• Hello Sheep.
• Hello Alpacas. We really dig your hairstyles and your super soft coats.
• A trip to the Minnesota State Fair is not complete without Potato Lefse with cinnamon and sugar. Nor without Gourmet Deep-Fried Pickles with cream cheese filling and ranch dipping sauce, but I didn't photograph those. They were gone too quickly. (Jackson LOVED the lefse.)
• Watching fish at the DNR Fish Pond.
• My new skirt from Global Mamas - a cooperative working to provide sustainable livelihoods for women and girls in Ghana. (You can shop online or local folks can visit their warehouse on the second Saturday of each month for an open house - check the web site for the NE Minneapolis address. They have adorable kid stuff too!)
• Dan did not partake in the Deep-Fried Spam Curds, yet couldn't resist this photo. (I did not partake either, obviously.)
• "Fetching" at the Creative Activities Building. I saw a lot of patterns there that I recognized in the prize-winning knitted items. Lots of beautiful things this year, as always.
• A tatter who took the time to show me how to tat (though don't hold your breath for any finished lace on this blog, I was just curious). I didn't get her name or organization or anything, but she was so nice.
• Dan and Jackson on the Giant Slide. J-Man and I went on this the night before with Grama. He said "WHEEE!" all the way up the stairs as he watched the sliders go down ahead of him and "MORRRR!!" as soon as we were done. A BIG hit this year.
• Mini-donuts from the Grandstand Mini-Donut booth. You can get these all over the Fair, but I've always had mine from this booth, as far back as I can remember. Dan brought me a bag of these when he met me at the Fair for our first date five years ago, but that's another story...
• The State Fair Nap. What a trooper.
• Awake and raring to go. Pushing the "go-go" (J-Man's new word for stroller) all around the Fair was his favorite activity this year (well, maybe second favorite, next to the Giant Slide). How things have changed in a year!
• Kim and Chris Blanchard, the Rock Spring Farmers behind our CSA share. Good people growing good food. Meeting them in person at the Eco Experience Building makes me even more excited to eat the amazing broccoli and carrots we got from them last week!
• I'll have to eat A LOT of broccoli and carrots to counter-balance these Deep-Fried Cheese Curds. Dan made me do it. He swore that he'd been dreaming about them for two months and HAD to have them before we left. Ugh. "Just Say No to Too Much Fried Fair Food!" will be my motto next year...
• Earlier on, however, we "shared" this Roasted Corn on the Cob and I didn't feel the slightest bit guilty about eating this traditional Minnesota harvest food. I did feel a bit guilty that I ate a bit more than my half before giving it to Dan. What can I say? It's hard to stop with good corn!
• Just us. Self-portrait under the grandstand while Jackson napped. He's too little to take a good photo yet anyway.
And that's that. Two visits to the Fair in one weekend and that's all we get/need until next year. Fall is officially welcome now that we've gone through this end-of-summer rite of passage, though I suspect it's still a ways away. We're hoping to get one more camping trip in this weekend (what?! didn't we say that we were done with that?...we're crazy, I swear...) and then a regular routine begins after Labor Day. ECFE and Minneapolis Park + Rec classes for Jackson, weekend bike trips and apple-picking, and eventually, playing in the leaves. It was hot today but the evening breeze is definitely cooling off. Soon enough...
OH! Speaking of apples, I forgot to mention the highlight of the Fair for all three of us this year: "Cider Freezes" from the Horticulture Building. Seventy-five cents gets you a big frozen tube of apple cider just like those freezer pops I mentioned earlier. Less than a dollar for a perfect summer-into-fall treat?! Brilliant. (Does that make up for the $5 cheese curds?)
There's less than a week left to enter my contest - get your entries in quickly and I'll announce the winner on Friday!