Saturday, August 13, 2011

We made it! The Iowa State Fair - Day 7

I am writing this a day (or two) late because yesterday was such an activity filled day, I didn't get to  bring you up to speed on our accomplishments (and boy did we cover a lot!).

Our initial plan was to have lunch on the Mississippi with a captian's narrated tour of the river.  However, a call ahead to the cruise line informed us that the lunch cruise was already sold out.  Plan B - head over to the Iowa State Fair, a short four hour hop from where we were. 

We passed the infamous Route 80 truck stop

and miles and miles of cornfields

Why did we embark on this road trip, please remind me again.  Oh yeah, to spend time with the kids and see this great country.

We didn't attempt any antique stops on the way, we figured we wouldn't be able to spend another second in the car than our driving time!

We finally arrive at the fair and enter this HUGE parking field.  The nice guy who took our parking fee of $10 noticed our license plate was from New York. 
     "Oh, so are you visiting family," he asked.
     "Um, no," we replied "this is our destination, the Iowa State Fair ~ it's the largest in the country you know." 
     He said "Pull up past the trailers and park on the left all the way up by the gate."
Wow!  We drove past all the parked cars and pulled into the area adjacent to the entrance gate.  Just to give you some perspective, the parking field is really, really big so we were beginning to feel special.  We found an awesome spot, under a tree (shade!!).  We backed in (always planning for our departure), secured the car and began the short walk to the gate.  That is until we noticed that all of the other cars had flourescent green tags hanging on their rear view mirrors and there were posted signs stating that this area was a tow away zone.  So, we moved the car to a what we felt would not be a tow away spot.

We entered at Gate 4. 

Now, that's nothing big except it was by the chickens!  Just about every size, shape and color were represented as well as ducks, geese and turkeys!  Even though I am obsessed with chickens, somehow I did not take any photos (consider yourselves lucky)!  Oh yeah, now I remember why.  I know I charged the camera battery last night, but somehow, it has stopped holding its charge.  So again, today we are lugging around a camera that won't take any photos and are relying on the cell phone camera.  Typical.

We left the chicken barn (after much procrastination) and continued walking into the fair.  The fair unfolds before your eyes into a dazzling display of activities and food vendors.

I mean EVERY food vendor in the state of Iowa (and then some) must be there.  You name it, you can get it.  From hot dogs to corn dogs to pork chops on a stick to Red Velvet funnel cakes . . .

You cannot appreciate the gorgeous red
color in these photos
 (darn cell phone camera).

Covered in icing and powdered sugar.

 . . . to fried oreos


to the unthinkable . . .

. . . yes, you're reading that correctly, deep fried butter. It was an eighth of a pound of butter dipped in cinnamon dough and fried.  The vendors stated it tasted like a cinnamon bun.

I think we tried everything (except the butter)!

Charlie was completely overwhelmed.  Everywhere he turned there was something to buy or to eat.  "Can I have. . .", "I'm starving. . . ", "I want ice cream . . ." dominated much of his day.

We stopped at the Agriculture (Ag) Building

and saw the Butter Cow.  It is her 100 year anniversary.
Yes, carved of BUTTER.  I guess she is behind the glass so that fair goers don't accidently rub a hot, fresh baked roll into her.  Just kidding, the food building was clear across the fairgrounds ~ no chance of that happening.
We saw a One Man Band

You always had to watch where you were walking even though

there were still "accidents" to be found.

We viewed livestock



Just the covered portion of the sheep barn was 6 acres! 

This is the GIANT boar.  Now that's alotta bacon!

We went on some rides

and called it a day at the fair.

But by no means was it the end of our day.  Guess where we went in the evening. . .

. . . you betcha!  Jon found a Drive-In movie theater with a double feature!  Anyone remember those (didn't we camp out in them at some point?)?  Needless to say, we did not make it through the second movie ~ it was 45 minutes away from the hotel.  Believe it or not, the kids wanted to watch the whole second movie, but I was even falling asleep during the first (really, it was the movie and a very long day, not because I am old and tired).

Stay tuned for another day at the fair tomorrow!

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