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Monday, July 30, 2012

Bowers do the Fair

Well, the state fair has come and gone.  Last year was actually my first year ever going and both times I found it no more exciting as the Alameda County Fair our family frequented growing up.  That's not to say it wasn't fun, because it was.  I just always assumed it'd be much bigger or something.

Anyway, Dave and I took Eddie last Friday from about 4-9:30pm.  We took some money and decided to say "yes!" to everything until we ran out of money.  I mean, if you're going to "do" the fair, you might as well eat and play and ride to your heart's wallet's content, right?

We had so.much.fun.  I loved being able to say "yes" to most of Eddie's requests (mine, too).  Rides? Yes!  Petting zoo?  Yes! Climbing around in the empty livestock stalls to watch the 4H-ers milk their goats? Yes!  Watch the dancing horse show?  Yes!  Fried food?  (Okay, that was actually just me...he only asked for an ice cream cone and popcorn.)

I love eating all the crap food at the fair so our first stop was to get a corn dog and lemonade. I seriously wait all year for fair food.
Mmmmm, fried food.

We'd talked up the rides a lot to get Eddie excited about the fair so that was the first thing we did after eating.  It was warm out and super sunny in the kiddo ride section, which didn't bother us much but it meant that the rides were pretty much empty.  Last year he was too short for all the rides, but now as a 34 incher he got to go on lots.
Choo choo!  Good thing there was no one else on this train ride because he rang that bell the whooooooooooole time.
While Dave got us a refill on our giant lemonade, Eddie and I went on a super
fast airplane ride, the type where you get to control if it flies up or stays down.
Fast and Eddie got to control it meant he LOVED it.  
When he saw that this one had water, he insisted on this one a few times.
Again, he rang the bell the whole time.
This Jeep ride was a nice change for us parents...because it actually had some shade.
We used the last tickets for the boat ride again.  This time he had to share a boat
with another kid...and that poor kid sat in front. As in, right in FRONT of
Eddie's bell (which he rang the whole dang time).  Sorry kid!

We were able to pull Eddie away from the sun to see the livestock birthing area.  I think this exhibit is awesome (although a little weird when you realize that they knock up the animals on purpose so they'll deliver during the three weeks of the fair).  If you happen to be there during a birth you get to see the whole thing.  And if you're not there, well, there's a video loop playing of bovine, sheep, and goat births...complete with stadium haystack seating.  Eddie and I sat next to a couple of 5-6 year old girls who were grossed out at the videos at first.  They kept saying, "eeeew, gross!" I told them it wasn't gross, it was pretty neat--after all that's how they came out of their mommies, too.  They got more interested in what was actually happening and intently listened to me explain what they saw (water bag; veterinarians putting their arms up inside the cow to help guide the baby's hoof's out; contractions; that yes, babies really do come out of that part of a mama (they asked), etc.).  Afterward they thanked me before jumping down to find their families.  It was shocking how many grown men and women would walk by the tv, pause to look for a moment, realize what they were looking at it, make a grossed-out face, and walk away quickly.  COME ON PEOPLE!  Fairs are agricultural events (at least historically) and what's agriculture without birthing animals?
Birthing video.
Along that same vein, a couple of weeks ago a friend posted a picture of a rabbit cage from the Alameda county fair with a sign on it that said "meat rabbits, $10 each."  A few people commented about how utterly sad it was and if they didn't already have too many pets they'd drive right over to buy those bunnies to rescue them from being sold for meat.  I don't like prodding people on Facebook, but I had to mention that historically fairs were agricultural events meant to bring rural people out to show off and sell livestock (for meat), crafts, wares they'd made on their farms, and the latest technology for farming.  All those 4H animals the kids raise and show off?  They are sold there at the fair for meat.  So there's no reason to be sad...that's the purpose of the fair.

After all that placental goo, we were ready for some ice cream!  Eddie chose chocolate dipped...
And so did we.  Mmmm.

Next up was the petting zoo.  Eddie wasn't old enough to be able to feed the animals, so I had to do it.  He commented that this super nosy/pushy goat was a lot like Sister (Rhubarb, our girl dog)--they both jump up on me when they see I have a treat for them!  We got to pet goats, donkeys, pigs, chickens, sheep, alpacas, deer, and wallabies.
He went on this horsey ride last year after the petting zoo so we let him go again.  

We went over to the livestock show areas to see the cows and goats.  It was getting a little late and all the shows were over for the day.  So when we made our way through the goat area, many of them were standing up yelling for their dinner or being milked.  Eddie saw a girl milking her goat and he asked her, "'Scuse me!  Where's the baby goat?  That milk is for the baby!"  It totally cracked us up.  He's such a breastfed boy!
Even Dave enjoyed the goats.  I'm sure he doesn't like them as much as I do, but he's
warming to the idea of someday having our own milk goat. As long as it's nominally
border collie colored, he's game for any animal.  =) 
But me?  Oh....so many varieties.  Which one should I get?
After some tri tip sandwiches and the cheesy/gooey-est mac and cheese ever,
we watched the painted ponies and dancing horses show.  
And the best part of the fair?  The funnel cake!  We all shared a strawberry
one just before leaving that night.  It was goooooood.
This year the fair was so much fun because Eddie enjoyed it as much as we did.  Having an older child who can participate instead of just accompany us makes family outings/activities 100% more enjoyable.  And we all got our fill of fried foods for the year--wowza my hair was noticeably greasy the next morning.  Mmmm, but it's worth it once a year.

3 comments:

Kaitlin said...

i love fair corndogs. and, fyi, i would have totally walked away from the birthing video.

Leah Roy said...

This post had me salivating! Yummm. I went to the TX state fair and that blew any fair I ever went to before out of the water. Everything is bigger in Texas, as the saying always goes.

Eddie is such a good sport going on rides! Charlie is still kind of gun shy around rides he has to do by himself. That's just his personality though, always been a cautious one.

Now, if I had to choose one of the things you ate and have it delivered to my door right now...I would choose....maybe that mac'n cheese. I'm a sucker for pasta and cheese!

John and Jessica said...

Reading through this is making me hungry! It all sounds so good and fattening! Great idea about the money plan. The GA state fair has great animal shows as well. Can't wait to make a field trip out of it :)