Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Fair-ly Good Day

I did update my fair food blog earlier, but I thought I'd let you in on some of the other things we occupied our day with...other than eating.

The day started out on a positive note. As soon as we got to the ticket booth, (where Ray was about to buy two adult and one child's ticket), a complete stranger walked up to me and handed me a ticket. He said, "Here, I have this extra ticket, tell him to buy just two, not three." I barely had time to thank the nice gentlemen, because I had to catch Ray before he had paid for our 3 tickets. We ended up getting in the gates for the price of one adult ticket ($11), and one ($5) discounted "kid's day" ticket. Wow! Thank you Lord! That was a blessing. The lady at the gate didn't question Molly's age either. She really is only 11...but since she's already 5' 8" and starting to "develop", most people assume she's 2 or 3 years older than she really is. Molly really wanted to go to the state fair this year for one particular reason. She had seen a percussion group called "Sheltered Reality" at an art camp that she attended this summer at one of our local churches. This is what they look like:

They had just started playing when we got there this morning around 10:30 AM. They were not far from the entrance, so we found them and sat down to watch. They were kind of loud...but very fun to watch. They're very precise in their drumming and choreography skills. They also have a positive message to give to the kids. Molly not only sat and watched the first show, (during which they invited audience members to come up and be guest drummers with them)...but she wanted to stay for the next show, which was to start about 10 minutes after the first one ended. Since Ray and I did not necessarily want to sit through another hour of this, we gave Molly my cell phone and stayed in the area...but did a little wandering through nearby buildings etc. I was a little nervous about doing that, but she wasn't going anywhere. She was enamored by them.

I'm pretty sure their music wasn't the only reason Molly wanted to sit through the next show ... I'm guessing she was also somewhat enamored by this guy. It's just a feeling, she'd never admit it, but if I were her age I'm pretty sure he's the one I would have picked as the cutest.

This year, we did remember to go check out the "Miracle of Birth" building early in the day. The last time we went to the fair was also on the last day, and by the time we got there, the animals were packed up and gone. Here are a few pictures of what we found in there:
These cute little piggies were less than 24 hours old. There were 13 of them in the litter. How would you like to take care of that many squealing babies all at once?
These sweet little twin lambs were born at about 3 am on Labor Day morning. One was 8 lbs and the other 8.5 lbs. That's about the size all of my kids were. Of course, I had mine one at a time.
They actually ended up being the last babies born in the birthing barn during the fair this year.

Next, I took a picture of some turkey chicks, where I overheard a man say, "I heard this is where all the chicks hang out!" Clever.

How long do you suppose it takes for these little guys...


...to become these yummy drummies?Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Next, we went to the DNR building, where every year, an artist gathers "found objects", (junk), in the rivers and makes some sort of a sculpture out of them. That made for a pretty amazing looking "creature"this year. It looked like some giant ant, ready to take over the world.

Then they had a list of things that you were supposed to find in the sculpture. Here's Molly marking them off. If you found at least 11 of the items, you got a prize. She found 16. She got a cool poster for her effort.

At 3:00 we headed back to Baldwin Park for the last "Sheltered Reality" show (at Molly's request of course). She had decided she was going to be brave and get up on stage with them this time! That should be fun to watch. It was... except, just before she went up there, some rude lady sat down on a bench in front of us...and opened her huge umbrella, obstructing our view!

Some people just don't think. Yes, it was hot out and an umbrella for shade would be nice...but it sure doesn't help the people sitting behind you to be able to see what they sat down (before you) to watch!!! Thankfully, Molly ended up standing just to the left of the obtrusive umbrella so we were able to see her.

I thought she did a very good job keeping up with them. She said it was really hard to do, and that she kept messing up...but I didn't notice. I was proud of her. I have about a 3 minute video of her performing with them, and if I can figure out how to open it I'll post it here one of these days. Right now, I don't think I have the right program to do that on this computer. At the end of the show, since it was their very last show for this year's fair, they invited Sean Emery up on stage to join them. Sean Emery is a sort of Robin Williams-esque sort of character, who has entertained on the same stage for years with a juggling, unicylce and comedy act. That was rather amusing too. At one point he was on his knees balancing the cymbal stand on his chin, while others were hitting it. We came back for his last show at 5pm. After that we headed toward our last stop of the day, which was the Butterfly House. On the way there, we meandered through the fine arts building:

Someone had incredibly made this US map out of indivdual pieces of wood. It was really beautiful. There were a lot of cool exhibits in there, but this one was probably the most interesting:

Those are all rolled up one dollar bills. Nothing was glued down, they were just stuck in this metal grid thing. As we studied this piece of "art" we had to wonder if the border had at one time been completely solid, or if the artist had done it this way on purpose. I figured no one would be mean enough to steal from the letters...but how many would have been tempted to snitch a couple from around the border? We also wondered if they had a camera on the exhibit, documenting the whole thing. If so, it is sure to appear on Dateline or at least You Tube in the near future.

Finally, to our last destination of the day, we sat down and enjoyed watching the butterlies flutter about landing on people:

Ray found a new friend immediately. There were some butterflies who's wings were a beautiful blue color, but the blue only showed when their wings were spread open. I was trying to capture that with my camera, but they were not being very cooperative about it. Here you can see a little bit of blue.
Some people were literally collecting them and putting them on their person. Molly thought it would be a good idea to set a few on her purse while she was in there. She found one that was extremely cooperative.
This one was obviously a show off! It stayed that way on her purse until she finally took it off and gave it to someone else when we left.

Other people were sort of accidentally collecting them. This women walked around for the longest time with a butterfly attatched to her derierre. I guess he was a "butt"erfly? She ended up with one on the top of her head, and a few more on various body parts all at the same time.

Here's Molly posing for one last picture with her little friend, before she said goodbye to it. After that, we hitched a ride on a free trolley that makes the rounds through the fairgrounds, and rode that all the way to the gate. By that time, my feet were killing me, so I was very thankful not to have to walk several blocks to the parking lot. All in all, we had a pretty good time, and hopefully made some memories for Molly, that she can look back on in the future. Some day, she may even get over the fact that we would not let her bring her BFF, Liz along for her to hang with, so she had to spend the entire day with her parents. Aren't we cruel? Parents can be so embarrassing!


Qtpies7 said...

what a fun day! Molly was on the wrong side of the stage to stand next to the hottie, though. LOL

I really would have loved to have gone to the fair. This is the first year we haven't done it. But Donnie was sick of it after Driving Devon there 4 times. Traffic will do that to you.

byoc said...

Neat pics - I love the butterflies.
See ya soon.

sbpaulson said...

You guys looked like you had a great time! We would have loved to join you but I was supposed to work last night and Friday evening but if you've read my blog lately you can see plans changed. If we had known that we may have joined you! Oh well, glad you had fun! :) Love ya!

For Word Nerds Only

Word of the Day

Quote of the Day

Spelling Bee
difficulty level:
score: -
please wait...
spell the word:

Match Up
Match each word in the left column with its synonym on the right. When finished, click Answer to see the results. Good luck!