Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Boulder County Fair.

Yep, it's that time of year again. The Boulder County Fair rolled into town a few days ago and last night we partook of all there was to partake. Aside from it being a great educational experience for Berlin in subjects such as obesity, rat tails and naked lady tattoos, it was also just a lot of fun.

Hailey has yet to learn the lesson of if there is a face painting booth off in the distance that costs seven frickin' bucks you don't call Berlin's attention to it. Needless to say, we did face painting.

Despite having to shell out seven large to "Little Miss Pixie Dust Who Still Lives At Home," I had a difficult time refuting the beauty of her craft.

Next it was on to pony rides. Or mini horse rides. Whatever they are, Berlin's Southern Idahoan roots shown brightly through. She handled her steed with the skill and precision that would rival even the most accomplished Jerome Idaho Dairy Queen Rodeo Queen.

James, on the other hand, managed to keep his Idaho heritage at arms length. He approached his steed with more caution and hesitation. Luckily, Hailey was there to force him to stay on for the entire time, thus making it worth the inflated five bucks.

Jamison did, however, find some livestock more his size. While several 4H kids paraded their animals around in a circle to the acclaim of bidding slaughterhouses, Jamison found a little friend. A little, weird, oddly hairless and hornless friend.

Finally, it was time to hit the rides. And by rides, I mean the death contraptions that somehow fold out of a semi truck trailer. Held together with poor welding, wires and even duct tape, the fair rides are always a sure thrill. For Jamison, however, the little flying space ship ride was pretty sub par. Somehow his little two-year-old face looked up at us and said, "Seriously, guys? You paid three tokens for this?"

Berlin and I scored unlimited ride wristbands. Now, when I say "score" please don't confuse that with getting a good deal. Nothing could be further from the truth. Each wristband sung the tune of twenty bucks. Sadly, it's much more cost effective to shell out for the wristbands than attempt to go the ticket by ticket route. When one turn through a very simple jungle gym like obstacle course (slightly bigger than any given McDonald's playground) costs three tickets/dollars, the blows to the pocket book can really add up. Our first ride? The biggest of them all. The ferris wheel.

From the highest point, we tried to find James and Mom. Can you find them?

As the setting sun began to disappear behind the Rockies, we turned up the fun. Berlin and I took advantage of our unlimited ride access and tore through ride after ride. Often times, we wouldn't even get out of the ride to go get back in line. We'd just stay put and give 'er another go. Waiting in line is for suckers! Such was the case on the caterpillar roller coaster.

We dominated the haunted house. We wasted everyone in the bumper cars. We spun ourselves silly in the spinning bears ride thing. But perhaps nothing rivaled that of the...

...wait for it...

...wait for it...


For those of you who don't remember, the Super Slide stole the show last year as well. However, last year was a little different than this year. I'll spare you all the details with this Cliff's Notes version.

Berlin was just barely potty trained.

We had just reached the top of the stairs.

Berlin begun doing the little "I gotta pee pee" dance.

My heart panicked.

In a fete of stellar quick thinking, I shoved some little kid out of the way, threw the gunny sack down on the slide, put Berlin on my lap and took off. It was the quickest way to get down.

However, sometimes the quickest way to get down isn't always the easiest way to hold your bladder.

As we reached the bottom where all the parents were gathered, Berlin jumped off my lap with a relieved smile. I stood up only to show the entire world a large wet spot right over my crotch. Yes, Berlin peed me. And to make it worse, she was in white jean shorts so nobody could even tell she was wet. I, on the other hand, was wearing khaki shorts which (for those of you who don't know) don't hide moisture or wetness in the least.

Hailey pointed and laughed.

Spectators followed suit.

My dignity stayed on the Super Slide.

But that was last year. This year was completely different. Nobody peed anything. And while the carnie manning the slide didn't speak a lick of english, she definitely understood the language of family fun as she let James join Berlin and I in unlimited slides. Needless to say, we went absolutely nuts. Like two hours worth of straight sliding nuts.

Nearly four hours and close to one hundred bucks later, it was time for us to call it a night. We stuffed our collective faces with cotton candy as we trudged back to the Subaru.

We had a grand time. Perhaps it's my many fond memories of attending the Jerome County Fair every year while growing up in Idaho. Perhaps it's the chance to hang with the underbelly of society. Maybe it's the cotton candy sugar high or the intoxicated ride operators. Whatever it is, I took a lot of pride as a father walking out of those fairgrounds last night. We came. We rode. We conquered. We went home. We left a significantly visible dirt ring around the tub.

See you next year, Boulder County Fair.


Blogger M and P said...

when you go to a county fair with kids you just open your wallet and smile...........I did a lot of smiling in Jerome

2:07 PM

Blogger {lizzythebotanist} said...

keeeeyutest kids ever! i can't believe how big the little guy is getting. and berlin looks just like you. only pretty like hailey.

2:33 PM

Anonymous POWPOW™ said...

This my dear friend is the epitome of blogging done at its finest a tip of the cap to you and your well spent dollars, fine photography and the biggest smile I've ever received sitting behind a keyboard that didn't come from bigwetbutts.com. Kisses.

2:37 PM

Blogger Grandma Reenie said...

Oh Steve,
You've done it again. . . . .made me laugh so hard I was crying! Glad you had such a great time, and I can't believe how big Jamison looks! I need to get out there soon!
Love you all!
Grandma Reenie

8:27 AM

Blogger dougford said...

Capn, you never cease to amaze me. You seriously deserve a bloggie! Your kids are adorable.

4:46 AM

Blogger Hailey Happens said...

ah the old county fair! Loved it!

12:30 PM


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