As promised in a previous post (Minnesota State Fair - 2009 - Part 1 - Photos), I will share a bit -o- the Minnesota State Fair with you all.
A day before we were going to the fair, the Mother of Five was on the phone with her mother, and we found out that we were both planning on going to the State Fair on the same day. Plans were made to drive up together, and spend at least some of the day together.
We utilized a "Park-n-Ride" and rode a very nice coach bus to the fair from the parking lot. Unfortunatly the lines were so long (as was our wait to get on the bus) that when we reached the bus, the driver told us he could take us as long as we were OK standing. We accepted the offer - and climbed aboard. Two very nice young teenage girls offered to give up their seats for my in-laws (an usual gesture in this day and age).
I'll be honest. The state fair is nothing more than a food-fest for me. 99.99% of the rest of the stuff - I could take or leave - it's just filler. People watching, and food. Food and people watching.
My "regular" diet of food fair consists of (not in any specific order) a Pronto Pup (corn dog), foot long hot dog (smothered in onions), a portion of Fried Cheese Curds, a "Wimpy" hamburger, alligator on a stick, and soda.
I arrived at the fair "hungry". Hungry for a foot long. The first booth we stopped at was the Pronto Pup stand (for the kids that did not want a foot long). Then, we scurried down the street for a round of foot longs... (Photo on previous post)
Folks, I can eat fast (it comes with my job). But I was AMAZED at the speed and efficiency #2 of 5 put away his foot long hot dog. I am not exaggerating when I say it would be more accurate to measure it in seconds than in minutes... I do not think that dog was outside his stomach for more that 59 seconds. I was afraid to get my fingers too close for fear that they may have been pulled into that vortex. YIKES!
Once we finished the pronto pups and foot longs, I disappeared down the street, and snagged some Mini Donuts for all to share for "desert". I am quite certain #5 of 5 enjoyed them more than anyone! (Photo on previous post)
Now that we all had an initial round of food in us, it was time to make our way through the rest of the fair. Home improvement building, Creative Arts Building, Marketplace, and various other points of interest.
The crowds were HUGE (Record breaking numbers for attendance this year). The smells, sounds, and sights of the fair were all around us. We made our way through the crowd, and arrived at the Stihl Chainsaws & Cabela's Ironjack Lumberjack show. We were 35 minutes early...
JUST ENOUGH TIME TO GRAB A GIANT BAG OF KETTLE KORN TO HELP KILL THE TIME!!
As we waited, we all pounded down the Kettle Korn.... Mmmm... Sweet and salty = Savory! Trust me on that! (Photo on previous post)
The Lumberjack show was good, but the same show I have seen for YEARS now. It's saving grace for me.... #5 of 5 had not yet seen it, so you could see some fascination in her face! This could very well be the last year for the lumberjack show...
After the Lumberjack show it was time to say goodbye to my in-laws. My father in law had to work that evening.
After parting ways, the rest of us continued meandering around the fair, until we reached the next mecca of foodly pilgrimage.
Cheese Curds! (Photo on previous post)
The Mother of Five took our soda cups to the Pepsi stand for refills, and I took #3 of 5 with me and we hit the Cheese Curd Booth. I picked up two containers of Cheese Curds, and snacked while we waited for the Mother of Five. By the time she arrived, she had also made a quick detour and had a container of Deep Fried Pickles to add to our greasy bounty!
That's two containers of curds, and one container of pickles, and a new round of sodas (for those out there counting)... With the addition of the pickles - there was more than enough to go around ("more than enough" being the key phrase here folks).
I did finally reach that point of realization that "I should stop now", but like any good fairgoer, I ignored that little voice of wisdom, and instead listened to the voice that said "These things cost way to much to throw away... Eat up fatty, you know you can do it!"
In all reality, I most likely ate one container of curds (and a single bite of pickle - since I do not care much for pickles) by myself. Not completely unusual - many folks eat a whole container by themselves. But normally, I am not a big cheese eater, so by the time I was done my stomach was now saying (louder than the voices heard earlier) "What have you done to me?? Oh man, I am going to REALLY get you back!!"...
Which it did.
This my friends, is where my culinary delight ended. 1 foot long, some Kettle Korn, Cheese Curds, and a BITE of deep fried pickle. Within a few minutes, my gut was rolling like a California Earthquake... And folks, when you (or at least my) gut gets rolling like that, it's not long before you start feelin' down the ol' "lower G.I. tract" - if you know what I mean.
We did more shopping in the Grandstand Vendor areas, and did even more walking - which did nothing to help churn up that delightful brew that was stewing away inside of me.
As the end of our day approached, we started taking into consideration all the things the kids still wanted to do, see, and eat before we left, and then developed our exit strategy. First up. the "Haunted Mansion".
#2 of 5 is our big fan of the Haunted Mansion. He had been hounding to go in since we arrived. #3 of 5 had no interested in going in, and #5 of 5 is too small for such a fright. #4 of 5 seemed hesitant, but also seemed like she wanted to go. After much hemming and hawing, she pulled the trigger and decided to give it a try. They (#2 and #4 of 5) tried to get me to go in with them, but folks, I have a ethical duty to be honest with you - Given the way my... um.... how shall we say... "thunder down under" was intensifying - I am certain the result of going in the "Haunted Mansion" would be having to close it down, while a "Bio-spill" needed to be cleaned on the floor. So, #2 and #4 of 5 went in on their own. The both came out with a smile (although #4 of 5's smile was mixed shock and smile) - but they said they liked it! (Photo on previous post)
While waiting for the kids inside the "Haunted Mansion" - we found a spot on a bench. The Mansion was right next door to and even more frightening, even more disturbing, even more honorific venue... The MASSIVE public restroom. The constant reminder of it's presence was only overshadowed by the nightmarishly paralyzing idea of actually going in there... So, I sat and let it torture me. (Photo on previous post)
Next up on the "must do" list was cotton candy. Thankfully - the cotton candy booth was right outside the bathrooms and the "Haunted Mansion". Mother of Five bought a sack of cotton candy, and the kids (and MOF) went to town. I stayed out of the cotton candy. A.) I HATE the stuff. B.) I was still gurgling away.
Nope, no cotton candy for me.
We then made our way through the "International Bazaar", and off to the Dairy building for a peek at the butter sculptures, and a couple of shakes. One chocolate, One vanilla. Shared. Hoping the vanilla shake may help sooth my rolling digestive tract, I did manage a few spoonfuls, but I was not going to risk adding any further pressure on the "valve" where more vanilla shake would eventually end.
Final request on the way out... Deep Fried onion blossom. Normally - I would have GLEEFULLY partaken in such a delightful delicacy - but since the disaster with the cheese curds, I was down for the count. In fact, we ALL were down for the count (except #3 of 5 - who wanted the onion blossom).
After a short bout of
performing the Jedi Mind Trick reasoning with him (promising a trip to a local restaurant where we could order one at another time, and a gentle reminder that deep fried fair food does not "fare" well in the refrigerator) we agreed to call it a day.
A quick coach bus ride back to the parking lot - and we were on our way home.
Folks, I can not believe I am saying this, but by the time we got home (about a hour away) everyone was complaining how HUNGRY they were!?!?! Mother of five wanted anything green and leafy - the kids did not care - and I wanted NOTHING to do with putting anything more in my mouth... So a quick stop at our local McDonalds - and we were home.
The kids were all exhausted, and went to bed without problems. Mother of Five and I were also exhausted - and in bed sleeping shortly after the kids.
Around 1am - unbeknownst to us - #5 of 5 had crawled into bed between us, and snuggled in (not that uncommon). What was uncommon - was vomiting noise (and smell) as the spot between us (that currently was occupied with #5 of 5) was quickly filled with semi (mostly) digested fair food.
On the up side (at least for me) was the fact that while she was laying there, she just happened to be facing the Mother of Five - so MOF got the raw end of that deal... Which left me with the delightful task of cleaning the bed while MOF cleaned #5 of 5 and herself.
The vomiting continued every two hours - WELL into the next day... We thought it was the result of the overly greasy fair food, until (just as #5 of 5 was feeling better a day later) #4 of 5 did the same thing. Only #4 of 5 did it at her school's "open house" - christening the bathroom floor for the new school year!
I guess it was not the fair food after all...