Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Family Traditions: Going to the State Fair!

One of our family traditions is to walk around the California State Fair in 100 degree heat, maneuver between the crowds, eat the latest, crazy concoction (deep-fried Twinkies are not nearly as good as you might imagine), see the animals and, if we’re lucky, see a cow giving birth!

It isn’t for everyone.

People I have convinced to go with me under the guise of “it’s the best thing ever!” have dropped out from going, well, twice.

Mom decided “never again” after trailing behind me and four-year-old Rachel in 110 degree heat and nearly fainting.

Come on people! Keep up! It’s a dry heat!

“You can come back to get me on this bench when you’re done” she quietly uttered as she patted at the sweat pouring down her face and neck. It actually was probably more like “There is no way IN HELL I am moving from this bench and DO NOT even THINK about inviting me next year!”

Soo, I suppose this means next weekend is out too?

Yes, I would take Rachel to the fair a few times each year. Yep, you heard me, we went more than once each year. Hey, there’s a lot to do! Face-painting, feeding the baby animals, watching the bungee jumpers plunge to their near death, eat, ride a few kiddie rides and win a goldfish or two (which, by the way, only live about three days. Now that was traumatic.).

Rach loved it! I mean, sure, she was little and was my captive but she really loved it. (Right, hon?)

Christopher and a friend tagged along one year when everyone else was “busy” and they were teens who I somehow managed to pull away from their video games (it must have been the promise of a lot of food.) We stumbled across the live-birthing area and, as they say, timing is everything! We witnessed a calf being born which both fascinated Christopher and his friend and traumatized them.

Soo, Chris (and his friend) are out as repeat visitors.

One year I even convinced my best friend to go with me and to bring her nephew. Two of us had a good time anyway. Did I mention BFF isn’t really a crowd-loving, junk-food eating, people-person?  Bonus: I think Nephew went home with a goldfish! Which lasted a few days . . .  

Sooo, BFF is out.

One year we had my cousins and aunts and uncles visiting from my home state of Nebraska (GO HUSKERS!) and they wanted to do something fun. I casually mentioned the State Fair was open and they actually wanted to go! Oh my gosh! This was the best thing ever! I didn’t have to bribe them or anything!

I haven’t seen them since but I think that has more to do with everyone being busy and several hundred miles away than the State Fair. I’m pretty sure.

Now that we care for Robert, I have another captive to take to the State Fair! No, no; he actually wants to go! Really!

Richard comes along but I think he considers it more of a duty to his crazy wife than something to look forward to every year. Although I have seen him smile plenty and he always readily says yes to my suggestions of going. He even has his favorite places to visit!

I think it might be growing on him!  

Much to my delight, my original little captive even comes with us! We don’t do face-painting like we did when she was four but we do spend some time with the goats (one of her favorite animals) and visit the birthing center (darn! No births this year!). We visit the exhibit halls now and not just for the refreshing AC.

We always end with some State Fair ice cream that only tastes delicious if it is running down the cone making our hands a sticky mess. (Robert has to eat his in a cup because he himself might melt if his hands got sticky.)

I absolutely love family traditions. They might be messy and they may slightly change from year to year and sometimes they might even be skipped for a year or two but they still leave a warm spot in my heart with memories to cherish forever. 

Although that warm spot might be heatstroke from the 100 degree weather.

Either way, it is one of my favorite family traditions.

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