Monday, September 23, 2013

State Fair 2013 - Break in the Clouds

Our second trip to the Fair in 2013 occurred on a cloudy day. As the sun began to set it finally pushed through the clouds for a little bit. This photo is looking toward the Midway and features Dale in the bottom left hand corner.

State Fair 2013 - Malt Stand

Photo taken Sept. 1, 2013

State Fair 2013 - Giant Slide

Behind the Giant Slide
Photo taken Sept. 1, 2013

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

2013 Attendance Record - Actually, All Time Attendance Record

Sunday September 1, our second Fair visit of the year, actually turned out to set a record. Dale and I knew it was crowded that day but we didn't realize just how crowded. It turns out 236,197 people showed up that day which is a record for the largest single-day attendance in State Fair history.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

State Fair 2013 - Sky Glider

State Fair 2013 - Sky Glider

Above photo of Kidway taken during our Sky Glider ride tonight. 

State Fair 2013 - Sky Glider

The Sky Glider runs from a point just off the Midway up to the north side of the Fair, near the Pet Center.  Dale and I took it last year for the first time and we did it again this year. Although the sign says the ride doesn't stop, it stopped about four different times just in the 7 or so minutes we waited to get on it. One of those times was due to having to load a giant stuffed pig someone had won! Anyway, the ride is slow and relaxing. We rode it after dark and it was fun to see all the lights from up above. The above photo was taken on August 23, 2013 during our first Fair visit this year.

State Fair 2013 (2nd Trip) - DFL Stand

I had my picture taken with Barack last year. I figured I'd let Michelle and Bo have a turn this year (although in fairness to them, they weren't at the DFL booth in 2012).

State Fair 2013 (2nd Trip) - Hamline Dining Hall

One of the food items on my list to try this year was Mini Donut Batter Crunch Ice Cream by Izzy's. It was being sold at the Hamline Church Dining Hall on Dan Patch Avenue.  The Hamline Dining Hall has been there for years. In fact, I remember taking my younger brother Pete there on a trip we made to the Fair way back in 1989. As far as I know it's the last of the church dining halls left at the fair. Anyway, when Dale and I got there, they were out of the Mini Donut Batter Crunch. I went with mint chip in a cone and they topped it off for me with a scoop of sea salt and caramel by Izzy's. Dale got his in a cup and had the a scoop of the sea salt and caramel with a scoop of mint chip. Very delicious.

State Fair 2013 - Sling Shot

State Fair 2013 (2nd Trip) - The Big Andy

A new Fair food I wanted to try was the Big Andy from Andy's Grill located on Carnes Avenue near Chambers Street. It's basically a Philly steak sandwich and quite delicious at that.

State Fair 2013 (2nd Trip) - Ye Old Mill

This is probably the oldest ride at the fair but I have never in my LIFE been on it. This year I figured it was about time I give it a go. Dale really had no interest in trying it out but was a good sport and agreed to accompany me. How was it? It was very dark the majority of the ride but every so often our personal boat would glide by a diorama of Bambi, leprechauns, or some other such thing. During our last visit I told Charisse that I one day planned to try the ride out. She told me to be sure to give Dale a kiss once we entered the darkness. I did just that but Dale wasn't interested in reciprocating. Oh well. I guess tunnels of love are meant for the young.

State Fair 2013 (2nd Trip) - Deep Fried Bread Pudding

This came from O'Gara's and was quite good. The name says it all.

State Fair 2013 (2nd Trip) - Fine Arts Building

Saw some interesting stuff.

State Fair 2013 (2nd Trip) - Two in One Year!

My hope to visit the Fair a second time this year came true! Dale, bless him, agreed to take me again. We had an amazing time and also bumped into Donna, a colleague of mine from school, and her two daughters.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Corn Roast Stand

Didn't make it to the Corn Roast stand for corn-on-the-cob this past trip. I'm obviously craving it since it's been on my mind this past week. I will say when I was there last Friday I ate reasonably although that's not to say that I didn't eat some pretty heavy food. I stopped eating well before I hit my limit so I guess there's always a first time for something at the Fair. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

State Fair 2013 - Mike's Story

State Fair 2013 - Summing It Up

I love the Fair. It is a connection to my past and it allows me to draw upon many pleasant memories and warm feelings to go along with them. This was one of my favorite visits as I don't know that I remember a time that I felt so fully in the present and being conscious of what a great time I was having. Hopefully we'll be able to squeeze another visit in this season.

State Fair 2013 - Almost Full Moon

The moon was just a few days past full and it was big, round, and orangish in the sky. I tried to photograph it as Dale and I were walking back to our car. It's the upper small dot to the right in the top photo. I created a graphic to try and show what it looked like which is what you see in the second image.

State Fair 2013 - Skyride 2

A view of the merry-go-round and the Giant Slide from the Skyride.

State Fair 2013 - Skyride

State Fair 2013 - Midway 2

So much fun to take in the energy of the Midway.

State Fair 2013 - Midway

Next we took a rather thorough tour of the Midway. We didn't play any games. We didn't ride any rides. We just watched. It was crowded and noisy but, oh, what a good time people were having. It was really quite fun to watch. I remember being at the Fair when I was little. My younger brother Sam was in a stroller  which would have made him one or two and me four or five. Grandma Alice and Grandpa Louie were in town from up north to go visit the fair with us. We were just outside the midway because I remember looking in at all all the bright lights. Grandma had gotten a little stuffed toy somewhere at the Fair and I remember her handing it to Sam in his stroller. It don't recall us going in the Midway but I do remember the appeal and excitement that it seemed to offer. It was dark and probably just about time for us to leave so Sam and I coulc get to bed. It's still a lot of fun - even if you just watch.

State Fair 2013 - Minnepumpkin Pie

I found the second item on my food-quest list - the Minnepumpkin deep fried pie at the Minneapple Pie stand.  I got it with cinnamon ice cream. Heaven!

State Fair 2013 - Poutine

Dale had to get his ever-lovin' poutine. He tells me it's Canadian hangover food. I wouldn't know as I've never had a hangover in Canada.

State Fair 2013 - Crop Art

After Mike and family had departed, Dale and I faced the Fair on our own. Our first stop was the Ag/Hort Building to check out the crop art. I alway get a kick out of it.

State Fair 2013 - International Bazaar

When we stepped out of the Food Building we found ourself nextdoor to the haunted house. Kids dressed up as Michael Jackson, Jason Vorhees, Freddy Krueger, and an evil clown, etc. were doing the Thriller dance in the front yard of the haunted house.  When they finished dancing they tried to act fierce and  scary to lure people in.  There was something comical about seeing these monsters boogie down and get their groove on (which they did quite well, by the way) and then quickly transition to fright mode. We next headed to the International Bazaar where I noticed these Day of the Dead figurines. Charisse found a chartruese Scandinavian sweeter and Shayla stocked up on a few mermaid dolls at the Hmong booth. Mike, who recently picked up an additional job, joked that he now knew where his extra money would be going. Shortly After this, Shay and her friend conked out so Mike and Charisse had to get them home. It was fun spending time at the fair with them for a second year in a row.

State Fair 2013 - Lobster Mac

We next headed to the food building. Part of my food quest this trip involved getting the lobster mac and cheese at Oodles of Noodles in the Food Building. I scored some and it was delicious. Dale and Mike tried some of it and agreed that it was quite good.

State Fair 2013 - Butterhead

We next headed to the Dairy Building for ice cream for Charisse and Shay.  While they were in line I got a picture of a butterhead sculpture. She looks great, don't you think?

Sate Fair 2013 - Meeting Up with Friends

We found Mike and Charisse and their daughter Shay, who had brought along a friend, at the Fine Arts Building and decided to get some beverages. We stopped by O'Gara's. I got a Grain Belt Nordeast for Dale, white wine for Mike, and a hard lemonade for myself. Charisse got herself some water as she was quite dehydrated.

State Fair 2013 - Sunflowers

We also walked by a lovely patch of sunflowers. I love summer afternoons in late August. I'll bet the bee you see (look closely) in the bottom photo loves them too. I say with all seriousness that I hope her colony hasn't collapsed by the time she gets home. That is one scary problem these days.

State Fair 2013 - Machinery Hill

On our way to meet Mike and Charisse, Dale and I walked through Machinery Hill and found some charming retro tractors.

State Fair 2013 - Arrival

All the old anticipation was there. I had a professional development meeting today downtown and was thinking about the fair throughout the whole thing. They let us out a little early so I headed home and got Athena on a walk. When Dale got home we fed Athena earlier than usual and then left for the fair around 4:30. We drove city streets throu downtown and then eventually connected with Larpenteur Avenue and then parked in the Larpenteur Avenue lot. I texted Mike and Charisse to let them know we had arrived. They said they were at the Fine Arts Building so we headed that way.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dale's Anticipation

Dale blogged today about the running and biking he's doing lately. He said:

"And I need to get these runs in, as well as the bike rides so I can shed as much weight as possible because the State Fair is starting on Thursday and, well, you know, there's poutine."

"And beer."