30 August 2014

State Fair: Day 9. In which there is no murder on the carousel

Today, Brent joins us at the Fair! Family day YAY!

We are slow getting out of the house, it is a rainy morning good for sleeping. And all my late nights/early mornings are definitely starting to take their toll. We have our coffee at home and the girls take their time getting ready. We pack rain gear and umbrellas to go with our scavenger hunts, snacks, and lovies.

State Fair 2014

We roll in the gate just before 11 and first thing we're hungry for is a big peach from the Produce Exchange! Yum.

State Fair 2014

Except for Brent. He starts the day off right with a walleye taco and beer from Lulu's. That's my man.

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Morning drinking. GOTTA LOVE THE FAIR

We head to the pinball arcade to get our traditional family photos. Turned out pretty nice this year! Maybe because we took them post-beer?

State Fair 2014

While we wait the 4 1/2 minutes for the photo to develop, we traditionally blow through several dollars playing skee ball. The girls win 18 tickets and bustle over to the prize counter to see what loot they can afford.

State Fair 2014

What they can afford is one tattoo to share or one tootsie roll. There is a lot of discussion while they press their faces up to the case.

AND. THEN.

A man walks over and hands them 300 tickets. And walks away.

FAIR. I SERIOUSLY LOVE YOU.

This is pretty much the greatest day of the girls lives. Here is what they each got: glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth, gummy pizza, tootsie pop, and a mini spongebob squarepants coffee cup.

It sure beats half a tattoo.

Bella and I jump on the Sky Glider! WHEE!!

State Fair 2014

She loves the Sky Glider.

State Fair 2014

So excited!

State Fair 2014

And look, we are deposited right at Cinnie-Smiths. How convenient because I'm hungry for some delicious wads of buttery goodness!

State Fair 2014

I impulsively try their frozen cappuccino. MMMMmmmmmMMMMM!

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I actually only got one cinnamon wad. And I'm still feeling hungry. Guess what's right next door?

OMG CRAB FRITTERS OMG OMG OMG

State Fair 2014

As we are moseying along savoring our crab fritters, I'm pretty sure I must be making effusive orgasmic crab-loving noises because a couple stops us and asks what we're eating. To which I reply "These are crab fritters and I DREAM ABOUT THEM ALL YEAR."

I swear that is true.

And now we meet up with the cousins! How cute are we?!

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And Uncle Dave!

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We watch the parade in front of O'Gara's while we eat pretzel curds and drink some beers. UH HUH this day is just getting more and more awesome.

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WACKY WHEELER!!!

State Fair 2014

We are distantly related to this band organ!

After the parade, we head to the Space Tower! I carefully deliver my trademark line--"OHMYGOSH WE'RE SO HIGH!!!" many times to the delighted squeals of my little niece and nephew. Aunt Red always delivers.

State Fair 2014

We stop back over to the arcade to have the kids take adorable photo booth photos. Dave has them so nothing for the blog. But they were cute. Trust me.

Then we pop into Creative Activities.

Uncle Dave needs a nap.

State Fair 2014

Quilts on a stick! The theme this year is "midway after midnight." Halloween + State Fair? YES PLEASE!

State Fair 2014

State Fair 2014

State Fair 2014

U of M adirondack chairs!

State Fair 2014

Girls fascinated by twig nipples.

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I loved this quilt. Love many, Trust few, Always Paddle Your Own Canoe.

State Fair 2014

We all watched this amazing paper marbling guy.

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And of course there's amazing swiss peeler guy!

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We head out to do some trampoline jumping quick before the dark clouds come any closer.

Look, so sweet!

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Ack even sweeter!!!

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She got some colored hair from the KDWB booth.

Then we do not make it to a bounce on the trampolines before the clouds open up and it is pouring. Dave and fam run for the Grandstand but we are done for the day and have a wet walk back to the van.

I change into dry clothes and screech back out of the driveway. BACK TO THE FAIR!

It's ladies night! HOLLA!!

State Fair 2014

Krista and I split a pizza from Blue Moon. The other ladies get Turkey to Go's.

While we're waiting for our pizza to come out of the wood-fired oven I am saying to Krista how I think Blue Moon and Turkey to Go should get together and make a TURKEY TO GO PIZZA. The pizza guy at Blue Moon turns around slowly, looks me in the eye, and taps his nose.  OMG OMG OMG. I think I just invented their new Fair food for next year.

The ladies like their sandwiches. YUM.

State Fair 2014

State Fair 2014

We slowly mosey up to get Zeppoles from Spaghetti Eddie's. Except they're all out! So we get deep-fried buckeyes instead. These are also some genius YUM.

State Fair 2014

We walk through Creative Activities to see the knitting and weaving. We pilgrimage to Fine Arts so I can show them the giant vagina.

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We go for a nighttime ride up the Space Tower. I have never ridden at night before! OHMYGOSH WE'RE SO HIGH!!

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We eat some Fresh French Fries and watch the fireworks. The rain has held off for the most part and the night has turned out pretty nice.

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As we're heading toward the West End exit we see the Carousel is down and there is caution tape everywhere and heavy machinery and tons of guys and my imagination is running wild... MURDER ON THE CAROUSEL but then it turns out that it is just a cracked center pole.

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SEE YOU AT THE FAIR

State Fair: Day 8. Fair Remote Office

How much do I love this picture?

State Fair 2014

Mike is my IT peer coach and one of my favoritest people at work. And we have matching STATE FAIR SHIRTS and we are heading for the FAIR. So. Awesome!!!

First things first. We get some coffee from the relocated Java Jive. Did you know they don't brew any drip coffee? Only Americanos thank you very much. This ain't no Kwik Trip.

Then I discover that Mike and my 70-year old mother have something in common: they both love local news coverage! We visit a couple TV booths and are in the audience at KARE 11! Wave to mom!!!

We get a Minnieapple Pie with cinnamon ice cream. We hork it down in seconds while watching the butter carving.

State Fair 2014

Then it is time for our 10 am work meeting. AT THE BALL PARK CAFE. I kid you not! If you aren't envious of my suh-weet job by now, I'm not sure you are actually alive.

We are joined by Matt and Karen, and eventually Christopher and let me tell you, Ball Park standing table with garlic fries and beer is THE WAY to come to consensus. Or at least to not care if you don't.

Then we bid adieu to Matt, Mike, and Christopher, who apparently have meetings today that they couldn't relocate to the Fair. THEIR LOSS! Next time plan ahead boys!

Because here comes the parade!

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I LOVE YOU FAIRCHILD!!!!

State Fair 2014

WHACKY WHEELER!!!!

Then Karen and I are pleasantly surprised by the return of Mike. He has brought his laptop and plans to web conference into his remaining meeting. Now that's more like it!! We celebrate with burgers and Pronto Pups down by Coasters. It is raining, which is slightly killing our buzz.

During a break in the rain, we motor up to Giggles to try their new walleye mac'n'cheese. Which is AH-MAZING. Just look.

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There's like corn and peppers in there. And it's not just cheese, it's GOUDA. YUM.

Time for Mike's meeting! We hook him up with wifi in the 4-H cafeteria and put a Pronto Pup on his head.

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Afterwards it is still raining. Boo. I am wishing I had brought a rain coat or sweatshirt or something. I almost go to buy one at Fair Wear, but then you know where it is especially cozy when it's raining? O'Gara's!

State Fair 2014

Then it's time to meet Karen's daughter after her shift at Sweet Martha's, and for some reason Karen wants to meet her at the big pig. She texts her daughter, "Meet at pig balls."

Karen is my mom role model by the way.

BUT the pig barn is "closed for cleaning" (!!) and we are very disappointed. Luckily Karen at least has a picture of the pig balls on her phone. But it's not the same.

It is time to call it a day, everyone has places to be and I have a sitter at home with the girls (it is Brent's D&D night in our basement).

Wait, did I say CALL IT A DAY?  BEFORE FIREWORKS?! AH HA HA ha ha ha you didn't believe that, did you?

We walk back to campus, I give Mike a ride to his car, drive home, tuck the girls in, drive the babysitter home, tuck the girls in again, wait the briefest acceptable amount of time until they might possibly be asleep, and RACE BACK TO THE FAIR.

Oh Fair! I missed you!

Alison and Jed are there with a pack of friends. New Fair friends! How exciting! And look, they are coordinated and athletic.

State Fair 2014

State Fair 2014

The fireworks were great. We watched from the arcade.

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We play Pac Man Battle Royale until they close the arcade.

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Ahhhhh Fair. Another glorious day.

SEE YOU AT THE FAIR

28 August 2014

State Fair: Day 6. The Fair of the Dog

After last night, whoooheee, I am a little rough this morning. I get up early and drink about 60 ounces of orange juice. Ok that's a little better. Leveling out.

You know what else makes me feel better?

THE FAIR. I like to call it "The Fair of the Dog that Bit You" cure and it works every time.

My parents have slept over and are coming with us this morning! As we're drinking coffee and packing up, we find out that Bella is upset that she is NOT GOING TO DAYCARE. It is apparently pajama day. Which she waits for all summer. We work out a plan where she goes to daycare for an hour to soak in all the pajama-y goodness while we get our act together. We drink a pot of coffee, which I remember at the last minute to swap out the chocolate chip cookie dough flavored beans (delicious btw!) for regular, whew that was a close call on almost killing my dad, then we are finally ready and we are OFF by 9:15 am!!

Prior to this, I have studied how to deposit mom--whom I don't want to wear out right away with her new bionic knee--closest to the Fair. I decide the hot ticket is Gate 9, the Como Ave Loop Gate. And let me tell you, that was slick! I highly recommend that for your bionic family members. I park on campus and meet them at French Meadows, where they are already eating fresh scones slathered in jam and glaze.

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Then I actually need to run to a pre-scheduled work event at the 4-H building for a couple hours. Leaving my parents unattended with the fair princesses.... this ought to be interesting.

First stop, they text me a picture of their new airplane hats. They have gotten three of the highly coveted new hat at the Fair. NICELY DONE, NANA! That probably cost her some miles.

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Then time for a ride up the Space Tower!

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And a roundtrip on the Sky Ride?! Wow, Grandpa's doin' it up RIGHT.

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Nana excitedly texts me that they are IN THE POLICE CAR, a text that might alarm other mothers, but I of course knew exactly what she meant. EPIC!!

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I rejoin them around noon at the butter heads where they are eating ice cream. We decide to mosey over to the DNR building, which my dad loves.

Bella finds a kayak. That's my girl!

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We watch the fish pond. I have no attention span for this fish pond, but apparently I am a genetic mutation because all the rest of the fam is very entertained.

State Fair 2014

State Fair 2014

You know where we are all genetically consistent? OUR LOVE FOR TURKEY TO GO

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Have I mentioned this day is GLORIOUS Fair weather? Like set the thermostat at PERFECTION.

We decide to climb the fire tower! Bella climbs it twice, once with Grandpa and once with me. Go Bella go!

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Mimi was very scared but she made it to the top and was so proud! My brave little toaster!

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After a couple of tower climbs, we saunter over to the new West End, which I am very excited to show my dad, with the museum and the street car arch and all that. He went to the Fair like a hundred years ago so I figured he would appreciate it! I asked him if he remembered coming in under the street car arch, and he says he never came in the main gate, he always snuck in over a fence! Poor dad grew up poor!!

And look at us now, eating $10 blue cheese and corn fritters and LOVIN' EVERY MINUTE OF IT.

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Notice Mimi has collected a free chapstick so she is just enjoying eating that instead.

We try the new Jonny Pop popsicle special State Fair flavor, "Snelling Strawberry Rhubarb," and it is awesome! I hope that is a new permanent thing! After you eat it, the stick has written on it for me to walk rather than drive. Which I find pretty presumptuous and pompous. Who do you think you are, stick? YOU DON'T KNOW ME. But then I read on the back that the sticks always have an idea for "paying it forward." Oh. Okay then. Carry on.

State Fair 2014

Now it's time to get into parade position. Bella's noodle meter is running dangerously low so we stop at Italian Junction for a bowl of kids spaghetti. We watch the parade in front of Ball Park Cafe and it is lovely. I apparently took no pictures which is very unlike me!

My little Mimi is my rootbeer buddy. I get her a 1919 and she mainlines it through 3 straws.

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At this point, Bella is getting what we call FRAGILE. I don't know what's going on. She's fed, watered, rested, paraded. She is wanting daddy (at work) and is overall kind of weepy. Hmmm. I keep feeling her head. No fever. No fever. Then, FEVER! Darnit. I give her an Advil out of my purse, we call Brent at work so she can talk to him, then we lay her down on a bench in the Hort building and she naps for a while. Mama Fair hobo style. That's my girl.

We consider going home. But then after about 45 minutes the miracle of Advil occurs and she perks up.

When she is starting to feel better, she shows Nana the Fairoline topiary.

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We stop at O'Gara's so my parents can try the pretzel cheese curds. Mmmm!

Then we walk through Creative Activities. Here's some of my favorites.

Amazing quilt. I love the dark gray background.

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Monks belt weaving, the colors here are perfect.

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State Fair themed cake pops. We looked at these for like 15 minutes! Tons of detail!!

State Fair 2014

There's a butterhead, the new arch, a bucket of cookies, the haunted house, the giant slide, etc etc. And did you notice, they are all stuck into the Fair map corresponding to where they are located! Amazing. That red ribbon is a CRIME. Peppercam gives it a Purple!

Then we walk through the Annex, where my mom manages to get four wine slushie samples in the space of about 2 minutes. Dad and I find a big tabletop food tent, which I buy to address the fly problem with our Thursday picnics at work. I am excited. I LOVE FAIR MERCH

The girls get moose antlers in the Education Building. I text Brent this picture as evidence that Bella is feeling much better.

State Fair 2014

Next we hit the Giant Slide--a tradition with Grandpa! Wheee!

Guess I didn't get any pics of that since I was ZOOMING DOWN THE SLIDE.

We cruise through the bottom of the Grandstand. My parents are constantly lost from each other and are getting very irritated.

Also this is what our stroller looks like.

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We decide to call it a day. Riiiiiight after a huge cup of Fresh French Fries. Then I walk my mom (who has lost my dad) back to Gate 9 and Bella and I hoof it back the other way to get the car, circle around, and pick them up.

What a great day at the Fair!

SEE YOU AT THE FAIR

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