Monday, August 30, 2010

Hank Goes to the Maryland State Fair!

Hank pets a duckling!

Maryland state flags (a remnant from its settlement in 1634) blow in the summer breeze
I have never been to a state fair. There. I said it. The combination of Jersey Shore type characters, western Maryland rednecks, livestock and unsafe carnival rides just never appealed to me. And clearly not to my parents. But for some reason we thought that Hank would be amused to go see the Maryland State Fair for himself, at the ripe old age of 11 months. Why we came to that conclusion, I'm not sure. But we were right!

Hank and I watch some sort of youth competition at the Maryland Cow Palace

The Cow Palace

The University of Maryland's Holsteins
Hank was pretty ambivalent about the rows upon rows of cattle, but there were other things he really liked at the state fair. Like peach sundae, lemonade, and funnelcakes. All things that an 11 month old's diet should contain. I was marinating a bunch of pheasant meat for a cookout that night, so I kept my diet fairly in check!

As my wife said, "No matter what meat product you need,
Little Richard apparently has got you covered."

Dude! It's Paul Blart (More like Steamboat Willie), State Fair Security Guard! This dude was
literally snoring and nodding off while on duty! I was ecstatic to see this guy and
realize that if al Qaeda or white supremacists or black supremacists firebomb
the state fair while I'm there, THIS GUY is our first line of defense!

The rides are the same as they were in 1965 - vomit inducing and yet,
loadable on a 40 foot flatbed trailer. Alas, kids have to be 36" tall
to ride with a parent, and Hank is clocking in at about 31".
Hank is learning to walk. For the last week or so, I've spent a lot of time with him, "walking" him by holding his hands and letting him go wherever he wants (within reason). One of the places he decide to go at the state fair was to the Maryland Department of Agriculture's Educational Trailer. It seemed very random but he loved it! From the "Where Does My Egg Come From" display to "The World of Corn Products," Hank was hooked! So many things to touch - and all of them only 24-36" off the ground! That's when we found the interactive milking display!

Father of the Year (that's me - the same guy who feeds his baby lemonade and funnel cake)
shows Hank how to "Squeeze, Don't Pull"

He did it! He stood there "milking" for about 5 minutes, laughing the whole time
and squirting himself a few times too. Apparently the boy loves the state fair,
and we'll be returning next year.


Leigh, Andrea Leigh Gil said...

Ya just cant beat that last photo! Good stuff! LOL

Michael Agneta said...

Good work out of you and Hank! Glad you introduced him to the "magic" of state fairs...I mean where else can you get deep-fried just about everything? Seriously, looks like you guys had a blast spending some real quality time together.

Kirk Mantay said...

It was great! It'll be even more fun for Hank next year. The boy loves animals, that's for sure!

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