It’s time for a little mini-vacation!
We haven’t taken a family vacation since Hayden started school last year, so we’re all feeling a bit weary worn and needing a little break from the day-to-day routines. We haven’t gotten to go to the cabin in Front Royal in 2 years. I’m really sad about that. A quick solution was to just go away for a couple of days close to home, and then Hayden would only miss 2 days of school (he’s only allowed to miss 3 days per school year. So when I saw a Groupon deal for discounted tickets to the Virginia State Fair, it dawned on me that this might turn out to be a great little getaway for my family. I used to go to the state fair with a friend every before I got married, but I’ve never been since that time in 20 years of marriage. I had a feeling my kids are now a great age to really enjoy it. So I made reservations for a motel in Richmond, and we headed out on Sunday right after the church potluck.
We got up to Richmond early enough to catch the Virginia State Science Museum for the last couple of hours before it closed for the day. We have passes that get us in for free with reciprocal admission, so that was great. Here are the kids posing with their heads on a platter…notice how dad photo-bombed Haylee just for fun. ;-)
I had everybody pose out front for one last photo before we headed out to find our motel.
That was a nice way to start off our trip. We got settled into our room, and then I went to a nearby Walmart to get some stuff to eat for dinner. There was a fridge and microwave in our room, so we didn’t have to eat out for dinner. We ended up having subs, salad, and fruit for dinner each night, so that worked out great. And we got a free continental breakfast each morning in the motel lobby, so we only had to worry about lunch at the fair.
We bought two days’ worth of tickets to the fair, so on Monday morning, we were on our way to have some fun! We checked out some prize-winning birds in one tent, and I just fell in love with this beautiful first-prize winning frilly pigeon. Who knew a pigeon could be so fancy? The birds were just lovely.
Holden checked out the sleeping accommodations inside an old covered wagon. He thought it was pretty cool. It was a beautiful and impressive wagon, but I noted that it was on modern tires rather than wooden wagon wheels…although the kids didn’t seem to notice that part!
Haylee couldn’t help posing in a cutout of Carmen Miranda. Too funny.
We basically went around and watched as many of the shows as possible on day one. We enjoyed all the shows...everything from pig races to a magic show to a rattlesnake show. The pig races were really funny. If I can ever get the videos to load, I’ll insert them here at some point.
It lightly rained all day, but I bought the last rain jacket they had in one of the shops for $5, and it was money well spent as far as I was concerned. Nobody else in my family seemed to care about being in wet clothes all day, but I would have been a really unhappy camper if I’d had to sit around with damp clothes and flat hair all day!
On Tuesday, we headed out with the idea that we’d be spending this day doing all of the rides in the midway. So we bought all-day ride passes and had a blast. I actually didn’t ride too many things. A lot of the rides were just like ones at Busch Gardens, but with no lines to wait in, and the rides lasted about 3 times as long! Seriously, they lasted so long that Hayden and I were experiencing more than a little queasiness, so we both decided to sit out on a lot of them! Maybe it was too soon after eating a big bowl of Raisin Bran for breakfast, but man, was I woozy! Hayden actually turned completely white…even his lips…after he rode one of those anti-gravity spinning rides. He sat out the rest after that. Here’s Haylee on the carousel.
It was an unusual carousel in that they weren’t all horses. Some were beautiful bunnies and other creatures. It was neat!
Then we ran across a candy store that was no ordinary candy store. They had these huge open baskets full of candies of every kind and color to choose from. You picked up a big basket on your way in and just filled it with whatever suited your fancy. Then it was all weighed and charged by the pound at the checkout. We ended up with $35 worth of candy to gorge on for the remainder of our day!
Between the candy and the loaded twisty fries, that was pretty much lunch, with the exception of Hayden’s odd selection. He was determined to try something bizarre to eat before we left, so he chose a Krispy Kreme Bacon Cheeseburger. Eww, ick! I thought it was disgusting myself, but he ate it gladly. Gross! You guessed it…the donuts replaced the bun. Blech!
We went in a fun house with all kinds of weird mirrors. Here are me and Hayden as little people.
We also caught a couple of shows we’d missed the day before. The last one we saw was the Kachunga Alligator Show. Wow!
That was not only a super cool show, but they picked Haylee out of the audience to participate in the whole show! I took a video of her participation with my phone. Watch it below. It was pretty funny! And what a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Not too many people can say they’ve sat on an alligator’s back!
That was definitely one for the memory books!
We had such a wonderful trip that the rest of the week paled in comparison. It was so good to get away for a couple of days! Steve and Hayden were back to school and work on Wednesday morning, so we went right back into the usual routine. Hayden had an overwhelming amount of homework and class work to make up for school, which continues to be a challenge. I guess that’s the price to pay for missing a couple of days of school! He has several AP classes this year, so he gets a fair amount of homework from those.
The kids are already talking about how they want to go back to the fair again next year, so maybe we’ll make this a regular thing. It sure was fun!
Is your family taking any special fall trips together? If so, please share in the comments. See you next week!