{ Minnesota State Fair 2019 }

My husband saved his tips from driving Lyft so we could do the fair this year. ❤️

0After cruising up and down St. Paul streets and finally nabbing a parking space, we noticed the 1-hour parking sign. So we moved the car a few blocks away. Now, we needed a potty stop and we still had a one mile walk before we actually got to the Fairgrounds.We ducked into the nearest coffee shop for that potty stop, which ended up being the Finnish Bistro. 

 

 

finnish

While we were in line to order, a man came up to us and said, “Whatever you order, it’ll be good. Everything’s good here.” I had a Pulla latte, laced with almond syrup, nutmeg and cardamom. It was the most flavorful coffee drink I’ve ever had. 

 

St-_Anthony_Park_Branch_Library_2013-09-30_23-41-19We passed the quaint St. Anthony Park Library.

(Note to self: when you have time to spare, come back to the Finnish Bistro and check out the St. Anthony Park Library. What a cute little corner of St. Paul.)

After hiking east, we discovered that in the two years we’d skipped the MN State Fair, they had relocated the pedestrian entrance. More hiking.

(This sounds like a lot of hassle, but it’s always worth it. The Minnesota State Fair feeds, spins and entertains more people per day than any other state fair in the U.S.)

We bought our tickets, got our bags checked and finally added ourselves to the 2019 first-day-at-the-fair record attendance number of 133,326.

We joined the crowd-stream and landed at the Farmer’s Union, where Blueberry Key Lime Pie was a newcomer on the menu…but I just couldn’t pay $8 for this teeny tiny pie.

blueberry key lime pie

Did I mention we didn’t have a lot of cash? This can be a challenge at the MN State Fair. It’s taglined: The Great Minnesota Get Together, but another apt subtitle might be: The Great Minnesota Smorgasboard, because it’s. food. galore. here. 

And ya know…it’s kinda pricey.

There’s a brighter side of forced frugality: it makes you think: Do I really want this? before choosing. 

Though I ended up saying no to the blueberry key lime pie for $8, later on I ended up saying yes to the deep-fried bacon-wrapped-cream-cheese-filled olives for $9.

state fair mn olives

 

 

And it was worth it.

 

 

 

roasted corn2We stopped off for my husband’s go-to annual pick: roasted corn.

Roasted corn, held by its natural wrapping, earns points for frugality ($5).

Plus it’s nutritionally sound. (yawn.)

My husband had the best deal of the day: The Boss Man sandwich at The Hideaway, a cute little nook tucked inside the Grandstand. With shaved prime rib and hearty egg topped with melty white cheddar on ciabatta, $9 seemed like a steal. 

And then we did the cheap stuff:

  • Got our glucose levels checked, ate ice cream samples, and exchanged our personal information for free carabiners and shaker bottles. 
  • Sat and listened to music.
  • Watched people, people and more people.
  • Browsed the Creative Activities building for free beauty and inspiration. 

We also took in the amateur talent contest semifinals, the  #1 essential thing we never miss at the fair. Our favorite act: MKDC. They are an energetic, talented, charismatic K-Pop group who wowed the crowd, took first place, and advanced to the finals. 

21,588 steps later, we left the 2019 Minnesota State Fair with some cash still sitting in our pockets! 

 

 

 

big wheel
One of the tallest traveling giant Ferris wheels in North America is coming to the Minnesota State Fair! The Great Big Wheel carries riders to a height of 156 feet, offering breathtaking views of the State Fairgrounds and beyond! The 15-story-tall Great Big Wheel is equipped with 36 enclosed gondolas each holding six people. Don’t miss the spectacular lighting display as the sun goes down!

 

 

 

 

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{ Out of My Circles }

A compass sits in my desk drawer and I don’t know why.

It has a sharp point for anchoring itself to paper. On the opposite side sits a metal clip gripping a blunt pencil.

It’s a tool for drawing circles. Once every five years I need that.

The other 1,824 days the compass is just there to poke me in the finger as I rummage for pens, stamps or white-out.

compass

Perfect circles are pretty on paper. But when it comes to life, getting into a circular pattern seems stagnant and dull.

  • I develop a bad eating habit (snitching whilst cooking!) that needs to be broken.
  • I realize after 30 days that I have forgotten to get outside and take a walk, even if it’s cold outside.
  • My children alert me when we are in an oatmeal-for-breakfast rut.

Overall, we are supposed to look back over this un-repeatable journey and see progress, maturity and growth. Life is more like a path than a circle.

When things rouse me out of my circles, sometimes I fight it!

But scripture reminds me to move along, with phrases like:

  • Rise up! Why is it that you have fallen on your face? (Joshua 7:10)
  • Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, And come along! (Song of Solomon 2:10)
  • Arise and go, for this is no place of rest… (Micah 2:10)
  • I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home. (Mark 2:11)
  • Up! (Judges 4:14)
  • Let us throw off everything that hinders…and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us! (Hebrews 12:1)

Here’s to getting up, pressing on, and making progress!

johannes-plenio-331231

“It is always hard to see the purpose in wilderness wanderings until after they are over.” — John Bunyan

“To go back is nothing but death; to go forward is fear of death, and life everlasting beyond it. I will yet go forward.” — John Bunyan

“This hill, though high, I covet to ascend; the difficulty will not me offend.  For I perceive the way to life lies here. Come, pluck up, heart; let’s neither faint nor fear.” — John Bunyan

 

(c) Lisa M. Luciano

Photo credits:unsplash-logochuttersnap

unsplash-logoJohannes Plenio