At the Fair!

One of my very favorite days of the summer is the day we head to the Minnesota State Fair. My family has been going since I was really little. My mom even has a story that comes up every year of me throwing up on my shoes when I was a wee child. (Is that right, Mom?) The summer my little brother was born, my parents packed up the four of us and headed to the big ol’ Minnesota get-together, never mind the fact that Jake was only three weeks old. I never appreciated that story until I had my own little ones. Mom & Dad, I hope you had leashes! Yikes.

Mama Bex & I loaded up the Jeep with strollers and kids and drove the three hours to the fair. Now that there are four car seats and two big strollers, this is not an easy task, but we did it.

By the time we made it to the fair grounds, we were a little frazzled. Ella didn’t sleep a wink in the car. Instead, she sang and sang. Not quietly. We were ready for the outside fair air, but there wasn’t a parking spot to be found! Fortunately, our friend Eli’s parents live just half a mile from the fair grounds. They graciously let us park in their driveway for the day. Thank you, Mr & Mrs Horn!

playing at the Horn’s while the mama’s got everything ready

This was Sammy just about all day during his first trip to the fair. A cozy little bug.

Getting all hydrated to take on the festivities. Almost there…

We made it! The FAIR! After passing through the main gates, we searched for Nana & Papa Scott, Uncle Mike, and Great Grandma Scott. We were ready for adventure!

Ella & mascots. Doesn’t matter what they are, she’ll chase them down to say hello, even with this mama weaving in and out of a crowd of craziness to try to keep up with her. This State Fair gopher gave her some love. (I can’t even imagine how hot it was inside that costume. Bless you, Gopher. You made my child’s day and didn’t pass out doing it.)

What can I say? The girl’s got style! She wore her glasses like this ALL DAY, insisting that was the way it was done. We got some cute comments from people. Maybe she’ll be a trend setter.

I’m a huge fan of cheese curds, but check this out. Cheese curds and gravy over fries. Whoa. I didn’t try it, but my parents did earlier in the day and said they were actually good. Hmm. Is this a Canadian thing? Shauna? I’m just thinking it’s a good thing State Fair calories don’t count. *wink, wink*

The crazy cheese curds were right next to our booth of choice, a first stop destination every visit to the fair. All-you-can-drink milk for a buck. Yes, please. It was crazy hot the day we were there, so milk tasted amazing. I alternated between white & chocolate each cup since I can’t commit to one or the other.

While visiting the animal barns, we were stopped to allow these enormous wagons and teams of horses into the Colosseum. Ella was in awe. So was I! The horses were in teams of 6 or 8 and the drivers were looking sharp in pressed suits and cowboy hats. I had a sense of pride watching them. Maybe it’s my Western roots. Just kidding; I have no Western roots. It must just be all that country music I listened to growing up. And the fact that I grew up out in the country where we all had horses.

Ella wanted to be anywhere she could reach out and touch the animals.

Sam met a horse! I have a feeling he’ll be a little more interested next year.

After a crazy hot day of walking around in the sunshine, it was time to find a picnic table in the shade. That gave Sammy a chance to soak in some Great Grandma lovin’.

And because the picnic table was near one of the open band shells, Ella got in some dancing.

Papa & his Sammy. I think they’re going to be pretty good buddies.

Of course I had to get this photo. Look at Uncle Mike’s shirt! It’s a preview of Sammy’s Superheroes! It was also at this point that we freed Sammy from his onsie and let him bare it the rest of the day.

those cheeks are for kissin’
four generations at the fair
one of my fave fair treats: honey ice cream
he always smiles when he flies
we all shared a deep fried Twinkie. Ella was thrilled.

We were all sweaty, dirty, and a little on the crabby side, but Mama Bex & I decided to make one last stop on our way out of the fair. As we passed through the global market, I found this amazing little shop, Global Mamas. After reading about who they are and talking with one of their designers, I fell in love with the company and will definitely be making more purchases in the future. (Christmas presents!) Everything is hand made by women in Ghana (that’s in Western Africa) and sold through a place in Minneapolis. I didn’t get to spend nearly as much time looking through their booth as I would have liked since Miss Ella was on the verge of meltdown, but I did manage to buy a wrap dress, a pair of glass bead earrings, and slippers for Sam. On the back of each tag is written the name of the woman who made the product. Love.

Another year, another fabulous visit to the fair. We had a great time, but I do have to say it was a lot more work with two kiddos, even if one was just sleeping in his stroller. Bex & I joked that next year we’re taking the little ones to the zoo in Duluth to get their animal fix and then getting a sitter so we can go to the fair on our own. There’s a whole world of things a mama doesn’t get to do while trying to keep the babes happy! We’ll see. I have so much fun seeing the fair from their perspective that I’d probably miss having them there. We just might have to make two trips. 🙂


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A couple weeks ago I crossed paths with a recipe on Pinterest that I ended up making four times in about five days. It makes a perfect meal to deliver to friends when a new baby arrives or they need a little something special. The recipe is Crock Pot Italian Chicken from the blog Crock-a-doodle-do. Super, super simple. Chicken, veggies, and dressing all go into the crock pot and cook all day. I don’t recommend making it with light dressing, though, because it just won’t turn out as tasty. Yes, that is from personal experience. After cooking, I carefully take it all out of the pot with a slotted spoon (so it doesn’t take all the dressing and juices) and put it in a disposable aluminum container with a lid. Then I add rolls or bread and something for dessert, and a deliverable dinner is complete!

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Does your family go to the fair? What’s something you can’t miss when you go?

Happy Thursday!


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3 Responses to At the Fair!

  1. Chanda says:

    We are nuts for the fair too! And yes, battling it with two kids is interesting, but we did it this year too! We love to take it all in, but the nerdy thing we wouldn’t dare miss is the horticulture building–state’s longest string bean and bonsai trees in one place–win!! We also always start our day with mini-donuts and end it with a milkshake at the dairy building, yum!
    We went to the fair every summer (fall?) as kids too, and I still very much remember the one year I got to go with the Scott family–fun!
    Looks like you guys had a great day!

  2. Anonymous says:

    It has been many years since I’ve been to the State Fair and I’m not sure my kids could handle the drive and a full day at the fair. However, I try to never miss the Carlton County fair in Barnum in the middle of August. Obviously a much smaller scale and not as much variety, but still a lot of fun and the kids really enjoy the animals, kids pedal tractor pull, horse arena, blacksmith, etc. It is a fun time and a little more manageable for this Mama.
    Erica

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