County Fair 2012

On Friday, June 1, we all went to the County Fair. We go every year. It’s a wonderful way to start our summer!

This year was very different. It was Cassie’s first time at the fair! Also, because Jackson’s school is on the fairgrounds, we arrived at 8:15, before anyone else was there. We had breakfast at school (Jackson got me a croissant, which Cassie enjoyed). At 9:00, Family Day at the Fair began. We were allowed out into the fair before anyone else.

For the first time, we went to the Education building, where the school entries in art, writing, woodworking, and other school-type endeavors were. ACA II had entered all of the Young Authors project books into the fair. Jackson found his book – he won first place! (Of course, all of the entries in Kindergarten won first place, but we didn’t have the heart to tell him that.)

We headed over to the animals, where one of my Publications students was in 4-H, showing off rabbits. Jackson just wanted to hang out in the small animal barn. Cassie started to get hungry, and it was time for her to take a nap, so Max headed over to some picnic tables, fed her, and actually got her to go to sleep.

We spent a lot of time trying to get together with some friends who had come from Antioch Charter Academy, but couldn’t find them. We did run into our friend Cheyenne and her son DJ, which was really nice. We hadn’t seen them in a bit. We went back to the large animal barn, but all Jackson wanted to do was see his favorite rabbits, a black and white named Pickles.

We headed back down the fairgrounds to get some food. It seemed that everything was much more expensive than last year! I got an ear of corn and some lemonade for $7. Outrageous!

We finally found our friends and got our BOGO ride bracelets for the kids. Jackson and Cassidy then played the fishing game, a tradition in our family. Jackson got 3 crocodiles and a starfish, but was in a snit because he really wanted a dolphin. Fortunately, actually going on rides made him much happier.

It was HOT, so our friends only stayed until about 1:00. Jackson really wanted to ride the bumper cars, so we went back down to the midway to find them. He found the dart game first. We had enough cash left for one dart. He won! And he finally got his dolphin.

We discovered that most of the rides on the midway were not available to him – he was too short to ride by himself. While we were walking around, trying to find a last ride for him to go on, Cassie fell asleep on my shoulder, using her Foogo sippy cup as a pillow. Max decided it was time for her to go home. Jackson found a ride he could do – the Super Slide – so, since we had brought two cars, I decided I’d wait for him and Max took Cassie.

After the Super Slide, we headed out. Then, I heard a “boo” behind me. It was another one of my Publications students. He asked how we were doing, then Jackson asked him if he’d ride the bumper cars. He said sure! So Jackson got to go on the bumper cars. I was so grateful to the older boy for taking the little one on a ride.

I told Jackson we might come back later. It was really just a way to get him to leave at all. I thought we’d all be way too tired to come back. Max had training for a new (possible) job that night, so he couldn’t come back. However, we all took a rest, and Jackson really, really wanted to go again, so… we did.

And that’s when I learned not to rely on the “low fuel” light in your car to tell you when you’re out of gas. Thank you to the two guys who pushed my car to the gas station, and then to the guy who gave me his $3 in change so I could actually get gas, because I had no cash and their ATM line was down. (I didn’t ask for the money. He was in line in front of me, and heard me freak out when the cashier said their ATM line was down. He just threw the $3 on the counter and said, “Here” and left.)

So I got $3 worth of gas, then went to Costco where I got a full tank of gas.

By this time, it was almost 5:30. One of the reasons Jackson wanted to get back was to see my Publications student’s rabbit presentation at 5:00. I was sorry to have missed it. But, when we pulled into the parking lot (my usual school spot, actually) she called and asked if we were coming. The presentation hadn’t started yet! We ended up waiting in the small animal barn for an hour waiting for her to present. She did, and she got 5th place, which isn’t too shabby.

I brought Cassie out to the picnic tables to feed her and I saw some friends I hadn’t seen in almost two years. I wish we had gotten to be better friends. Anyway…

The Publications student (whose name is Savannah*) accepted Jackson’s invitation to take him on the bumper cars. She hung out with us and went on a few rides with Jackson. They did the bumper cars, a small roller coaster, a ferris wheel (which Jackson hated), and The Hammer.

The Hammer is a ride that involves being turned upside down. Max was surprised, perhaps even annoyed, that I let Jackson go on it. However, I didn’t want to instill fear in him. I did tell him that once he got on, he couldn’t get off, so he had to be sure he wanted to do it. He said he did, and Savannah was game, so he went. There was no screaming or crying, though Savannah said he was scared. He looked fine when he got off the ride.

Then Savannah had to go back to 4-H, so we took her back and headed out. Jackson was tired and wanted something cold, so we drove through Wendy’s where he had a Frosty and I had a root beer float. Isn’t that the dinner of champions? Heck, it cost $3.77, which is less than any of the fair food, and it’s only once a year, so why not?

Oh, and when they were on the roller coaster, a woman walked up to me and started talking to me like she knew me. I sort of recognized her from school, but I still don’t know exactly who she is. She asked a bunch of adoption-related questions, which I intend to discuss in a separate post.

Cassie fell asleep on my shoulder in the middle of the Midway again. She slept through people screaming and all the loud music. Crazy!

The fair was really different this year, and I realized why – we usually go in the evening. This time, we went very,very early, so it didn’t totally feel like the fair until the sun went down. I’m hoping that next year, we’ll be able to spend the whole day.

If you’d like to see some previous fair outings:

* I introduced her a couple of times as “my favorite Publications student.” It didn’t occur to me until later that people might talk and think I was being totally serious. While she was an awesome student, I was fortunate that most of the students in that class were really good kids. I was using hyperbole, mostly because she was being really sweet in hanging out with a little kid when she could have been hanging out with her 4-H friends at the fair. I have my mother’s sense of not-always-appropriate humor, I guess.

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