Then I remembered the State Fair. Wheels started turning again. I knew it would be a bigger event and likely more people, but also much closer to us. I looked up the dates of the fair and we put it on the back burner as something we wanted to do if we could. From time to time Susannah would talk about it, how she wanted to ride the rides and see the animals. She had seen pictures of her cousins at the county fair (the one we had to miss) and that only heightened her eagerness to go to "the fair".
For some reason I thought the fair was mid-October and when I saw friends posting about the fair on Facebook a the BEGINNING of October I started to scramble! Daniel and I talked about it and decided we wanted to try and make it work. As the fair had sneaked up on us, we weren't sure if his work schedule would allow him an early day, but he asked on Monday. It was tentatively set for him to take a half-day on Thursday. We did not mention anything to the girls, not wanting to disappoint Susannah again if going to the fair didn't work out.
Thursday came and both girls woke up earlier than usual. That was nice, because I fixed their lunch early and they started their naps early. Daniel got home mid-afternoon and I started gathering things together. Sylvia woke up first and then we woke Susannah up. Once we told her we were going to the State Fair, she beamed for the rest of the day! She talked about the rides she was going to ride (mostly "the banana ride") and the animals she was going to see (alligators and crocodiles were on her list, I told her I didn't think they would be at the fair). We took our water bottles (it was a warm day) and the stroller. When we got there I mentally geared myself up for hours of walking and hoped the girls (especially Susannah) had enough adrenaline to not notice how far we had to walk!
The State Fair is divided into two sections, a main section and then a kids section. We spent the entire evening in the kids section which was plenty big enough for me! We found the Young MacDonald's Farm tents and Susannah wasn't a big fan of the chickens and roosters. When we got to the bunny rabbits, oh my, she loved looking at the rabbits!
She really wanted to pet the rabbits, but there were signs everywhere saying "Do Not Touch" the rabbits. As much as I wanted her to be able to pet a bunny (because she wanted to so badly), we had to keep reminding her that she couldn't.
There were a few larger ducks in that tent and that was the first time Sylvia sat up and really looked.
Then we moved to a different tent where there were lots of miniature and smaller farm animals. Susannah was happy because she could touch these as long as they were close enough to the rails of the pens. The only animal she specifically did not want to touch were the sheep. I helped her feel one's wooly back, then she did not want to touch any more. Later she said "the rest of them had teeth to bite me!"
I was pleasantly surprised at how un-crowded the place was, even though there were still plenty of people. At the alpaca pen the lady asked Susannah if she wanted to feed the alpacas. She (the lady) got one of the alpacas interested in the feed then poured a small handful into Susannah's hands and I helped her hold them. The alpaca took a few nibbles before she pulled her hands back. :-) I think she liked and didn't like it at the same time.
Sylvia looking at the mama pig and her piglets.
There was a small pen of young piglets and she loved petting a little red piglet with brown spots that was very social. In another pen there was a huge mother sow there with no fewer than ten piglets, nine of which were trying their hardest to eat their supper. That was fascinating to Susannah. :-) (I thought I had taken more pictures of Susannah and the animals, but undoubtedly not. :-/ )
After this we did a potty break (where I'll put out there that I was un-impressed at the lack of baby-changing stations in the bathrooms!! There wasn't a single one in the bathrooms on our side of the fair.) and then made our way to the rides. You could feel Susannah's excitement and anticipation building!! It was so nice that the day Daniel was able to get off was also the $1-ride day!
Daniel went with Susannah on her first ride. Would you say she was beaming?? :-)
Before the ride started, Sylvia was watching like this:
After she saw Daniel and Susannah go past the first time...
...she started crying and crying, saying "Dah! Dah!" I dug out her blankie and she sadly watched them the rest of the ride like this:
The next ride we decided on was the carousel. Susannah wasn't to thrilled about it but we thought she would like it and Sylvia could ride as long as there was an adult. We had 3 ride tickets at that point so Daniel went with the girls and I took pictures. It's hard to get carousel pictures. :-) Susannah did enjoy it and Sylvia did, too, until about the 3rd time around when she saw me and started crying.
Waiting for the ride to start.
She loved this ride so very much!!