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Sunday, July 4, 2010

San Mateo County Fair - Saturday, June 12th

I read about the San Mateo County Fair in the newspaper so John and I decided to check it out. It was scorching that day, but we already promised the cubs that we would go. I'm not a huge fan sweating, but a promise is a promise. So, we stopped off at Rite Aid, got the strongest SPF sunblock that they carried, and slathered the cubs head to toe in all its greasy glory.

The boys always head straight for the swinging-chair ride. 
(I honestly don't know that the ride is called.)
Niki waiting patiently for her brothers...

Kevin was absolutely dying to ride this roller coaster. Boo wasn't tall enough to ride, but we didn't want to hold Kevin back from having his fun. So, we reluctantly let Kev go on his own. John and I tried to reason with Boo, but he was very upset because he really wanted to ride the roller coaster too. His eyes were watering and he started all out crying as soon as Kevin got in line.

Boo always stops crying after we give him water to calm down...
Niki watching her brother ride the coaster.
Kevin right after he got off the ride.

After Kev got all of the excitement out of his system, we played some games to pass time. Interestingly enough, the game operators were really trying to hustle us. They would try and get the kids attention or challenge John's manhood. John is too hard to play carnival games, but the kids and I did. Or at least, we tried to play. We sucked because we didn't win shit on the ring toss. Or any game for that matter. Boo really wanted to win a guitar, but as we all know, carnival games are a scam.

I miss their hair being this long...

Once the kids got tired of throwing our money away playing games, we walked to a different part of the park to let the kids ride more rides. By that time Niki was absolutely sick of her stroller so we let her walk too. It was nerve-racking to watch her walk -- on concrete -- in public. Especially because she was wearing a skirt. Scraped knees aren't a big deal (a little unsightly maybe), but knee bleeds are a huge deal. I was also worried about her falling backward and hitting her head. I've really tried to NOT treat her differently because of her bleeding disorder, but I have to admit that I'm REALLY phobic about her falling. I'm all about preventing bleeds, but at the same time John and I are sticking to our "No Helmet" rule. Even though John was always close by or holding her hand, I was constantly worried that someone would knock her over. So sue me. I'm her mother and I'm a worrywart.

There were equally slim pickings on the other side of the park -- just a bunch of weak kiddie rides. John went to the ATM machine to replenish our money supply so the kids could have more fun. They unenthusiastically rode the teacups and mini-cars. We also purchased the kids some souvenirs. Kevin got a bubble machine while Boo suckered John into buying him an overpriced ukulele. That man is always a push over when it comes to making his kids happy. He spoils the boys rotten so I'm dreading the day that Niki is old enough to ask her Daddy for toys.

That's Boo's hand trying to grab the money...

I was dying from the heat and needed some serious hydration. The boys were begging us for Sno-cones too. So, we stopped to snack and cool off in the shade. The Fair is THE BOMB.COM if you're going there for the food like I was. Even though it was way too hot for funnel cakes, deep fried Twinkies, or sweet corn, buying a 1/2 watermelon and pickle was the best $10 I've ever spent. Niki really went to town with the pickle. I only intended to give her a bite for taste, but she ended up screaming and grabbing the entire pickle from me. I bit off a huge chunk and gave the rest to her. I fed her watermelon in between bites of pickle to counteract the saltiness. Eventually John and I ended up prying the pickle out of her hands. She had a fit, but her skin started to get irritated from the salt.  Niki's pickle-fest was shut down quick.

But what's a County Fair without farm animals, right? After the boys finished their Sno-cones they asked to see the animals. I'm not a huge fan of the smell of farm animal shit, but I'm a push over when the kids get really excited about something. We ventured into the poorly ventilated building and I covered my nose the entire time. The kids cracked up and pointed at every pig ass they saw. The tried to intimidate the chickens -- typical boy stuff -- but John and I reminded them to be nice to animals.

Meanwhile, I pitied the creatures because they looked so sad. And, then the sex educator in me emerged when I saw the sheep. So, I started to quietly tell John about what I learned about zoophilia. I also felt really sorry for a particular cow because of the defeated look she had on her face. Perhaps she knew that she would be someones meal someday? I don't know. County Fairs are ironic like that. Just a few feet away there were all sorts of "former farm animals" getting cooked for consumption. I'm pretty sure these poor creatures could smell it the barbecue too.

So what's my review on the County Fair?

We had a blast, but I think the kids would have had more fun if we took them to a real theme park. There were a lot of rides that the cubs couldn't ride because of the height requirement. Don't get me wrong, the Fair is awesome if you have older kids. I'm just saying that they don't cater much to younger children.

I also *thought* that the SMC Fair would be a local and pocket-friendly alternative to say Great America, but in all honesty it's just as expensive. Maybe even slightly more expensive. Boo and Niki were free so admission for John, Kev, and myself cost close to $30 bucks. Not bad right? Wrong. Parking was $15 and you have to buy tickets for each ride. The average ride was approximately 5-6 coupons which meant that we paid $10 bucks for the kids to ride the swinging chairs. (Among other rides.) Don't even get me started on how much we spent on games and food.

At the end of the day, we ended up spending a little over $300 which was well over what John and I expected. My advice to those of you out there with really small kids, save your money and go to Great America. (If you're a Bay Area local, that is.) John says they have an excellent kids area there. Apparently, GA had TONS of rides that our kids were tall enough to could go on. In closing, it's totally worth it to shell out admission prices on the larger theme parks if you have little cubs like we do.

We'll check the County Fair out next year when the kids are a little taller and I'm a little less pregnant. ;-)

My cubs are worth every penny spent that day.

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