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Archive for August, 2015

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!

It’s called New York New York. I suppose that’s a play on the Vegas casino or something. The Minnesota State Fair hasn’t seen the likes of this in ages.

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.

MaryAnn, you should be able to navigate the plank-and-rope bridge – just like on Gilligan’s Isle.

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.

I didn’t want to dance or sing in this fun house. MaryAnn was very disappointed.

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…

Screaming before I even went down. What’s with the curly goat-tongue thing I’m doing?

Two old ladies at the Minnesota State Fair, acting like they were teenagers again.  How much fun can life get?

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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.

Deep Fried Twinkies (on a stick) are to die for. I’m not even kidding about this.

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!

The Mighty Midway

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.

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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.

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What a summer it’s been.  It started out with an extended weekend to Door County, Husby’s and my go-to place to get away from the hum-drumedness of the everyday routines we have.  It’s always refreshing and has become quite comfortable.  We’ve gotten to know people who used to just be familiar faces, we devour our favorite meals at fun restaurants, and we revel in the company of mighty Lake Michigan for hours on end.

Moon over Baileys Harbor

I’m the luckiest girl in the world because not only did I get to have a mini vacation with Husby, I got to have a major vacation with Charlotte…to Europe!  Oh, the sights we saw, the people we met, and the feelings we had.  It was my first time visiting countries not attached to my homeland, and it made a huge impression on me.  So huge I’m still trying to get my head around it.  Everything I saw and did was awesome, in the truest sense of the word.

Cologne Cathedral

Next on the summer agenda is the Minnesota State Fair, which begins in nine days.  There will be much eating of things on a stick, taking in animals and art and carnival, and general hobnobbing with millions of fellow Minnesotans.

Fair lovers galore!

When it’s cold and snowy (and it will be soon enough) I’ll have warm memories of the Summer of ’15.  Making memories – that’s what life is all about, isn’t it?

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