In the last few months, Big E have been making a concerted effort to spend more family time together with Future Marine. Every year, Future Marine and I go to the local-ish County Fair together because Big E is usually away or working. Saturday, Big E came with us, and for the first time EVER, the whole family went to the Fair together! (Our other 2 big Fall traditions are walking the Maize Maze and Apple Picking, stay tuned...)
Saturday was the final day of the fair, and we'd cleared our schedules to make sure we had time to ride/see/eat everything they had to offer.
Big E took us to brunch at our favorite restaurant (also a new family tradition, going out to brunch on the weekend. I love this!) where they serve some of the best Eggs Benedict and giant muffins. The really cool thing about the restaurant is that it's in this old historical house they converted to an eatery, and all the walls are covered in framed works by local artists, all for sale.
After breakfast, we hit this adorable little antique shop and Future Marine found an old LIFE magazine from 1967, which sparked a great (and very informative for me) conversation during the hour drive to the fair. Big E and Future Marine are huge history buffs, both are fascinated by WWII. However this time, we discussed and learned all sorts of things about Nixon the Kennedy Administration, Viet Nam, and The Bay of Pigs. Also, we briefly touched on the Cuban Missile Crisis. I love that we don't just all get on our cell phones or watch DVDs on a road trip, and when the boys talk history, it actually comes alive for me. I just can't make it "click" in books for some reason. (Math is the same way.)
So we finally arrive at the fairgrounds and I could almost hear a choir of Angels singing, it was THAT AWESOME! The sights, the sounds, the smells!
We started off at the livestock area, because we'd only been digesting brunch for an hour or so. And I know from experience you need like 2-3 hours after a meal before you get on the scary rides, or it gets messy.
They had a petting zoo with baby goats, a camel, a cow that you could milk (Future Marine just wanted to "hug a cow" so they let him. It was adorable!), and a any water buffalo calf that had just been weaned. I got to pet the water buffalo and scratch his chin, which he LOVED, and then he gave me his wet nose leather to rub, and all I wanted to do was plant a big ol' kiss on that adorable nose!
Also the fattest pig we'd ever seen. And another one with the cutest little baby piglets!
At the end of the Ag Tent were the entries in the poultry contest. These were our three favorites. The black and white chicken reminded Big E of a stained glass mosaic. The middle one apparently won some kind of prize, and the one of the right was my favorite, because it looked like something Marilyn Monroe would have worn, and that thought just made me giggle for some reason.
Then we left the Ag Tent and walked past this old-timey display. Covered wagons, and actual blacksmithing. It was really neat -- once again, History Comes Alive! The Blacksmiths took the time to answer lots of questions, but we were getting hungry and couldn't stop drooling over their dinner, a huge turkey roasting over seasoned firewood. Gorgeous bird! (I started having naughty thoughts about turning the Ag Tent winning turkeys into dinner...is that wrong?)
Anyway, RIDE TIME!!!
(Bumper cars were SO much fun! See my sweet ride on the left? Oh, and that's the car I drove on the right! lol)
Okay, and at long last, my nemesis, THE ZIPPER. This ride is the only one I want to go on every year and no one will go on it with me. Every Year...no Zipper. This year, Future Marine manned up and decided to go with me. Big E (wisely) abstained. Here we are before the ride, all excited, getting on, anticipating the stomach-fliping cartwheels and adrenaline-pumping speeds. Big E is safely planted on Terra Firma, wondering exactly when was the precise moment his wife and son lost their fool minds...
Annnnnnnd...after. Okay, I never want to do that ride again. Ever. Please remind me of that next year when I beg and plead to go on the Zipper, k? Thanks.
Well, stomach finally settled, it was time to taste what the Fair had to offer. Here's a random sampling, and the BEST fried okra I have ever tasted! Also, a) what on earth is a Snow Cream? an b) I've SEEN the guy making these things at the booth. I'd rather lick the bottom of my dog's foot than "put some south in my mouth." Ugh!