Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fun at the Fair

We went to the opening day of the 2009 Puyallup Fair yesterday. On opening day, admission is free if you get there before noon. Considering it costs a small fortune to park, go on rides, buy some food, and hydrate yourself. . .getting in free is a nice perk. And so we went.

Things got off to an ominous start when we  witnessed a large black lab fall out of a pickup heading our way on the KP Highway, rolling into the ditch and bounding back up into traffic, looking stunned and confused.

We should have recognized the next warning sign as we passed the scene of a rollover accident on the 512, about 3 miles from the fair. They only got worse when the highway turned north and we first caught sight of the mile-long backup getting off the freeway.

But we fought our way through, got to the parking lot, and made it inside well before noon. We set off to find my parents, and located them easily enough, standing in the shade of a tree talking to our Lakebay friends Harvey and Carla Roberts.

First item of business: lunch. Well, that was ours. The kids thought rides should come first. And they showed it by pouting through lunch. But I enjoyed my BBQ chicken sandwich (and 1/2 of Clara's, too) very much.

Then, to keep the kids happy, off to the rides. The shortest way was cutting through one of the exhibit halls. . .or so we thought, until we entered and found 10,000 other people crowding the aisles, enthralled by towels and veggie choppers and electrostatically charged bracelets and emu-oil lotion. Slogging our way through that crowd I did happen to run into the KP's most famous physician, Dr. Roes, and we had a quick chat before losing our respective families.

Thankfully, the kids were distracted by the honeybee display, and the Grange displays, and finally the hobby hall with its collections of My Little Petshop and Obama memorabilia.

But then, off to the rides. (On the way we ran into Harvey and Carla again).

Olivia and I got on the Mighty Mouse (video to be posted later). Clara and Olivia ran through a fun house. And then we decided to see the draft horse display.

Apparently, 10,000 other people also decided to see the draft horse demonstration. Including Lakebay's own Howard and Diane Johnson, we walked past our seating area whilst searching for empty seats of their own.

The draft horses were good. Unfortunately, 1/2 way through the show, we discovered that Olivia was running a high fever. So that about ended the day.

Except we'd promised Clara one more ride, so off to Kiddie-land we went. Clara chose the motorcycle ride, declaring "when I grow up, I'm going to be a motorcycle girl!"

The guy running the ride was pretty methodical. So the wait was interminable. But finally we got her on and situated. And the ride was about to start. . .when the kid behind her decided to open his bladder and pee all over his motorcycle. And since he was 3 feet in the air, it made a very sickeningly audible dribbling sound as it plummeted to the metal framing below. The horrified mother got him off, and the ride was about to start. . .when kid #2 had a meltdown, and his mother also had to get him off. At which point the ride operator decided to let another kid on, a kid whose mother proceeded to almost put him back on the pee-covered motorcycel. . .right up until all of us watchers shouted at her that that wouldn't be a good idea.

Finally. . .the motorcycle ride progressed, and Olivia decided she was going to throw up. Mom and Olivia ran off in search of a restroom, and when the ride ended, I took Clara to get her cotton candy. My poor parents just had to tag along through all the commotion.

So, cotton candy in hand, sick child in tow, we headed toward the exit, with one final stop in mind: the scone stand. Apparently, 10,000 other people also wanted scones, and the scone stand workers felt they needed to have personal conversations with each customer, because it took forever to get said scones. . .and all the while poor Olivia was suffering in Clara's stroller.

But we got the scones, we got on the road (by now Clara was wailing because she also wanted a scone, even though she'd chosen cotton candy instead. . .), and, eventually, we got home.

Oh. . .and about 15 minutes before getting home, Olivia woke up in her back seat and said "Hey - I feel better!" And sure enough, the fever was gone, her spirit was back to its perky self, and all was well with the world.

We even got to stop by a friend's farm on the way home and milk some goats and collect some eggs, so the "country fair" feel carried on to the end.


davidhusby said...

I (Ronna)loved going to the fair when I was growing up. We didn't do rides but just saw exhibits and got to chose something to eat. Sounds like a memorable day.

Lori said...

I love the way you tell a story Dan. It made me laugh.