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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My love af-FAIR

I am in love -- with the Indiana State Fair. Mike and I first visited the Fair when I was pregnant with Annie, about 12 years ago. I don't remember having any expectations about what the Fair would hold, but I do remember the feeling of falling in love with sights, the sounds, the flavors and -- ok, some of the smells.

I'd never been to a fair before. Never. The closest I'd ever been to a pig was when a few of them escaped from a nearby farm and ran through our suburban neighborhood when I was a pre-teen.

4-H was a foreign concept to me, though I knew it remotely had to do with country kids who had cows for pets. Walking into the 4-H building for the first time and seeing the cakes, fashions, home-built lamps, insect collections, drawings and wood work that were done by people not old enough to drive, left my mouth -- and my mind -- wide open.

I love the blinking multi-color lights of the midway, the whoosh of the rides and the squeals of the people on them. Though I don't ride the rides myself and I think they are ridiculous overpriced, I still love that they are there.

We have told our families that they have to come to the Fair with us. Mostly, they look at us quizzically and give a "yea, sure, sometime" response. But we'll offer again because the Fair is something we just can't keep to ourselves.

You know how I know it's love? Because even when it's not perfect, I still love it. Last weekend, we loaded up the kids and headed to the State Fair for some "ohana" time (not familiar with ohana? -- check out Lilo and Stitch).

We had a list of things we wanted to do and see. However, the catch-and-release fishing workshop was full. The swine barn was empty. We arrived too late for the tiger show and too early for the Percheron judging. We couldn't find the livestock nursery and Mike and I lost each other for over an hour. But no worries. We were at the Fair and that was good enough.

We did get to watch the carver of the giant cheese. The kids loved the free mini golf. Belly dancers intrigued us and no one stepped in cow poop (not us nor the belly dancers).

And of course we ate. Steak sandwiches, corn dogs, pork BBQ, cotton candy, lemon shake-ups, roasted corn, elephant ears and ice cream. Spread out over 5 people over the course of 6 hours. Gee, that still sounds bad.

There is probably something inherently wrong about visiting the IN Shape Indiana booth with a butter-drenched ear of roasted corn in your hand. Guess that's why our trial of Wii Fit showed that Wii are NOT fit.

After we reached the point of sensual saturation, we piled back into the car, not thinking of what we didn't get to do or see, just content with knowing that next year our romance with the Indiana State Fair will continue.

Note: Midway picture courtesy of the Indiana State Fair.


Sharon said...

Just reading this post makes me want to go! lol

I've always enjoyed fairs (except w/ strollers). The smell of funnel cakes is just SO GOOD.
The food you mentioned-YUM!

I can't believe you had never been to a fair before you were married. Does that include smaller festivals, too?
I'm thinking of my Catholic grade school. Each Fall we had a school festival. Lots of fun!

Unknown said...

BTW wordsmith, I stared at your title for several seconds wondering what you were getting at, thinking maybe you were making some Middle Eastern connection, until I finally said it aloud. Felt pretty stupid...guess that's why you keep kicking my butt in scrabble-type games!