2013 Annual Amazon Picnic

19 Aug

A couple of weekends ago James and I went to the annual Amazon picnic. It was held at Century Link Field, which is a big stadium like the MCG. Last year (which we didn’t go to for some reason I can’t remember now) it was held at some farm in woop woop and there were huge traffic jams, but obviously a stadium is used to handling much larger crowds so this year it went really smoothly.

As we walked through the gate (which if you squint you can see reads “Welcome Amazonians”) we were given a handout that included a token we could exchange for a commemorative t-shirt and also two (beer/wine) drink tokens. It wasn’t difficult getting more drinks though – we had 3-4 people come and offer us their extra tokens throughout the day. =)

I forgot to get a pic of the t-shirt on the day so here is a really shitty photo I took today. It’s all crumpled from being in my dresser for 2 weeks, sorry!

That is the back of the shirt. The front has a picture of a broom and “Normal”, which is the start of the sentence. The little dude on it is the Amazon mascot – more on him later.

They had all these guys walking around with popcorn and bags of fairy floss, and lots of food stands around the stadium were open so you could get nachos, hot dogs, mac & cheese, soft drinks, potato chips, burgers and even parmesan & truffle fries.

And everything was free!

Yeah I know, how super cheap am I? (Answer: not as cheap as the family I saw at the end of the day that had a giant bag FULL of popcorn and fairy floss).

I limited myself to a single bag (and most of James’, but he’s never been that big on fairy floss so I was surprised he even took some).

There were a whole bunch of rides and games but they were mainly aimed at kids – stuff like bouncy houses, football/basketball tosses, etc. You could also get henna tattoos done or have your face painted.

This ride was just getting set up:

Someone told me that last year the organisers got some feedback that there wasn’t enough for little girls so this year they had a Barbie house where they were giving away these really elaborate showbags which included a free Barbie! Look how long the line was!

The red thing was some sort of rope obstacle course and there were two climbing towers set up. James had heard there would be a climbing wall, so he’d brought his climbing shoes in anticipation but the wall was really easy. Plus it wasn’t worth lining up for 10 minutes in order to do a 30 second climb.

We grabbed some food and took a seat in the stadium. Behold my hot dog! As Greg said, free hot dog is always delicious hot dog.

Check out how close we were to the field!

And here is one of the broomball games (I think the semi-final). Broomball is some Amazon game where they use taped-up brooms to hit a fitball around.

Mike keeps trying to get James to play but James is afraid he’d hurt someone because he’s an unfortunate combination of strong and uncoordinated.

We got to wander on the field which was nice. It’s all astroturf, not real grass like the MCG.

After the first couple of broomball games we wandered back inside to get more food and play a couple of games. James tried his hand at the football toss and, as you can see, missed.

I got mine in first try. /smug

It was an ugly throw though – my ball was spiraling horizontally, which I’m pretty sure is not what it’s supposed to do, but the important thing is that it was the first time I’d thrown a football and it went straight in. =D

After that brush with athleticism we wandered up to the top level, where a friend told us there was more food and fewer people. Not that there were long lines downstairs – you didn’t have to deal with money so you went straight up, ordered whatever you wanted, then took it to eat in private like a squirrel. The only thing downstairs that had a substantial line (maybe a 5-10 minute wait?) was Ivar’s but as you can see, upstairs there was no wait:

There was also different activities, including caricatures! They had 6 artists spread out but I joined the line for the guy whose style I liked the best. We had to wait 15 minutes or so (which was comparatively short – the line was much longer later in the day) but unlike the rock-climbing line I thought it was worth it to get a souvenir of the day.

You can’t really tell from the photo but the artist included a couple of small details, like James’ eyebrow ring and the dimple in my left cheek. =)

Oh yeah, and while we were waiting in line we chatted with the lady behind us who was also Australian. We mainly talked about how much we’re enjoying the US, and it turned out that she recognised me from the blog! James was less surprised than I was – he said whenever they get new Aussie recruits he directs them to my blog but they’ve always already read it. Ha!

After our modelling session it was time for another lot of free food! Here is my Beecher’s mac & cheese (it was soooo good):

There were lots of different activities upstairs. You could race little toy cars around a racetrack, play giant chess, and you also had your pick of pinball and arcade games. Here is me absconding with some knights while the guy behind me plays giant chess:

We met up with a bunch of friends and sat in the top seats to watch the broomball final (and eat some more).

image stolen from John

It’s hard to beat our seats from earlier, but pretty much wherever we sat had a great view of what was going on.

After the final they set up photo sessions with the Seahawks cheerleaders and they also let people try to kick field goals from the 5 yard line.

I can’t remember what they had on the other half of the field – I think activities like football throws, potato sack races and concerts for the kids. We tried to get in on the potato sack action later but they were clearly not sized for adults:

And the Seahawks mascot!

Afterwards we spent some time taking goofy photos on the field. I was very excited since I’ll probably never be that close again (unless Amazon have another picnic there!)

Greg and Harin went on a tour of the stadium (they got to see the commentator boxes and the locker rooms!) which sounded really cool. Probably a better use of time than taking goofy photos.

We did end up getting some more swag though. Amazon had extra giveaways for kids – last picnic they were kites and disappeared quite quickly. This year there were two discs that you strapped onto your hand and when you threw that ball thingy it stuck to the discs. So basically easy-mode throwing and catching for people who are too uncoordinated to throw a football through a hole their first try.

Technically they weren’t supposed to give them to adults but it was towards the end of the day so when I asked the guy just gave me one. John was next to me, but his person initially refused. At least I assume they refused because when John saw me get one he looked outraged and gestured wildly in my direction.

I think after that we probably got more food and drinks and wandered out to the starting area. By this time they’d run out of the bagged fairy floss but still had it available on sticks. Chi Kai’s brother had gotten word of a design-your-own-frisbee stall so we headed back to the starting section.

The whole area had a bunch of sciency exhibits for kids, as well as souvenir stuff like the frisbees, sand art and slimes.

That photo was taken at the start of the day when there were no lines for the frisbees. A couple of hours later, this was the first half of the line:

Here is James making his frisbee – it was spinning rapidly inside the cage and he had to squirt different colours of paint on:

And our finished works of art!

image stolen from Harin

While we sat down and waited for our frisbees to dry James mimicked the flapping tube man. Nailed it!

Oh yeah, I mentioned earlier, at the picnic I learned that Amazon has a mascot! Nobody knows about him because he only appears internally but apparently he’s everywhere. James said his name is Peculiarpus. Steve said that every picnic tshirt he’s gotten has had Peculiarpus on it, and there were large drawings of him around the stadium enjoying various picnic activities:

Pretty cute!

So that was our day of fun at the annual Amazon Picnic. It was awesome hanging out with friends, getting to see the stadium up close and totally gorging myself. =D The next company-wide event is the post-Christmas party in January (which we also missed last year due to being sick) and I’m super looking forward to that!

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2 Responses to “2013 Annual Amazon Picnic”

  1. Kristen July 15, 2017 at 10:36 am #

    My husband and I are going for the first time tomorrow! This was great to read and get an idea of what it’ll be like. Thanks!

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