Today is the last day of the 2015 Minnesota State Fair. It was a fine and good State Fair – it always is. Our state fair is a great state fair, the best state fair in our state!
I was back on The Rhine last night.
After a relaxing bath (and appropriate grooming) I picked a special lotion out of the basket on the ledge next to the tub. Lait Corporel Verveine…Verbena Body Lotion…made in Provence.
I procured a couple of 1.7 oz. bottles of this stuff from our stateroom on the Kvasir, the ship on which Charlotte and I sailed the Rhine. I nabbed a shampoo too.
When I spread this lotion all over my freshly-shaven legs and dry hands I was immediately transported to those days not so long ago when troubles were forgotten and wonderment was the chose de la journee.
Our sense of smell can trigger memories like nothing else. Of course the memories of my vacation in Europe are still very fresh, but the aroma of that lotion put me in a wonderful state of relaxation, the state I was in while drifting through Germany.
It’s okay that I took a couple of bottles of lotion and shampoo – they want you to take it, right? “Complimentary*,” they say.
*A guy walks into a bar. He sits down and while the bartender gets his drink a peanut in the bowl in front of him says, “Wow, what a great tie!” Then another says, “You’re about the most handsome man ever!” One more says, “You’re wit surpasses that of all men.” When the bartender returns with the man’s drink the man says, “So what’s with the peanuts? They’re saying lots of nice things to me.” The bartender says, “They’re complimentary.”
My first visit to the Minnesota State Fair was on opening day and I went with my friend MaryAnn.
Right away I got a deep fried Twinkie. I can’t even tell you what a delectable treat it was. Then we walked the length of the fairgrounds so MaryAnn could get some deep fried pickles. She shared one with me and once again my taste buds rejoiced in the gifts I granted them. Also on the food list was the most juicy turkey sandwich you can imagine. Then MaryAnn treated us to an after dinner libation while we sat on a bench and watched (and commented on) the people strolling by.
I have to tell you though, we did something I never imagined we’d do. While cruising the midway we saw a brand new attraction. A fun house. You may think, “what’s so great about a fun house?” This thing was like nothing I’ve seen at the fair, ever. It wasn’t a scary haunted house. It wasn’t a walk through a darkened semi trailer. It was a fun house!
There were tricky stairs, back-and-forth-moving paths, hangy tubes to navigate through, spinny tubes to squeeze through and rolly paths. MaryAnn led the way and got to experience all of the challenges before me.
There were those up-and-down platforms, like in the final scene of Grease where Sandy and Danny fell in love for good at the graduation scene. MaryAnn wanted to sing the song You’re the One That I Want with me, but I had to draw the line somewhere.
The grand finale of this fun house was the tubular, spiral slide. There was the option of taking some stairs down three flights, but MaryAnn and I both agreed we’d take the slide. I went first this time…
Two old ladies at the Minnesota State Fair, acting like they were teenagers again. How much fun can life get?
OK, I’m pretty sure you guys know what’s coming up in this post. This time of year I’m very predictable.
IT’S MINNESOTA STATE FAIR TIME!
I know it’s not everyone’s bag, but I can’t understand why not. For crying out loud, people come from other states just to visit our state fair. Why? Because it’s the best state fair in our state.
Today is the first day of the Minnesota State Fair and for the first time in a long time I’m going to attend on the first day, with my friend MaryAnn. The first thing on my list of things to do is eating a deep fried Twinkie, if indeed they still have deep fried Twinkies, what with the whole Twinkie-going-south thing. MaryAnn is looking forward to some deep fried pickles. Deep fried. It doesn’t matter what kind of food it is, as long as it’s deep fried, and maybe even on a stick.
So, after MaryAnn and I are done working our tedious day jobs we’re going to meet up at the fair and see the sights, eat the food, and talk some girl talk.
If you live in Minnesota, or even Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, heck, Alaska even, come and see the Minnesota State Fair. It starts today and continues through Labor Day. Oh what a time it is!
For the next twelve days you might hear from me about things other than the fair, but know that my heart is at the fair. Always.
Imagine, if you will, walking through the Cathedral square in Cologne, Germany. It’s a brand new world for you, but the world you walk in is older than you can comprehend. The Old World. They call it that for a reason.
As you walk along you hear music coming from somewhere. A small orchestra. You ask yourself, is there a concert going on in the middle of this, this ancient square in Cologne, Germany? Of course you seek out the source of this beautiful music.
When you turn the corner you see the musicians. Street musicians, not an orchestra. Street musicians with a case in front of them for donations. A violin, some accordions, and a tuba. That’s all…making this glorious music. It’s absolutely stunning.
Charlotte and I stood in awe watching these musicians play with a passion that took our breath away. The experience was one I’ve never seen before and will probably never see again, but it is one I’ll never forget.
The Compatible. That’s what they call themselves, these musicians of unthinkable talent. We each dropped a two-Euro coin into the violin case open in front of them. It hardly seemed enough. When I listened some more I went up and bought a CD. It was the best souvenir I could ever want.
The video I’m sharing with you wasn’t taken by me, but is a fine example of what Charlotte and I experienced on a hot day in Cologne, Germany. Take a listen, and tell me this isn’t some beautiful music.
I don’t know if you can get a CD of this music anywhere, unless you’re wandering about Cologne without a care in the world, accidentally catching those magnificent notes floating across the square. I am so lucky to be one who has done that.