Our annual visit to the Ex took place on Wednesday. Coordinating eight busy schedules is tricky but somehow we always make it work. Hectic work schedules? End of the year school activities, wind-ups and parties? Soccer? Summer courses? Grad festivities to prepare for? 60 macarons to make? No matter. We can overcome all obstacles because nothing can keep us from our beloved, grimy pilgrimage to the land of sketchy characters and sugary doughnuts.
Oddly enough, none of us are even that into the rides. We go on the exact same rides every year; nothing too far out of our comfort zone and never venturing to try something new (except Chloe joined us on the rocking ship this year!). In fact, we probably decrease our ridership a little every year. One year, we’ll find ourselves going on nothing but the big slide.
The slide is non-negotiable. That’s where our good friend Tim works. At least that’s what his name tag says. I’m not sure if the names tags are a new thing this year. I’ve never noticed them in the past - must be a new customer service initiative. Anyway, as you may remember from other years, Tim measures kids to see if they meet the height requirements for the slide. He doesn’t seem to be climbing the corporate ladder very quickly, but then you never know – maybe doing height measurements at the slide is a pretty cushy job. It might be the most coveted job at the fair. Although the trampoline show looked pretty cool. Except the performers had to wear lederhosen for reasons that were never explained.
Anyway, height-measuring surely has its rewards. This is the very first year that Neve was tall enough to ride unaccompanied by an adult. Tim has been most diligent in ensuring this did not happen until she was precisely the right height; not a millimetre less. I like to think that even though he gave no indication of remembering us from year to year, his heart was bubbling over with joy to see Neve growing strong and healthy and progressing to the ranks of the unaccompanied.
|What luck I had to snap a photo at this exact moment. It looks staged, but my relationship with Tim is not one that I'd feel comfortable enough to ask him to recreate this iconic moment. But we'll get there.|
|Whatcha gonna do when I'm gone, whatcha gonna do? Oh Chilliwack, somehow we managed just fine without you. But it was nice to hear you again.|
|I'm not sure what everyone's so amazed at ... maybe the slingshot ball?|
The subject of the above photo is the poop hat on the right. Not that Bailey & Darrin aren't super cute, but it's tough to compete with a poop emoji hat. Apparently that was a popular prize in the games of chance because we saw a lot of them. Should be easy to find one at your local thrift store in about a week.
As I mentioned, none of us love scary rides. But one year someone had something to prove and they went on the Mega Drop. Now we all feel bad pressure to go on it every year. For a while it looked like no one was going to go on it this year, but then Darrin stepped up. Tia was next, and then my competitive streak kicked in and I made myself say as casually as possible, "oh, yeah, I'll go" as if it hadn't even occurred to me that I wouldn't. You'd think a 46-year-old mom wouldn't be affected by peer pressure. What reward is there in being middle-aged if you can't even get out of things you really don't want to do?? Anyway, it was terrifying and the drop seemed to last longer than in other years. Bragging rights are awesome, but it just might have been my last year. I think I said that last year too.
|We are the champions.|
|Polar Express. Do you want to go faster?!? We really don't, but we cheer anyway.|
We always end the night with a ferris wheel ride. Don't we all look happy?? That's the reason we keep going year after year. I like fun.
In the above photo, we are pausing for a nutrition lesson. There was a request for ice cream and we were deliberating between $7 Ex ice cream cones or picking up 99 cent Frostys at Wendy's on the way home. Dale is informing his captive audience that Frostys contain no dairy products but are an edible oil product that Wendy's keeps at room temperature. Frostys still won.
|Our annual about-to-go-home photo (Darrin left earlier)|