Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Ferris Wheel Nearly Killed Me

The Texas State Fair was awesome.

If you recall, there was a list posted yesterday of Fair Must-Do's. A refresher:

1. Fraternizing with carnies.

2. Eating fried butter

3. Eating fried oreos

4. Staying the hell away from Big Tex and his scary voice and scary huge clothes and boots, not to mention his creepy eyeballs

5. Watching En Vogue perform "FREE YOUR MIIIIND!". Yes, live.

6. NOT getting on any rides.

Fair Activities 2009:

1. Fraternized with carnies. (Check) We had an interesting interaction with Connie, who thought we were on our honeymoon. We did not burst her bubble and tell her that we have known each other for exactly 6 weeks. She was clearly flattering us in a feeble attempt to sell us some jewelry. (which was, for the record, amazingly priced. Did we take advantage of it? N.O.)

2. Eating fried butter. (Check) The fried butter was, in a word, fantastic. Although, it was not the gooey, drippy concoction we expected. We chose the garlic butter, which was a better choice than cherry (ew.), and basically, it was a donut-hole with a slightly warm center and a buttery taste. For all we know, they may have taken a donut hole and sprayed Fabio's "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" on the top and sold it to us for 8 tickets.

3. Eating fried oreos. (Fail) Did not see these suckers. And I'm still mad about it.

4. Staying the hell away from Big Tex and his scary voice and scary huge clothes and boots, not to mention his creepy eyeballs (Fail) We found ourselves right in front of this grossly-ill-proportioned dude not once, but twice. What is his DEAL?! I for one, did not like the way he was looking at me. I think everyone else kinda dug him and his T-Rex arms.

5. Watching En Vogue perform "FREE YOUR MIIIIND!". Yes, live. (Check) We stumbled upon these lovely ladies while looking for the fried butter. They didn't look a day over 47. We heard several early-90's hits and even witnessed a huge man next to us bumping and grinding on his lady. Did I mention he was huge? Oh, and he was about 65.

6. NOT getting on any rides. (Fail)

(a) Texas Star Ferris Wheel. We had a lengthy discussion about this, and decided that it was in his (not my) best interest that we get on this ride. I begrudgingly said yes once they assured me that Italians make great Ferris Wheels (now that I have access to Google, was this ride made by Italians? Actually, yes it was. Chock one up to my friends). Waiting in line was a circus in and of itself. I started hyperventilating once I saw how high this thing is, and no one was sure if I was kidding or not. Totally NOT. So we then got behind a kind gentleman in line who is covered with prison tattoos on his neck and behind his earlobe and who raised a hand to his wife as if he was going to slap her (not once, but several times) and laughed it off once he remembered he was in public. Classy. We were concerned about having to get in a gondola with this monkey, but as fate would have it, we were able to sideswipe that situation and get in a gondola with an adorable 8 year old and his dad and sister. Once the Ferris wheel started going, I thought I was going to die. Turns out, as long as I could look out and not down, I was doing okay. my friend's leg, however, looks like it has encountered a mountain lion. (Neat fact: they put two cages in the gondola in front of us and we asked what the deal was - turns out they released a hawk and an eagle from the top so that they can fly down to the bird show. cool huh?)

(b) "Stripper Swings". After walking around for a while longer (and thanking God that I lived through the Ferris Wheel), we saw several life-threatening rides that were dripping with vomit and had on-call emergency personnel and Careflight helicopters circling (we'll pass, thanks). We settled on the swings that take you through the air. Basically a carousel with swings instead of creepy horses and hippos. The song playing when we got on it was none other than T-Pain's "I'm in Love with a Stripper". SO wholesome for the kids. We got off the ride just as "Let's Get It On" started up. You stay classy, State Fair of Texas.

We were smart and decided to take the train to the fair. $7.50 per person and no driving/parking, etc? Heck of a deal, right? (wrong.)

The trip up to the Fair was awesome. Uneventful. Quick. Easy. The trip home was .... hellish? Can I say that? We arrived at the Victory Park Station just after 6:45, which, we found out, was within minutes of the TRE leaving for Fort Worth. No bother, we'll catch one in a few minutes. Wellllllllll............ turns out the next train was leaving at 8:50. 8:50?! So. It's pouring down rain and we're standing under a tiny awning and this is what the next 2 hours are going to look like. Um... not cool TRE. NOT cool.

Luckily we are friendly people and don't look like psychopaths, so this nice family near us started chatting us up and we all decided to go to the West End to find some food (we did have 2 hours to kill after all). We ventured to the VERY dead West End and ate at a bbq place (with very slow service, considering we were basically the only folks in there). We then got the good news that we had missed the DART back to Victory Station. I quickly dialed up Yellow Cab (which is on speed dial on my phone - and no, I don't often find myself drunk and stranded and in need of a cab - so much so that I have the number programmed into my phone, thank you very much). The cab driver shows up and then does not know where Victory Station is, even after we tell him that it is a mere 4 blocks away and next to the ENORMOUS American Airlines Center. Still no idea. We end up getting out in the middle of the road. My friend gives the guy some cash and takes off running in the direction of the train in an effort to stop it. The guy then yells out to my friend that he didn't pay him enough. What?! 4 blocks and we gave you directions and you still dropped us off a good 500 feet from our destination and you want us to pay you MORE?! Needless to say, we settled up and took off running ourselves. I was carrying a baby (not my baby, really a baby I just met) and New Friend Kim is carrying more than her own body weight in strollers and to-go food boxes while New Friend Patrick is carrying a very tired 3 year old. We got there and managed to get on the Fort Worth bound TRE in time. Sheesh.

Did I mention that this entire time, it is pouring down rain. Oh yeah, this entire time it was pouring down rain.

The train ride was pretty uneventful, except for the fact that we stood the entire time, saw a Ruben Studdard look-a-like (who barely fit down the stairs) and New Friend Patrick set his to-go food box on the trash can next to him, which happened to be on a dirty diaper. And this was just for a minute, but I'm pretty sure he went home and ate it.

TRE: TOTALLY RUINED EVENING (meaning the rest of our evening was blown - no Arts Goggle for us.... damn.)

Can't wait to go next year!!

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