Last night was our annual Ex Ex-cursion Ex-travaganza (XXX). Yeah, that doesn't even make sense, but things that don't make sense are usually funner than things that do.
The Ex somehow sneaks up on us every year. I don't even know it's in town until I see a picture from opening night on the front page of the newspaper. Then we frantically try to find a free evening during the busiest week and a half of the year that works for both us and my nieces. Somehow we always find one. Even though Dale and I find it a bit daunting and wish we could skip the odd year, the kids love it so much that it's Worth It. I guess we've lowered our expectations a lot, because this year, both Dale and I had a really good time that far surpassed our expectations. When Dale got home from work, we had a quick bite and were at the Ex by 6:30 or so. The weather was fantastic, the crowds weren't bad, and the lines were short. My niece Bailey had to cancel in the end because she had to work, so we were very happily surprised when she texted us to say that she had just arrived. We arranged to meet at the washrooms but did not specify clearly enough which washrooms (and left and right are so easily to mix up). But we found each other pretty easily and it was great having her there since she missed it last year when she was in Honduras. We did our usual rides: Niagara Falls, Polar Express, Pharaoh's Fury, the ferris wheel, the big slide, the high swings, the fun houses, and assorted other attractions. Spencer and Bailey went on Crazy Mouse and Chloe and Neve did the bumper cars. We also watched the horse show and the girls watched the Freddy Fusion science show. Neve got chosen to be a helper, but I was at the reptile exhibit with Spencer so I missed it.
Neve also insisted on doing this ladder climb. You had to climb a rope ladder and press a button at the top to win a prize. We watched people doing it and every single person flipped over when they got near the top except for the guy who worked there. I knew Neve's chances of making it were exactly zero and told her we may as well take the $5 it cost and throw it straight into the garbage. But we gave it to the Ex worker instead. And Neve flipped off the ladder. And then we watched other people throw away their money too. A good time was had by all. Look at Neve's smile. She's probably thinking, "Ha ha! That was fun! I'm so glad I didn't waste my own money on this!"
But look how cute she is. Some day she won't want to go to the Ex with her parents. Although I'd still go with my parents if they paid for it. Well, I'd go with them even if they didn't.
Neve also did the Prairie Town Adventure, which she loves. Picking a junky prize with your "farm dollar"is the highlight. It only took about five minutes to decide this year, which was much faster than other years.
Spencer loved the reptile exhibition. He held a snake, a scorpion and a tarantula. He has a spider phobia, so this is a really big deal for him.
Then he won the watergun-shooting game and is now the proud owner of a stuffed hamster wearing a sweatshirt. The rest of us cheered as though he'd won the Nobel Peace Prize. Not sure if people cheer for that but they should. It was a good night.
Neve also won a hamster because she threw two rings that didn't get anywhere near where they were supposed to go but everyone's a winner. I gave the worker $10 and had to prod him to get my $8 of change back. I guess he was counting on my memory not being as tack-sharp as it was. I bet that tactic works 80% of the time though. He must make a ton of money - no wonder every kid's a winner. Neve was delighted with her hamster because it's a Webkinz one that she has actually been wanting. I don't know what's happening in this world when you come away from the Ex with something you actually wanted. Well, we come away with happiness and memories, but not usually something tangible.
|One of the many times I made the kids all line up for photos|
|I was actually trying to get a picture of the worker at the Big Slide without being too obvious. The same guy works there every year (see last year), but as it turns out this was the wrong guy. I guess we don't know him as well as we thought we did.|
|Cuckoo Haus (who names these?!)|
|One side of the ferris wheel|
|Other side of the ferris wheel|
|Yet another successful XXX comes to a close|