Skip to main content

Day at the Fair

This past Sunday, I visited the Florida State Fair. I have to admit that I wasn't too enthused about going, but Tim had free tickets, as he works for the New York Yankees, and they are a sponsor of the fair. What I didn't realize is that Cracker Country was a part of the fair (it's a museum that's actually there year-round, but it's on the fairgrounds, so you can visit it with fair admission). When local friends first told me about Cracker Country, I thought it sounded offensive and certainly not celebratory, let alone educational. But then when I learned about the the origin of the term Cracker and the history of Florida Crackers, I was pretty fascinated, as I love learning about historical living, especially regarding day-to-day activities.

Upon arriving at the fair on one of the most beautiful days in recent memory--sunshine and cool, breezy temps, but warm enough for flip-flips (in true Florida fashion)--and got in with ease because we came in the morning and had free tickets. Cracker Country was the first attraction as we entered, and I was excited just upon seeing it. I could see it was modeled like a town square, with a school, general store, governor's house, and other necessary buildings we'd soon get to enter.

The classrooms at the state university I work at aren't this nice.

Neither are the bathrooms. Just kidding (sort of).

Now this kind of church I like! This was a wonderful bluegrass gospel band.

The excruciatingly slow process of extracting cane syrup from sugar cane.

Behold: the printing press.

Replicated old-timey newspaper.

After leaving Cracker Country, we went on to the main fair exhibits, which included any kind of food (or non-food) you can imagine fried or on a stick:

No, we didn't try it.

And animals in captivity:

Florida panther. S/he looks so . . . comfortable?

I wanted to go for a ride on this guy. But he wasn't one of the rides.

Who doesn't want to kiss a llama?

And a bear show that we didn't actually watch because we were too early, but because Tim works for the Yankees, we got to visit the bears before their show:

I think she likes me!

We're feeding them dog biscuits, btw.

They really were very cute and cuddly looking. From behind the gate.

Tim got his much-anticipated fair food, a giant turkey leg:

This is what kings ate, he told me.

After walking around the midway for a while, past the rickety rides that I wouldn't endanger my life on and the "freak" shows that were surely shams, we began to walk toward the exit. As we were leaving, we came upon the arts and crafts building, so I thought we'd just pop in to check it out. 

At one of the stands inside I came upon this magical jewelry, made from hematite. Here are its unsubstantiated claims (from the vendor):


But did I buy it anyway? You bet. It was actually very reasonably priced, and I liked the look of a couple of pieces:

This anklet is going to heal my foot injury.

These earrings will fix my sinus problems and cure my TMJ.

And thus our fair day was complete. If you've never visited the Florida State Fair, I recommend it--if for no other reason than visiting Cracker Country and observing the bizarre foods and people that only come out at the fair.

Comments

People Liked to Read...

Surgery Chronicles: 12 Weeks and Progress

I'm now more than 12 weeks recovered from my second (and final!) foot surgery, and life is starting to feel a little more normal. When I last wrote an update, seven weeks ago (still blaming Irma for all of my delays), I had just gotten off of crutches but would wear my boot for two more weeks. I've been out of the boot and walking in shoes for just over five weeks. The constant discomfort I've felt in my foot from swelling is finally starting to wane. I work in the office now, I do my own groceries, and I even attended a work conference recently, which meant lots of walking at airports and the conference hotel, frequent standing, and few opportunities to elevate and ice. I was very concerned about how my feet, particularly the left one, would endure. And while it wasn't comfortable, I made it through, no worse for the wear in the end.

I joined a new gym/community center recently, with a new and beautiful outdoor pool, and I'm so happy that I'm able to use it n…

Irma: A (Mostly) Photo Essay

For nearly three weeks I've struggled to find the right words to write about Hurricane Irma, which destroyed islands in the Caribbean, then hit South Florida, eventually coming up the center of the state. The Tampa Bay region got really lucky in the end, as it avoided a direct hit and the storm had diminished to a category 2 by the time it arrived. And now Puerto Rico is experiencing a humanitarian crisis after being pummeled by Hurricane Maria. My heart goes out to those people.

My plan when severe weather is forecast to for Tampa is always to go to my sister's house, as the area I live in is highly flood prone and she is on higher ground. This time was no exception; however, her plan was different. She wanted to leave, head north, get out of the state, and she wanted me to go with her and the rest of the family. But I was not in a place to pack up and leave. I had real concerns about my foot recovery; I was about eight weeks post-surgery and very newly out of the boot and in…

Surgery Chronicles: I Exhale

I've really been holding my breath with this recovery, more so than the last one for some reason. After getting past the three-week point (which was two weeks ago, when I started to write this), I felt a little more at ease. Since then I've been changing my own dressing daily and slowly weaning off of crutches so I can now walk around in the boot—hands-free! I'm still a slave to icing and elevating as much as possible throughout the day. But the very best part? There's no other foot left to do. After this, I'm done, done, done. I can start to return to a life not defined by sitting and waiting and feeling confined and limited and trying my hardest to heal but having little actual control over any of it.

I wrote in my last post about the difficult emotions I'd been having throughout this second surgery recovery. I think I underestimated the psychological toll I would take doing one foot right after the other. And while there was a feeling of elation after gettin…