Friday night was spent the way I spend pretty much every Friday night – relaxing, watching television, and waiting for Mr.C to get home from work. This time was no different as I kicked back with Gossip Girl until the Mr. came home and we celebrated “Paycheck Day” with a late-night Chipotle run.
Saturday, we had grand plans to clean up the house and do some paperwork organizing but opted instead to go on a mini-excursion. We tossed out ideas like hiking or thrifting, the zoo or even a visit to the Valley Fair amusement park. Sadly, still clad in our pjs, neither of us had checked the weather and 15 minutes later I started to pour. Helllooooo rain! So, instead, we grabbed an umbrella and walked down the block to get some muffins and donuts before curling up in bed to watch a movie. After that I took a nap while Mr.C played video games. Once the rain had let up we took a stroll through the apt. complex, checked out the exercise room (ellipticals, treadmills, a tv, and more!), and wander down the block, yet again, only this time we ordered our first Gina Maria’s pizza for dinner. And boy was it delicious!! Next time we’ve decided to try out their deep dish pizza to see how it compares to our absolute, hands down favorite in the world from Vitale Joe’s in Clinton, IA. So stay tuned for that review in the coming weeks. After pizza, we reviewed for the Minnesota Driver’s License exam (which we hope to take tomorrow morning!) and spent the rest of the night just lounging around.
Sunday we were up and out of the house early to meet up with N & B to go to the Minnesota State Fair. It was fun for the most part (until you get sick of the crowds + heat/humidity) and is basically a county fair on crack x 10000. Known as the Great Minnesota Get-Together, there are tons of people, deep-fried anything + everything on a stick, cheese curds, concerts, beer tents, midway rides, animal barns, and much much more. It’s actually the second largest fair in the US, in terms of size, next to Texas.
In terms of food: we enjoyed cheese curds, fresh cut fries, chicken on a stick (in hopes of it tasting as good as the stuff we had in Hawaii – it wasn’t the same but still delicious!), $1 all you can drink milk, ice cream, and red velvet funnel cake. Mr.C also tried his first beergarita!
In terms of barns: we wandered in and out of many including arts+creative, horticulture (home to a hall dedicated to beer), the DNR fish pond, the dairy barn (where present+past fair princesses are on display – their heads carved out of butter!), and the Miracle of Birth barn full of pregnant or recently pregnant mama cows/goats/sheep/rabbits/chickens/pigs + their newborns. If you are there at the right time you can even catch a live birth!
In terms of entertainment: we definitely had a good time just people watching and wandering around, but we also checked out a culinary demonstration (with Al Franken as a guest judge/taster), lumberjack show complete with sawing competition and pole climbing, the Great Sing-along (picture a bunch of random strangers doing karaoke), and spent 20 minutes in Mirazozo, a neat color + light exhibit.
Mirazozo is a 11,000 sq. foot Luminarium built by Architects of Air in the UK. Described as a “sanctuary of the senses”, Mirazozo is an inflatable sculpture with extensive tunnels, soaring domes, and semi-private pods/nooks that immerse guests in light and color. With ambient music playing throughout, visitors are encouraged to explore the structure as well take the time to lay down or sit and just be relaxed and contemplative. The sculpture was modeled after Iranian architecture and definitely made you feel like you just walked into some sort of stained glass window / kaleidoscope / space-age structure. Being air conditioned and fairly quiet, it was a wonderful break from the hustle and heat of the fair!
As a Minnesota transplant, I’d have to say my experience at the fair was, well, fair. It is what you’d expect only much larger with interesting exhibits, shows, and one of a kind eats – that is if you can find them in the maze of duplicate food stalls, many barns/buildings, and throngs of people. Seriously, it was super crowded and sweaty – but quite clean. But definitely worth a trip if you’ve never been before! (although in a dehydrated, agoraphobic, tired, 4pm tantrum I may have told Mr.C I did not plan to return until we have to bring our future children! Ha!)
We had a good time considering and thankfully made it out alive despite consuming too much fried food (oh and escaping the craziness that happened later that night… 2 guys stabbed & in a knife fight, no worries, the fair is still safe for families – according to the news -, as the incident was not considered random, the two dudes knew each other and decided to brawl…lovely…).
Anyway, if you want food + fun (and can tolerate a total sweatfest and lots of people) the State Fair is an end-of-summer must!
A few tips for a successful, stress-free Fair experience:
have cash (although they do have ATMs with no fees)
catch a free shuttle bus at multiple Fair designated “park & ride” locations
sunglass and sunscreen are a must
have healthy snacks on hand to supplement your fried food binges drink
consume lots of water
arrive early and leave early to escape the crowds & afternoon heat, plus going during on a weekday will save your even more headaches
So, there you have it! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend!