A fair to remember

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One of my favorite outings is the Oregon State Fair. Unfortunately, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to make the trip down (I’m marking it on my calendar for next year, seriously!) So, we decided to check out the closer Washington State Fair down in Puyallup. I can’t say it’s as awesome as the Oregon one, but we still managed to have a good time. We started off with the animals, which are always my favorite part of the fair. Especially the horses:

SF_DraftHorsesI like walking through the barns, it’s like getting to visit a different world:

SF_HorseThere’s horse bling:

SF_HorseBlingAnd awesome nicknames:

SF_MrSexyWe popped into the arena to watch the draft horse team exhibit. They had a team of Shetland ponies in the line-up, which were definitely a highlight:

SF_PonyTeamMy one big complaint about the Washington vs. Oregon State fairs is that there weren’t as many events. In Oregon, they have all sorts of competitive events, so you get to see more of the horses out in the arena, as opposed to just in the stables. We moved on to the other animals, such as the 4-H dogs:

SF_Dog-4HI was surprised by how chill most of the dogs were with all of the people milling around. Lets just say that Wally wouldn’t excel in this environment…

SF_SleepyDogsAnd of course, we had to visit the piglets:

SF_PigsAnd were treated to another reminder that farm kids have a very different fair experience than the tourists.

SF_FairKidI liked the name they gave the midway:

SF_Sillyville

And this sign:

SF_DuhAnd no visit to the fair is complete without something deep fried. (Too bad it was from the unfortunately named Krusty Pup.) Cheers!

SF_CheersThe boy has been pretty strict with his diet lately, so I think he was pretty excited for a little splurge:

SF_TWe wisely passed on the opportunity to eat here:

SF_Yikes(My favorite part is the slogan on the side: “Eat like you live here” WTF?)

Another highlight of the fair experience are the random exhibits and giant vegetables. Here, Puyallup really brought their A-Game. They had the requisite giant pumpkins:

SF_GiantPumpkinAnd then some sort of “Creepy Mannequin” contest:

SF_CreepyGuy2This one should have gotten the blue ribbon:

SF_CreepyGuyImpressive dahlias:

SF_FlowersAnd a pig made of flowers, because why not?

SF_FlowerPigThen we wandered into Hobby Hall, where we could get our butts kicked at cribbage by old guys:

SF_CribbageTimeAn amazing replica of the Space Needle made out of minerals:

SF_SpaceNeedleAnd then a couple of rooms full of people’s weirdo collections. There’s something special about people who collect raccoons:

SF_Collection1

Or moose:
SF_Collection2

Or Alf?SF_Collection3

And of course, the clowns… (shudder)

SF_CloseUpAfter all of that crazy, we needed a snack. So we picked one of the many scone lines to stand in. The “State Fair Scone” is a tradition that T introduced me to, and I must say, it’s a tasty one. The place we picked had genuine old ladies on the assembly line, so we knew we were in good hands:

SF_SconeMontageWe even got to see the machinery that cuts the dough into uniform balls. It was cool. We also enjoyed wandering into the Cowboy museum, complete with real cowboys!

SF_CowboyMontageThey were painting and signing autographs, it was quite something. Speaking of a piece of history, I couldn’t resist photographing this replica of a bygone era:

SF_OldTimeT and I debated which item they were least likely to have – aspirin or film.

There was some quality artwork at the fair, starting with this sign:

SF_AwesomeSign

The obligatory Pacific Northwest woodcarver:SF_Sasquatch

I couldn’t stand to spend much time in the “Infomercial Areas” but this sign did beg for a WTF picture:SF_Huh And, if the crowds were driving you nuts, here’s a place where you could catch a break. Plus free water and literature!SF_PopularOn the whole, we had a good time. Gotta love a cultural excursion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Labor Day weekend hijinks

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Before all of the George stuff, we’d made plans to spend Labor Day weekend with Erin and David. Then T had to work, then George wasn’t doing well, and so it ended up being just me going. (I’m really hoping the pattern of solo trips to Prosser + pet illness/death is over!)

I do have to say, that a visit to Prosser was just what the doctor ordered. If I could package up a weekend with Erin & David, I’d make a million dollars. It’s the perfect combination of good food, relaxation, riding bikes through beautiful countryside, not to mention tons of great conversation and laughter. Let’s start with the fact that after sitting in horrendous traffic for many hours, Erin greeted me with this:

tastyBeverageWe had a nice dinner outside and enjoyed the antics of these two clowns:

DougLuckyThe next morning I went for a ride with Erin and her friend Carrie. The scenery was terrible as usual:

RideSceneryMontage RideScenery

And of course, the company was just as awful… 😉

RidingBudsWe got home and Erin whipped up a delicious lunch:

FrittataThen we whipped up a pitcher of margaritas and headed over to Carrie’s place to lounge by the pool. When I went to snap a picture of the gorgeous pool, I inadvertently caught the beginning of a hilarious scene:

Pool1

Erin put out a nice blanket that one of the dogs really appreciated:

Pool2She really didn’t want to leave…

Pool3

Pool4(I like that Scooby brought over his toy to help… ) Eventually Erin reclaimed her blanket and chair and we spent a relaxing couple of hours out in the sunshine.

Umbrella(Artsy umbrella shot brought to you by two margaritas… )

Then it was back home for a little catnap and get ready to go to Tiffany’s bachelorette party. Instead of the usual penis-themed debauchery, this was a nice dinner on a patio in the Tri-Cities. Funny side note: Tiffany is marrying a man that she started dating shortly after the Pig & Pyre that T and I went to last year. She looks so happy and it was a great evening.

The next morning, we went for another bike ride, this time with David. It was a nice easy ride through the same crappy scenery. I couldn’t get over the smell of the vineyards. Some of them smell so strongly that they are almost fake, like grape bubble gum. While we were riding, we saw an old man and a boy walking sheep. I tried to get a picture, but I think my stopping agitated the sheep. (The old guy was none too amused looking either, so I grabbed this surreptitious shot and headed off:

SheepBoyAfter the ride, David headed out to do a little more work and Erin & I lounged for a bit and then went to lunch at Wine O’Clock. Sunny dining on the patio, what more could you want?

WoC_patio2 WoC_patioHow about a flight of wine with lunch?

WineOclockWe decided that if we started drinking at lunch, we were just going to have to keep it up until dinner, so we relaxed in Erin’s living room with another glass (or two… maybe three… ) This might explain why I found Lucky’s window antics so picture worthy:

LuckyWindow1 LuckyWindow2(Seriously, I have a bunch of pictures of this… )

We ended the evening with a dinner at a local winery, where we sat at a table with some other lovely friends of Erin and David. More food, great wine and pleasant conversation ensued. (Seriously, this weekend was ridiculous!)

On Monday morning, we actually had a little labor to do. Erin & David are on the plant watering committee and had to water the hanging flower baskets downtown. Unfortunately, this had to be done very early in the morning because there was a parade. But I can honestly say, it was worth it to get up at dawn to get to ride around in a big city truck and water plants:

WateringMontageWhen we got back, we were noticing that Bandit was having trouble peeing. Erin had lost a cat to a blockage, so she was very aware of the symptoms and potential consequences. We hustled him off to the emergency vet, but thankfully he didn’t have a blockage and she had antibiotics to start him on at home, so it was actually a very reasonably priced visit. Then it was time for me to hit the road home. Traffic was a bit backed up, but not as bad as the trip out.

Such an excellent weekend. I’m so grateful to Erin and David for all of their hospitality. Hopefully, next time T will be able to join in the fun!