Saturday, August 13, 2011

state fair

So remember how Neil's job is working with electric vehicle racing, and how a couple of years ago we had to go to Pole Day for the Indy 500 (I know, poor us, right? We would have gone this year but I was kind of busy having a baby).

The kids all climbed up into the electric go-kart (not available to the general public, so I made them get back out when I saw all the other little kids looking at it longingly). 

So this year the university had a booth at the state fair about the electric vehicle Grand Prix.  Neil spent part of the day down there on Friday, and then the kiddos and I drove down to join him (full disclosure:  I was extremely stressed/nervous about the hour drive and getting all the kids to the fairground by myself, but it went well--although I had to remind myself to do yoga breathing about every two miles from my own made-up fears while the kids quietly ate apples and listened to Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery). 

We spent about five hours at the fair.  I'll just give you the highlights.  :-) (Major highlight being that we all got in free, thanks to Neil's boss and some nice people who gave me their complimentary 4-H tickets in the parking lot.)

Abigail, as influenced by Charlotte's Web, wanted to a) see pigs and b) ride the Ferris Wheel.  Juliet wanted to eat ice cream and have a balloon.

We walked through the cattle barn, the saddle horse barn, the sheep, and finally found the swine barn, which was populated for the week by about a million very loud goats.  Tragedy! 

Abigail was very upset by this (almost as much as Isaac, who was completely terrified by all the very large animals, probably because we started out with the cows, who were tied up to railings and not in pens.  Several thousand pounds of cow right next to Isaac = death grip on Daddy for the rest of the night).  He did finally reach out to pet one goat, screaming "NO NO NO" at the top of his lungs.  I'm not really sure what that was all about.  In case you can't tell, that open mouth in the picture below is not a smile.

As we were walking towards the lone pig at the fair, as directed on the map, a guy gave us free balloons and a woman gave us free ice cream.  Juliet was blissfully content and everyone else suddenly seemed to be in a better mood (plus we found the pig and Abigail was content, even though we did not get to examine 1000 pigs to see which looked the most like Wilbur, which was probably not a bad thing).

 Then we saw the elephants and the hot air balloons and it suddenly became the Best Day of Their Lives.

Our obligatory "we live in a Corn-Growing State" photo...there were seriously cornstalks growing all over the fairgrounds.  Awesome.  (Also, I think/hope I am more slender than I look in this photo.)

At the very end of the night, we made it over to the midway, which was crazy and loud and awesome and waaaaay overpriced.  Fortunately we had the $11.25 that it cost for the girls and I to ride the Ferris wheel together, and the glee and delight and sheer joy in their eyes was worth every penny.  Such a fun day!  I have fond memories of going to the county fair when I was little (I remember bringing peanut butter cookies and blueberry muffins for the 4-H judging) and it was so much fun to revisit some of that with my little family.  I love walking down the midway at night and seeing all the sparkly lights and smelling the elephant ears and just reveling in the craziness of the fair.  I definitely wouldn't want to stay there forever (what's with all the people selling hot tubs?) but it's so fun once a year.

PS...Neil and I went running for our date tonight and it was HOT HOT HOT while we ran our six
miles.  I was feeling all grumpy about the heat and then we went home to cook dinner (actually Neil cooked it while I fed Luke, but it was delish--steaks topped with baby portabello mushrooms, grilled asparagus, blueberries, and steak frites)...and then while we were eating the mother of all rainstorms came and pounded our garden with hail for a good ten minutes and rain for twice that.  Eeek!  I remembered this run (the one where we got totally pounded with rain and a goose pooped on Neil) and suddenly the heat didn't seem so bad.  Plus dinner was awesome.  Rare steak is pretty much the only reason why I am not 100% vegetarian (actually I had a pulled pork sandwich last night at the fair and it was crazy good.  back to the black bean burgers tomorrow!)


Meghan said...

Sounds like the perfect Day at the Fair. I'm glad everything went so well. This is definitely one they'll remember (hopefully not the terrifying parts for Isaac).

Elise said...

this looks so fun!! i wish i was there!

Chad said...

Love that family picture where none of the kids are looking at the camera.

Kritta22 said...

You are brave to take 4 kids to the fair...I'm about ready to have a nervous bakdown with my two!!!

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