School is coming,
and because Labor Day is arriving so late, school is coming early this year.
But before we surrender to the start of school, there is one last thing we must do:
tackle the Minnesota State Fair!
In true Johnson fashion, we made the trek twice this year.
Our first trip featured our favorite family-friendly activities.
Our second trip is always with MoMo and Papa, and features our favorite activities
to do with them (i.e. rides, animal barns, and milkshakes to name a few).
We had a great time perusing the docks and boat lifts on Machinery Hill:
The kids lent a hand at the Little Farm Hands Farm,
and this was undoubtedly E-Bears final year. At least the younger siblings will have
TWO helpers next year!)
and then they were rewarded with rocket pops for their hard work.
The Littlest Bear and I took note of a rather affirming sign,
and then we spent over an hour in the outdoor kids nature space next to the EcoExperience building, where the kids dug in the sand, played in the water, made buildings out of recycled boxes and made meatballs in the dirt. They were dubbed "coyote kids" and each got a paw print stamp.
It was a highlight for sure.
Then, we watched the parade,
ate pronto pups and shared a jumbo root beer,
(yes, there really is a jumbo root beer in there somewhere, along with four straws)
which we easily finished!
And even after still more walking and perusing,
this crew remained in high spirits
or at least willing to go with the flow.
Undaunted, we managed construction projects at Home Depot,
(checkout the hammering by J-Bear!)
and spent more than a little time being treated to rides at the Kidway by Papa and MoMo,
which included the bumper boats,
and the fabulous Lady Bugs,
which were truly, delightfully fast.
We entered a coloring contest at the Moo Booth,
(Buddy Bear and E-Bear would later learn that they were chosen as winners!)
and ended our days in the Alphabet Forest, which has become our tradition.
It is the perfect place to rest tired legs and unwind after a big day.
This year, the kids took time to write several letters,
including one that E-Bear wrote all by himself to Uncle C, letting him know that he hoped Uncle C would come to the Fair soon, "and please bring Aunt K."
G-Bear worked hard on the Alphabet Challenge,
and won an Alphabet Forest Blue Ribbon for her efforts.
We mustn't forget to acknowledge that the award for Littlest Trooper and First Time at the Fair
goes to the Littlest Bear, as it was his first year at the Fair and he was truly a super-trooper both days.
Consider yourself inaugurated, Littlest!
After so much fun, we returned home exhausted,
just in time for school to start tomorrow.
Time to snuggle into bed.
Thanks, Minnesota, for another great year at the Fair.