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XO, Elisa

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Take me to the fair... or NOT!

Yesterday I discovered I don't like County Fairs. In fact, I REALLY don't like them. To be fair (no pun intended), there was just the one, but considering how hyped it was and the crowd it attracts, I'm thinking it's safe to assume that if I don't like what is considered a great county fair I won't like lesser ones any better.

Allow me to backtrack a little. Last week a friend recommended we visit the Dutchess County Fair. He said "There's lots of stuff to do: animals for the kids to pet, local merchants, rides... it's really fun for kids. It's upstate New York, but it's so worth the drive. It's also a really beatiful area." So of course DH, who is in IT but is really a farm boy at heart, decided we should go. I said ok, picturing booths of beautifully handcrafted items, fresh produce and homemade honey and jam, with some small rides for the kids on the side and a "petting zoo"-type corner. Yeah, I'm totally clueless about this stuff. So sue me. I'm Italian and he's Swiss - we don't have county fairs where we are from.

Anyway, so yesterday morning I woke up early and decided to check if I could find a website for the fair, since it was so famous. Oh, I found one all right. One look at the website, and there I was, at my desk, shocked expression on my face, my mind suddenly running to the movie Babe when I repeated to myself the words "county fair". Words which were quickly followed by "oh crap" and "no way!" as I browsed through the website. Needless to say, it was not what I had imagined. You see, I don't like farm animals much. Cows can be cute, but they are the best-looking of the bunch. And the smell... yikes. But since I was outvoted and we had already rearranged our day so we could go, I gave in.

After driving for 2 hours and getting an ever-increasing "middle of nowhere" feeling, we arrive to the place. At the gate, a large plaque depicting a cow greets us, which prompts my "Oooh, a cow plate. This is promising" quip. And then we see it. The sea of cars. It's 11 AM, and there are already hundreds of cars parked outside of the fair grounds. Great. My husband has a lot of good qualities, but finding our car in a crowded parking lot isn't one of them. So the first order of the day when we get out of the car is to look around and pinpoint our location, so we don't have to spend ages trying to find our car when we leave the fair (believe me, it woulnd't be the first time).

We park and make our way to the entrance. The sign at the ticket booth lists the DON'Ts of the fairgrounds: no cans, no bottles, no pets, etc. And then in large letters at the bottom: SHOES AND SHIRT REQUIRED. I start giggling, point it to DH and say "wow, this a classy place". People start to stare. DH shushes me. Then I see in front of us a man with a slogan t-shirt which says "YEAH, YOU RIGHT" on the back. At which point I giggle again, then start digging through my handbag (mentally kicking myself for not bringing a notebook) and start grabbing the camera, going "oh, I am SO blogging about this". DH admonishes me "Do not spoil this for all of us". "What!" I say, all innocent-looking.

We step in, and the rest is... well, not history, really. But it can be summarized pretty much like this: junk food, rides, farm animals, pig races, trucks, more junk food. Oh, and crafts. Never seen so many crochet doilies in my life. Wait, that's unfair, there were also some cool things, like these bong-shaped smoothie glasses:
bong-shaped smoothie glasses

or these airbrushed t-shirts:
airbrushed tees

No, I didn't buy any. But I did buy some pretty good raw honey and agave nectar. And there were these wooden bangles in these amazing colors, all shiny and gorgeous, I could have bought 10 of them.

But all in all, we spent there the same amount of time we spent on the road - 4 hours - which is not a good balance.

Next time they want to see animals we'll go to the Bronx zoo: it's closer, it's prettier and it smells better.

Though the fair was kind of a zoo too.

P.S. If you, unlike me, actually like fairs, you'll probably love this one. But I'd recommend getting there early, because the later you come, the harder it will be to find a parking space that isn't miles away (not kidding!) from the entrance. And you finding your car afterwards won't be a picnick either ;-)


Kelly said...

Sooo, umm, I love fairs. Adore them. The stinky cows, the fried junk, crocheted doilies. All of it!

I checked out that fair's site; it actually looks like a huge fair! Our county fairs around here are teeny, but the state fair is HUGE. (I adore it too. :P )

Elisa said...

oh, if you like the animals and the junk food that would totally be heaven for you! it's a really big fair. My daughter liked it. For me it was just not appealing - but I know that's not the fair fault's poor thing. LOL

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