Wednesday, November 09, 2011

North Florida Fair 2011

On Monday night, the family and I went to the North Florida Fair. We didn’t make it last year, but despite the fact that Eddie was only three years old the last time we were there, he remembered much of what the fair offered and he knew what he wanted to do even before we got there. Peter was rather excited, too, but I’m kind of heartbroken about his experience. Early into our visit, he tried a couple of rides that ended up terrifying him. After that, he had next to no interest in trying anything whatsoever.

I’ll share some pictures now, although most of them aren’t that great. I don’t have the skill, nor perhaps the camera, necessary for taking excellent shots, especially when the skies are grey and the sun begins to set. Oh well. You get what you get.

Edison on the carousel. You can see him back there, right?

Melanie and Peter, prior to Peter’s spirits being crushed for the night. You can also just make out that Eddie is on the horse behind them.

Peter, still in his happy moments. I have to say, watching young children try to maneuver bumper cars is a bit like watching a bunch of strangers being forced to walk around inside a stopped elevator. Nobody stops moving, but nobody knows what they’re doing or even what to try to do, really. There’s something incredibly awkward about it all.

Eddie, looking somewhat engrossed in his driving. And there’s the poor ride operator whose job also involves going around trying to teach kids how to drive and helping them get unstuck time and time and time and time and time again.

Liftoff! Eddie was very determined to ride a white airplane, as he remembered riding a red airplane two years ago. Whenever he’d fly past us, he’d call out, “I’m flying to Utah!”

The wildest ride that Peter did not freak out on. It’s nothing more than a car that goes around a track, but it speeds up just a little bit as it comes around the last curve. Is Eddie pointing out the camels in the background? That’s my guess.

Zoom! You can see Peter’s slight apprehension.

Proof that Creegan was there.

Posting this picture is a bit cruel of me, but it serves to illustrate my point. That’s a look of pure terror on Peter’s face. Edison rode these fire trucks two years ago, and we don’t remember them going fast at all. Melanie assured Peter that it would be a slow ride, but boy oh boy, it wasn’t. It moved rather quickly. When the ride started up, Peter immediately started crying and begging us to stop the ride. Melanie tried to encourage him to loosen up and have fun, but it never happened. In this photo, Peter is actually heeding Melanie’s advice to “ring the bell,” his terror notwithstanding. It was pretty sad to hear him calling out “Ding, ding, ding!” with a voice wrought with fear. It’s kind of funny that he would even bother trying to play like that. Did he just feel he had to obey? Was he under too much mental turmoil to think for himself? Did he somehow think ringing the bell would make the truck stop? It’s sad. Psychologically intriguing, but sad.

Edison went down this huge, tall, twisty slide all by himself. If you zoom in, you can barely see him in the stairwell between the two highest flags.

Touch down.

Peter doesn’t look scarred for life, right?

Eddie, descending the final slide in “Mario Land.” He’s got a cute look on his face if you zoom in.

Edison, Peter, and in the background, Melanie and Creegan.

A quick pic from atop the Ferris wheel. Edison and I rode the Ferris wheel together. Eddie wasn’t the least bit nervous about being up high. If anything, I think he got a bit bored after a couple of rotations.

Edison joined a street gang while we were there.

This ended up being Edison’s favorite ride, I think. It’s a slightly (but only slightly) tamed down version of the “Musik Express.” Melanie went on it with him first. He was incredibly cute on it. At times, both he and Melanie had their arms raised in the air. Edison wanted to go on the ride again, so he took me. It was a lot of fun, but it felt like it lasted forever. My arms and back were getting quite tired by the end of it. And my left (re: reconstructed) ankle wasn’t very comfortable in that sled/car. My ankle felt really stiff and sore the next day, and I wonder if it wasn’t from what felt like a twenty-minute ride on this thing.

Just so you know, Peter did go on a few more things. He went in the “Monkey Maze” with Edison and me, but unfortunately, that concluded with a twisty slide that, despite its relative shortness, Peter did NOT want to go down. I had to force him down, which wasn’t pleasant for either of us. He also went down a big inflatable slide, though he dilly-dallied quite a bit before taking the plunge. And finally, the night concluded with Peter and me going on the carousel together. It was a nice, calm moment.

Other things to note about our trip to the fair include Melanie and Edison revisiting the kid roller coaster from two years ago; Edison and me taking a trip through a fun house, complete with a rotating tunnel at the end; a very uninspiring and at times almost awkwardly laughable magic show; Edison’s great enthusiasm for a huge but non-twisty slide, which Melanie and I both had numerous opportunities to go down with him; Creegan’s love for cotton candy; and the family enjoying a deep-fried Snickers bar (which wasn’t nearly as good as the deep-fried Twinkies of 2009).


  1. I really enjoyed sharing your day at the Fair. The colors in your photos are really good... so pretty. Ben, you are so sweet and so sensitive to your boy's needs. It warms my heart. Perhaps little Peter just isn't old enough for all the excitement. He's only three. And maybe he just doesn't like it. Some people don't. But all in all it looks like you've had a great day and Dad and I are happy to see that. Love you all....Hi Melanie.

  2. P S That's an awesome shot from the Ferris Wheel top. I would guess you were in an airplane.
    Isn't it interesting that Eddie remained so calm and composed?

  3. I think your pictures turned out quite good. It was fun seeing all this.
    Poor little Peter. It breaks my heart. You just want them to have fun and be happy all the time and life just doesn't go that way. I hate seeing them scared, especially when you can't really do anything but help them get through it and wait for it to be over. It's SO hard being a parent...

  4. Poor Peter. I did the same thing when I was little. You do survive.