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Minnesota State Fair ’

Minnesota Vacation! State Fair & Lots of Beer

Thursday Miss Laura McDougal of DoogKnits and I jumped on the Megabus and headed north to Minnesota. It had been SO LONG since I had been there – I’m sure you all remember my years going back and forth between Chicago and Minneapolis, then my eventual return to Chicago 2 summers ago. I really miss Minneapolis, and this weekend really brought that home!

Bus Knitting 1

Bus Knitting #1

This is how Laura and I traveled all weekend! So much yarn between us.

Early Morning at the Fair!

Early Morning at the Fair!

After getting some drinks Thursday night (you know, to shake off that Megabus!), we were up EARLY to head to the Minnesota State Fair! This was Laura’s first fair, but my fair exploits have been well documented – 201120102009.

Cheers!

Cheers!

Here me and Laura, plus Lily, her fiancee Scott, and of course PT, cookie cheers outside of Sweet Martha’s. These were only 1000 of the 10000 calories we happily consumed at the fair!

BEERS

BEERS

And after the fair these were just some of the very many beers we needed to cool off.

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions

You might think that after all that we’d take a break from eating fried foods, but you’d be wrong! We breakfasted before going to the Mall of America (DUH), and walking around, taking in this great city I still wish I lived in.

Bus Knitting #2

Bus Knitting #2

The bus ride home was a little nap filled, but I made some fair isle progress so it wasn’t a total loss! I think we totally sold Laura on Minneapolis, I gained 10 pounds, and 2 days later am still super tired. Sign of a great long weekend vacation, right?!

Minnesota State Fair and Target Field Means I Had the Best Weekend Ever!

And then, magically, my summer in Minneapolis was over. It hardly feels like three months ago that I got here, and here I’m already packing up to leave. But before I head back to Chicago Friday, we knew we had to have the weekend to end all weekends. And we surely did, starting Friday with a trip to Target Field.

WAAAAAAAAY Up THERE!

See those people WAY up at the top there? That is where we usually sit. But Friday? Ohh no! Friday PT got CHAMPIONS CLUB tickets for the game, which meant that we got all you can eat and drink free food, and our view for the game was this:

WHOA!

I was so happy during this game tears were shed. The food was amazing, getting to drink all I wanted to was amazing, not waiting in line to pee was amazing! But the baseball. It was RIGHT THERE! It was almost scary how close we were.

Ohh HOLLA!

And then there was the fair. This is me, trying to eat a deep fried Reeses Peanut Butter Cup covered in powdered sugar. Because there isn’t enough sugar on the inside of that thing that it needed more. And yeah. It was good. Because EVERYTHING IS AMAZING AT THE FAIR!

Beer on a Stick!

This is my third Minnesota State Fair, and I think ever time gets better. It’s Tuesday and I’m still recovering from this trip. It’s just that glorious.

Bunny!

I love that I take the same pictures every year. In 2009 it was food, bunnies, crop art, and baby sheep. In 2010 it was food, baby sheep, and crop art.

Baby Sheep!

This year is shaping up to be food, bunnies, baby sheep, and crop art again!

Crop Art!

And, of course, the underwhelming shots of knitting.

Knitting, Just Hanging Around

We were at the fair for 11 hours, so it’s really no wonder that I’m still recovering. I could barely walk yesterday! I’m already excited for next year.

And I’m already excited to come back to Minneapolis! I kinda love this place. I’m Chicago bound Friday, which means I’m frantically packing up my life and finishing all my unfinished projects before I’ll be away from them. Why does leaving always sneak up on me?!

But we went out with a bang, Minnesota. And those 5 deep fried pounds around my middle will be with me for a long time.

Minnesota State Fair 2010

So last year was my first Minnesota State Fair experience and I was, of course, anxious for a repeat appearance.

Minnesota State fair Mini Donuts

Mainly I was just excited to eat mini donuts. SERIOUSLY HOW DO THEY MAKE THEM TASTE LIKE THAT?! GODDAMN!

Topical Crop Art

Rooster Bike!

Sheep Needs a Haircut

Monday Afternoon Fair Crowd

Last year we went to the fair on a chilly weekend and it was nuts; all of Minnesota was there! This year we went on a 90 degree Monday. It was still nuts. We got there around 11, just in time for second breakfast, and left around 6, STUFFED AND SICK, like we should have been.

Knitting at Minnesota State Fair

The knitting was underwhelming, like last year. Lots of boring knits in boring colors on super scary manikins. This sweater was the big winner and really lovely, however bland the color choices.

Amigurumi Burger is Sweet!

This Guy Exists

If I end up in Minnesota you can bet your ass I’m starting a Minnesota State Fair fashion blog. It will be glorious.

CHEESE CURDS!

Minnesota State Fair 2010 success? Absolutely! If I had a week to live I would eat cheese curds and mini donuts for every meal. Well. Meals don’t really exist at the Minnesota State Fair so I would just constantly have cheese curds and mini donuts brought to me, alternately, every hour.

The people watching! The food! The animals! The freak shows! It’s all amazing. I’m already excited for 2011.

The Minnesota State Fair

Excited!

Excited!

EXCITED!!

EXCITED!!

Anne is Excited, Too

Anne is Excited, Too

All I had been hearing about since PT and I started dating was how awesome Minnesota is and how totally awesome the Minnesota State Fair is. So crammed into the park and ride shuttle on the way to the Fair, stuck in Fair traffic, we were all freaking out and I didn’t even really understand why.

Ticket to FUN!

Ticket to FUN!

I had my ticket and was ready for whatever awaited us behind the gate. Anne and PT were old pros at the Fair and knew exactly what we had to hit first.

Fresh Cut French Fries

Fresh Cut French Fries

Mini Donuts

Mini Donuts

The Fair is one big thisiswhyyourfat.com entry, complete with extremely large people eating foot long corn dogs and mounds of funnel cake. If it’s not deep fried it’s not at the Fair, and that was ok with us. Anne bee-lined it to the mini donut stand which we ate with fries.

I can safely say that mini donuts are the most amazing thing I’ve ever tasted. They were probably my favorite part of the entire trip, which might make me a bad person. But who am I kidding? I might kill for another bag of these if it came to it.

Butter Head

Butter Head

The Fair had all your typical Fair things, like animals and carnival rides and lots of games. But it also had a lot of extremely ridiculous things that I’m convinced you can only find at the Minnesota State Fair. Like women carved out of butter.

Seed Art

Crop Art

And this crop art portrait titled, ‘Self Portrait with First Ladies’. So that is a picture of the haloed artist with Nancy Reagan with a parrot on her shoulder and Laura Bush with a monkey on her shoulder. Made of seeds.

Award Winning Sweaters

Award Winning Sweaters

There was a lot of knitwear! My favorite part of these sweaters is that the maniquins are either being killed in a gas chamber or having orgasms.

Sweaters

Sweaters

Scarves and Socks

Scarves and Socks

A lot of it was pretty boring. There wasn’t one sweater that stood out to me as anything more than just a sweater, but it was fun to see the display and everyone admiring the knitwear!

Award Winning Quilt

Award Winning Quilt

American Hipster

American Hipster

The Johnas Brothers

The Johnas Brothers

There was lots of art; some a little more classic than others.

The picture of PT and I reminds me of a picture of my little brother Adam and I on vacation when we were like 6 and 4. We put our heads and hands through old wooden torture devices, and I couldn’t stop laughing. Adam, at 4, looks like he is actually being tortured, and I’m laughing my butt off.

Bucket O' Cookies

Bucket O' Cookies

We met up with PT and Anne’s friends Andy and Katie, who live in Minnesota, and by that time it had been like 90 minutes since our last fatty feast, so we did what any normal Fair goer does and split a bucket of cookies.

Andy’s face is for real. Those cookies were out of control.

His shirt is for real, too. It’s even glow in the dark.

We walked over to the all you can drink milk stand and ate as many cookies as we could while drinking as much milk as we could. And we were ready for animals!

Baby Piggies!

Baby Piggies!

Baby Sheepy!

Baby Sheepy!

As much as I don’t care at all about people babies, I sure do love baby animals! I can’t tell you how many 4 year olds I had to elbow in the face to get these close up shots. That lamb was like 10 hours old!

But as much as I love baby animals, I sure as hell don’t want to see them being born. I innocently walked to the middle of the ‘Miracle of Life’ barn to see two hooves sticking out of a cow! I barely made it through the birthing video in health class, and a baby cow is significantly larger than a person baby! Gah.

Fuzzy Bunny

Fuzzy Bunny

KKK Sheep

KKK Sheep

Biggest Boar in Minnesota

Biggest (Balls) Boar in Minnesota

While we were at the Fair we counted rascals, defined not as wheel chairs, but just used by people too fat to walk around the Fair, and Vikings Brett Favre jerseys. Final count? 29 rascals and 24 Favre jerseys. The weather was working against Brett, though, as it got pretty chilly by the time we left and we figured that a lot of those jerseys were covered up by sweatshirts. Still pretty amazing.

Also amazing?

Andy Might Just Always Make This Face

Andy Might Just Always Make This Face

MORE?!

MORE?!

The fact that we spent 6 hours at the Fair, ate fries, mini donuts, 5 dozen cookies, all you can drink milk, frozen malts, corn dogs, honey lemonade, and deep fried cheese curds, went home to rest a few hours, then went out to a bar and ordered 18 wings baskets of deep fried green beans and deep fried pickles, two pitchers of beer and a glass of wine.

If you can measure your day in direct relation to food illness, the sicker the better, Minnesota State Fair Day was the best day of my life.

Minnesota Wins (Minus Metrodome)

Upon arriving in Minnesota Thursday afternoon and entering PT’s mom’s adorable little house, I was greeted with this:

Baby PT

Baby PT

“Aw PT! You were so cute!”

“Yeah that is my senior picture.”

“THAT is your SENIOR PICTURE? I was going to guess 8th grade.”

Minihaha Falls

Minnehaha Falls

PT was anxious to take me on a grand tour of St Paul, where he grew up, and Minneapolis, which is like a whole other world according to PT’s mom.

St Paul has about 300,000 people and Minneapolis has about 400,000, and St Paul is known as the small, quaint city, and Minneapolis as the big city.

I didn’t, and still kind of don’t, understand why they are two cities. Wouldn’t it just be easier to have one big city separated by the Mississippi River, instead of two cities that are just like one big city anyway?

It’s like the sharks and the jets, so I probably shouldn’t have even said that while still in Minnesota.

In any case, both cities are beautiful; full of parks and old buildings and tree lined boulevards. Our first stop was in Minneapolis, just over the river, to Minnehaha Falls. See? Lovely waterfall inside the city limits!

F Scott Fitzgerald's House

F Scott Fitzgerald's House

Historical Spot

Historical Spot

I had forgotten that F Scott Fitzgerald grew up in St Paul, but PT was on it and took me to see his house. I love him, and I love Zelda, and I really love Ernest Hemingway who grew up in Oak Park but whose house I still haven’t seen, shamefully.

The Mississippi River

The Mississippi River

We had lunch on the banks of the Mississippi River, which I can safely say I’ve never done before.

Good Sandwich

Good Sandwich

Big Tuna Sandwich

Big Tuna Sandwich

PT’s favorite sandwich place in St Paul is called Acme Deli, where you fill out a sheet of options, hand in your worksheet, and get a sandwich. I got a tuna with lots of veggies, cheese, and horseradish, and it was awesome.

Turkey Breast

Turkey Breast

PT got the turkey breast with olives, of course.

Hidden Falls

Hidden Falls

Where we stopped for lunch also had a waterfall called Hidden Falls; less hard core falls than Minnehaha and much more mosquito filled, but still! Lunch+Mississippi River+waterfalls? This place is great!

Izzy's!

Izzy's!

And we got some ice cream for the trip to Minneapolis! PT worked at Izzy’s for a summer, so it was part of the PT life tour. At least I can justify going the first time that way, anyway. The second time, this time, I was just being a fatty. But, I mean, salted caramel ice cream? With a little taste of whatever other ice cream flavor you want? It’s a good thing I don’t live here.

Lake Calhoun

Lake Calhoun

PT&ME

PT&ME

We stopped at Lake Calhoun, one of the many lakes in Minneapolis, and walked on the path around it. There were lots of people out biking and jogging the paths, enjoying the beautiful afternoon.

Cherry and Spoon

Cherry and Spoon

We stopped at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden that I loved.

‘I don’t get it,’ I said.

‘What’s to get? It’s a cherry and a spoon.’

PT sees things pretty clearly.

PT on the Light Rail

PT on the Light Rail

PT never asks to get his picture taken. I take pictures like a crazy and PT puts up with it like a champ, but this moment was a big moment in PT’s life. He was riding the light rail to the Metrodome for his last Twins game at that hell hole. So many people were riding that thing to the game! He was a very happy boy.

The New Target Field OMGOMGOMG!

The New Target Field OMGOMGOMG!

Or I thought he was a happy boy, but in comparison to how happy he was to see the new Target Field where, in a matter of months, his beloved Twins will play, outside, like baseball should be played, he was catatonic on the light rail.

I didn’t understand exactly what a big deal this was. The Tigers got a new stadium a few years ago and it was a big deal but I wasn’t losing my shit over it. But then I went into the Metrodome to watch a baseball game.

What Baseball Should NOT Look Like

What Baseball Should NOT Look Like

Entering the Metrodome, sitting down, and realizing you are about to watch baseball was kind of like seeing my best friend get punched in the face. Like, they took baseball, something I love so much, and dropped it into the shittiest place on earth. I was pissed! How could they do that? How could they stick BASEBALL in there?

Joe and Joe

Joe and Joe

But they were giving away Joe Mauer on a stick, which was fun. I don’t know why they didn’t throw some makeup on him and pluck his eyebrows down a little before blowing up his face that big, but it’s Minnesota. He might need those brows for warmth.

Besides the location, it was the perfect night. PT’s last Twins game in the Metrodome was a win, the Tigers won, the White Sox lost, and we light railed it back home.

Day Two? STATE FAIR! EVERYTHING DEEP FRIED AND ON A STICK!

I’ve got to charge my camera batteries.