A very "fair" date

California State Fair

This past month has been hectic for me, and I haven't been blogging as much as I wanted to. As you (mostly) know, I work/intern for the California State Fair. It's annual summer attraction—the "thing" to do if you're from Sacramento, because lets face it; as much as I have love for this area (I've lived here for 15 years,  compared to the 9 years I have spent in the Bay Area), there is not as much to do here as there is in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, etc.

A bit of background for my non U.S./Canada blogging buddies: Each state has their own fair, which usually (but not always) takes place in the state's capital. And every county in each state has their own smaller fairs. State and county fairs usually take place in the summer and early fall. Originally, fairs have started to promote agriculture and start livestock competitions. They still have the "Best of Show" for specific farm animals, but fairs have evolved into fun havens filled with carnival rides, delicious (but very, very fatty) foods, concerts, games where you can win prizes (like a pet fish or a stuffed animal), etc. 

I have been working here since May, 24–32 hours a week. Since the fair opened up last week, I have been working 10–12 hours a day. I finally was able to take a day off yesterday, and Cecilio and I have been planning on going. He's actually surprised that I haven't gotten sick of it yet! But of course, going for recreational purposes is a different story. I have been the the fair a few times as a teen, but we have been going every year since after the first year we started dating. We have so much fun, despite the heat. Can you believe we braved the 100°F weather?!

Fairs are notorious for their delicious, but deep-fried food. You have your typical classic "fair" food: turkey leg, chili cheese tater tots, baked potatoes with lots of works (cheese, sour cream, meat, etc.), corn dogs, cotton candy, deep-fried Twinkies, etc. There is in fact, a booth called Bacon Habit, that serves bacon-wrapped turkey legs, hot dogs, corn, asparagus, and even chocolate-covered bacon! However, there are also ethnic fare (no pun intended), such as Greek, Chinese, Mexican, Italian, Thai (which happens to serve pho, which is weird since that is a Vietnamese dish). Since food is a huge part of fair culture, I will be doing a blog post or 2, calling it my "Fair Food Diary", showcasing what I have been eating here.

Now, during our little date, Cecilio ordered a bacon-wrapped hot dog with fries from Bacon Habit, whereas I opted for Mexican from Pepe's Marisco's. I ordered 2 tacos (beef and chicken), with a side of chips, salsa and guacamole. It was so so delicious, just like authentic street Mexican food. It was flavorful, but still light compared to most of the other foods there. I will be coming back for their shrimp ceviche!

California State Fair

California State Fair

California State Fair
Pepe's Mariscos also had a booth just for their fruit cups and drinks right across from their food booth. I ordered a watermelon agua fresca, which was pretty good but a bit sweeter than I would have liked.

California State Fair
Cecilio ended up ordering Agua de Jamaica for the both of us as well, which consists of dried hibiscus flowers.

California State Fair
A funnel cake is also one of those classic fair foods. It is a cake batter that is poured through the funnel and deep fried with oil, and it's powdered with sugar, and topped with strawberries, apples, or cream.

Normally for dessert, Cecilio and I get a deep-fried Nutella or deep-fried Twinkie (for him), and a deep-fried cookie dough (for me). But since we have never tried the funnel cake, I have been so curious about it. I loved it, he liked it; at first. But after a few minutes into it, he started having that "Oh-my-gosh-I-hate-myself-I-feel-like-shit" feeling after a super-heavy, fatty meal for the next half hour. For me, I really, really enjoyed it, but that's probably because I skipped lunch and had a light Mexican dinner. However, since we got the Bavarian cream funnel cake, I didn't start eating the cream part until much later. I could taste the fat afterward and I could definitely see how it could be insanely heavy if I had more to eat throughout the day. Cecilio loves donuts and has a big sweet tooth, but he could not stand this at all. This is best for 3–4 people. Needless to say, he will never have this again.

California State Fair

That little area pictured above is the farm, which is very educational and fascinating. There is a chef that does demonstration on how to cook dishes straight from the garden, hydroponic greenhouses, sturgeon fish, insect pavilion, and a garden with hundreds of variations of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers!

California State Fair
Unripe beefsteak tomatoes!

California State Fair
Eggplants just waiting to be cooked

California State Fair
Strolling around the farm

Cecilio and I are big animal lovers, and we usually see cows, goats and cheep in the big barn where they have their livestock competitions. We still got to see the goats (there was a Pygmy goat show and angus beef show going on the day that we went), but we decided to go check out the petting zoo and feed the adorable little farm animals!

California State Fair
A llama and an alpaca walk into a bar...

California State Fair
There was a cockfight going on here!

California State Fair
Sheep are one of my favorite farm animals!

California State Fair
Cecilio with the alpaca

California State Fair
I'm so fascinated with the wallaby! I never ever thought I would see a wallaby or kangaroo in person, considering that they primarily in Australia. There are 2 wallabies in the petting zoo, one of which had a baby in her pouch!

California State Fair
This adorable little piglet though!

California State Fair
Though this horse wasn't a part of the petting zoo, I couldn't resist a photo of him.

Now it's ride time. Cecilio is deathly afraid of most rides. He can barely stand the Ferris wheel, but we still go on it anyway. But other rides? Forget about it. However, there came a new ride, the Sky Ride, that is now a permanent addition to the fairgrounds. It is akin to a gondola, and you ride over the fairgrounds and the monorail, which sounds insanely fun. It took me a few weeks of prodding Cecilio to finally muster up the courage to do it. We were taking photos, videos, Snapchats (at least for me...follow me on chicken_poopie if you want to see the 2 snaps I have of Sky Ride), but we were also squeezing hands tightly and enjoying the moment. When we got off, I was jumping for joy and adrenaline!

California State Fair
Ascending to the top...can you see how sweaty I am?

California State Fair
Rollin' in these Converses

California State Fair

California State Fair

California State Fair
Views from the top

We almost rode the Ferris wheel too, but decided to not go through with it. Next year we will do Sky Ride and Ferris wheel!

Another thing Cecilio and I like to do is go to the Expo center and check out the buildings where there are art showcases. I love looking at the Youth Art Showcase...they inspire me to keep drawing or practicing photography, but they also put me to shame with how amazing they are!

California State Fair

There is also a building dedicated to the Fur & Feathers exhibition, which hosts competitions for chickens, geese, turkeys, rabbits, guinea pigs, and parrots! This is another activity Cecilio and I love to do: walk around looking at these huge animals (with rabbits bigger than my 2 10–11 pound dogs), seeing chick eggs hatch, and getting a bird to perch on your finger, like this little cockatiel:

California State Fair

California State Fair
A chicken from the Fur & Feathers Exhibition

California State Fair
Yes, I admit it...Cecilio and I are into Pokemon Go. There are A LOT of Pokemon in the fair, and Pokestops (points of interests where you can get Pokeballs to catch Pokemon). It's only perfectly fitting that I caught Spearow in an exhibition dedicated to birds. I also caught Pidgey here.

Afterwards, my phone died. We did walk around a little bit and we sat on some grass and watched Tower of Power perform live.

We had an amazing time. Now I am planning for next year's fair date, in which we will be already married by then! Every winter, the fairgrounds also hosts Winter Wonderland, which also has rides and food booths...but it's just as magical. I'm looking forward to that too!

2 comments :

  1. love this post! the fair looks like a dream... and that funnel cake has me drooling... xX

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  2. Awesome pics! Looks amazing and my husband would love all of that food... I'm trying to behave, but you know when its there calling you! We've been drinking Water Kefir with Hibiscus lately and it is so refreshing! I think this has to be the most adventurous of your blogs so far! I know there will be more as you approach the big day and honeymoon! I may have to give into more social media apps to keep in touch! :-) Loved this post!

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