Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Saturday: State Fair, a Bday Party, and Dinner with Friends

Saturday morning, Clay, Parker and I headed out bright and early for the MN State Fair. We were excited to take Parker again this year knowing that he would be into everything that he set his little eyes on. The excitement started with the bus ride from HealthPartners to the State would think he had never ridden on a bus before. He would look out the window and then look over at me with this big grin and sparkling eyes. That face alone was worth every minute of the day.

When we first arrived around 9:15am we were able to explore the Agriculture and Horticulture buildings. I think one of our favorites was the bee exhibit. It was fascinating watching the bees at work and learning more about these busy little creatures.

Fun Bee Facts:
-A colony can contain upwards of 45,000-60,000 bees when at full strength.
-Honeybees stroke their wings 11,400 beats per minute...that's 190 times per second.
-Bees may have to fly 55,000 miles and visit 2 million flowers just to make one pound of honey. Now we know where the saying, "Busy as a bee!" comes from.

Here are some websites of interest regarding bees and honey that I thought were fun: (general honey info and suggestions including resources for teachers, fun recipes, free clipart and much, much more!) (this site is has great bee facts)

Parker was excited for Eleanor and her parents to join us at the Fair for food and more fun around lunchtime! We found a great shady spot in front of the Grandstand where Lauren, Eleanor, Parker and I sat down and rested while the guys went to grab all the food. It was the perfect hour of rest and relaxation for all of us! The weather had been terrific until about 1pm and that's when the temps spiked. From that point on, it was a bit more crowded, a bit hotter, and a bit more uncomfortable. :) We still had a fun time though, stopping for food all along the way...homemade ice cream, the infamous Sweet Martha's Cookie's (I even talked my hubby into getting me "the bucket"...I totally took advantage of the preggo thing!), 2 jumbo corn dogs, a few french fries...and then Clay had a burrito with Spanish rice and shared a funnel cake with Parker! Yes, I did eat a good bit more than my hubby and two year old son...Baby Nolen and mama were both quite happy! Just for the record though, I did share a little ice cream and a cookie or two. :)

Tried several yummy honey sticks earlier that morning: peach, wildflower, strawberry and orange blossom. (Wildflower and orange blossom were my favs!) I had the great idea to pick up a few for "delivery day." Clay laughed and handed over some money when I said that having a few in the hospital with me would probably help with the delivery if this one turns out to be as long as Parker's was. ;)

We had a great morning and afternoon at the fair. Of course, the food was fantastic...glad friends Lauren, Jonathan and baby Eleanor could come join us...loved seeing the animals (Parker was able to pet the sheep, cows, horses and enjoyed seeing so many more animals like bunny rabbits, goats, and pigs.) We watched a presentation on "the process of milking cows"; Parker then got to practice milking a plastic cow...the whole experience was impressive though.

This year was spent mostly viewing and learning about the animals, which we thought was fun, and eating the famous "fair food." I told my doctor when I come into my next appt weighing 5 pounds more than last week, not to worry, but just to know that we went to the fair. He nodded in understanding and said, he'd take note. :) Surely we walked off half of the calories though with all the walking we did! I was glad we did the animal barns and such in the early morning; it was cleaner, cooler and smelled nicer. As we walked, we caught quite a bit of the 2pm parade which made a nice ending to a fun-filled day at the fair.

This little fellow was tuckered out when we got back to the car around 3:30pm. He was asleep before we were out of the parking lot.
From the Fair, we left and drove to friends, Jimmy and Sharise's home, for James' 4th Birthday party. By the time we arrived, Parker had been able to fit in a 45 min snooze and was ready for more playtime! The party was "pirate-themed" and adorable in every way. Check out the cool cake that Sharise made from scratch for the event. Everything down to the letters, flag, sticks, and bird were completely edible. This girl is unbelievably talented when it comes to "cake making." 

A giant bouncy gym was set up in the backyard for the kids to play in, and after some fun free time, all the kiddos set off on a backyard treasure hunt complete with clues and a treasure box filled with candies, a pirate's eye patch, a telescope and a balloon for each of the children. Parker loved showing off his best pirate expression during the party.
About mid-way through the party, I jetted off to St. Paul for dinner with friends who were in from out of town. Cristie, our fourth friend in the group couldn't attend, so Kyle (tressa's husband) took her place. :) We missed you Cristie. We went to our typical restaurant of choice, Kincaids, in downtown St. Paul. Loved the laughs with each of you and can't for our next visit!
Because it's usually later when we get together for our "girlfriend dinners," it's rare that we get out and walk a bit afterwards (which is a shame, because I think that this part of downtown St. Paul is absolutely breathtaking and tranquil in the evenings.) Since we ate an earlier dinner this particular Saturday, we spent a few minutes outside goofing off and enjoying the cool evening after eating.
Thank you so much again for the delicious dinner Tressa and Kyle.

Note: it has taken me 3 days to get this post out and now my son just woke up from his nap after only one hour, so there will be no proofing on this thing...I'm posting... ;) Enjoy the rest of your day!!

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