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Gift from Hil Part 2 - 2014-12-30
A Gift from Hil - 2014-12-28
There was A LOT of turkey. - 2014-12-04
Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
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5:35 p.m. - 2014-08-27
One Hot A-Fair

I went to the New York State Fair yesterday. In a word? Overwhelming.

(Sidebar #1- I am trying to cut back on the 'we' speech. Of course 'we' {Mick, Wolf and I} went, but I write about almost all of my thoughts and doings as if part of a group, some grotesque troupe of conjoined triplets that without use of the other two's organs I'd cease to live. Hence 'I' will be reporting in today.)

So I went to the fair yesterday. I'd been dorking out about this since hatching the plan last week. Dopey, childlike, ridiculously romantic LA got her stupid panties in a twist about going to a fair. As is usual, I'd romanced this experience to the Nth degree beforehand and like always ended up not doing a single goddamn thing I'd wanted to do. Lil Ms Make-Everybody-Happy was far too busy making sure Mick and Wolf were fed, hydrated, seeing the stuff they wanted to, fussing over Mick's incipient heat exhaustion, and busting a gut trying to be the best gosh darn activities director ever. No, wait, I saw the butter sculpture. I really, really, really wanted to see the butter sculpture because the viewing of 800lbs of churned milk fat molded into a diorama about how great New York's dairy products are is the kind of thing I get excited about. So there was that anyhow.

What I didn't do was:

See a cow give birth. (Missed it by 20 minutes.)
See the wolf show. (Couldn't find it despite extensive searching.)
Talk to the bee guy. (Am considering getting a bee box.)
Spend time with the prize-winning flowers. (We did pass through the flower exhibit on our way to the dinosaur thing Mick wanted to go to. A brief glimpse of dahlias as big as my head.)
Buy any souvenirs.
Participate in the maple sugar making.
Eat anything deep-fried on a stick.
Have a wine slushee. (Being on the dry cuts into one's alcohol consumption something fierce.)
Attend the Wallflowers and Train concert. (Tix were pricey and the show started after we left anyhow.)

There. I got my whining out of the way. If my checklist is mostly blank it's my own stupid fault and should in no way be misconstrued as Mick and Wolf making excessive demands. The guys were great.

THE biggest mistake made yesterday was leaving home 20 minutes past the butt-crack of dawn. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Somehow with a 3+ hour drive in front of us it seemed prudent to leave way early so as to have as much time as possible at the fair. What we neglected to factor in was the heat. Neither Mick nor I can deal with being out in the sun in the summer's heat at all. Yet like dummies we got to Syracuse just after 11:00am. Thus meaning we spent the next 7 hours wobbling around nauseated, dehydrated, and scuttling from one puddle of shade to the next.

The fairgrounds are HUGE. The crowds, even on a weekday, were pressing and obnoxious. There were ZERO tour guides, uniformed staff, signposts, or information booths. The printed schedule of events said what was happening, but not where. The map provided at the gate was of no help whatsoever. I swear to you this thing was illustrated by a 4th grader and designed by one of those engineers who lives in a lab and has never, ever, ever had any real life experience. IKEA assembly directions are more straightforward and make more sense than that damnable fairground map. At no time did the list of buildings make mention of the activities within. You are just supposed to magically know the bee guy was in the Pavilion of Tomorrow and the flower show was in the Empire State Progress building. Of course it was totally obvious that the jugglers and magicians would be performing in Witter Plaza! (Which on the map was listed as: Benefactor Fountain.) See how easy it all was? Now do this on a fairgrounds about the size of Delaware in the blazing sun while trying not to vomit from heat prostration.


However we got all of our newbie mistakes out of the way this time. Mick and I have already made plans to go back next year and have a few changes already decided. One: leave later and do the fair in the afternoon and evening hours. Two: plan on spending the night up there instead of making the long slog home after a too, too long day. Three: save money beforehand and buy tix to a concert if there's an artist we'd like to see. Fair admission comes with. Four: make a prioritized itinerary and map things out in advance if possible. Five: Make use of parking lot shuttles and buy accordingly. Rather than postponing purchases because we don't want to lug things around, we'll do a buying spree and stash stuff in the car and go back to the fair. (Hellooo bee books, maple syrup, flower seeds, info literature on many things!)

We'd already dressed properly (dorky but weather-appropriate, we're too old to worry about looking stylish), though with trips back to the car planned I can change out my sneakers for sandals and we can leave our sun hats in the car when no longer needed.

Even though the unplanned-for heat and massive confusion put a big dent in things we still had a pretty decent time. Wolf had a ride bracelet and rode the vomitrons to his heart's content. During one shade stop I got to see Bowser from Sha-Na-Na (at a distance) and heard some good tunes. I toured the 4-H building and was wicked impressed by what the kids came up with. One group had an experiment that was conducted up on the space station! Mick was a champ and did his very best to be my gallant escort even when nearly passing out from the heat. Wolf was prompt with reporting in via text and showed up for arranged meetings without delay. We saw some gorgeous bunnies and fowl. Everybody was polite and generous about sharing tables and seats in the shady spots and we got into some interesting conversations with strangers. The prices were incredibly reasonable for food and drinks. None of that hostage-taking mentality where water is $10 a bottle and ice is $5 extra.

And I got to see the butter sculpture. YAY!

Exhausted and fumbling today but already dorking out for next year, ~LA

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