If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been as it applies to this blog, I have two answers for you. The first is that I’ve been working on a dream That I intend to achieve over the next year. The second is that I have spent some time at the issues New York State Fair.

For those who don’t know, the New York State Fair is one of the largest in the country, and it was the first in the country. It’s held right here in Syracuse, New York, which means it’s less than 10 minutes away from my house. Most years I only go once, but this year I went twice with my wife. This allowed me to not have to try to get everything in on one trip, and that proved to be a major blessing for my body.

I had a major goal in mind for this year’s fair; that was to touch a cow. For many people this probably wouldn’t be a big deal, but for someone like me with little exposure to animals outside of dogs and cats for most of my life this was a big deal. I had planned on trying to touch the cow last year, but the cow didn’t seem to be in the mood for it. So this year I still had the same goal, and with a little trepidation went with my wife trying to find the cow that might be accommodating. And we found one, and as you can see I did that the cow. It wasn’t such a bad experience, although I also have to admit it wasn’t what I was expecting. I also have plans on touching an alpaca and a llama, but it seemed there were none both times I went. I was going to touch a pig, but they weren’t having it either.

This was also the year that I tried a couple of foods that I never would have tried before. One of those foods was the fried Snickers bar wrapped in bacon. That was actually very good, but it was so rich I could only eat if you bite before I had to stop. The second food was chocolate covered bacon, and I have to admit it was a major letdown. It was dark chocolate, the bacon was overcooked and brittle, and it was cold. That’s not what I was expecting, so that one’s on me.

My wife and I ended up in the Center of Progress building a couple of times, where I ended up with such both times and my wife ended up with jewelry and issues version of cream that will eliminate all wrinkles and smooth all rough patches on the body. I loved this year’s sand sculpture, even if not everybody did, because of its tribute to this summer’s Olympics. And of course I got a chair massage, which I always enjoy.

I’m also someone who enjoys going to the arts and crafts building, and this year was no exception. I got a chair massage there as well, but I only took time out to go see the quilts. I know, not quite a guy thing, but I love seeing the creative process that goes into making the quilt, especially since it’s something I’m never going to do.

The Horticulture Building was interesting this year because of the extremely long line for a free baked potato; really people? Many of the flower exhibits were pretty good this year, but I wasn’t doing the butterfly exhibit. I did have my first Shirley Temple soda here; great! Then it was off to the International Building for food, where it turned out the German food booth had shepherd’s pie, strange to be sure, but it was really good, and I followed that up with apple pie & ice cream. During that meal we sat with a young family with 3 little girls that got their first taste of a corndog, and they loved it.

We also had fun the second time we went with my friends Scott and his wife Merrie, and they took me to the 4H building for the first time where I got to hold a baby chick for the first time. That was a building I never knew existed, and I’m glad I went because I got to see a friend that I hadn’t seen in about 13 years, someone I used to work with. Later on, I saw my first pig and dachshund races; that was interesting and funny.

My overall experience at the fair was great. I will say there were some disappointments at the same time. There were no grandstand shows I was in the mood to see, and it’s hard to believe that they actually skipped a Saturday night performance, which would’ve brought in a lot of people. I didn’t get to see any other musical performances as well, since I went earlier in the morning to avoid the biggest crowds. The exotic birds display, where there’s usually a wonderful collection of predator birds, was very disappointing and I hope they do something different in the future.

Finally, I have to say that going to the fair must be like going to Disneyland these days. I’ve never been to Disneyland, but I hear it can be quite expensive. I ended up spending almost $140 in two visits and only ended up coming home with fudge both times. I can’t even remember how I spent that kind of money, but since my wife and I don’t have kids they certainly didn’t spend it on a ride. I also don’t know how much more money my wife spent on the few things she bought. I guess I shouldn’t write that that part because everyone deserves to make money, but it makes me wonder how expensive it would have been if I’d had a couple of kids.

Still, it’s the New York State Fair, it’s our fair, and it was a great way to bring in another birthday year.