so yeah, we actually hit up the fair on opening day this year. because it was butt ass hot that day, we decided to hold out and take our chances by waiting for the sun to go down before heading over. it's only about a 10-minute drive for us, which is nice.
the season pass package i'd bought includes a parking pass good for the first week of the fair. of course, when we got to one of the two gates we could use it at the line to enter was about a mile long. we ended up paying a pretty penny for parking at another lot, although it was a lot closer to one of the entrances and we didn't have to walk too far.
as soon as we got through the turnstile i got the bean to give us her best spiderman pose.
and we all ooh'd and ahh'd over the idea of putting this in a game room. a full-size arcade game plus a drink cooler all in one? yesssss.
things took a turn when we got to the grandstand building where the culinary competition display cases show off the prizewinning entries. i've been entering this contest since 2012, so we were all pretty familiar with how things are laid out and knew exactly where to go to find the cookies.
except that this time, my colorful cookies were nowhere to be found. the girls and the special friend scurried around all of the display cases to make sure we hadn't just missed them, but i recognized the category codes for the sugar cookie contest and none of the plates with prize ribbons were mine. and i know it's probably stupid, but i was really crushed. yeah, i'd joked around about "let's go 4th place!" but i thought the cookies i turned in were actually pretty cute. and i'd given the extras to one of my friends who devoured them all in one evening, so i knew i hadn't made any horrible mistakes with the recipes.
i spent the rest of the evening trying to squash my disappointment and enjoy the time at the fair with the kids. we left the building and hit the food booths, and the bean finally got the deep fried cream cheese on a stick she'd been dying to try:
it was served with a sweet chili sauce that we were all surprised to find she really liked. and she was pretty stoked that it was all she'd hoped it would be. who knew.
the old lady ordered one of this year's newest items: the buffalo chicken chimichanga. it's a tortilla stuffed with buffalo chicken, macaroni & cheese and bacon, then cut in half with the cut ends dipped in ranch dressing and coated with crushed hot cheetos.
the bean and i shared an order of the bacon-wrapped chicken legs and fries. so bad, but so dang good.
the special friend opted for an order of buffalo chicken strips and fries.
we took the bean clear over to the other end of the fair for something she'd been craving all day - a sleeve of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. we each had one and she still had enough to pack away into her backpack for later.
i was bummed to see that the sewing machine booth i always look forward to seeing didn't seem to be at the fair this year. it's always fun to see the newest machines on the market, and drool over the multi-needle embroidery machines that cost thousands and i'll never have room in the house for. but then we walked into a different building and found this:
we happily took a basket and made our way through that maze. there were tons of different kinds of candy there, from a zillion flavors of tootsie rolls and saltwater taffy to giant lemonheads and atomic fireballs to extreme sour warheads and everything else in between. there wasn't a lot of chocolate, but given how hot it always it at the fair that was totally understandable.
as we snacked on some of the treats we bought, the bean walked through the kids' building to see the arts and crafts submissions from kids all over southern california. she hadn't submitted anything for judging this year because we were out of town on the day that they were to be turned in, but she was still happy to look at everyone else's artwork.
we decided to head on out after that. it was late and the old lady had an early wake-up call the next day, and the heat and crushing defeat had sucked all of my energy anyway. but our passes are good for any day of the fair, which runs through the next few weeks. i'm sure we'll be back.