We always go in the early evening. It’s primetime for the Ex, as far as I’m concerned. It’s less expensive, families who have been there all day are heading home, and the heat starts to fade. I soak up the beauty of dusk and the lights twinkling. With less light, there feels like there’s less pressure to be outside and enjoying myself – which oddly enough, lets me go outside and actually enjoy myself.
There are human beings out there that are capable of many things and one of these things is sculpting sand to fit a theme. I won’t post an example of a classic Allison drip castle, but needless to say – my sandcastle work does not match up with anything exhibited at the Ex. So smooth, so deliberate.
Every year, the question is – what food will I joyfully eat at the Ex while disregarding it might hurt my stomach later. This year, the answer to that was the classic Ice Cream Waffle, & not just because it was it’s anniversary. Because it is all the things [Warm. Cold. Sweet. Dough. Ice. Cheap(er).] I desire out of food in a fair-like environment.
The people watching is prime time. Watching couples, young teenagers, & families navigate their way through all the choices. For the past 2 or 3 years, we’ve come across the same”Guess Your Age or Weight” sideshow barker who good-naturedly . This year, we circle by foot, naturally expecting him to pop up. He’s here every year. He’s part of the Ex. But this year it’s someone else. A sassy and petite woman who has her own banter, her own style to the give & take of taking people’s money and exchanging them for too-tough-to-squeeze stuffed animals.
We watch and are still amused by the whole process, gawking appropriately (is that possible?) when someone who we think is 23 is really 48. With our feet aching from traversing in circles for a few hours, we head home. My head is still full of twinkly lights and the smell of fried food. I bike lazily, acknowledging that like every year – a visit to the Ex means that summer is drawing to a close. I don’t mind. I love summer but autumn has its own benefits. Summer will be back again next year with its alluring but too-sweet candy coating but for now I anticipate a crisp fall with a hint of nutmeg.