I was standing in line for the ferris wheel with Emily and Shireen, looking out over a sea of fair-goers at dusk, and casually mentioned that the scene reminded me of middle school, at the (Mississippi) state fair on a Friday night, looking for cute boys. I kinda thought everybody had this memory, like learning to ride a bike or going on your first date. I wasn’t thinking about the fact that not everyone grew up in such close proximity to a midway.
So we climbed onto the wheel, the “Tallest Mobile Ferris Wheel in the Country,” and shared our pod with a tiny little high school couple in love. Emily and I giggled nervously, our hands gripping the edges a little too tightly, and my heart fluttered every time Shireen leaned her camera out of the pod in order to get a better shot of the crowd below — I kept seeing the camera slip from her hands and fall prey to the asphalt.
Earlier that day, I watched Tim sit with my 8-year old in one of those swings on long chains that spins around and centrifugally flies passengers through the air at a 45° angle — except this ride, called Vertigo, lifted the swings to a height of 60 or so feet. That was where the nervous giggle made its first appearance. Thirty-five or so years after my first fair, I am amazed and slightly dubious of the physics and mechanics involved in fair rides.
The day before, I’d taken the kids through the animal barns and pseudo-farming village, thanks to a fun morning for bloggers sponsored by the Indiana Family of Farmers. I saw many things that my 40-year old eyes had never seen.
(apparently, they must shave the udders, and…)
(…these sweet children, ones who have show animals, pretty much live at the fair for 2 weeks. They sleep with the cows — slept right through our group of 40 or so people traipsing past.)
We were provided with both breakfast and lunch — and while for obvious reasons I didn’t much partake, I snapped this shot to prove to the masses that I am totally laid-back when it comes to feeding my kids:
Though I couldn’t help but laugh at the (irony of the) messages on the tablecloth beneath:
And while my current state of dietary restriction kept me from my own edible temptations, I did take a bite of Shireen’s funnel cake. After much retrospection, I do not think it was an exaggeration at all when, after embarrassing noises passed from my mouth as I chewed, I said, “That was the best single bite of food I’ve had in a year.”
Dirty, noisy, smelly, heart-attack-warning. State Fair, how I love thee.
* I received entrance tickets to the fair & meal tickets for breakfast & lunch in exchange for having a great time with my kids.
Nighttime shot, from Ferris Wheel, courtesy Emily.