Google Something Clever 2.0: The Annual Fried Stuff Experience (Otherwise Known as The Iowa State Fair)

Sep 2, 2013

The Annual Fried Stuff Experience (Otherwise Known as The Iowa State Fair)

Well, friends, New York was indeed a hell of a town. I'm back home, but I have a ton of crap to catch up on. If you're a parent who's ever left the house for more than, oh, say two hours, you know what I'm talking about.

So today, I'm leaning on one more fellow blogger to do my work for me while I get back to normal. It's Sarah from The Sadder But Wiser Girl. You remember her; she co-hosted the trendiest, most happening Twitter party on the planet with me: #HomeCon13. And guess what. We'll be hosting another Twitter party soon! I'll keep you posted. In the mean time, get to know her a little better: 

Since Jenn is a cool person she actually gets to (occasionally) do things like go cool places and see cool things. Sometimes she even takes this thing known as a vacation. I don’t know what that thing is, but I thought since she is off and doing stuff I got to come over and take over her blog for a day. I thought that I should make this a learning opportunity. Got your pencils ready? There might or might not be a quiz afterwards so make sure to take lots of notes.

Where else can you see a moose made entirely out of CHOCOLATE???? 
 I was sad because a) it was hollow and b) they didn’t let me take a bite.

I live in the largely agricultural area in America’s heartland also known as Iowa. To get an idea of what I see every day: If you look out my back door you can see a field that goes for miles and a silo and a grain bin at the other end, as well as many, many wind turbines. FYI- I don’t live on a farm, I just live near one.

So the state fair? It’s kind of a big a deal here. It’s the only place I know where people go in hopes of eating themselves into oblivion. Heard rumors about what’s there? They’re probably true. There is fried cheese on a stick.  Heck you can get just about anything on a stick, including fried butter. My husband’s favorite part of the fair this year was the woman standing next to the booth where they sell said fried cheese. She was wearing a shirt that said “Live Healthy.” Lady, you’ve come to the wrong place!

As a rule I don’t participate in the killing myself with fried things opportunities. I usually get my corn dog and I’m happy. Really I go for three things: 1) Things that are chocolate 2) Things that are tie dyed and 3) The wine place.

This year I went with the intention of getting something called a “coconut mountain”. When I was working out at the gym I saw it on the local news and almost licked the television screen (they frown upon that, by the way). It is coconut, frozen and then dipped in chocolate. It’s sold at what has to be the best place in the world, called “Dipped in Chocolate”. This place was so awesome that even when I got there one of the local news was doing yet ANOTHER feature on it. Other than the fact that I had to wait because they dropped the whole thing in the melted chocolate and had to fish it out, it was amazing!

It was so good, I almost forget to take a picture.  
Here is what was left when I remembered that I should probably do that…

There is also a place in the art building that I never miss an opportunity to visit. There is a woman who is a featured artist every year who does the most beautiful tie-dye I’ve ever seen. It never shrinks and it never fades (kind of like on Cocoon, where you never get old and you never die, except different.) I go into this room full of beautiful tie-dyed things and usually cry, because I want it all.

Isn’t it BEAUTIFUL????  Doesn’t my son look THRILLED?

There is also a building that you can go in and “experience” Iowa wine. You can read about wine, learn about wine, buy bottles of wine… you can even stomp grapes if you really want to! I stay away from the messy stuff so that I can focus my energy on having a few samples. For a dollar a sample you can try all different kinds of wine.  I seriously wonder if there is a limit of how much you can have. I have this fantasy where I have unlimited money and keep coming back wearing different disguises and using different accents so I can have more, more, more!

If it sounds expensive, it IS. Don’t even get me started on how much stuff costs, especially the beer. My husband once paid for an $11 beer there. It’s been a running joke in our house ever since. I bought my $4 Coke cup and got refills of Coke Zero all day for a dollar, and thought that I was being pretty thrifty. You pretty much have to be.

Since I was unemployed up until the couple of days before we went, I didn’t have a lot of money to spend. Besides my little wine sample, I purchased one thing:

We went to the State Fair and all I got were these uber comfortable tie-dyed bamboo socks.  
Hmmmm… somehow that didn’t come out quite the way I wanted it.

There are also lots of animals, a midway that we never visit, and restrooms that we have to visit every ten minutes because I have kids. Do you have a fair in your state? What is it like? Can you get anything fried on a stick there? Do you use Jose Jalapeno’s voice when you say that?

Editor's note: Although I did spend two days in the Big City like a fancy pants, the rest of my vacation was spent upstate. And guess where I spent one of those days. My very first county fair (you'll hear about that later this week). Sarah, get out of my head!

Sarah Almond lives in Iowa and doesn’t really care for anything on a stick except when it’s a corndog or chocolate. She attends the State Fair every couple of years and occasionally even has money to enjoy it. You can read all about her random adventures at her wildly unsuccessful blog The Sadder But Wiser Girl

Don't forget to follow her on Facebook and Twitter, too!