Saturday, October 11, 2014


The Texas State Fair 2014
 October 3-4, 2014 

The Night Before Rituals

The kids and I traveled up on Friday afternoon after Natalie and I got done with school to meet my parents and sister in Dallas for our evening activities. This year they were able to find an indoor pool so the kids could go swimming as soon as we got there. We got there shortly before 8 PM and the kids were in the pool by 8:05. Natalie has always been my little water baby and loves hotels with pools especially indoor pools; however, Luke, this past summer especially, has not been a fan of the water or pools. But when Chris and I went on our most recent cruise in August my parents took the kids on vacation where they also stayed in hotels with indoor pools and Luke has become quite fascinated with the pools and especially the hot tub. He looked and appeared like a brand-new child to me it was hard to believe but he loved swimming especially with Gigi Shirley.

The kids swam for nearly an hour and a half and then we decided we needed to go and get dinner which led to another Klingsick tradition which is IHOP at night-time. Luke ended up opening five packets of sugar and pouring it all over his bacon and eggs which he never ate but it was amusing to say the least. We all got back to the hotel shortly before 11 and we were in bed around 11:30 or midnight but I personally stayed up to watch the Royals win in extra innings while everyone else bugged out before midnight.

The Morning Of

We all woke up and got ready and packed our cars and then headed down to the hotel lobby for the complementary breakfast.  This was a traditional bacon and egg those fancy waffles in the shape of Texas however this had a little bit more excitement than any of us expected. Luke seem to be very tired... of course he didn't go to bed til' midnight and he usually is in bed by 7:45 PM so  I was trying to get him a little bit more excited for the day by playing Peekaboo with him. He would hide behind the chair I was sitting in and he would walk around and I would say "BOO" and we did that three or four times before he all of a sudden tripped over his own legs and hit his head very hard on the hard steel chair next to me. This was a very hard-hit and he immediately started crying and within a minute a huge dark blue bruise had developed right between his eyes. 

Poor Luke... He didn't feel good the rest of the day! 

We truly were in Texas because everyone around us who was enjoying their own breakfast stopped and tried to help us in any way they could. In fact, one old man even went and got us a Ziploc bag filled with ice to put on Luke's face. The citizens of Texas never cease to amaze me. Luke seem to be okay and we put ice on his head for a little while but he didn't like that very much at all. We started to make our way from Lewisville back down to Fairpark in downtown Dallas, making sure that Luke did not fall asleep just in case he had a minor concussion. We arrived at the State Fair and in perfect time and headed towards the gate. 

We're here... Ready for a GREAT day!

Big Tex
We were inside the fair gates before 10 o'clock. We decided we wanted to go to see "Big Tex" before the rest of the state of Texas showed up. This proved to be an excellent idea as the rest of the state of Texas literally showed up around 2:00-3:00 PM. We took the traditional family pictures in front of "Big Tex" and in front of his new boots that he had specifically made for this year's fair! Luke was so funny and said "Wow, he is BIG!" 

I LOVE Big Tex!

Gigi Shirley and Poppy with Natalie and Luke in front of Big Tex!

We tried to take a good picture but it just wasn't happening!

"Go Texan" Pavilion
We then headed off to the "Go Texan" pavilion which is one of all of our favorite stops at the state fair. The kids were able to sit in a GIANT tractor simulator which was awesome and we were even able to see a Cow Milking demonstration,  which was interesting to say the least! They have these new automatic pumps that milk the cows instead of manually doing it and honestly it reminded me of my breast-feeding days. Natalie thought it was awesome and Luke was not interested at all.

Natalie LOVED the John Deere Tractor and Corn simulator!

Luke got a turn driving the tractor and loved it too!

Children's Barnyard
After that pavilion we went to the
Children's Barnyard where we were able to see and feed most of farm animals. This particular experience was really awesome because we were able to see a goat give a live birth while we were in there.  I saw this massive goat laying on her side and then she started to make these weird grunting sounds and it dawned on me she was having a baby. Sure enough about 10 minutes later this tiny little baby goat with the sack and all popped out. Natalie and Allison thought it was gross and disgusting but I personally thought it was kind of cool and I felt like I witnessed a miracle that right there in the little Children's Barn. After watching that Natalie and Luke were able to feed all kinds of animals including some goats , a camel, a lama and even a zebra.

This mama goat did pretty well giving birth in front of 100s of people!

Natalie and Auntie Allie feeding some goats!

Little Hands on the Farm
We all washed our hands really good and then we headed over to our favorite exhibit of the fair and an annual stop for us called Little Hands on the Farm. This is an awesome experience where the kids get to put on apron, take a basket and actually be farmers. They walk through a series of buildings and little barns if you will where they get to milk the cows, pretend of course, feed the chickens and even plant the seeds to grow vegetables. And then at the very end they get paid for all their work and  get to go to the "Country Store" and get treat. They even get to ride a mini John Deere tractor which makes the 30 minute exhibit worth the wait.

My little farm animals!

Luke told Gigi Shirley he wanted "one of those for birthday please"!

Haha,,, We will see about that! 

"Look mommy, now I pull cow"- He was thinking about the Cow- Milking demo we saw earlier I guess! It was too cute! 

"Here cow. Eat this"

Deep-Fried Lunch
We decided after that since it was after noon we would go ahead and try to get some lunch so we headed over to the Midway to find some of these extravagant fried foods that we all wanted to try. We walked around aimlessly for several minutes before Allison found something that she wanted, Deep-fried Chicken in a Waffle. Allison really enjoys the dish chicken and waffles so this was a pun on that so-called favorite. It was basically chicken strips inside a waffle cone with gravy and maple syrup. Although I didn't taste any of hers it looked really good. 

Mom went for a more traditional dish of a GIANT Philly Steak and Cheese sandwich. Natalie  and Luke went for an even more traditional dish... cheese pizza!  I personally was on a mission to find and try the 2014 Big Tex  BEST Taste winner... Deep-fried Shrimp Boil. This was basically all the ingredients of a Texas shrimp boil fried into a massive ball. It basically cost $8.50 for two of these balls and I had to wait about 30 minutes in line for them but it was fantastic and I wish I would've bought two on the spot. Dad wasn't really sure what he wanted so he went and got some  Fiesta Nachos and a hot dog and was satisfied. After everyone got full from their deep-fried favorites we decided it was time to go and ride the rides.

I had forgotten how much it cost to really enjoy the fair. The state fair of Texas does not have an unlimited ride band or bracelet for children or adults to purchase so you had to purchase coupons and then present these coupons at each of the rides. Each of these rides required eight coupons which was basically $4 each ride. Natalie and Luke each rode five rides but if you sit there and think about it that means that they only rode five rides and it cost $20 for those 5 rides. Kind of a rip off if you ask me but my kids had fun so I'm not complaining. 

Luke... the future NASCAR driver!

Natalie tried this tilt-a-whirl type ride out but started crying so they stopped it for her to get off! 

Natalie and Luke loved the mini whales!

And the Beary-go-round!

Shopping and Pig Races 
After the kids got to ride several rides we decided we wanted to head back towards some of the pavilions and see some of the exhibits that we were  not able to see that morning. We went into several different stores including a western store where dad was able to buy a brand-new hat for him to wear when he plays golf. After that we waited for the 4 o'clock pig races to start where we sat inside the pavilion waiting for the gates open for nearly an hour. During out wait we went into a small convenience store that was selling FAT BOY ice cream sandwiches. These were some of the best ice cream I ever had in my childhood  and we found them for the first time in Philadelphia and we haven't seen that since.  Natalie even had one and she said "Wow mommy these are really good!"

It kills me to say this but this was better than Blue Bell's Ice Cream Sandwich! 
These things are amazing!

Despite him feeling bad ALL day and being needy and whiney... 
I loved being with him and sharing these memories!

At the entrance to the Cotton Bowl- 12 years later! 

We were able to get inside the coliseum or the pig races took place at about 3:45 and that's when Mr. Luke woke up from an hour long nap and let me tell you he was not a happy camper. You could tell he had a headache most of the day from his little mishap from the morning however he was especially irritated and fussy after he was woke up. Fortunately the fussiness quickly went away as soon as the little pigs started running all over the coliseum. We all thoroughly enjoyed the pig races and after that we decided to go back to the "Go Texan" pavilion and purchase some of the items that we saw from that morning. By this time it was incredibly crowded and perhaps the most crowded it has ever been since I've been there and I've been there several times including two OU/Texas game days!

More Amusements
We decided we needed to start wrapping up this day so we headed back towards the kiddie rides so Natalie and Luke could ride one more ride!  Allie and I even got to ride The Viper! It was awesome and I wish we could have ridden more! By this time we only had a couple of coupons left so we decided we would go and try out some of the sweet items that could be deep-fried. We tried one of the 2014 Big Tex winners called a Deep Fried Texas Bluebonnet. This was basically a blueberry muffin with a scone-style batter that was filled with cream cheese and white chocolate and then deep-fried and  topped with whipped cream, blueberries  and more white chocolate. I only got a couple of bites but it was amazing. We also had another one of my favorites a Deep-fried Twinkie. Mom, dad and Allison had never had a Deep-fried Twinkie so I was sharing it with them but even the two bites and I had where fantastic and I'm so glad I got it. We used our last coupons on Funnel Cake Fries, which both of the kids LOVED, and Deep-Fried Mac-N-Cheese bites! These were awesome and will become favorites for us all! 

The ADULT amusements! Allison and I on The Viper! It was awesome! 

Pretty much the happiest Luke was the entire day thanks to Gigi Shirley's bubble machine!
She even went and got a 2nd one just for him! Can you say SPOILED!
Thanks Gigi!

Bye Bye Big Tex
We took one last family photo at the gate at the front gate at the state fair and then be headed back to our cars. We were loaded up and said our goodbyes and I was on I-45 by 6:45 PM. This was somewhat of a reward trip for Natalie as she has behaved so well for the first six weeks of school that I knew she deserved this type of reward. I talked to her and explain to her that this was only a once in a while type thing but this led to an even better conversation about the whole day which basically took place for the next 50 miles as we traveled down I 45.  Her and Luke just talked and talked and talked about how much fun they had at the fair. So I know it was a good day!

Another GREAT trip to the State Fair! See you in 2015 BIG TEX! 

I absolutely love being able to go to the State Fair and I wish they offered it more than one time a year. I also wish they offered it while we were not in school so we could go on a less crowded day! We owe a HUGE thank you to my parents who offered to take us in the first place and paid for not only the tickets to get in but all of the ride and food coupons as well as the hotel itself. We cannot thank you enough for the awesome day and experience we had! We love you guys! 

We will see you again next year Big Tex! 

God is good... ALL the time! 

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