Camping Weekend on the Farm!
Ahhh - the Agua Linda Farm end-of-summer celebration! Our annual gathering of friends and family on Labor Day weekend could be described as, well... perfect! Camping under the canopy of trees on green grass with spectacular views of horse pastures and mountains, great music, swimming, barbecuing, s'more roasting, lawn games, guitar strumming around a campfire, movie night on a giant outdoor screen, pony rides and a late night dance party in a western cantina. Yeah. Perfect!
Each year at Agua Linda Farm, we selfishly reserve Labor Day Weekend for our own event - the anniversary of the opening of "Loew Tide".
25 years ago, Stewart and I along with his parents, Arthur and Regina, converted an old storage room on the farm into a gitchy, western cantina that we named “Loew Tide”.
This annual event has become the excuse for a grand weekend-long celebration!
The festivities begin Friday with early birds rolling into “Camp Agua Linda” with their vintage travel trailers, pop-up campers and tents. Each resident sets their spot just right for their needs - “glampers” may have a chaise lounge and a mini bar set up, for example, while another camper may have a rug spread in front with games for the kids. A fire-pit becomes the evening gathering spot for s’more roasting and guitar strumming and a community barbeque is set up with a camp kitchen equipped with a coffee station for the mornings, a water dispenser and, of course, mosquito repellent and sunblock!
My 1966 Shasta was reclaimed from rodents and restored to her current beauty!
Friday night is always mellow - each year there is a “camp-crawl” - each early-bird camper offered a signature cocktail at their spot and campers made the rounds, visiting with a glass to refill as the sun set. A huge movie screen and projector is always on hand and one year, Friday night featured the showing of a film produced by Stewart's father, Arthur Loew, who purchased the farm in the 50’s that was filmed at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds.
My sister, Erika was the first to renovate a vintage trailer - then I got one as did our older sister - now a few friends have joined the club!
More campers and guests (and their dogs!) arrive Saturday for fun poolside with cannon balls and kids galore! This year’s lunch was grilled burgers and hot dogs with roasted corn on the cob - served Mexican style with all the fixings, YUM! At some point, a pony or two is caught and kids take turns riding and and grooming the always agreeable, Beauty. Lawn games like horse shoes and corn hole entertain some adults, (competition can be fierce) but most just sit around in front of one camp spot or another and laugh and joke with a cold brew in hand! If temperatures get a little too hot - a quick dip in the pool is the solution!
Each year I design a logo for the event and make my own silk screen a few weeks ahead of time. Campers bring black t-shirts and line up Saturday morning to screen their shirt to wear that weekend and to have as a keepsake for the event.
One of the highlights is the Fool In The Pool competition.
An inflatable bull is used and contestants are encouraged to wear costumes and get scored not only for the "ride" but for style and execution!
Late Saturday afternoon, campers retreat to their abodes for rest and to get refreshed for the main event of the weekend - the “Loew Tide” cantina party (named, of course, after the Loew family). Kids enjoy a few s’mores and either cuddle up in their tents or watch another movie in the backyard while the western bar opens with professional quality sound (courtesy, of course, of my husband, Stewart, who does the music for all of our events!). This year, Stewart arranged for guests to sing karaoke, if they dared, and I mixed up a delicious batch of margaritas! Loew Tide disco lights are turned on and the bar pulses into the wee hours with dancing and good times! No one needs to worry about a designated driver - their sleeping bag is a short walk away. A late night swim, jacuzzi dip and some sing-alongs by the campfire gently close the night.
"Chicken S**t Bingo - winner takes all!"
My mom dancing in Loew Tide
Sunday morning, while everyone sits around and reflects on the previous night's escapades, a Bloody Mary Bar is waiting and at 10AM, "Henrietta", one of our farm chickens is released onto a grid marked with numbers for "Chicken S**t Bingo!" All weekend long, campers have put money on a square and whichever square Henrietta poops on, is the winner!
Leave the husks on and set the corn on the cob right on the grill - that’s right - husks on - right on grill. We have pre-soaked corn in salt water in the past, but having done this many times, we have learned to skip that step. It only takes about ten minutes.
Have a trash can on hand for eaters to clean their corn - traditionalists should have real butter and salt to garnish, but below is a list of other toppings that make this summer treat extra yummy!
cayenne pepper or Tajin seasoning
parmesan cheese in a shaker
A pureed hot sauce - there are many brands - like a tabasco variety
Margaritas for a Crowd
2 cans of frozen limeade
kosher or margarita salt
Use the limeade container for measuring. Start by following the directions to mix the 2 batches of limeade concentrate with water. Add two limeade container size portions of tequila.. Add 3/4 of the container with triple sec. Garnish rim with salt, pour and top off with a slice of fresh lime.