Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Day at the Fair

Michael Jackson's Swing Ride.
On Saturday, Jora and I took her three kids and my two nieces to the San Diego County Fair (aka the Del Mar Fair to us locals.)   I hadn't been to the fair in a couple of years - and I hadn't ever been with kids.  It was a whole different experience.  Exhibits?  Pshaw... the kids wanted to go on the rides.
The Del Mar Fair.
So Jora and I started out by buying one of these $50. sheets of ride tickets - 72 tickets - EACH.
Ride tickets.
Guess what?  When there are four kids riding - and each ride takes 3-6 tickets, those suckers go fast.  So fast, I had to buy ANOTHER sheet in the afternoon.  So fast, I still didn't go on but one ride all day - and only then because the younger one wasn't tall enough to go without an adult.  I wanted the girls to wring every precious bit of joy they could from those things.  I guess I have to admit, seeing expressions like this their faces made it all worthwhile... as long as I don't think about it too much.
Caelan & Emma having a blast - Instagram II

I had fun photographing the rides and scenery while the girls were whirling around.  I almost want to go back again just to "photo safari."  And maybe go on a ride or two myself...
Fun House.
Happily, even though it was the first Saturday the fair was open, the lines weren't long at all.  The only crowds we encountered were around the food booths along the midway.  We had the obligatory funnel cake - which was worth every calorie, especially when shared with two voracious children.  For lunch, we had the barbecued chicken from the bbq stand, and Greek salad and gyros from the Greek stand.  It was all relatively healthy, and really very good.
Funnel Cakes are a must.
Though it was tough herding four kids around the fair (plus a baby in a stroller), we did have Caelan and Emma, who are now 11 and 8 respectively, to help. I asked Caelan to chaperone C-man and Emma to look out for Juju, and they took their jobs very seriously, as you can see...
The kids - Instagram
After we accomplished our primary mission at the Fair, which was to see our friend Heidi perform with her Zumba team, we took the kids over to the Farrell's for an ice cream cone, and sat down for a break to eat it - because it turns out that with small kids, eating and walking just doesn't work so well.
ice cream break.
Jora and her clan called it a day shortly after that, but the girls and I still had a couple of hours to kill because we were going to the concert that night - Bruno Mars and Janelle Monae.  (See discussion above regarding second sheet of ride tickets!)  They went on some more rides, had some cotton candy, and before we knew it - it was time to get in line.  Yum... Cotton Candy...
Until a week or so ago, I think I might have been the only person alive who didn't know who Bruno Mars was, but I was told the girls were crazy about him so I looked into it.  I checked one day and couldn't get anything, but checked again the next day and was able to get unreserved Terrace seating.
Tour Poster - Instagram.
The Terrace is a great place to sit because it's the table seating.  Unreserved means first come first served though, so you have to get there early and wait in line.  We got in line at 4:45 for a 7 PM show, but it paid off - our section was on the far left side, but we were able to get seats on the end.
At the Bruno Mars concert at the Fair.
We had table service, so we ordered food and drinks - but if you prefer you can bring in whatever you like from the fair.  They actually put on a really fun show - I think I enjoyed it as much or more than the girls did.  It was their "first concert" -  they thought it was a little loud, and they were getting tired by the end after a long day of fun at the fair - but I do think they liked it.  If nothing else, hopefully, they will at least remember it!

If you're going to the fair and you are interested in the rides, consider the "wristband day" deal available certain dates - it's gotta be the way to go, even if the lines are longer.  Also, kids under twelve get in free any day if they fill out a form indicating they've read 10 books, and have it signed by a teacher or librarian!


  1. I ADORE that first photo. Gorgeous!

  2. Ditto to whoorl! Long time reader, first time commenter - that photo forced me out of the wood work. So lovely!