Why do we go to the State Fair?
For as long as I can remember, my Dad would always take me to little county fairs all around central California. Usually we would go for the music. We'd see unheard of country singers, and bands from the 70's. Most of which were really good including Bryan White, Billy Gillman, Jessica Andrews, and America. Of course while we were there, we had to eat delicious fair food. Foot long corn dogs, huge cinnamon rolls, soft tacos, churros, and my personal favorite: funnel cakes. I can't recall ever going on the fair rides. I'm not sure why we didn't. I never cared to anyways. But i do remember one year in particular Dad and I stood outside the bungee jumping attraction for twenty minutes trying to decide if it was worth it. Not for me to try of course, but for my Dad. I could tell he wanted to, but being of man in his mid 40's I think the question that he kept asking himself was, "Could I have a heart attack from this...?" Needless to say he didn't pay the 40 bucks to see what the answer to that question would be. Going to the fair with him will always be some of my fondest memories with my Dad. So now that I'm older, I wanted to have these experiences with Harrison and continue the fair tradition.
So why don't i have the oh-so-fond memories of the Utah State fair we went to last night as I do of the ones back in California? It all started with the parking. There was so much traffic to begin with, the lots were full. There were at least three fair-sponsored lots, and all of them managed to be full at the exact time we drove up. However, we weren't too upset by this because it cost 5 bucks to park there anyways, so we continued our search for a spot in nearby neighborhoods. But i am 5 months pregnant (and maybe a little lazy) so we didn't want to park too far away, and after some good searching we managed to squeeze into a little spot right in front of someone's house. Clearly NOT blocking the driveway (although it was a close call...). We walked a short distance and were at the fair entrance only to pay 8 bucks for each of us to even walk in the gates. Not a huge deal i guess, we planned on paying for that from the beginning. Not to mention we saved 5 bucks on parking, remember? Finally we were in the fair, and I was getting excited!! We walked around, ate some delicious over-priced food and even watched an a Capella group from Minnesota that wasn't half bad. Then we looked at some exhibits, ate some more food, and made the horrible decision to walk down the game section of the fairgrounds. NEVER GO TO THE GAME SECTION. Those seasonal fair-workers will do whatever it takes for you to give them 6 dollars to throw a ball at a glass bottle and break it. And even though you know, YOU KNOW that bottle is too far away, and it's probably super-glued to its shelf, therefore not letting it budge and inch, you want that big overstuffed tiger hanging from the plastic tent wall so badly, that you willingly throw away your money for the one in a million dollar chance to win. Multiply this game times 10 others, and this pretty much explains the next half an hour of our evening. After escaping that trap, we moved on to more food, more exhibits, and then we were ready to go. It was late, we were stuffed, out of money, and exhausted. Although I enjoyed the date night with Harrison, i was a little disappointed in my latest state fair experience. When we got to our car we were welcomed by a little slip of paper tucked inside of a pink envelope. A nice man from the Salt Lake Police Department gave us a ticket for being "zero inches in front of the driveway." It's twenty-five dollars if we pay it within the next ten days. So much for saving money on parking.
We got home, and went to sleep but then I woke up at three in the morning when my body was telling me that it didn't agree with the fair food I had paid so much for. I won't go into details, but lets just say that it was the worst experience with my stomach I have ever had. Including 3 months of morning sickness. But my sweet husband did surprise me with roses this morning for my night of discomfort :)
Despite all of this, I still love the fair, and this hasn't permanently damaged my expectations or hopes for fairs to come. In the future however, I think I will eat less, park better, bring only a set amount of cash, and avoid the game section.
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