28 August 2011

State Fair: Days 1 & 2

Opening Morning: 6:15 am

I have done a lot at the State Fair. I have been almost every day for the past 12 years. But one of the things that is so great about the Fair is that there is always, most definitely, something you've never done. And one of those things for me was to open the Fair. So (with some encouragement from fellow Fair addicts) I got up at 5 a.m. on Thursday to be there when the gates opened.

Hamline Dining Hall

It turns out 5 a.m. wasn't early enough, I should have done 4:30 (oh LORD), but I was there by 6:10 a.m. anyway and I am officially calling it close enough so that I never have to do it again.

Final Adjustments

It actually was very pleasant to walk around and watch the Fair coming to life as the sun was rising.

French Fry Booth

Good morning, little buns! How long have you been awake? It's Fair day! Are you as excited as I am?



Looking up in the Bunny/Poultry Barn, it caught my eye how beautiful the sun looked on the wood ceiling. See, there's a reason I call this the Chapel of the Fair.

Poultry Barn

We pilgrimaged over to the Fine Arts building to find Alison's photograph. Here it is, SQUEEEEE!!

Alison's photo in Fine Arts

I bought this flag half off at the FairWear store. Immediately hung it up. Improved house value by 10%.

New Flag

Stopped in Creative Activities to do a quick lookie. I got distracted from all the actual knits by this cake-like thing of astoundingness.

Knitting Cake

We went through Crop Art just briefly. The next picture's going to seem a little weird, if you're from around here, and insanely confusing if you're not.

Crop Art

Crop Art Shoes! High marks for fashion! Or at least, attempts at satirical fashion? I have no idea.

Getting up so early made it quite a bit more challenging to keep up with the girls that afternoon.

Sky Ride



Sunrise and sunset at the Fair.

Sunset from Space Tower

Sunset from Space Tower

Ice cream with the butterheads


I have to miss the weekend because of a family wedding in Wisconsin (boo), so I had a lot of ground to cover on Friday. I apparently didn't even have time to take pictures! But I did snap this one.

Tabbed Coupon Book!

A TABBED Coupon Book! I am going to do this immediately.

25 August 2011

State Fairol 2011

We strayed from our usual carol theme, but I think it turned out nice!

Me/Fairborne: Are you ready kids?
Kids: Aye-aye Fairborne!
Me: I can't hear you...
Kids: Aye-Aye Fairborne!!
Me: Oh! Who lives in the fairgrounds in the city?
Kids: Fairborne Fairpants!
Me: Stripey and furry and friendly is he!
Kids: Fairborne FairPants!
Me: If good family fun be something you wish...
Kids: Fairborne FairPants!
Me: Then stroll in the gates and eat off a stick!
Kids: Fairborne FairPants!
Me: Ready?
EveryBody: Fairborne FairPants! Fairborne FairPants! Fairborne FairPants!
Me: Fairborne .... FairPants! !

2009 State Fairol
2010 State Fairol

24 August 2011

Confessions of a State Fair Addict

In honor of Fair Eve, I will let you watch my (after hours) work presentation on "Confessions of a State Fair Addict" from last fall. The slides auto advanced every 15 seconds, so that explains a little of my craziness (but of course not all).

21 August 2011

At Home: State Fair

Time for a little seasonal decorating. It IS the most wonderful time of the year, after all!

State Fair Decorating

Here's my Adam Turman State Fair print (Hi Adam! I know you google yourself!)--one of my most prized possessions--a vintage fair postcard and the girls' Fairborne softies.

State Fair Coaster

State Fair map coasters.

State Fair Decorating

The buffet. One more spin-a-paint in our collection and I can redo the square frames above it. The big basket is for drop off of fair materials upon arrival home. Right now it is just holding my tickets.

Ready for opening day!

State Fair Decorating

State Fair Decorating

State Fair Decorating

8 years of photo booth photos.

State Fair Decorating

Memory box, with silkscreened Fairborne and some paper cranes my friend Jed made out of ticket stubs.

State Fair Decorating

I started to write a new Fairol for this year, "Here we go a'Fairoling," but Bella insisted it needs to be "Statey Fair Rock." She has most of the words worked out already.



09 August 2011

Family Tradition: Cup and Cone

I knew I was old the day I would rather go to a coffee shop than an outdoor ice cream stand. Lucky for me, I have these two little ballerinas to keep me young.

03 August 2011

Local Adventure: Train Museum

Model Train Museum

I've been wanting to go to the Model Train Museum with the girls forever. Who doesn't love little trains? on little tracks? with little models of local landmarks? Like the Grandview, on my old street. I'm very sentimental about this moldy old theater.


The girls were not so impressed with my sentimental waxings on about Grandview, and preferred to watch for Thomas to choo choo by. "THOMAS!!" they scream, each time. "TAKE A PICTURE!"


We rounded one corner and all scream. "Lightning MCQUEEN!"

Lightning McQueen!

We are clearly a huge disturbance to other families quietly enjoying the train museum. However, the staff mistake this for enthusiasm and we are treated to a lovely behind the scenes tour. The girls get to run the trains, and Brent and I get to learn all about model train building and the real trains each of them are based on. I had no idea about any of this and I have to admit, I did get caught up in all of it. BECAUSE I TOTALLY NEED ANOTHER HOBBY.

We went on a Saturday to take advantage the Toy Train Annex during its more limited hours. A definite must see, this part of the museum has a ton of interactive things, buttons and levers.

Trains to drive--fast or slow, and a button for whistling!

Engineer Emily

A model drive-in! Our favorite!

Look what's playing at the drive in!

I know what you're thinking, a whole post about a train museum?! It was more than that. A family day doing something so quintessentially family. And loving every minute of it. You've gotta slow down these summer days sometimes and soak it in.