(Okay, "Great" is a slight exaggeration...)
Since Jim had to work half-day yesteday and Gabby and Bridgette (Tania's girls) were in Portland with their Dad's family, Tania and I decided it was the perfect opportunity to head to Salem for the Oregon State Fair. It's probably been 15 years since the last time I went to the State Fair and it's been years since Tania went without the kids - so it was the perfect Saturday activity. We got (close to) the fairgrounds around 1:40 and were finally able to park a little after 2:00. Luckily, Tania's new car has air conditoning, so the time spent in the car wasn't bad at all. Once parked, we headed for the gate by the Midway, bypassing the looooonnnnggg line at the main admissions window. Walking the extra distance was worth it - there was NO line, no waiting at the gate. We paid our $9 admission fee - (Not too terribly expensive considering that's about what a movie costs these days.) - and we were in.
We started by walking around the Midway too look at the rides and reminisce about the days (When was that again?) when we could ride more than just the Ferris Wheel without succombing to violent motion sickness. As always the game booths - and their prizes - were entertaining. It's amazing how much effort and money people waste to win something that will inevitably wind up at Goodwill - or in the trash - within a few weeks.
After the Midway, we wandered up and down the rows of booths selling everything from hot tubs to Ginzu knives to Salvation. And I could swear, those booths were the very same booths in the very same locations that I wandered past 15 years ago! That is except for the Tattoo booths. Tattoo booths? At the fair? Don't get me wrong - I have nothing against tattoos. I love them! In fact, I have 4 tattoos and plan on getting more. However, the last place on earth I would go to get a tattoo is a booth at the State Fair! Holy Hannah! I go to a clean, well-lit tattoo parlor that has an onsite autoclave to sterilize the equipment. Where the tattoo artists are artists and where they are not going to be bothered by the noise, the crowds and the dust of the fairgrounds. Seriously, who gets a tattoo at the State Fair?
We hit a couple of the exhibit halls - I especially like the cake decorating display and the table setting display - and then wandered over to my FAVORITE exhibit, The Petting Zoo! We were chatting and people-watching on our way over and almost walked into the Reptile House by mistake. YIKES! Just getting close to it gave me the heebie-jeebies. Having avoided that catastrophe, we made it to the Petting Zoo where we could touch and pet a tiny gray piglet, a couple calves, lambs, goats, a llama, a donkey and 2 Patagonian Cavies. I loved it. I just love animals!! I also wanted to see the Poultry Exhibit, but Tania's allergies were acting up. Have you ever seen those pigeons that do somersalts? Seriously... it's very, very cool.
After taking in all the sites, we decided we better get something to eat since all we had had since arriving was some cotton candy. Do you know you need to take out a loan in order to buy fair food? I'm not kidding. I could not believe how expensive the food was. For what I paid, I expected my stir-fried noodles and teriyaki chicken to at least be gold plated. They weren't. Nor were they worth the price (or half the price for that matter).
We headed out the Red Gate and back to the car around 5:00. By then I had been walking around long enough and my ankle as starting to ache some. Traffic was light a we headed south on I-5 and Tania dropped me off around :30ish giving her plenty of time to get to Corvallis where she was meeting our friend Melissa at 6:45 for a movie at The Darkside Cinemas. It was a great day! But, any day spent with Tania is a great day!
By the way, I think I will check out the State Fair again - in 15 years.