It always felt so exotic to go, maybe because it was an hour's drive from home and our route included a stop in an Amish community, where we would indulge in the most delicious cinnamon rolls as we watched people ride by in horse-drawn carriages.
It was always a bajillion degrees outside, always windy and dusty and furnace-esque. Because it was Kansas, and that's how Kansas is in the summer. Kids don't care about sweaty, windblown hair. Kids are too excited by the other things.
Things like riding the swings and Ferris wheels, popping balloons to win prizes, signing your name on a piece of paper and inserting it into a fortune-telling machine that would predict your personality traits and future.
Things like corn dogs and funnel cakes and pig races.
Yes, I have some nostalgia going on. That's why I didn't think twice about making a day out of the L.A. County Fair. Again, an hour away. Again, a bajillion degrees. Again, lots of fun.
We were assaulted with the sounds and smells of the midway when we first entered. Barkers louder than I remember barkers being, music blasted at eardrum-busting levels, fried foods brought to absurd levels. Frog legs? Really? H and I were thrilled, thinking we would end our day with a fried Twinkie because. When in Rome, you know.
But Alexa was overwhelmed. Too loud, too bright, too hot, too much, too fast.
We parked it for a little while, giving her watermelon out of our snack stash while she looked around.
I couldn't stop taking pictures of her watermelon-stained chin and her wide-yet-skeptical eyes, taking in the tall rides, the fast rides. Through the eyes of babes. After her snack, she needed her safety net -- the binkie -- to carry on.
We showed her the enormous and beautiful Clydesdale horses. We pointed out both new and familiar things in our excited voices. It wasn't difficult to do because we were excited. Something I've noticed about becoming a parent is it makes you more adventurous than you ever were. You want to introduce your child to everything great in the world.
Like sheep and billy goats.
We took refuge in a few of the exhibit buildings to hide from the sun. Quilts and Christmas trees, aquariums filled with stingrays, pushy salespeople trying to get your air freshener business. History lessons, mattress testing, jars of jam. In other words, air conditioning.
Alexa is too young aka "too short" to ride most of the kiddo rides, so we took turns with her on the carousel.
|Sweat, aka my nemesis.|
H took the rest of the ride tickets and won Alexa a few stuffed animals by popping some balloons with a nonthreatening dart (no sharp tips for the youth of today!). We then spent an obscene amount of money quenching our never-ending thirst. Lemonade. Icees.
Behold the "Mommy I want some Icee NOWWWW!" face:
It was only when we passed the last fried treat stand on our way out that we realized we didn't eat a fried Twinkie. Or anything fried. Oh well. There's always next year.
That's right. Reality matched nostalgia this time. Hot, sweaty, fun was had by the entire family, and I can't wait to do it again. For the record, there are no Amish towns with great cinnamon rolls on the way to the L.A. County Fair ... but I hear the ones at the fair are pretty decent.