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A Last Summer Hurrah at the State Fair!

Look at Mr. 10 bravely riding the Octopus with me! Both kids start school this week, so we had our last summer hurrah this past weekend and spent this Saturday at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. I’d never been to the State Fair before, so hadn’t really realized quite how big the whole thing is — we really should have dedicated two days to the fair, or at least gotten a much earlier start.

Mr. 10 is already angling to go back next year, so if you’ve been to the fair yourself I’d love to hear can’t-miss highlights; we really just scratched the surface this time. Springfield is also a good three hour drive from us, so we spent the night in a Hampton Inn in Bloomington on the way home. ($68 got us an indoor pool + free breakfast — although the pool was f-r-e-e-z-i-n-g, so the kids quickly abandoned swimming in favor of watching the Cartoon Network we normally don’t have at home, lol. Priorities, right?)

And yes, there was a Cracker Barrel, and yes, the peg game repeatedly defeated Mr. IMSA here. It’s the simple things! Like hotel TV. 😉

Oh, and what I also didn’t anticipate? Just how many things you can fry, lol. I think that “Fried What!” is a fantastic name for a food stand, however…

All of the kids, including the big one, did pretty well for themselves with that fried food, plus large cups of lemonade and various things on a stick. I stuck with the corn on a stick, though (especially after a midway ride or two…).

But, how cool is this? The real reason we made it down to the state fair this year was for MashupDad to be inducted into the 4-H hall of fame. They had a nice little ceremony (once we finally found the right building), and check out his snazzy medal! He was nominated because of his beekeeping work with 4-H kids and commitment to conserving honeybees.

And on the way down: These are the voyages of the cloud ship: Enterprise…! 🙂

Political content warning, for those who wish to avoid that sort of thing

On that futuristic note of egalitarianism: I do not normally talk about politics on this site or even on the Internet in general, for obvious reasons if you’ve been on Facebook over the last couple of years. At the same time, however, I find it impossible to ignore the fact that, at the same time my family and I were enjoying the fair, all hell was breaking loose on the other side of the country. While I was sitting on that Octopus ride with my son, my phone was blowing up with news alerts, updates from friends, and images in absolute jarring and horrifying contrast to our sunny and peaceful day — and I found it almost as jarring to write the above post today as if nothing else of import was going on.

I thought about whether to post our happy photos at all, but thought I’d instead end with this one-time note that’s easily skipped over if desired. We’ve reached the point in our national discourse where silence tips over into complicity, and how can I continue to condemn not calling out white nationalists, racists, domestic terrorism, and neo-Nazis by name when I’ve myself been silent online? #oneside

Now, back to your regularly scheduled food and life content. Please be sure to keep comments civil. Thanks, all!


Wednesday 16th of August 2017

OMG, we were at the same 4H ceremony, and I didn't see you in the crowd! I would have probably fan girled all over you, lol. My MIL was honored for her years as a "4H Mom", running the Ford County Fair 4H food booth, and working at the Ford Iroquois Extension office for many years. (she was office manager and the 4H grant coordinator).

We also were at the Bloomington CB, but probably not at the same time, lol.


Wednesday 16th of August 2017

Congratulations to your MIL! Yeah, it was mobbed in there -- plus we got there late because we could not find the building and kept walking in circles, lol.


Wednesday 16th of August 2017

And I did see him get his award and heard it was about urban bee keeping, but I did not make the connection.


Tuesday 15th of August 2017

Congrats MashUp Dad!

Thank you, Rachel!


Tuesday 15th of August 2017

Congratulations to MashupDad on his achievement award. Helping the Bee population to survive and prosper is really important work and to get the kids interested is vital. We've been to the IL State Fair a couple of times, but, I don't know of anything that stands out as a must see, so, I hope others have comments to point out the good stuff. We've been to the WI State Fair many times and if you love music, it's the fair to go to. The Iowa State Fair , Indiana State Fair, and Minnesota State Fairs are all a decent drive away and are very nice. They all have something a little different.


Wednesday 16th of August 2017

Thanks! It's really neat to see the kids in the class get so interested in the bees -- although I think sometimes the parents are even more interested than they are. A couple have gone on to set up their own hives afterwards. :)


Tuesday 15th of August 2017

Thank you.

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