Foul Weather Fair

It’s absoutely the BEST time to go to any outside event when it’s cloudy, intermittently raining and folks are scared off by possible thunderstorms. Ah, life is good for the very, very fair people on a rainy day at the fair. No sunburn, no sunblock, and very few lines!

The kids were NUTS to get to the rides, of course, but as we passed the young farmer exhibit they changed their minds. They absolutely LOVED the little tasks they had to do (why is that so hard at home?) and enjoyed every step of their farm “day.” They were given a dollar of play money to spend (Max got Lucky Charms, Hannah chose can of corn – excellent to carry around all day…) and we were off to sit in every John Deere device ever invented.

If Max could just move from tractor to earth mover all day, not even turning the equipment on, just sitting on it, it would make him happier than anything else. We had to DRAG him away from this – honestly, he didn’t enjoy the rides half as much as sitting on these tractors.

But we did go on to the rides. We didn’t understand that we were in the kiddieland section, the kids really seemed to enjoy the thrills, so when we finally wandered onto the MIDWAY I thought they were going to EXPLODE! A total of 50 tickets went a LONG way – and when we got down to the last 8 tickets it was a hard decision. Here’s how we divided them up:

6 tickets for Whack A Mole
(Han, Max and Mom played – Mom won a dog)
2 tickets for another carny game
(Max rolled 5 balls into 5 slots and win a piggie – Hannah got the dog)

Life is good.

Here are the promised extra pictures of the fair – the SideShow…

The Award Winning Cakes

Max Bonds With Piggie

We ended at the Creative Arts building (I kept looking, but couldn’t seem to find it…) I loved the knitting I saw – these clogs were so simply made and SO lovely! But I especially liked this stamp collection – it just seems to sum up the stereotype about Minnesota, eh?

We ended our day at the fair by stopping by Barnes & Noble, where Gerrry and kids dropped me off so I could get online to check email, etc., while they went across the street to Famous Dave’s for dinner. When they returned I had a few loose ends to tie up, so they wandered around the mall and Hannah befriended a college girl working at Merle Norman and chatted with her for quite a while. The girl, Colleen, was SO kind – so wonderful to Hannah – who is in that heroine-worship stage of being 9 years old.

Hannah has told us that it’s okay now for us to move to Minneosta because she has a new friend (Colleen).

It’s funny – all day long I was thinking of my mom – of her ability to outsmart the rain (it always seemed to stop when she needed it to) and how we were experiencing some of her good luck at the fair. Then the whole Merle Norman thing just sealed it. It’s the only makeup mom wore – she loved it – and when she passed on and we took her body to WV for burial I forgot to bring her cosmetics. I stopped by the Merle Norman in Parkersburg and the women there were SO kind, giving me all kinds of samples for the folks at the funeral home to use. I know this sounds a little ghoulish, I’m sorry, but it was such an odd thing for Hannah to make a new ‘friend’ at my mom’s old make-up haunt.

Mall of Whose America?
After looking at a few houses yesterday (two of which are excellent for us (one as a single family in St. Paul and another as a duplex in Minneapolis – we’re leaning toward a single family…) we had a great lunch at the Hennepin Diner (WHAT an excellent fajita wrap!) with our Real Estate agent who suggested that if we were going to visit the Mall of America anyway, and since we were going to attend the Twins Game that night, that after we finish our shopping and thrill riding we take the train to the Metrodome and then take the train back to pick up the car.

It sounded like a plan – also a chance to see the Light Rail in action – and would force a time limit to the MOA portion of our trip (I don’t think Gerry or I were thrilled about it, but the kids wanted to see it, and I was curious, too…)

We parked at one side of the mall, but then learned that the light rail was on the OTHER side. So we drove around the mall and parked closer to it so when we came back from the game we’d have not so far to walk. We entered the mall, found the entrance to the light rail and asked the woman at the information booth if she knew how long it would take to get to the dome.

Now – please bear in mind that we knew that we’d be spending some $$ at the mall (we ended up dropping about $50 between rides for the kids and books). Just keep that in mind.

– Excuse me – do you know how long the train trip is to the Metrodome?

– [nastily]If you’re planning on going to the game, you’ll have to move your car to the lot on 28th street. Our parking is ONLY for patrons of the mall.

– We are shopping at the mall.

The woman was such a – well – such a playground supervisor. I can understand that there may be a problem with folks parking and going to the game, but we were going to be shopping (it just seems ludicrous that we’d park our car in a rather empty lot, then shop, then MOVE the car to another CROWDED lot – this was a Tuesday evening…)

This woman was the first, the absolute #1 person we’d run into so far in Minnesota who was downright rude. It wasn’t so much what she said, but her attitude told us that she assumed the worst about us, and was going to give us a stern lecture about it. I said to her, almost laughing, “You’re the first person we’ve met here who wasn’t really, really nice!” Gerry, more pragmatic, asked, “So do you know how long the train ride is? We’re planning on shopping here and probably having an early dinner at the mall…”

Not very happily, she slid off of her stool and got a train schedule and handed it to us as she said, Well, I certainly hope you’re intending on patronizing some of our tenants…

And that got under my skin. It made me feel so sad – but I think that was an upshot of a VERY stressful week (mostly happy stress, but stress none the less) that it affected me so strongly. Gerry and the kids ran off to ride the rides, I shopped for a book and had a cup of tea and checke
d my email. Life on the road.

When we left our car in the lot to take the train I made sure we left our receipts and ticket stubs on our dashboard so that anyone who was interested would see that yes, indeed, we had spent money with the tenants at the MOA. In full disclosure, the information guy at Barnes & Noble and the cafe counter person there were as nice as they could be!

The game? It was fine – odd to be inside such a big room, and the Twins lost (which was sad) and which also really PO’d the teenage boys behind us. They seemed to be about the age to go in a group to the game for the first time, and were swearing and yelling (but it was oddly entertaining – as if they weren’t quite good at it, yet, but thought that’s what guys were supposed to do at a game…) The train ride back to the car was long and crowded – but nowhere NEAR as crowded as a subway ride! We were all happy to get home last night into our beds.

Today I’m taking Hannah on a yarn crawl in the Twin Cities, and then to a knitting group in St. Paul. That way Gerry and Max can do some “guy” canoeing (to the other side of Lake Algae) with no girls to muck things up.

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