We took the kids to the Orange County Fair yesterday! I hadn't been in years, and it was tons of fun to go with the kids.
We left home around 9:30, right after Joy's morning nap. The first stop was Target, to get a leash for William. Yes, I put my son on a leash. I always thought I would never do that to my kid, but we knew it would be so busy at the fair, and William is prone to taking off suddenly. So we got him one of the monkey backpacks, with a leash for a tail. It worked out so great! It was slightly problematic, because William thought that pulling on it and running in circles around us was a great new game, but it was very reassuring to know exactly where he was all the time. For Joy, we tried out a new wrap with the Moby: the hip hold. Joy loved it, she could look around and see and reach for things, but she could also lay her head on me and snuggle close when all the sights and sounds got intimidating. And it was a better hold for me, because she is getting too heavy for the traditional front wrap.
The excitement for the kids started in the parking lot of the fairgrounds. William was so excited to see all the cars, and he could see the ferris wheel, and Joy was pointing and smiling at everything. We walked past a charter bus that backfired, and William jumped and screamed, then laughed.
We made it through the ticket booth just in time to catch the Early Bird $2 admission for me and Omar, and of course the kids were free.
First stop was livestock. We saw cows, sheep, and pigs. The sheep were quite noisy, and every time one bleated at William, he jumped and yelled back. One of the girls from the youth group at church had a lamb there named Thor, so we saw her and got to meet Thor. That's the one in the video on Omar's Facebook, if you saw that.
As we came out of the last barn, we saw two HUGE oxen yolked together. They were giving a small demonstration. Their shoulders were taller than Omar. William was mostly unimpressed though, until one of the oxen starting peeing, at which point, William stopped in dismay, "Oh, maaaan!"
We wondered through the fairgrounds and soon stumbled across the pony rides. Of course, every horse William meets now must be Bullseye from Toy Story. So William got a ride on Bullseye. As we continued our walk, we kept passing signs for roasted corn on the cob, giant turkey legs, fish and chips, hot dogs, and of course fried everything. Joy start shouting out in excitement everytime she saw some one with food, so we realized it was probably time for some lunch.
Despite all the exotic offerings, we determined that the thing the kids were most likely to eat were hot dogs and french fries. (Actually, Joy would probably have eaten anything, but William is pickier.) We paid a small fortune for some sunscreen, because of course we had forgotten to bring any. I lathered up Joy and myself while Omar took William to the bathroom. Then I did William while Omar got us some food. The hot dogs for the kids, and some chicken fajitas and roasted corn for me and Omar. Joy sat on the table smiling and being adorable while waiting, charming everyone sitting nearby.
William ate a decent amount of food, and Joy ate everything she could get in her mouth, and took a hot dog bun along for the ride when we got up to continue exploring.
We were running out of time, energy, and money, so we just wandered a little further into the fairgrounds. We stopped a minute to hear a band playing, but William didn't know why he couldn't go up and play the drums. We saw more signs for foods, and stumble upon the kids rides, but decided not to do any that day.
Then we found a "Backyard Monsters" exhibit. It was a tent of bugs. There were several giant robotic bugs that moved. William screamed a little when the massive wasp lunged towards him a bit. But William liked looking at all the samples of bugs in the cases, all the beetles and walking sticks and stuff.
After that, we decided to call it a day. We headed back towards the parking lot and decided to get a sweet treat to end our day. We were a little short on cash, so no cotton candy, but we were able to get a large cherry lime icee to share. Joy was really into the icee; she kept trying to climb out of the Moby wrap to get to it when it wasn't her turn.
Into the car and trying to navigate our way out of the fairgrounds. Both kids were gone before we hit the freeway. Unfortunately, they both thought that the half hour ride home was enough of a nap and proceeded to be cranky the rest of the day. William only sweetened up when Elvis and Lauren came over to hang out, and he told them about everything he saw at the fair.
We had a blast, and we're planning on going back again before the fair ends. We'll go a little earlier to do a little more before the kids hit their limit. I want to let William try some rides, and some cotton candy. I want to see the glass blower and the Ice Museum. And then Omar and I want to abandon the kids one evening and go on our own to have some fun. Maybe with the Illescases. I need to eat something fried.