Sunday, August 31, 2014

Second Trip 2014 - A Prairie Home Companion

Friday, August 29, 2014

Second Trip 2014 - A Prairie Home Companion

Friday, August 29, 2014

Mom and I went to see A Prairie Home Companion at the Grandstand.

Second Visit 2014 - Sweet Martha's Cookies

When Mom and I got to the Fair we stopped by Giggles Campfire Grill which is up on the north end of Machinery Hill. I got the walleye mac & cheese and Mom got the walleye cakes. I thought they were both delicious. It started to sprinkle so we ducked in the John Deere shelter where Mom ran into a friend from church named Gary.

Next stop, corn dogs and we each got one. I haven't had one in a few years and it was yummy. I like mine with mustard and Mom likes hers plain.

After that we stopped by the Blue Moon Dine-In Theater where I got some sweet corn ice cream. It tasted like and ice cream version of a corn muffin and it had some cereal sprinkled it as a topping. I think they used Cap'n Crunch. Mom didn't get any but I gave her a taste and she loved it.

Sweet Martha's Cookies was nearby and when Mom saw the crowd lined up there she asked what the big deal was. I told her what it was and she said she had never heard of it which was surprising since the place has gotten a lot of local TV coverage lately due to it being open over 30 years and because it was recently featured on the CBS Evening News. They sell chocolate chip cookies by the bucket-full for 15 dollars. Mom said she only wanted to try one. I told her that I didn't think they sold them that way and that it looked like the smallest order you could get was a fairly good sized paper cone that was chock full. Mom said we should look for someone walking by with a bucket and just take one, which, if you knew Mom, is something she would never do. She decided to ask someone if she could have one which, again, if you knew Mom, is something she would NEVER do. Well, she did. A man walked by and asked if she could have one. He smiled and said yes acknowledging that it was a ridiculous amount of cookies. Mom tried one and offered me a bit. It was warm and pretty good. The man asked if I wanted one of my own because, as he said with a smile, "I have more than enough." I told him I didn't and we parted ways. The cookies were almost as thin as potato chips and Mom said they probably were as good as they were because they were warm and wouldn't be too special once they cooled off. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Second Visit 2014 - Prize Winning Products

Second Visit 2014 - More Fine Arts Building

Mom was quite taken with this painting found in the Fine Arts Building. I thought it was pretty notable myself!

Second Visit 2014 - Fine Arts Building

Mom and I liked this painting found in the Fine Arts Building this year. It reminded me of Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Jeremy Fisher.

Second Visti 2014 - Minnesota State Fair Commemorative Art

Nice to see this in person at the Fine Arts Building. Mom loved it.

Second Visit 2014 - Sparks Trailers

Friday, August 29, 2014

I had 3 tickets for Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor at the Grandstand at the Minnesota State Fair for tonight. Dale couldn't make it but Mom was able to go. There were torrential rains as we left the house but it all magically stopped when we made it to the north parking lots just of Larpenteur in Falcon Heighs.  The above photo is for Sparks Trailers on  Machinery Hill.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

2014 Minnesota State Fair Commemorative Art
by Emily L. Taylor


During my first visit this year I learned that Charisse had been in dramatics through 4-H as a kid. She stopped by the 4-H booth and got this button for being an alumni. My college friend Brian was involved in 4-H dramatics as well.

According to Wikipedia:

"4-H in the United States is a youth organization administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), with the mission of 'engaging youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development.'  The name represents four personal development areas of focus for the organization: head, heart, hands, and health. The organization has over 6.5 million members in the United States, from ages 5-21, in approximately 90,000 clubs."

West End Market

I've heard that the new West End Market is the biggest expansion at the Fair since the 1930s.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

First Visit 2014 - Heading Home

We caught the Park & Ride bus back to the old Ford Plant at about 6:30. We ordered pizza at Mike's house and then Mike and I smoked a couple of cigars that I got him for his birthday. 

It was a fun first visit this year and it was great to spend it with Mike and his family.

First Visit 2014 - The Minnesota State Fair History and Heritage Center

I didn't get to spend as much time in the new West End Market as I would have liked. Maybe next week when we're there to see A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor...

First Visit 2014 - Lulu's at West End Market

I like this painting of the flag on the side of Lulu's Public House in the new West End Market area. 

First Visit 2014 - Zumba Video

First Visit 2014 - Zumba

In these photos Zumba instructors get the crowd going. I think I burned some calories just watching them. It's a good thing because we had just finished some deep fried pumpkin pie from Minneapple Pie that Charisse had bought to share.

First Visit 2014 - Zumba

After some poutine and while making our way through a crowd we stumbled upon a Zumba demonstration outside of the Education Building. Shay really seemed to enjoy it. So did a lot of other folks who were trying to follow along. Above, Charisse gets her groove on.

First Visit 2014 - The Crowd

Usually Dale and I attend the Fair on a Friday afternoon and stay through the evening. Haven't been on a Saturday during the day in a long time. It's much more crowed than I'm used to.

First Visit 2014 - Poutine

Dale loves to get poutine - cheese curds and gravy over fries. Too bad he couldn't make this trip. Not to worry. Maybe he can get some when we come to see A Prairie Home Companion this coming Friday. Can't wait!

First Visit 2014 - Cattle Barn

I believe the tag on the cow's ear says Rosie.

First Visit 2014 - More Horse Barn

First Visit 2014 - Persheron Horse

While in the Horse Barn we came across a Persheron horse being groomed. The aisle he was in was blocked off so we couldn't get close but were surprised to see how big he was, although it's hard to see that in this picture.

First Visit 2014 - Granite

Stopped by the Horse Barn and said hi to Granite who is a 19-year-old Azteca horse. I found him to be distinct as I didn't see too many all-white horses there.

First Visit 2014 - Obnoxious Balloon Man

While on the Midway we noticed one of those obnoxious balloon men beckoning people to come to an attraction called the Craze Maze. Dale hates these things and I decided I'd get some footage of one to text to him to show him what he was missing. He wasn't able to be with us today due to a work trip.  Mike took Shay on a ride while Charisse and I went to get some drinks. On the way back to the Midway we stopped to get what you see above.

First Vistit 2014 - Midway and Shay

Shay was dying to get on some rides and play some games so we headed to the Midway. She didn't go on the Ferris wheel pictured here. I'm just including it because I think it's a pretty cool shot. I felt bad for Shay since she didn't have a buddy to bring along like she has the past couple of years. I guess she had someone lined up but they cancelled at the last minute. I don't think it was a fun for her without a pal but she didn't let on and was a good sport about the whole thing.

First Visit 2014 - Corn Roast Stand

Through texting, we all figured out we'd meet at Juanita's Fajitas near the Grandstand. The above photo was taken near that spot. Notice in the background to the left is the sweet corn stand. It's been a few years since I've had an ear and it was divine. 

First Visiti 2014 - Edina Marching Band

After finally making it through the gates and while searching for Mike and Charisse, I came across this marching band from Edina. A bit cloudier than I would have liked the day to be but the silver lining is that is wasn't as hot.

First Visit 2014 - 2014 Ticket

First Visit 2014 - Ticket Line

I was able to meet Mike, Charisse, and Shay inside the fair after waiting in line for about 20 minutes for a ticket. Although warm and a bit sticky outside, it was far from a horrible ordeal and it allowed Mike and Charisse to get a beer under their belts while they waited for me. 

First Visit 2014 - Park & Ride

I met Mike, Charisse, and Shayla at their house around 1 p.m. and then drove with them to the Park & Ride at the old Ford plant site in Highland. It was all as easy as could be - no parking fee and no fare required for the bus. We were dropped off at the new West End area where we found the ticket line to be unreasonably long. The three of them had already bought their tickets in advance so there was no wait for them to get in. I however, needed a ticket. I told them to go on ahead and get a beer and that I'd meet them inside after I obtained my ticket. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

2014 Day 1 - The Big Day Has Arrived

The big day is here. While drinking coffee this morning I noticed on Facebook that our neighbor Megan was checked in at the State Fair. Dale was up about a half hour before me and saw her getting picked up by friend. He said that she and her friend sounded pretty excited when they greeted each other.

Mike texted me yesterday asking if I wanted to go on Saturday. Sounds like a plan to me.