In our continuing Jennifer Is Just As Surprised As You Are That She Might Actually Be A Hoosier adventures (see also: month of May), the kids and I headed to the Indiana State Fair yesterday, courtesy of Indiana’s Family of Farmers. I thought we’d have a rainy but fun morning, see a few sights, say hi to some fellow bloggers, and call it a day.
Instead, we got home TWELVE HOURS LATER, sunburned, covered in dirt and grease, and so tired it was hard to recount to Andy our tales of two-day-old cows and MC Hammer. And it was AWESOME.
Let’s back up to earlier in the day. Indiana’s Family of Farmers hosted a group of local bloggers, and I brought my friend Amanda and kids as my date (it was Amanda’s first trip to a state fair ever!). We started the day with some breakfast and a tour of the cattle barn. All the cows were so gentle and patiently let a herd of children pet them. Luckily we had fellow blogger Leah as a tour guide; as a former dairy farmer she knew all the answers to my questions. I ended up learning a ton. Like the fact that if a diary cow has boy/girl twins, the girl twin will never be able to be bred. Let’s all pause a moment to be grateful that Eleanor is not a cow.
After the tour it was back to the Dairy Barn for lunch. As we ate, we made sure to thank the cows we just saw for our grilled cheese and milk and the milk that the factory workers drink so they have energy to make the mommies’ Diet Cokes (okay, that last one was a bit of a stretch.)
The rain was holding off so our group did a loop around the fairgrounds for some other experiences. We pretended to harvest crops and I tried to teach the kids about seed caps and farmer waves.
We saw big ugly prehistoric-looking fish, ate popcorn while pretending to drive a combine (or corn-bine, as Henry calls it), went on the Perry the Platy-bus, saw a huge cheese sculpture, and headed back to the Dairy Barn one last time for milkshakes.
Our last stop with our friends was the poultry and rabbit barn. We oohed and aahed over chickens and baby bunnies, and then parted with a group hug. Which, yes, our kids do every time they leave each other, and yes, we might have to tease them about it when they’re teenagers.
Henry and Eleanor had been begging to ride the rides, so I caved and bought them ride wristbands. Which might have been the best money I’ve spent all summer. Is there anything better than big huge smiles of joy on your kids’ faces?
After a few hours of rides, I made the kids take a break for some food and the free MC Hammer concert. Except—*sad trombone*—as I stood there trying to coax Henry and Eleanor to take a photo, my iPhone battery decided to die. So I have no visual proof of any Hammer time, not even when he passed by like eight feet from us. Let me reenact the concert for you:
MC Hammer: WHAT’S UP INDIAAAAANA IMMA DEDICATE THIS NEXT SONG TO TUPAC REST IN PEACE
Jennifer: OMG KIDS IT’S MC HAMMER I SAW HIM IN CONCERT WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER AND NOW I’M BRINGING MY KIDS IT’S THE CIRCLE OF LIFE WHY AREN’T YOU EXCITED I’M SHARING THE HAPPINESS OF MY YOUTH WITH THE NEXT GENERATION
Henry and Eleanor: CAN WE GO BACK TO THE FAIR THIS IS THE WORST CONCERT EVER I WANNA RIDE SOME RIIIIIDDES
Needless to say, we stayed for three songs.
We headed back to the Midway for some more roller coasters and such, and finally I had to tear the kids away. We made it home twelve hours after we left, and promptly collapsed in a heap.
Henry told me yesterday afternoon, “I like this place.” And I agree. Chalk it up as another thing living in Indiana has turned me into a fan of. And as a granddaughter and niece of a whole bunch of farmers, I’m glad to give Henry and Eleanor the chance to learn about and appreciate the way of life of the majority of their relatives. Now I just need to work on their appreciation of their mother’s taste in 1980s music.