September 13, 2010

A Day at the Fair

As promised, here is a recap of our time at the Minnesota State Fair. It was a ton of fun! As a kid I have memories of going to the Fair and it was cool to get to share it with my kids. The Fair in Minnesota is unlike any other fair. It runs for two weeks and they get around 1.7 million guests in that time. It covers an area of 320 acres (According to Wikipedia… which means that stat is reliable), by filling it with food stands, rides, games and much, much more. Here are some highlights.

I’ve never heard my daughter say this, so it caught me off guard as we were pulling up to the fair and from the back of the van I hear her utter “I don’t believe my eyes”. Yes, Sydney, I didn’t believe my eyes the first time I went to the fair either.

Something that must be mentioned is that everyone who goes to the Fair gorges themselves with all sorts of unhealthy options. And I would venture to guess that most people will traditionally eat the same things. Well my mom is one of those people who religiously eat particular things at the fair. So she had quite the moral dilemma as we were making our way through the fair and to our right was the deep fried Snickers booth and to our left was the deep fried donuts stand. She posed the question “What do we do?” as if struggling over a life or death situation. For her, it was.

This is how bad the junk food consumption was for our family at the Fair. After 45 minutes of walking from stand to stand we got some ice cream. We offered some to Aubrey and she refused it… did you hear me? She refused it! What kid refuses ice cream? Never in my life did I think my kids would turn down the opportunity to eat ice cream. She was just too full of junk food to even want it.

After eating our weight in junk food, we did the most sensible thing, we made our way to the rides area. Nothing screams “BAD IDEA” more than filling up on junk food and then getting on a couple of rides to test fate.

If you know anything about the Minnesota State Fair, you know the iconic yellow and green super slide. It’s not much of a scare, but it’s a lot of fun. So my brother Aaron, Sydney, Aubrey and I all climbed to the top of the slide and had ourselves a little race. I’m proud to say that Sydney and I were a faster team then Aaron and Aubrey.

After this we walked through the kids ride area and one ride stood out. What it they did was strap kids in some bungee cords and then have them jump on a trampoline. Sydney wanted to give it a try. She got on it and absolutely loved it. Jumping up and down and being shoot into the air was a blast for her. The rest of us stood around the outside of the ride cheering her on and taking pictures.

Heather had been telling me that she wanted to go on one ride with me. She saw a massive ride in front of us and deemed it the one we would go on. I will do my best to describe it here. You sit next to a person in side by side seats. The seats rock back and forth as they are swung side to side. The ride continues to swing you until you go completely upside down and are suspended, I would guess, hundred or so feet above the earth. I agreed to go with her on it. She was nervous and scared as we stood in line, I, however, was calm. She asked me “Are you even scared?” and I replied “No”. Well that tough guy image for me faded really quickly as the ride started and I was reminded of that stomach in your throat feeling. “Can I get off this ride?” was a real thought that crossed my mind as it got going. In the end it was a boatload of excitement and fun. Heather kept her eyes closed the whole time (typical) and I giggled like a school girl (typical).

Well Heather and I got our ride done and we continued on to the kids ride area. We saw a ride that looked like a kid’s version of the scrambler, where they spin you around in circles over and over. We only had enough tickets for two of us, so we sent Sydney and Aubrey onto the ride. However, we didn’t want them to go by themselves so we ran to buy more tickets for one of us adults to get on the ride with them. I explained this to the guy running the ride and he assured me that they would wait for us to get an adult to go with them. I trusted him (Big mistake) and turned to walk away, as soon as I did, the gates closed and the ride started. WITH AUBREY AND SYDNEY ON THE RIDE BY THEMSELVES! I was nervous -to say the least- but Sydney and Aubrey weren’t. In fact, they loved it and had huge smiles every time they were whipped past us. Crisis averted.

Next we came to the kids Ferris Wheel. Riding the high of the last ride, we sent the girls by themselves to conquer it. (Side note) What I didn’t know at the time is that the girl’s Grandpa Ron was standing Aubrey on his foot every time he got her on the kid’s rides. This is because she’s too small to ride them (And needed a boost to hit the minimum ride requirements) and the people supervising the rides don’t pay enough attention. That was fine by us. Anyways, they loaded up on the Ferris Wheel and it took off, Aubrey had a look of terror, but soon it faded and was replaced with a smile.

The girls continued on to ride on the flying swings and some racecars, each time enjoying the ride as much as the last.

We finished the day by eating more (Are you surprised?) and walking through the animal barn area, seeing cows and horses (Sydney particularly loved this).

At one point in the crowded area we were in, I heard a commotion behind me and then spotted a sheep that had gotten lose and was running through the crowd. I thought the whole scene was fake at first, like they were putting on a show, but sure enough, close behind the sheep was a 13 year old boy in a cowboy hat looking very embarrassed as he chased it down. Minnesotans are friendly, so everyone in the crowd chipped in to catch this very frightened sheep.

In the end, it was a great time, we ate everything, including; cream cheese wontons, cheese curds (Personal favorite), yogurt and ice cream, hot dogs, deep fried doughnuts, deep fried 3 Musketeers, cotton candy, and pizza… Sorry if you’re hungry after reading that. Rode rides and made some fun memories. By the end of the day I, too, couldn’t believe my eyes.

Enjoy this day,


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