Hi hi hi hi. Tired and my nails are half-painted and I’d like to crash soon, so here we go…
Let’s summarize the week. The temps broke, and we now have highs in the 70s (lows in the 50s at night), which is so very lovely and yet: it doesn’t exactly make me want to go to the pool. We haven’t been to ours in a week. I am never one to complain about cool temps, BELIEVE ME, but: a few days in the 80s wouldn’t hurt… In the meantime: I love that we can leave the windows open and even have to shut them at night. Glorious. Even more than napping
Anyhoo. I took some photos at a recent trip to Ella’s Deli, and downtown for dinner, but then I reformatted my current memory card (forgetting those images were still on there) so I don’t have any to share. Sorry. Just know that we very much enjoyed Rootbeer Float Day with free floats from Ella’s Deli, and then a few days later celebrated closing on our house by having a nice dinner downtown.
Yep, closed. FINAL. We weren’t supposed to do so until next week, but the buyers asked and well, yeah, what the hell so we did it. So house is officially sold, and I have to say I’m a little sad, because it was an awesome house and a great neighborhood and also: we have a ton of great memories there. But I am also VERY thankful that we were able to sell it so soon in this economy. So anyway, there you go. Kinda bittersweet.
Friday night we met up with some old Lawrence friends for a drink at Capital Brewery. They were in town for the Taste of the Midwest, which is a day of much debauchery We met up the night before, though, so the freakiest moment was when Pete flung his Matchbox car in the air and hit me square in the forehead, mid-conversation. Even left a nice Matchbox-wheel-shaped mark between the eyes. Smooth. At any rate: it was a good time seeing an old friend.
Saturday we headed to Milwaukee, to take in the State Fair. We planned on being there when the Fair opened at 8am. We didn’t set any alarms, because, well: HA. Like Pete ever sleeps past 6:45am, hellooooooooo.
Yeah, guess what. He slept until 8a. BUT OF COURSE. So we kinda got a late start, but still would have been there by 9:30a if it weren’t for this huge car accident on the highway – we were stuck for quite awhile, and frankly I think we came upon it sooner rather than later. It took over both directions somehow, several firetrucks/police cars, and after we were past the hold up, traffic was at a stand-still on the opposite side for several miles. Hopefully everyone involved in the accident(s) are on the mend.
So anyway, about 10:30a we hit the Fair, finally.
First we hit the bathrooms (yay for potty-training toddlers!), then the horse building. Pete was super-excited for the horses (or as he insisted: ponies). Most of them were friendly and happy to be petted, although we didn’t tempt fate and try to pet one of them. You know, the one with the giant sign saying to not pet, because the horse is in a bad mood and will bite you, plus several other signs saying HORSE WILL BITE, and the huge pile of chairs stacked up in front of the stall to block anyone from getting anywhere near… Okay, point taken, thanks for the warning.
Next we hit up the Small Animals building. Lots of bunnies, chicks, and other poultry. Loved those bunnies with the chinchilla-like coat…
The Herb Kohl building sells flavored milk for a quarter a cup. Yep, you heard that right, 25 cents. And they aren’t wimpy cups of milk, either. Pete and I got in line, and Scott ran over to the New Glarus tent across the way to get us some brews to get us through the long line (wut. hello, New Glarus). The lines went way more quickly than we anticipated, though, so by the time Scott made it back we were almost to the front. We got a glass of the root beer and chocolate milks, at Pete’s request, although the banana and cherry-vanilla both looked pretty good to me as well. And I must admit, Pete’s choices were pretty darn good. Next time, we get several glasses and bring some insulated storage containers with us, because at that price why the heck not
After a break to enjoy our beverages, we hit up the cattle arena. Again. We were dragged in there by Pete before getting the milk, and the only way we got him to leave was by promising many cups of his beloved beverage. After heading back, we spent a good chunk of time watching the Angus judging. Pete is clearly a cattle guy, just saying.
After that we headed out and just walked around for awhile. Pete was already bushed, which was not a good sign. We ended up carrying him. A LOT. I guess at least our arms got a decent workout.
We hit up the Wisconsin Products building, which is chock-full of Wisconsin stuff. Mostly food. Although Pete was fully charmed by the milk booth, and insisted we let him milk the cow. He got a sticker for his trouble.
Now: the Fair is full of food, from so very many vendors. Their list of Foods on a Stick is rather impressive, I must say. But for future record, to anyone that visits: skip all that crap, the best food is to be had in the Wisconsin Products building. All the food/beverage reps have booths here, for cherries and cranberries and apples and lamb and pork and CHEESE, glorious cheese. So many more too. And all are selling several edible goodies representing their particular food product. We were dumb and skipped most of the mouthwatering booths, and only hit up the cheese booth. We got the famous Wisconsin State Fair grilled cheeses, and the best part is they are dirt cheap: two bucks apiece, or three for five dollars. Can’t beat that. And they are pretty darn awesome, I must say.
Oh Scott, I know you love me so much for posting that flattering cheese-devouring photo.
After feasting on grilled cheese, we headed out and listened to a few bands in the beer garden area. There are several spots selling beer, but the beer gardens (also: several) are all around areas with small stages and music. One dude very charmingly was singing a country song about “douchebags” while we went past. Pete did not care for the words as much as the beat.
Our next big goal was to get the infamous State Fair Cream Puff. Even though this is our first trip, I had heard about the legendary cream puffs many a time. There was a building dedicated to them and they make those suckers at an amazingly efficient pace. We got in a long line and had a fresh cream puff in hand in no time. The line snakes through the room and right past the long assembly line room (with viewing windows), so even if it wasn’t that fast, it sure SEEMED fast with everything to see.
We headed back to the Micro garden to get a few drinks and eat our cream puff. This beer garden only sold microbrews, so we each had one we haven’t tried before. Pete was more than happy with his leftover rootbeer milk and a cream puff he pretty much had to himself.
Scott and I snuck in a few bites and yeah: totally worth the hype.
FYI: if you used up the last dregs of a keg at this garden, a siren went off and lights flashed and the lucky person got a t-shirt emblazoned with “KEG KILLER” on it. Too awesome. This happened 4 times while we were relaxing at the garden, the last time being done by a twelve-year-old killing the rootbeer keg. Kinda bummed we aren’t younger because I am sure Scott and I and our beer-devoted friends would have found a way to kill a keg…
The chick on the left totally didn’t realize she was in my shot and was giving me a nice dose of brat-face, don’t you think?
After we finished up at the Micro, we headed out and looked at booths. There was one that did hand reproductions (out of plaster, I think) and I cannot figure out what the draw is for that one. We also did a lot of fun people-watching, lots of mullets, bikers, and shorter-than-humanly-necessary shorts; all the fun things that you always see at a Fair. One chick had eyeballs tattooed on her giant cleavage, it reminded me of the billboard from The Great Gatsby minus the eyeglasses. THEY ARE ALWAYS WATCHING, OMG. I think that was my best tattoo sighting.
Pete was enamored with the balloons, especially the Diego and Dora ones. Thankfully, he didn’t throw a fit when we dragged him away (if it was a Thor balloon, we probably would have been in trouble…).
Our biggest problem was this dude on his cell phone that would not step away from those stick-head-in-plywood things, everyone was taking pictures at a severe angle in an attempt to cut his cell-phone-obnoxious self out of the image, but it didn’t really help. Oh well.
That did not stop us from attempting the Giant Slide line that he was also blocking.
This thing is pretty famous at the Wisconsin Fair. I looked up at it and yeah, it looked high, but not THAT bad. So we paid our two bucks apiece and made the ascent to the top, burlap sack sliders in hand. And I realized about halfway up that, uh, maybe this is higher than I anticipated…
Pete rode with Scott, so I didn’t even have to worry about that. The attendants got us set up on our sacks and helpfully told us to grab our ankles (ha!). I set my camera settings, including putting it on continuous shutter, and plopped it in my lap. I was ready to ride. Our attendants gave us a push and at first, clicking away, I thought it would be a cake walk and was thinking about how I’d position the camera to get some shot of Pete and Scott.
Then I hit my first hill and then got airborne and OMG I AM GOING TO DIE ON THIS THING BEFORE I HIT BOTTOM, TIME TO SAY SOME OUR FATHERS. So I didn’t shoot anything else while I flopped and flew and sailed down the slide, not until my butt was firmly planted at the cheap red carpet at the bottom.
I didn’t die, and learned an important lesson. When you are told to grab your ankles, for the love of God: GRAB YOUR ANKLES IT WILL BE EASIER ON YOU THAT WAY.
The guys grabbed their ankles and had a grand old time. Brats.
After that we hit up the ‘pony’ tent one last time, at Pete’s request, where he got to play out his (momentary) dream of being a cowboy. The end.
Then we made the trek back to the car, and Pete grabbed my glasses yet again to do his best Iris Apfel impression. Which he does about once a day, truthfully.
By the time we got home, he crashed. Before he totally wiped out, I asked him his favorite parts of the Fair. In no particular order: (1) “Milk comes from cows, you squeeze their [word for male anatomy here]s”; (2) we rode the big slide and dad and I said ‘weeee!’, but mom was not excited; (3) I ate a hamburger and french fries [that would be our Hardees stop on the way home]. So anyway, a busy day.
Then I crawled in there next to him and napped myself. The State Fair, that’s some hard work.
The rest of Saturday: rented some movies, made homemade pizza, took it easy. No photos to show for it. Sunday was much of the same, no photos: Scott ran up to New Glarus to get a limited-edition bottle of sour ale, otherwise: just full of errands and chores and other boring-ish things. I could link to a photo from New Glarus’ Facebook page where Scott is included, but will spare him (and you) this time.
That’s it, folks. Hope you had a wonderful weekend, and another wonderful week ahead! Onward with August, we are almost through the summer!