Ye Olde Mill -- after arriving at 9 a.m. this was one of the first stops for Mazy and my cousin Luke. (No, I don't know why Mazy is grabbing his butt...)
On to the Ag Building for some apple cider slushes ($3) and caramel apples ($4)! A lot of fruit and vegetable judging was taking place, and of course, lots of people in to see the Butter Cow!
Mom and gang arrived around 10:30ish. Total people count at that time: 11, People under 9 yrs old: 5 Overall moods: Very enthusiastic
Mom posed with her three oldest grandchildren. Katy is the tall farmer, Mazy is the drumstick, Kael is the corndog and Theron is the farmer in the tractor.
My cousin Jenny is working at one of the corndog/lemonade stands on the Grand Concourse for all 10 days of the fair. She gave us all the free corndogs, lemonade and fried cheese we cared to eat. Here Mom and Jenny are posing with the dawgs.
Then it was up the big hill to the Fun Forest -- Heidi and Hudson enjoyed all the singing acts while the older kids played on the playground.
The ice cream guy thanked us for our great free advertising -- after Mazy bought a giant popsicle from him (price $2), Kael got one and then Theron. They ate them all!
Mom and her youngest grandchild, sweet little chubby Maddox (2.5 months) relaxing in the shade at the Fun Forest.
Inside the Cultural Building to check out my uncle Steve's winning photo -- Luke bobbing for an apple! Luke was not real thrilled to pose next to the photo but we made him. Each year more than 4,000 photos are entered in the contests, but only about 75 receive ribbons. Congratulations Uncle Steve!
Lunchtime found us back down the hill at the big Mexican restaurant near the Midway. I ordered a Nachos Grande ($8) for the kids table, and Heidi ordered one for the adults. They were HUGE! Five women ate the one on our table, while Mazy, Kael and Theron pretty much polished off the other on their own!
Theron and Maddox
Mazy and Kael at Little Hands on the Farm -- a great interactive display where kids become farmers to plant crops, feed livestock, harvest crops, shear sheep, milk cows, sell their stuff to the market and earn money for the store. Kids love it.
Hudson planting his seeds.
Kael with the money he earned from "harvest" and the bomb pop he bought at the store.
Me and Mom relaxing in the shade (yikes, I was looking a little rough yesterday...)
Another break for more food! Keri had a funnel cake, Mom had the steak tips dinner and aunt Sherie in the background was working on a gyro.
Cousins Mazy and Theron
"Can we go on the big slide? Is it time for the big slide? When are we going on the big slide?" The three oldest kids were super excited for their two trips down the slide.
After the slide, I took Mazy and Kael to Pella Plaza to cool off in the fountains. I'm such an awesome mama sometimes -- I took a complete change of clothes for Mazy (including underwear) and a big ziplock bag to put his wet stuff in!
I loved this photo of Mazy, Theron and Kael just chilling under the shade trees and hanging out together. It's so wonderful to see how close all the cousins are.
Shadows were getting longer. Patience was getting thinner. Nearly time to go, but not before a quick photo with one of the chainsaw artworks on the fairgrounds.
Last stop: toys! Grandma promised them all they could pick out one thing from the crappy toy vendors that are at every corner.... For the boys, it was an easy decision: toy gun sets... Kael went for the Army guy set, Mazy got the policeman set and we chose the cowboy set for Bo. Hudson got an electric bubble gun and Theron picked out a dog on a leash.
Mom enjoying a peach ice cream cone from Bauder's Pharmacy stand on the way back to the cars.
Mazy and Kael with their new guns that we made them wait to open until they were in the cars.
Whew! I'm exhausted reliving that through photos! But what a great, great day. And I kept to my goal of not eating any fried food! We spent $55, but that included admission that I didn't originally think we'd be paying (mom had tickets for us but then we didn't end up riding with her). So we really only spent $40 for the entire day. Not bad!
And we'll be back Monday night with my wild man Bo so he can experience all the fun and wonder that is the Iowa State Fair!