After her birthday party we completed the 2nd half of Lump/Ginger's 5th Birthday celebration - a trip to the State Fair!
We got lucky at the admission booth. Unbeknownst to us it was a family day, and I think the total cost of admissions for the six of us was $10 at most. Sweet.
Our first stop was the expo building, which is always the center of the fair for me. Within one aisle though, the kids spotted a rock climbing wall and insisted on giving it a shot. Lu tried it and climbed to the top. Ginger tried it and fearlessly climbed as high as she could (not far). Smiley refused to give it a shot until the girls had already done, and then hemmed and hawed and got all of five or six feet in the air before giving up.Yikes
Next up was the Nail Ritz booth, where Lisa worked each year. The kids all had designs painted on their nails, even Smiley (a macho skull and crossbones for him) and Lisa bought a kit for home.
We wandered through the expo building for a bit longer but the kids got on our nerves, wanting this and this and that until it was insufferable. Enough of that - outside we went.
We walked around for a minute or two, got some lemonade and just barely missed the pig races. The kids did partake of the Giant Slide and enjoyed the heck out of it.
Then we went and looked at some of the animal buildings, where they 'drove' a tractor and combine and played in a pit of grain before Lisa sat the kids down for a group photo for her key chain.
An unbend-able rule of parenthood: one kid will always - ALWAYS - do something goofy that ruins an otherwise great picture. This time around Smiley looked all askew, but the other three kids looked so great it was still worth the money. While we were waiting for the picture I bought a small box of legendary cream puffs knocking that off our annual checklist. Unfortunately the heat later made my cream puffs liquefy and drip all over my leg (eww), so I never got to enjoy them as I would have liked.
From there it was onto the midway, or whatever they called the area this year. Here we split up. I waited for Lu and YaYa, who decided to ride a couple of rides together, including Pharaoh's Fury. Smiley had insisted on going to the haunted house, so Lisa went with the two little one's.
When we reunited I got the whole scoop. As I had expected, Smiley chickened out and wouldn't even wait in line for the haunted house, much less go inside. Likewise, he refused to chance any ride that Lisa suggested. Eventually, fed up with waiting for her brother, Ginger simply went on a pair of rides by herself, drawing stares from scared nine year olds who would never brave it solo themselves.
Good for you, Ginger. Smiley . . . well, Smiley, this isn't your most glorious tale. :)
But the irony of it is that Smiley's refusal to ride led to the biggest individual score of the day. He used his share of ride tickets to play some carnival games and took home a royal blue squid hat!
After the last of the tickets were used up, and dusk was settling in, I bought the kids foot long corn dogs and we all had a seat on the grass where we watched a super high, super cool looking ride be serviced. (apparently, not only was it mechanically suspect but it had been installed far too close to buildings for comfort). We left this little oasis when some schumtz made a comment on how "kids shouldn't run in sandals" - refering to Ginger - and I felt my dander rise.
(one note: around this time we passed a camel ride. I wanted to ride, but the weight limit was set at 275. This inspired me and I hope to use this as a goal for next year)
With night now upon us we returned to the expo building. In due course I bought:
Lisa a gold anklet
the household a set of ShamWows
myself a calfskin wallet with built in coin purse (it's in my pocket as I type)
Lu a twig made into a pencil, a giant pickle, a green peace sign necklace and some stuff I can't remember
YaYa got her eybrows threaded and an owl ring
Ginger and Smiley both got stuffed animals, although Lisa and I both hated buying them because the vendor was a jerk who wouldn't negotiate the price.
There was a gold crucifix there that I really wanted but couldn't justify buying at the time. Here's a picture of it, just in case Santa is listening :)
So in summary: some exasperating moments with the kids, but all in all a fun way to round off Ginger's birthday, and with all the walking not a bad day of exercise either!