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The Utah State Fair: A Poor Man's Disneyland?

Every couple of years or so I get the hankerin' for a good old fashion state fair. It's hard to resist the lure of deep-fried foods, farm animals, and carnies all packed into one convenient location! And did you see that commercial for the deep-fried peanut butter sandwiches? That looked like some serious cutting edge deep-fried cookery that I simply HAD to check out.

As we walked into the fair grounds, the kids looked around with awe and excitement.

Then my oldest exclaimed, "Is this Disneyland?!?"

I paused, and had all these crazy thoughts go through my head when he asked that. If I said yes, then think of all the money we would save! We could go to "Disneyland" every year for only $56.00!. We would save thousands of dollars! Then I imagined the Disneyland conversations the kids would have with their friends over the years and laughed.

"Did you meet Mickey and ride Space Mountain?" their friends would ask.

"Uh, no...we must have missed that. We pet a cow and tickled bunnies instead."
How funny would that be?

So I answered him with a, yeah, no. I couldn't lie. My conscience got the best of me.
"This is better than Disneyland!" I said, "It's the State Fair!"

After that, we headed straight for the food. We all bought what we wanted and sat down and ate it. Well, ate part of it. Ryder sort of liked his corn dog, Ash didn't touch his burger, Reni said the Navajo Taco wasn't as good as he'd remember, and I had two bites of the deep-fried pb&j and felt ill. It wasn't as good as I'd hoped. Check out the following picture to get the idea.

Next we checked out a few vegetables and animals. The kids enjoyed that for the most part. We hadn't realized how cute cows could be and how smelly pigs could be.

My oldest loves crocodiles and alligators (at least we thought he did), so when we saw the freakishly large alligator in a hidden trailer, we jumped at the chance. We paid our $3.00 and walked behind the curtain. And then we saw it. It was really big and wide, and held very still...too still. We wondered if it was real. Eventually it blinked, so then were about 75% sure it was real. Much to our surprise, instead of the childlike delight we expected, as soon as Asher laid eyes on it, he started freaking out! Like seriously freaking, and not in a good way. He started screaming and near-crying, then tried to run out of the tent. But after paying three whole dollars, we weren't going to let him off that easy! :) . He calmed down, but was still jumpy and nervous. I told him I thought he liked crocodiles, but then he said he only liked the small ones and the medium ones, but not the giant ones. Good to know. (BTW, yes, as of today, he is still having nightmares about giant crocodiles. When he came to sleep in our bed last night because of said nightmares, the first thing he asked was "Is there crocodiles under these covers?" So that wasn't really worth it.)

To smooth things over, next we told the boys we would let them ride one ride (which eventually led to trauma #2). They picked the car ride; and here's how it went...

1. "Woo hoo! We can't wait to ride this ride!"

2. "Look how happy and excited we are! This is going to be so much fun!" We have the best parents ever!"

3. "Uh, what am I doing? Why am I here? I'm getting scared. What were my parents thinking? Get me off of this thing!!"

4. "Hey, where'd Ryder go? The ride hasn't even started yet?"

5. "Oh. Uh oh. There he is. He looks mad! What were my parents thinking?

Posted by PicasaAfter that, we'd had enough Fair and left. I'm sure it will be better next year! :)

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