Friday, September 19, 2008

A Fall Tradition

It's late September....and all of you locals know what that means - The Big E! My husband gets very excited for this event every year. We've both been going to this fair since we were kids. Before we had our own kids, we would walk for hours through the buildings trying to decide what gadget to buy - the Sham Wow, the Juicer, the Hand-hammered wok???? It's an annual fried food-eating and beer drinking feast. I've marveled at what Chris has been able to pack in his stomach over the years. I was ready and armed to snap pictures of all the food he ate this year so you all could see first hand. As it turns out, you don't eat as much food when you have four kids who want to ride on rides for 4 hours straight.

We got the kids out of school about an hour early. They were thrilled with this, of course. It was a perfect day to go weather-wise - clouds, sun and dry. And it wasn't crowded either. We had to go on a weekday to use our slightly discounted passes that Chris got early. The first building we hit was the Young Building, where you see all of the cows and goat and sheep. Right outside we saw the annual butter sculpture and I snapped a shot - hoping that maybe Pioneer Woman would find it someday. The guy was actually in there sculpting away. Cool, huh?

After that building we happened upon the mini-donuts. This is usually the first food purchase. Even the kids know that tradition. Chris was beyond thrilled when he discovered that they now offer a mini bucket of these donuts instead of the bags.

The mini-donut place is right near the rides area. This is basically where we spent the next almost four hours straight. Luckily, we ran into Deb as we were getting the kids' wristbands and we hung with them for the afternoon/evening. Our kids had lots of fun together. Here are some ride pictures.

We had a breakthrough this year with Luke. He had finally grown past the 42 in. limit and could go on a bunch of rides. Last year was hard having to tell him that he wasn't big enough to go on most of the rides. This year the Chica was about an inch and a half short of being able to go on most rides - even the kiddie rides. She could only go on the merry-g0-round, the little train and the slide with mom or dad. It was a bit of a challenge trying to keep her happy while the others went in different directions. Ben got a little queasy after going on "Crazy Mouse" six time straight. He was curled up in the double stroller for a while.

After rides we grabbed some grub and did make it through Farm-a-rama where we saw the traditional baby chicks, baby pigs, huge pumpkins and my personal favorite, the Clydesdale horses.

All in all a good time. Just much different from the years before kids. Chris barely ate anything compared to his usual performance. I think he grabbed a sausage sandwich at the end and picked on Jack's fried dough. He did manage a few beers along the way. We did pass this traveling "tack shop" (see below) early on and I had to listen to him whine about how "this was my life when I was young blah blah blah". That's been getting old over the years...

Oh, wait.... maybe he's telling the truth after all...

Look at his skinny little waist with the belt drawn tight.

And here is an amazing shot that Deb took of Chica when she decided to lay down on the pavement near the merry-go-round. Deb was playing with my camera and captured the shot of the night. Chica had to have been posing without knowing it. Thanks, Deb!

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