We were lucky enough to go to the fair twice this year, once with our good friends the Waltons and once with my parents. Isobel had a blast both times and we made different memories at each. While there with our friends, Kingston and Isobel spent quite a bit of time dancing to big band and swing while I marveled at the couple in their late 80s putting everyone else to shame. Our favorite memory from going with my parents involved Isobel hugging kissing a giant Burmese python on stage.
I’ll get there.
So the fair is a pretty Big Deal around here. We live in an agricultural community and it’s the one of the times of year people who do not work in the agricultural industry put on their best Wranglers and western boots and pretend to be cowboys and get drunk. Anthony and I decided that next year we should dress the entirely family as cowboys just for the hell of it, like a county fair cosplay. Which is a good idea except it’s so hot in July any beverage you purchase at the fair has to be drunk immediately before it boils, and that’s if we’re not currently in the middle of a heat wave. In which case you buy your boiled beer and you suck it up.
Isobel loves the fair for many reasons, but most notably because we let her get an ice cream cone as big as her head.
Anthony was still on leave from shoulder surgery and although he’s no longer wearing the sling in these pictures you can see him holding it stiffly at an angle that suggested he was still in pain.
These local hospital photo-ops are also mandatory stops each year. Check out buxom nurse Anthony.
Each year I’ve done my dammnedest to get a photo of Isobel on these mushrooms because 1.) dear god to I love mushrooms and 2.) dear god is it cute. You can see last year’s mushroom photos here, wherein she looks like a tiny toddler pixie, and the year before that, here, wherein she was very excited to see her first real live horse only that it was a Budweiser Clydesdale and it kind of terrified her.
The first year they had these mushroom dealies Anthony had to physically restrain me from taking them home. (He also had to physically restrain me from stealing a goat, but that’s another story.)
Only one of the photos I took of Kingston on the mushrooms was successful.
The rainforest exhibit that housed the mushrooms also hosted a wild animal show each night. We had never stayed to see it before, but this year Isobel was interested to my parents and I pulled up a shroom and Anthony sat in front to watch over Isobel while she, in turn, watched over the big kids.
The show featured rescued exotic animals with the general aim of teaching kids about them, why these animals should stay in the wild, and conservation. Each time he brought out an animal he asked for a volunteer or two to hold the animal while he talked about it. Each time Isobel would raise her hand and jump up and down, less because she wanted him to pick her and more because she wanted to mimic the big kids. At the end of the show the presenter chose four big kids who were near enough to Isobel that they just followed them up to the stage and then sort of looked at the guy like, “Well what are you going to do about it?” The presenter chose a woman in her late teens to help Isobel before bringing out the largest snake I’d ever seen. The Burmese Python.
While on the stage Isobel alternately cradled the snake in her arms or waved to her adoring audience. At one point you could see her kissing the snake, and when she finally got off the stage she told me the snake’s head came around and kissed her back.
Kissing a python wasn’t the most hygienic thing she’s done all summer, but fortunately no harm came of it.
Last year Isobel spent the majority of her time at the fair shouting I LOVE AMIMOLS and hugging goats and this year was no different. As soon as we entered the petting zoo she began looking for the perfect goat to hug. For whatever reason, this one was the winner.
While eating dinner we sat down to enjoy some soul music and as soon as they were finished both Isobel and Kingston demanded to go dance. They stole the show until the older couple arrived.
There were only a few rides appropriate for Kingston and Isobel so they ended up riding the few that they could ride over and over. Isobel insisted on riding the pink teacup (duh) which means they had to share with two sisters. Kingston immediately used his best moves on them.
See ya again next year, Stan County Fair!