Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Day With Big Tex

Yesterday we spent the day at the Texas State Fair. If you know anything about this event, you know that Big Tex is the master of ceremonies and that you can get just about anything deep fried.
Here is Big Tex keeping an eye on all of the last weekend fair goers.

This year's addition to the list of deep fried favorites is fried cookie dough. To thoroughly enjoy the fair, you must throw all worries about your cholesterol levels to the wind and just promise to do better tomorrow. After watching the dog trick exhibition, we succumbed to the cookie dough. We had been on the fair grounds for almost an hour before this happened! Six of us shared one serving (by fair standards) so we cut our caloric intake from 12663 calories to a mere 2110.5. That left us room to try the fried ice cream, fried green tomatoes, fried burrito, fried cheesecake, or the infamous fried state fair corn dog later on. And then, for a well rounded fair meal, there is the funnel cake. It all sounds soooo good. I only had a corn dog later in the day. I had intended to have a funnel cake as a night cap, but after a few rides, my desire for food had been suppressed!

We made our way through the car buildings so that everyone could salivate over the new cars that we are not getting. Erin, who will be 15 in December and is anticipating that learning permit, thinks she needs a Nissan Titan truck. She crawled in the cab of the demo at the fair just to check out the fit. She looked pretty good, but the sticker price . . .not so much!

We are all big softies when it comes to animals-even livestock. The number of 'Aaaww"s" from the six of us was a little on the pathetic side. On the amazing side was Boris. Boris is a 1171 pound hog. His sole purpose in life is to sit around and be admired by fair goers.

During the afternoon, the kids went to see the Lion King. Seeing this show has been on Erin's "Must Do Before I Die" list. Mission accomplished. They all thought the show was pretty awesome. John and I spent the afternoon in the exhibit halls listening to vacuum cleaner sales pitches, admiring woodwork, avoiding the many gimmicky sales people, and looking at a whole lot of unimpressive knitting and photography.

I usually really enjoy looking at the juried arts and crafts, particularly knitting and photography. Both were on the lame side this year. Some of the things that won knitting first prizes were things that we knit all the time - Carol Anderson's Ramblin' Rows afghan and the felted hedgehog (maybe he won because he was turquoise?). Even John, who is not a knitter himself, asked me what was so special about the items that won. He said, "that looks like the stuff you guys knit all the time." And, it did. The deal is that those people who won prizes took the time to submit their work, and we didn't.

The finale for every fair visit is a night time ride on the big Ferris wheel. That is for everybody except me. I have had issues with Ferris wheels since I got stuck on one when when I was four. I'm sure there is a support group for this problem somewhere; I just haven't found it yet. In all the years that we have gone to the fair, I have never ridden the Ferris wheel and I had no intention of changing that this year. Except that I was the only one who was not going to ride so I would have to sit and wait all by myself. Being alone is usually OK with me, but it did not sound appealing last night in the midst of a very crowded fairground. Erin asked me to ride. In a moment of weakness I agreed. What the heck was I thinking?! I considered a beer to dull the senses. However, I decided that was not the best plan. In the end, I rode because Erin promised me a gold star.

I knew I had to take pictures to prove that I was a big girl . The problem with picture taking is that your eyes should be open; it makes for better pictures. So, here are the pictures for proof of my bravery. The first one is taken from the ground. The next one from the cart way up high! All these pictures were taken on my phone rather than my camera because I was too lazy to carry my big camera around all day. I do have a few regrets about that.

Once I had survived the Ferris wheel I was feeling gutsy. I also rode the swinging pirate ship. Okay, I did sit in the middle rather than at either of the ends. That should at least earn me a silver star!

We had a great day. Though there were many people, everyone was polite. And though it was nearly 90 degrees, a breeze blew most of the day. A beautiful day filled with fried food and pig races . . .it doesn't get much better than this!