Tuesday, July 31, 2012

State Fair – Why Do I Love it Again?

I think we established how much I love the State Fair last year.  There’s really no explaining it other than my love of baby animals, ice cream, high-priced deep-fried food, bungee jumping (clarification: watching bungee jumping), magical mops, gigantic trucks, milking goats, outdoor stage shows, crowds, electronic foot massagers, blue ribbons and Ginsu Knives. 

Well, I love a few of those things anyway.

Re-enactment of Robert's Sister at the Fair

And there’s absolutely no explanation for why I decide to go to the Fair when it’s at least 100 degrees outside. 

I really love the State Fair; I just don’t know why.

This year, Hubby and I took Robert to the Fair one Saturday evening.  It was after a week of running around for Hubby and his back was killing him but he was sweet enough to go with us.  I promised to push Robert in the wheelchair and not stay too long. 

Robert was excited (as excited as he lets on, anyway) and after packing a ‘just in case of an emergency” bag and loading the wheelchair in the car, we were off. 

Once we got to the Fair and parked, Robert sat in the wheelchair and we made our way to the admission line. 

Oh wait.  It’s the “we have to search your bag and run you through a metal detector line.”

They search my purse and Robert’s emergency bag (looking past gloves, protective briefs, a change of clothes, a bottle of 7-Up, medication and several napkins). 

I warn them about the fingernail clippers Robert keeps in the left pocket of his shorts.  They waive us on through without wanding us. 

The ticket booth had a large sign which stated “admission: $5.”  Wow.  That’s cheap this year.  I thought maybe because we were coming late in the day, the price was reduced.

“That’ll be $12.”  I’m confused.  I thought it was $5 per person?  There are three of us.  (I was trying to be helpful).

“That’ll be $24.”  Um.  Still confused.  Feeling less helpful.

“You get in free for being the attendant to the disabled person.  It’s $12 each for the other two.” 

My brain was simultaneously processing “happy” for one of us getting in free and “confused” because the sign said admission was $5 but I ended up just giving her the $24.  No sense holding up the line any longer. 

Plus, I’m not even in the gate and I’m dripping (see re-enactment above).

We decide to walk by the carnival rides and games and then make our way back toward the food.  We told Robert we’d eat dinner at the fair and he was looking forward to a cheeseburger. 

The fairgrounds are not level so I was getting a workout pushing the wheelchair (and avoiding the cables running from rides to some source of electricity).  I had promised Hubby I would push Robert because his back was sore enough and I wasn’t going back on my word.

Somewhere around hill #153, Hubby takes the reins of the wheelchair to give me a break.

“It would be easier if the brakes weren’t on.”


We make our way to a food area since we’re starting to get hungry (I inadvertently really worked up an appetite).

It is absolutely packed so no tables have any space open.  I leave Robert and Hubby on a bench with instructions to scout out a table and I go off to get Robert a cheeseburger, fries and much needed water.

Robert is starting to sweat as much as I am (overactive sweat genes must run in our family).

I weave my way through the crowd and place my order, trying to avoid eye contact or people staring at my drenched appearance.  I don’t usually look like this, people! Haven’t you ever been hot??

(See re-enactment for a reminder).

By the time I return, I’ve lost Hubby and Robert but find a table and sit down.   No wonder it’s empty – we are the only table not in the shade.   That’s okay; it’s a table and I’m not moving.  Hubby and Robert quickly find me (just follow the scent of sweat and cheeseburger, boys).

Hubby immediately offers to go get our food while I sit fanning myself and Robert.  I’m pretty sure he’s embarrassed to be seen with me.  Eventually, we realize we have a great view of the bungee jumpers so spend time eating and watching the daredevils ride the basket up, jump out and then bob up and down on what looks to me to be a very flimsy rope.

Robert was quite delighted with the entertainment. 

Once his cheeseburger was gone and we had finished our veggies and rice, Robert asked about his Rocky Road ice cream.  Sheesh, some habits die hard.

I promised him some ice cream once we got home.

We roamed around a bit more although this time we found activities to amuse us inside an air conditioned building.  We watched children create enormous bubbles, tried to guess the smell inside of a bottle and watched people play with almost life-size chess pieces.

We eventually maneuvered our way out of the Fair and back to the air-conditioned car and off to home where Robert could finish the night with his Rocky Road ice cream.

I do love the fair – I still don’t know why but I really do love it!

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