Now that was more like it.
My-Sugar-Na and I got to the Fair around 1:30 on Tuesday afternoon and left at 3:30 PM when the heat had gotten to us. We’ve made no bones that we aren’t the heartiest couple on the block, and two hours was enough. We schluffed back home, wishing for the year the State Fair runs from November 9th to the 19th.
On our walk home, we passed a number of 84th Street residents parking cars, getting anywhere from $5 to 10 bucks, so you can imagine our surprise when the kids (well, OK, Grizzly) parked seven cars in our yard in the two or so hours we were gone. He said that he was charging $3 (which is better than getting $5 for zero cars).
My-Sugar-Na and I went inside to relax, and determined that once we get our mojo back we’d head back to the Fair. My wife also ran out to do an errand in the early evening and while she was gone I tried to park some cars.
As I stood outside, it was eerily calm, as not one neighbor was out trying to park cars. This benefitted me, obviously, as my only competition became people driving around the neighborhood looking for free spots. A number of Fairgoers decided that $3 for 3 blocks away beat $0 for eight blocks away, as I not only filled up my yard, but flipped three spots, too. For the day we parked 15 cars, bringing the six day total to 76. (Side note; Sheesh, has it been six days already? The darn Fair just started. Six down, five to go!)
I can appreciate how people become climatized, but walking around in the sun with dew points over 70 is just not fun. If the mark of a person is how long one can stand being in the sun in this weather, then I a just don’t mark well. I’ve come to peace with that.
Around 7:30 PM, My-Sugar-Na and I got back on it and continued where we had left off. We made it until 9:30, but this time it was because it was getting close to bedtime.
While we were there, however, we Crazily Grazed through the grounds. Last year, we tried to eat too many non-compatible items in a short time; and to be honest, most of the stuff we tried was lousy. This year, we spaced out our Grazin’, and luckily for us, hit home run after home run. I don’t know if it is really fair to offer a review, because everything we had was very good. Below is a list of what we tried, and what I liked about it…
- Charlie’s Philly Cheese Steak Chicken sandwich ($3.00) – See the next entry.
- Charlie’s Sausage Italian Sausage ($3.00) – These two carts were right next to each other, and were the first places we grazed… My wife having the chicken sandwich and I had the sausage. Very good; I love Charlie’s sausages. But there is a catch. I know I said yesterday that I like getting a smaller portion for a lower price. But the portion of both the chicken sandwich and the sausage were so small as to almost be irrelevant and therefore $3 was outrageous. I got exactly 3 bites of sausage, and the chicken sandwich was about the same size. If Charlie can’t do a little better than that, maybe he shouldn’t participate. But, damn those sausages were good.
- Pedrano’s Nachos Supreme ($3.50) – My-Sugar-Na and I shared this large plate. Being one of the first things we had, we thought it was very good. As the day wore on, it slid down the charts. The chips were crisp, but the cheese sauce was canned. There was a lot of meat and homemade salsa. Definitely worth the money, but I wished the cheese were real. Maybe offer a smaller portion but with better cheese next year?
- Ultimate Confections Chocolate Cow Pop (2 for $1.00) – I am not a chocolate fan, but my wife is. We each had one and to me, well, it tasted like chocolate. On a stick. Good chocolate, but just chocolate. That said, My-Sugar-Na loved it.
- Usinger’s Beef Frankfurter with Sauerkraut ($2.00) – Mentioned in an iPhone report yesterday. Best deal that I saw. The sausage was large, the bun was a pretzel and the sauerkraut was sweet.
- Wisconsin Apple Growers Apple Cider (8 oz glass for $1.00) – Yummy. I had four of these at various points during the day.
- Wisconsin Honey Producers Honey Lemonade (12 oz glass for $1.50) – Yummy, too. The honey added a flavor, but it was a little sweeter than I prefer.
- Wow Concessions Apple Pie on a Stick w/ ice cream ($4.00) – This was for my wife, though I did have a bite or two. Didn’t taste like apple pie, more like a hot, filled doughnut. It tasted pretty good. My wife (the sweets-eater) really liked it.
- Crutchee-s Inc. Fresh Lemonade ($3.00) – Tasted like lemonade. And lemonade always hits the spot when the sweat is boiling on my forehead.
- Door County Fish Boil Bloomin’ Spud ($3.50) – A shared snack, this was basically an order of homemade potato chips. They spiral cut the potatoes with a gadget from the Expo Center, then fried them. They were very good. But it was a very large portion. Even to share, I had wished there was a $2 portion of this. While there, however, the guy that ordered before us bought an order of smelt… and when the lady handed it to him, he ate one before walking away from the register. I guess you could make a point that he bought them to eat them, but it was just something I didn’t expect to see as I was ordering hot potato chips. One other thing to add about the seating at the Door County Fish Boil area…. It was the coolest shaded area of the Fair. We ate there during our afternoon run (about 2:30 PM) and almost didn’t want to leave.
- Miller Lite Sports Bar & Grill Italian Beef Sandwich ($3.00) and Ravioli on a Stick ($1.50) – My-Sugar-Na had the half Italian Beef (very cheesy, she reported). I had the ravioli… Ricotta cheese nestled snugly in deep fried pillows of heaven. We both walked away happy.
- Fiesta Garibaldi Tacos ($1.00) – I had two of these as my wife watched me eat. Each taco had two corn tortillas with steak, lettuce, onion and tomato, with mild and hot salsa on the side. Phee-nominal! All that was missing was about twenty-five cents worth of sour cream. This was one of the best things I had (besides the Usinger’s frank) and I could have had two or three more if I weren’t grazin’.
- Machine Shed Chocolate Covered Bacon (2 for $3.00) – Not an official Grazin’ item, but I didn’t try it last year and had to give it a go. It is very good. Somehow the sweet and salty live in melty harmony. It was more than I had wanted to eat, though, and My-Sugar-Na (the chocolate lover that she is) wasn’t impressed enough to have more than one bite.
We did a lot more than just eat at the Fair, but nothing stood out as being remarkable. I could talk about the short cut we took through the cow barn and the endless number of farmers wearing jeans and long sleeve shirts, or about the 67 sunglasses vendors we came across, or the fact that some of the bands that we heard while walking around were light years better than last year, or that the Cream Puff pavillion was disturbingly empty at 8:00 last night (photo by Yours Truly) but I’ll leave you with this:
When we first got to the Fair around 1:30, and after eating three bites of Charlie’s Sausage, we wandered west and came across a tent selling hammocks. Why didn’t I think of that? Hammocks! I took the opportunity to lie down in one for a moment, and closed my eyes as the hammock gently rocked me; ambient noise in the distance. I pictured lying in the shade in my hammock at home on a typical dog danglin’ afternoon, falling asleep, waking up when My-Sugar-Na comes home from her job in the salt mines. Then that mean wife of mine charped in my ear “We’re not paying $399 for a hammock”.
With that, poof. The dream ended. Sigh.