We had a fantastic Fair day on this past Friday! Ollie was a trooper, he made it eight hours! That is the longest we’ve ever had him there. The day was so fun though, the time passed by too fast.
All week long they’d been predicting rain. We weren’t too excited about it, but this was pretty much the only day we were able to go, so we just planned to make the most of it. Sure enough, when we woke up on Friday around 7:00 it was raining – but – it was starting to move out of the area and the forecast said it would be dry by 8:00. Perfect for us as that was when we wanted to be walking in the gate!
We parked at the Fair instead of doing a park and ride. We wanted to bring Ollie’s large stroller and also have a fast escape if the rain came back. Since we were going early we figured we’d be able to get parking and we did. We made a beeline for some mini donuts right away for Ollie, he was asking for them the entire week leading up to the Fair. He was in heaven with his own little bag! Nate and I opted for coffee and a French crepe per our tradition.
We took the entire day at a nice relaxed pace. We were in no hurry to get anywhere, we just took things as they came. After our “breakfast” we walked down the Midway and since I had won some free game tickets, let Ollie play the duck pond game. He won a big ball and one of those lovely and annoying horns, though I gotta say, while we walked around people were getting out of our way when he was blowing on it!
It was still early so we thought it was a good time to walk through the Grandstand before it got too crazy. I enjoyed a lovely pink drink from the Hideaway Speakeasy called Cotton Candy Bubble Trouble. It is wine poured over cotton candy and it turns it into this bubbly fun drink. I loved it. Then we walked past this awesome display by local knitter Knitteapolis called The Great MN Knit Together. Super fun knitted art!
I wanted to see the MN History on a Stick show over at West End Market, so we walked over there and grabbed a seat. Nate and I enjoyed some truffle waffle fries from the Blue Barn while we watched the show. Ollie was protesting watching the show at first, but then ended up really getting into it because it was all music. He was dancing in his stroller! Before we left West End Market I had to stop by the I Like You booth to get a t-shirt. This year I picked one that says “Keep Minnesota Passive Aggressive. Or Not. Whatever You think is best.” We also got Ollie a wooden car from Greg’s Toys as per our tradition.
It was getting close to noon and my friend Gina had texted that they were there and wondered if we wanted to meet up, so we had a quick beer with her and her husband over at the Ball Park Cafe and split a Tipsy Pie from Sara’s Tipsy Pies. Ollie was a little over Fair food at this point so he had an applesauce pouch and some Ritz crackers. He was getting a little antsy sitting in the stroller at this point, so we took him to the Alphabet Forest so he could get out and play. He loved making words with the letters and making his name necklace.
The Alphabet Forest was near a bunch of buildings we enjoy wandering through, so we took the time to check out the 4-H building (Ollie loved it), the art building (Ollie wasn’t as much of a fan) and the Eco Experience (back to loving it).
Nate and I were in the mood for some cheese curds and a chance to sit down at this point, so we headed to the Garden where they do karaoke every day and settled in to watch for a bit. Nate teases me every year that he’s going to put my name on the list to sing. This year I was close to letting him until this guy we were sitting near got up and sang John Legend’s All of Me and was AMAZING. Like it could have been an audition on the Voice and I am certain all the chairs would turn around. So I said, no way am I following that guy!
We were thinking Ollie was ready to be done at this point, but somehow he got a second wind and begged us for some more mini donuts, so we took a stroll around the Agriculture building and ended up spending close to another hour before we did take off for the day around 4:00.
There were things we definitely missed out on this year. We didn’t do any rides, we didn’t go in any animal buildings, but honestly I don’t mind. We enjoyed the things we did do and that was what was most important. I was tired and ready to put my feet up, but as always felt that pang of sadness and melancholy when we were leaving that comes with the Fair being over for us for another year. It’s always kind of a period to summer for us in a way. Yes we will have warm weather into September, but school starts next week and we’re transitioning to Fall. And I’m excited for Fall, but will be sad to see summer go. But, I’m happy we had a good time this year. Both Nate and I said it might have been one of our favorite Fair visits in recent years. So I might be sad it’s over, but I’ll have the memories to enjoy year round!