so, the l.a. county fair. a few months ago, i took advantage of a screaming deal that included a 4-pack of season passes, a free parking pass for opening weekend, and a set of postcards all packaged in this super cute collectible box:
we decided to head out on sunday morning to check things out. our original plan was to wake up and get there when they opened - sort of like our usual "rope drop sunday" at disneyland. but then the old lady texted to let us know that her special friend was a little under the weather and so we decided to postpone until later in the day when he was feeling up to it. but the weather was so nice that morning...cloudy and overcast and cool-ish, and so we decided to go for a little while with the hub (who you'll remember doesn't even really like the fair at all but goes to see our competition entries and grab some food) and then head back later that evening if the special friend was feeling better.
if you happen to make your way to the fair, make sure you stop and pick up one of these "passport to savings" booklets. you pay $5 for it and it includes a shitton of coupons for all sorts of great deals on food and merchandise and stuff, and on the back page is a coupon good for free admission on a future visit. pretty good deal, i'd say. and you get to spin the wheel for a prize. we ended up winning a free big gulp at 7-11. heh.
the bean was super excited to indulge in something she'd wanted since last year - cream cheese battered and deep-fried (on a stick, of course) from hot dog on a stick. yup, the very same place you see in the mall. you can only get this treat at the fair. too bad that when she got hers they screwed up and gave her the american cheese instead. she said it was tasty anyway...because hi, gooey cheese...and ate it happily.
as she munched, we caught a glimpse of a really weird parade going past us consisting of floats manned by personnel from various los angeles city and county departments.
i mean, where else can you see the coroner's van go by with people excitedly clamoring next to it for a string of plastic beads?
and then just behind us, we spotted the budweiser clydesdales. they're huge, and so majestic.
also present was an adorable dalmatian who sat still and surveyed the crowds below him.
from there we headed over to the farm area to see some more animals.
the girls stopped here to pick up some honey sticks.
and there was some sort of chili and bbq cookoff going on. and it seemed that this contestant thought that maybe i was trying to steal his secret recipe or something because as i snapped this he attempted to cover his ribs with his hand. yeesh. i'm probably a wiener for posting it anyway.
this looked interesting, although the bean was a little leery and clutched her sister's hand as we went inside.
there were lots and lots of halloween decorations in there, from simple stuff to serious movie set-level props. i almost wished we were big on halloween, but we just aren't. oh well.
the hub and the old lady decided to pick up some snacks, but i passed due to a fun combo of sensory overload and overheating. it was humid and the sun was beaming hard on us, and when i'm sweaty and hot like that i just can't bring myself to eat anything. so sad.
we went inside the kids' building where the hub found the perfect seat to sit and eat his giant turkey leg...with a little help from the bean.
somehow we managed to locate her entry into the art competition after about two minutes of searching. second place, yay! she was, of course, disappointed to lose out on that blue ribbon, but we told her that she'd done a great job and second place was nothing to sneeze at.
the one thing she'd asked her daddy for at the fair this year was to ride on the skyway with her. he, of course, indulged her happily.
meanwhile, the old lady and i went into the grandstand building so i could see what i'd really cone for...
and i found that my quest for that pink 4th place ribbon was still not at an end. talk about a yay!/boo. moment, ha!
before we left for the morning, i made sure to snag a group selfie. i mean, we had to have at least one, right?
we all went home to cool off, squeeze in a nap and wait to hear if the special friend was feeling better. and when we got the call, we hopped back in the car (sans the hub, who'd had quite enough of the fair) and made our way back to the fairplex. this time, it was much much more crowded, and we elbowed our way through the gaming area and went back to the grandstand building to check out the retro arcade that was set up there. there were couches at one end with some old school nintendo and atari consoles set up for play:
and the rest of the space was sprinkled with change machines and OG arcade games.
none of us were really in the mood to play games though, and so we went back outside to grab some food at chicken charlie's.
this was the bean's bacon-wrapped chicken legs and fries:
the special friend opted for the $6.60 special - the buffalo chicken mac & cheese cone and a small drink. each food booth at the fair this year is offering one of these deals, to go along with the route 66 theme.
while it admittedly looks pretty disgusting, i was all in for the deep-fried filet mignon.
and the old lady finally got to try the krispy kreme chicken sandwich she'd been eyeing for the last couple of years. it was a lot smaller than we all expected, but she said it was as delicious as she'd always dreamed it would be.
the bean's entree included a whopping FIVE chicken legs, and even after giving one to her sister she found that she had two whole legs left over that she was too full to eat. i remembered something, and reached into my purse and fished out one of the ziploc bags i'd packed when i came to the media preview a few days prior. and voila - leftovers safely bagged and ready to take home. LOL forever.
on our way out of the building, we stopped to look at the display case where my cookies were again and this time we stopped to look at the other cookies that had placed. next year, pink 4th place ribbon...you and me, we're gonna meet.
earlier, the hub and the bean had come in to check it out and when i pointed out the ones that had beat me out for 4th place, he said something like "psh, those aren't even decorated. you didn't even have to try to place 4th."
little did he know that the lady who had submitted those cookies was standing right next to him...waiting to take a picture of her prize. D-OH. we hightailed it outta there in a hurry.
we made our way to the shopping expo buildings, where vendors were hawking everything from shampoo to shoe cleaner to vacuum cleaners and everything in between. and while we didn't get sucked into any of that stuff, we did find the vendor we'd hoped to come across - we'd discovered these fruity ropes last year and they're so good, we were all super stoked to pick some up again.
i laugh at this pool company's sign every single time i see it. because i'm 12.
this was building 10.
these things were neither rocks nor candy, but they were interesting to read anyway.
this giant "candy" sculpture was the centerpiece of the building.
lots of fun facts to read and learn.
of course, i made the sweethearts take advantage of this photo op. all together now: awwwwwwww.
and as expected, there was a pretty good sized candy shop there with lots of overpriced sugary treats to pick from.
valomilks are my all time favorite candy, and they're kind of hard to find. but i had a purseful of chewy fruity ropes and reluctantly passed...for now.
outside, the old lady fished into her bag and found enough quarters for all of us to take a turn on the footsie wootsie machines. they seem silly, but man are those things effective. my feet were pretty tired from all the walking that day, and those couple of minutes really helped a lot.
and our last stop was at cathy's cookies, where they serve up freshly baked chocolate chip cookies by the sleeve (which gets you 12-14 cookies) or a bucket of 36. we discovered these a couple of years ago and now we always stop to grab some because they're so good. it's seriously the simplest thing in the world, and judging from the number of people waiting to place their order they're making money hand over fist over there.
the fair goes all the way through till almost the end of september, so with our season passes i'm sure we'll make our way over there at least a couple more times before it ends.
after all, there's still so much delicious food to sample. heh.