Every year in September we end the summer by going to the Texas State Fair. I have been going since I was a kid. It was much different then.
We would pack our lunch and go for the entire day. Around noon my dad would go to the car and get our cooler with bologne sandwiches, chips, iced tea and blankets. He would meet us on the lawn, yes the state fair used to have several nice grassy lawn areas, where we would eat and shut our eyes for a bit. We would still eat the fair food: corny dogs, lemmon aide, funnel cakes, etc. But those delicacies were reserved for the other half of the day. We always knew that dad would let us eat those foods, but we waited for him to give us the go ahead. They were a big deal to us kids and couldn't wait for Dad to ask who needed a snack. To us it was like waiting for the wedding cake at a wedding. We've come a long way huh?
I don't remember riding all the rides when I visited as a child. There was the huge ferris wheel and the sky way taking you over the fair and offering a great view of downtown Dallas-which was also a big deal to us since we drove in from the country over an hour away. We rode these rides, but I think these were the only ones offered back then. Thankfully.
Now, Fr. Justin and I get there when the doors open with the intention of getting it all in before around 3:00. (We have to leave by then to avoid traffic getting out of Dallas). Why don't we spend the day like I did when I was a kid? Well, there is no place to relax there. All the nice grassy knolls are sheets of concrete with rides sandwiched so closely together you wonder how they keep from hitting each other. And it is incredibly noisy. A nap would be near impossible.
Nonetheless, we go with the girls every year and make the best of what is there. And we always have a good time. We no longer pack a lunch, they don't allow you to take in food or drink. So, we get to dine solely on the five star offerings of the food court. Of course they still have the food the fair is know for, corny dogs and such, but I do wish we could pack a lunch. And I do long for a nap around 1:00-ish...
This year we saw a couple new exhibits and shows. My favorite this year was the train exhibit of old passenger trains. Too cool. The old trains were so luxurious. If they still made trains like that to travel on I would definately take the tracks. There was a newer retired Amtrak train there and it looked just like the interior of an airplane. How unfortunate.
The horse show was wonderful and of course the food pavillion (not to be confused with the food court, the pavillion is an educational building, therefore the food is typically of decent quality). And, the food here is usually free. :) The bee keepers association had their bees working hard to protect the queen. The dog show is always great.
We always save the rides for last. They are so very taxing on the pocket book and the nerves. Suffice it to say they are my least favorite part of the fair. They still have the ferris wheel and the sky way, but the girls are mesmerized the noisy fast commotion of the other newer additions. Nonetheless, the girls picked their rides and ended with the log ride with papa.
The picks are of Papa and Zoe by a train. Look at the size of the wheels! Elsie the cow; a patient sow (with a smile on her face) and her babies, and the girls and papa on the log ride. Oh yes, and there is Katherine on the log ride alone. I couldn't believe that she talked the people into letting her ride solo.
Despite wishing it were the way it used to be, I still like going. We all do have fun, even if Fr. and I look at each other as we drive on to the freeway at 3:00 into the traffic with typically one baby crying and two others chattering over each other and fighting over the cotton candy bag, and wonder why the heck we do this to ourselves-every year!
Oh well. Next year we plan on making sure we watch the gators get fed. :)