella.

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