I’ve lived in Florida almost all my life, but have never attended the Florida State Fair. Since the boys were out of school yesterday we decided to go. It was part I-want-to-have-fun and part I-don’t-want-my-kids-to-hav-a-deprived-childhood-like-I-did (if you know anything about my childhood, you know that’s so not the truth). We packed up bright and early (read: about 9:30) and headed to the fairgrounds in Tampa. I had big visions of frolicking and being flung around in fair-type rides. Oh yes, and deep fried goodness.
Before entering the fair, I realized that I forgot the memory card for my camera. I had my camera in my hands but my computer had the card. Forced to enjoy the day with no photography pressure, I took along only my iPhone to document the day.
In my family, I have a husband that’s currently in the those-with-back-problems-should-not-ride-this-ride group. Ken’s been having some minor back problems. Nothing serious, but just enough to keep him off the rides. I have one child that’s going through roller coaster puberty. Ethan is too grown up for the kiddie rides but almost all the grown up rides are still the “great unknown” to him. He enjoys psyching himself up for them but it’s a big job every time. And even harder with no peers around to convince him to ride. Then I have another child who quite possibly isn’t a blood member of this family. Jackson doesn’t like roller coasters. At all. Not even the “kiddie” ones. I honestly think he needed to psych himself up for the sky ride. I don’t know where he came from. I enjoy having him live in this house but I’m not sure he’s mine.
We all rode the sky ride and with a bird’s eye view, found the things we wanted to experience. I, of course, chose them all. Ethan picked a select few and Jackson was ready to go home. He’s a good sport about the whole thing. For the most part, he happily tags along and cheers us on in our endeavors. First up, the roller coaster. I’d compare it to The Scorpion at Busch Gardens. It was a step up from the kiddie rides but not quite the death defying rides you typically find at the fair. It was pretty bumpy but not really bad. Following the coaster, I decided to try a “real” ride. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of it. Just picture a whiryl whirl of spinny fun. I wasn’t sure if I was up or down or sideways, going forwards or backwards. It was fast and furious and awesome!
We were set to have more fun but that Ethan wasn’t feeling well. I’m still not sure if it was the roller coaster or maybe he was nervous about riding more rides. So we were down to one dare devil: me. I felt bad having them wait on the sidelines while I enjoyed all the twisty turns so instead we headed for the fun house. I never thought mirrors and glass could be that confusing. The Long family felt their way through the maze and then up to the mirrors of death. They’re not supposed to be scary unless you’re a woman. What woman wants to look 8 inches shorter and 100 pounds heavier than she really is? Now you agree, right?
We wandered around for a little bit more and decided to head to see the animals. Horses, goats, wallabies, giraffes, chickens, cows, Texas Longhorns (and I’m not talking about the restaurant), rabbits, you name it, they were there. A friend of mine actually got to see a cow give birth! I wasn’t sure if I wanted to rush to the scene or steer away from the up-close health class lesson. In the end, we missed it. But we saw plenty of animals.
This little fella found the fence quite tasty:
These were so cute, just hopping all around:
You could buy food to feed the animals but since the fair isn’t cheap we decided to watch others feed him:
After spending an hour or so checking out the wildlife, it was back to the fair, all along trying to convince Jackson to ride the ferris wheel. I think we shot ourselves in the foot with this one. Somewhere along the way, I have told my children that my dad (typically a dare devil) doesn’t like the swings or ferris wheel. Jackson used this as his excuse, “I’m just like Papa.” Since he was close to tears, we let him off the hook. Ethan & Ken rode while Jackson & I watched from the shade.
I rode a few more supersonic, loopy, booming rides and convinced Ethan to ride the swings with me. So.much.fun.
One more stop before leaving: deep fried Snickers.
It tasted just like it sounds; like a melted candy bar inside a donut. Definitely not something I’d like to eat every day. But where else can you get this? I didn’t want to miss my one and only opportunity.
We also saw this. Would you ever think to try this? Not me…
In the end, we all had fun. Even Jackson. Was it the greatest day in my life? No. But it kept us from being stuck inside on a beautiful day. It was something different for us to do (which I LOVE) and I got to be whipped around while going a billion miles an hour! I would recommend the fair to everyone. But you just missed it. Only 1 year left to wait.