One of the best things about a September birthday - other than staying in preschool for one more year before the "grind" of kindergarten begins - is the fair. And while Gus has his doubts about Santa, The Easter Bunny & The Tooth Fairy, he believes with all of his almost-5-year-old heart, that the good people of Western North Carolina throw him a big ol' party every year for his birthday - complete with flags and a ferris wheel.
The fun begins as soon as we pull into the shuttle parking lot - we park there regardless of whether the fairgrounds have parking available or not - because riding the fancy tour buses is Gus' first ride of the evening. This year he made the nice bus driver ladies laugh with his chatty exitement.
At least everyone on the bus was aware that "we are riding the bus!" as Gus proclaimed this fact at every turn - literally.
Next stop, after we stock up on tickets, is the U.S. Forest Service Huey Helicopter. Gus has been visiting this helicopter since he was 2 and he still loves it the same. It's bright yellow and he finds it wherever they try to hide it on the fairgrounds.
For a splurge we all decided to take a ride over-across the fairgrounds. As you can see Gus was busy doing his research from above. Starved for snow here in Western North Carolina, we can't say no to a chance to ride a chairlift - even if it is over dry ground.
View of the North Carolina Mountain States Fair. Gus spied his favorite ride from here. You can barely see it behind the ferris wheel.
Voila, here it is. A perennial favorite of ours: the small yellow helicopter ride. Gus loves it and loves to be on it, though this year he was good about getting off and taking breaks walking around and seeing other things. Last year I had to repeatedly peel him off this very ride - ah a mere memory now.
Jacob's perennial treat at the fair: Funnel Cake. He ate almost the entire thing all by himself. Nice going, Mr. Health & Wellness Officer. I might have something of interest to send someone at the Hendersonville City Government.
Gus' other favorite ride. I remember the first year he rode this. He had to be belted into the backseat for support, while I stood by all anxiety and pucker. Then he cried his heart out, every time I took him off.
Now he is riding the hog - up and over the humps with great delight, while Jacob and I relax on the benches.