We all went to the “Great Minnesota Get-Together” on Labor Day. If you’re not from the Midwest, I guess I should start by saying that the state fair is a big deal around here. It’s one of the largest state fairs in the country, possibly behind only Texas in size and attendance. Anyway, we had been putting it off until the last minute… and it had been raining the past few days so we were really rolling the dice by going on the last possible day. Luckily for us it was sunny, 77 degrees, and beautiful. Chris and I had been there once before a couple years ago, so we had a game plan for what we hoped to accomplish while we were there. We planned to eat a few specific things, see some animals (for Alison’s benefit), look at some giant fruit, and then head for the exits. The day went pretty much according to plan.
First we went into the “Miracle of Life” barn (a.k.a. the “birthing barn”), which sounds scary at first but it was basically mama animals and their babies – so cute, yet somewhat stinky. Alison got so excited when she saw a real life cow up close and personal. She was smiling, kicking, making moo sounds and trying to climb out of her stroller. In fact, the giant, stinky Holstein cows were her favorite. She also saw some weird tiny horses, piglets, lambs, bunnies and ducklings. This barn was by far the highlight of the day.
Some of Alison’s other high points were seeing flowers the size of her head (that’s a big flower, people), standing next to an 800+ pound pumpkin, eating her first cheese curds and having her first “Sweet Martha’s” chocolate chip cookie. Also in the food department, she had a few bites of tasty cinnamon roll, and respectfully declined a bite of Lefse. In fact, she picked up the pieces of Lefse I had placed on her tray, and handed them back to me one by one. Interestingly, this was not the case with the cheese curds or the cookies, which she ate in between fits of laughter and excitement.
I also took Alison on her first merry-go-round ride. There were no belts or straps or anything, and immediately after we got on I wondered if we had made a mistake. But Ali sat up on the horse and held onto the pole and began kicking her legs and rocking back and forth as if waiting for the ride to begin. When it did start a couple kids screamed, which I thought would freak her out, but instead she opened her mouth in awe for a moment and then got the biggest smile on her face. I was almost crying she was so happy. We looked for Daddy every time we went around and he waved and took pictures. Then we went to the Giant Slide (which Daddy was going to take her on) but decided that it might be better to wait until next year for that – it was pretty big. Instead we headed back to the baby farm animal barn for another look at the animals, before heading for home.
Yes that’s it, three hours of fun and then it was time to go home. We didn’t want to press our luck and ruin any part of Alison’s great fair experience. As it was she was asleep before we hit the freeway. Perhaps this will become a yearly family tradition.