Wednesday, August 29, 2012

MN State Fair 2012

August 27, 2012


Monday we took a trip to the State Fair, Isaac's first State Fair!!! Kyle took the day off so we could hit up the fair on a less crazy day, although it's still crazy. We drove around looking for parking and ended up in neighborhood a few blocks from the grounds. There were lots of people standing outside with 'Park' signs getting people to park in their yards.... saw one lady for $15 who stated "it's even more as you get closer" we told her we'd circle the block and may be back. Well the next gal we came to was $10 so we took that, she asks if I can parallel park, of course I can. We meet her in the ally and she has me parallel park next to her garage door... inches from her garage door so I wasn't in the alley way. She kinda had attitude, but I knew as soon as I got my little man out of the backseat she'd melt and she did, lol. Anyway so we park and we head to the gate.

We didn't even make it out of the alley when I stop... "oh SHIT!" I left the freakin' pre-paid discounted entrance tickets sitting at home! Damnit! I was so aggravated! The local grocery stores pre-sell discounted tickets, $9 instead of the gate price of $12.... every year I say "next year I'm going to remember before the first day of the fair and stop in and get tickets there"... well this year I remembered to buy them, I just didn't remember to bring them! Ah well... I posted on facebook and my friend Jill is going to buy them from me and come get them tomorrow night, so not that big of a deal but still aggravating.

Standing in line to buy tickets (again) we heard a lady behind us "Oh this little one has legs just like Elliot!" "don't get to close they'll think you're crazy" "I'm not crazy I'm a grandma"... so then we turn around and say "you're not crazy we get this all the time. You're not the only one coming up to us to talk about the baby" :-) so we had a nice little chat with them, she has a grandbaby that's about 5 months old. And the guy took our picture for us.
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So the walking begins. We got a free bucket from the Home Depot booth, checked out the Pet Barn, although a little disappointed with the small number of dog breeds on show, usually they have a bit more. We also stopped and entered to win a car.. hopefully we win! And eventually we made it to our destination!

FOOD! First up a breakfast croissant from French Meadow Bakery and Cafe

Then we stopped at the DNR booth to hear a little talk about the native Minnesota fish.

While Kyle was listening I hopped the street with Isaac to the Kare 11 barn (that's the news station we watch) I knew they had free water, but since the morning show was just starting at 11:00 it was too crowded to get back to the water station to fill my water bottle... but since it was 11 there was a line so I got in it to get a free bag! 

Next we headed to the agriculture horticulture building to visit the beer brewing area.


LOOK! Cargill!!

And we had a beer flight. Four small beer samples. We tried the Dark. There were three other 'categories' to try: light, belgium, & ... I can't remember the fourth.

This was the Dark category:

Next food: Spaghetti on a stick!


Then Corn on a cob

Nap time for Isaac

Then we ran into our friends Nate & Bri, found a spot in the grass to let Isaac stretch his legs for a bit. I just love this photo... he's such a sweetie!

All the while we were completing this history walking tour. There was a pamphlet with 13 different spots to check off and read about different history tid bits and buildings throughout the fair. We completed the fair and I got this FUN prize :-P a button!


On our walk back up to the north gate, where we came in. We stopped well one at the lactation station that 107.1 had... which I heard was suppose to be air conditioned... but it was in fact just a tent with fans. Luckily there was water and comfy chairs but I was sweating bullets the entire time I was feeding Isaac.

Then we stopped at the tractors and let Isaac roam and explore a bit.



On our way out we were craving ice cream... but there wasn't any nearby so we settled on frozen banana and a nut bar.

Isaac also got to try his first fair food, the unfrozen banana on a stick! (minus the chocolate and sprinkles of course)

He loved it!

It was a nice day, not too hot. But our feet were tired! We went home, sat down for a bit, had the babysitter come over then Kyle and I headed to the Twins game with some out of town friends. So it was a busy busy day for us!!

Flandrau State Park {Aug 24-26} & Schell's Brewery

Last weekend we went camping with our friends Michelle and Enoch to Flandrau State Park. We knew going into the weekend that there was a chance of rain, so we planned accordingly and decided we'd hit up the brewery tour in the local town in the event of rain. Flandrau is right in the town of New Ulm, which is only about 2 hours southwest of the Twin Cities.

We had a nice little walk-in campsite.
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Isaac seems to just love camping :-) helping us unpack
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And playing with his new push toy
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Harpo likes to get out and relax too :-P
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We arrived on Friday, so all we really did was get camp set up and fix hobo/foil dinners. Isaac fell asleep in the tent, but he didn't stay asleep because he knew we were out by the campfire. So we brought him out with us and he was immediately asleep in our arms. The flash makes it deceiving in this photo, cuz it's completely dark, but the flash blinded Kyle, oops.
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It sprinkled a little on us overnight. We got up and fixed breakfast and it started to drizzle a little more. Luckily Michelle & Enoch recently purchased this great tent we could hang out under! We played a few games while it rained. The brewery didn't open until noon for tours so we had some time to kill.
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Isaac was so fun. At this point he had already had a banana and shared some eggs with me for breakfast. But I guess he was just still hungry because he had to get a hold of just one more banana. AND he opened it from the opposite end! Like the monkeys do :-P
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The rain had stopped so we took a quick little walk around the park before we made lunch. Here is the Cottonwood River, which runs through the State Park.
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Then we loaded up in the car and headed into town. August Schell's Brewery is the second family own brewery in America. The first being something in Pennsylvania. It was really fun hearing about the history and seeing all the buildings old home of August Schell.
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There were peacocks running around the grounds
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and we even got to see BABY peacocks!
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At the end of the tour, of course they have a tasting in the tap room:
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Isaac getting his taste (don't worry there was just water in his cup)
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The rain stopped so we were able to wonder the grounds and take a closer look at the buildings
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We made our way back behind August's house and they had some deer pens:
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We left there and headed back to camp. Isaac was sleeping in the jeep so we played a game of washers at a nearby vacant campsite while he snoozed away.
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Then we went for a pre-dinner hike along the hiking club trail. Michelle insisted on wearing Isaac in his backpack, Kyle didn't complain about this :-P
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We threw this butter out into the weeds Saturday morning... and it was still there throughout the rain, lol.
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Friday night we just hung out at camp, fixed dinner, had a campfire and enjoyed the outdoors. Isaac discovered that the cooler had wheels!
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And then he had fun playing with our camping dishes in the tent before bed!
new ulm wkend-52 He was smiling and laughing but the flash was a bit alarming

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The next morning we had breakfast and began to tear down camp. We weren't in any hurry to get out. The boys had fun playing:
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And ruby was relaxing by the fire (FINALLY, she wanted to get near it the night before but we wouldn't let her)
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We went for another short hike once our cars were loaded up. Isaac didn't make it long:
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We worked up a good sweat so our last stop of the trip (well before hitting up the appetizer happy hour at the local Applebees on our way out of town) was the 'swimming pool'. This was a sandy bottom, chlorinated, swimming pool. AKA man made lake.
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Notice Isaac's red mark on his forhead from where he was sleeping on the hike. Not sure if maybe a but bite him there or not cuz it took a while for it to fade away.

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And I just love Kyle's face in this one :-)
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