Microsoft Picnic

It's that time of year again -- time for company picnics. Ah, summer. A number of years back at Scholastic we started a tradition (well, I think we started it -- it could be that I just joined the pre-existing tradition). We went for the first half of the picnic, then headed over to Candlewood Lake where my former manager had her house and boat (good times, right Jules?). Despite whatever stories came out of that day, I never threw any interns in the water; it was completely voluntary.

This year's Microsoft picnic was fun -- it is held over 2 days out in North Bend -- about 45 minutes outside of Seattle. I was real curious as to the size, parking, and traffic issues because of the sheer volume of employees in Redmond. In fact, employees choose a day to go -- either Saturday or Sunday -- and the number of guests is limited.

I'll include a few pictures here. While it was a nice picnic, I have to say nothing, nothing beats the picnics IBM would throw at Rye Playland. Rye Playland was no 6-flags, but they'd rent the park out and everyone had free reign. It was awesome, but I believe those days are history and have been for some time (my dad or buddy Rick can answer to that, perhaps).

The weather in Seattle during the summer time is superb. In fact, it was hot during the picnic and the sun was baking everything. A huge number of inflatable rides for the kids greeted us when we entered the grounds.
Despite all the rides, Savannah was content digging in the sandbox. Well, might as well let her do what she likes -- she'll spend hours digging out back at home.

I want a Radio Flyer wagon this size! This was a neat way to distribute cool drinks around the park. Basically, they'd use a tractor to haul out these huge wagons filled with ice and soft drinks, and haul empty ones away. It didn't take long for these to get emptied, either.
Jen returns with some ice water as the sun was beating down on us in the kiddie area.
This inflatable was one of the biggest hits, for obvious reasons in weather like this. I wouldn't call it a "Kid Wash," though, since the mud really started to build up and after a lot of horseplay, kids were often much dirtier coming out than going in.

People gather to watch one of the many shows going on. They had a few different shows, with some acrobatics, magicians, music, etc., but with a kid on the run, we didn't stop to watch.

That does it for this year's picnic report. The photos here barely scratch the surface of the size of the event, since we stayed in the kids section. Next year: the beer garden and volleyball tourney.
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