California State Fair 2016

Today was Kennedy’s Nana’s last day in town after spending the last three weeks with us while Matt was away for training in Texas. The fair trip last year was a bit of a flop because Kennedy was just “a bit too small” for any of the rides, so I was really looking forward to going this year. The plan was that we would get motivated early and head to the fair to avoid the heat, but since my broody teenager got a new computer and played on it until 3:00 AM the night before, he was “too tired” to get up at 11:00 AM; teenagers are jerks, so we left without him. Before entering the fair, we had a few tickets to give away, since Nivek wouldn’t be using them with a friend like we has planned. The funny thing about giving things away is that you really have to convince the person that you aren’t trying to scam them somehow. I pretty much had to throw them at this woman who was waiting in line for tickets, and I’m still not completely sure that she believed they were legit. She seemed grateful, but skeptical.I would have just held on to the tickets and went at a later date, but I bought one of those 4-pack deals and they all have to be used on the same day.

Sidenote: I think the Shopkins characters are super cute, and their stuffed plushes were a common carnival game prize… but I can’t be the only one who thinks the lipstick looks like either a) dog chapstick or b) uncircumcised wiener. ANYHOW… Overall, we had such a great time. Kennedy’s joy was so infectious, it was hard not to feel a bit of wonderment over the whole experience. Until next year.

California State Fair

I really had no intention of going to the California State Fair this year, but after being handed a couple of passes and a parking voucher, I felt guilty just letting them go to waste. First, I tried to pawn them off on my son; I was sure that the lure of bad food would override his dislike for amusement park rides (nope!). Then I offered them to a few friends, all of which promptly responded with, “pass.” So, it was settled, Kennedy and I were going solo and we were going to have the best time ever.

It’s not that I dislike the fair, necessarily; I just feel like every year I wonder why I went, and this year was no exception. My main motivation for going, aside from the free part, was to take Kennedy to see the animals and go down the big slide (on my lap) one zillion times. We arrive right at 10 AM, before the rides and carnival attractions opened, in hopes to avoid the heat and pushy fair goers. Kennedy ogled the Alpacas from a safe distance, “no mommy,” and saw her life flash before her eyes at the sight of the huge bulls, “nooooooooo mommmmmmy.” Once we hit the lambs I was sure that we were going to get to make our introduction (hell, Mary had one, remember) but she b-lined toward the exit and that concluded or animal experience.

From there, we had a bit of time until the fair rides opened so we meandered over to the photo booths, and I tortured her by making her sit in a dirty, confined space while I made stupid faces to a reflective piece of glass (see exhibit “A” above).

Just up the hill from the photo booths, and easily the highlight of our State Fair experience, we listened to the Street Drum Corps and grabbed some ketchup with a side of corndog (see above). After drinking her weight in ketchup, I walked Kennedy over to one of the random measuring sticks and was excited and surprised to see that she reached the 36” minimal requirement for rides, so I bought a pack of tickets from the booth and we headed toward the fairway.

I had a list of the family friendly rides and tickets in hand, and when I approached the Dumbo ride, the carnie pointed me toward a height sign, in which I put Kennedy next to and she was too small. Odd, I had just measured her a few minutes prior and she appeared to meet the height requirement. Hrmmmm. While I was annoyed, and a bit confused, I figured we could easily blow our 25 tickets on the carousel and slide, so it wasn’t a huge deal and we moved on. After what felt like forever, “up, mommy, up,” we got in line for the carousel.

Well wouldn’t you know… “You must be 36” to ride this ride, even with an adult.”
REALLY!? FOR THE (expletive delete) CAROUSEL!

I’m sure you can guess what the sign at the slide said too.

With our lower lips extended and after handing off our tickets to a random bystander, we put our tails between our legs and made the long walk back to parking lot Z; we were home by Noon. Part of me wants to say that we wont go next year, but in truth, I know she will be big enough and a whole different version of herself by then, so it is entirely possible that I will be suckered into another year.