We went back to the MN State Fair last night since you can’t do everything in just one visit. And when we got there we were pretty hungry so we started the night off right …
We did not sample the “deep fried SPAM curds,” but had to photograph the booth that was selling them. When you all come to visit me next summer to attend the State Fair, I will also be dragging your asses to the SPAM Museum in Austin, MN. I’ve been to El Prado, I’ve been to the Uffizi, I’ve been to MoMA and the Art Insitute. And yeah, they’re way better. But the SPAM Museum is 100% awesome, I swear.
Part of our mission on this second visit was to follow instructions given by A Click in the Dark. First, had to try this pulled, marinated turkey sandwich from the booth outside the Poultry barn. He INSISTED that it was the best food at the fair. And, barring fries, he was totally right. If I could eat one of these savory, tender, beautifully seasoned sammies every day of my life, I’d be a fat and happy Sal.
His second instruction …
… was equally enjoyable. The llamas were put through either the obstacle course or something called the “public relations” course, which looked like a series of activities a llama would have to endure while being shown/judged on merit. Like a dog show.
Here are the two courses, end to end. It was pretty dark in there, so these photos aren’t the best, but hopefully you’ll get the idea.
The PR course included this inner tube, and let me tell you, llamas DO NOT WANT to shimmy their way through an inner tube.
I believe this llama was the only one we saw who made it through the water obstacle, a shallow pool filled with about 57 rubber ducks. We felt seriously sorry for the 4H’ers who had forgotten their wellies, since they had to wade through the murky wetness, too.
OK, don’t. Llamas spit.
Then we hopped on the skyride, a new fair activity for us this year. They offer two routes, and the other one had enclosed cars, but since it was SUCH a gorgeous night, I wanted the foot-dangling option.
You get some pretty fabulous views of the fairgrounds. This is the Kidway! (We never make it into the actual Midway, because of the noise and the preteens and the grease and the not-liking-vomit-inducing-rides.)
We took this ride one way, passed Machinery Hill, where you can buy a new tractor or personal watercraft or giant mower, and got off up by the semi-creepy pet barn. Outside the barn, the St. Paul Police Canine Unit was doing a demonstration. Dudes, those dogs were amazing. The heeling and the silent commands and the finding pipe bombs and the jumping and the biting the bite sleeve. And it was fun to see the bond between the dogs and their handlers. Did you know police dogs live with their handlers? I did not.
We were pretty hungry after that, so we headed back toward the Food Building (which amuses me, as there are food stands about every six inches, yet there is still an official “food building”), where Mike got some stuffed potato skins.
Then we went back into the Agriculture Building to see what kind of flower arrangements were on display. Our first fair trip is always on the first Sunday of the fair, and always coincides with the gladiolas, which I hate. But we’ve seen amazing displays of bonsai and orchids on other past non-Sunday trips, so I was excited to see what was being shown.
Turned out, it was Super Weird Table Setting and Flower Arrangement Day. I mean tell me, WTF is this thing?
On our way out, we were pretty hungry, so we got a bowl of chopped apples doused in caramel – now our preferred way to consume caramel apples.
Then we noticed that there was some weird shopping to be had inside the grandstand lobby. Mike asked if I wanted my handwriting analyzed, and when I said, “No,”he basically called me chicken. So we did it, obviously. The extremely powerful and high-tech machinery used in the analysis can be seen here, as can its astute and technically savvy operator. Mike’s analysis was pretty spot-on, but mine was only 50/50. It did say, however, that “You think it is sensible to be happy.” And friends, that is my flippin’ philosophy of LIFE! So that was pretty cool.