Matilda did not know what in the world she was in for. Of course, Daphne will only have pictures to remember this by, as she was nicely snuggled in the Bjorn for the entire journey. We met up with my brother's family who had just arrived from their long trek from Nashville. My parents and I also brought along my sister's youngest two kids, so it was a cousin-extravaganza when we all met up.
Matilda had a blast being pushed around in her stroller by her two girl cousins, Lily and Grace. I'm pretty sure that was what she thought I meant by "rides at the fair" and I was happy to let her think that was the extent of what was offered...until she saw the carousel. Game over!
My mom has a love of carousels as well, so it was a match made in heaven. Gram and Tilda climbed aboard, and soon enough they were zipping up and down and around. Whee! I think Matilda would have stayed on there all day if you let her. But, there was plenty left to be se
en and done.
Let me take the time to clarify here that the Kansas State Fair is unlike any other fair I've been to. It beats the Orange County Fair like ten times over. Seriously. The food is better, the rides are funner, and they have actual livestock to show off - not just a border collie with a sign on it labeled "cow"...nice try, California. I'm talking two-day-old lambs to ooh and ahh over, and little baby pigs that were so cute it actually brought my 7-year-old niece to tears (true story).
By the evening, we determined that we were going to have to make our Fair experience a two-parter, coming back a second day so that all the cousins could get their full experience of the rides...and making sure that I was truly getting my money's worth out of this baby Bjorn. Lucky for me, I had just been to my chiropractor the week before.
On day two, we split up to cover more ground. The kids hit the rides and others and myself took the girls to shop around and see more animals. We also saw the prized "butter cow" - an actual life size statue of a cow entirely made of butter - well, it used to be, anyway. Now, it has expanded into an entire "scene" and this year's was of monkey's riding broncos!? Strange, but awesome, you have to admit. And speaking of butter...
Oh yes, we got our fill of some awesome fair food. Matilda and I ate Pronto Pups (amazing corn dogs the size of your head) and we devoured fried cheese that puts regular mozzarella sticks to total shame. By the time the day was done, we managed to eat our weight in the latest and greatest trend - Red Velvet Funnel Cake. Whoa, mama.
We waddled back to the car (where did we park?) finally ready to head home and thoroughly exhausted. Dust in our eyes, mud on our shoes,
sweat on our brows, and grease on our lips...what a day.
Some day we'll return when the girls are a little bit older - when Josh can come with us and win the girls some giant prize panda we can't fit in the car on the way home by spending dollar after dollar and finally hitting that one trick stack of bottles with a baseball - or something and when our girls will probably be whining the entire time about how Disneyland is better and they want to go home. But I don't care - I will always love the Kansas State Fair. I was glad to see that not too much had changed over the years and I could still see and smell the same things I had in my childhood. It was still a little wondrous, a little scary, a little noisy, and a lot of fun. Thanks, Kansas. There's no place like home.