Vivian and I continued to enjoy the great outdoors over the weekend by heading up to Des Moines to attend the Iowa State Fair. It was the biggest fair I'd ever been to, and we did quite a bit of walking trying to see everything we could over the 400+ acres of fairground. We got to see plenty of cute baby chicks, ducks, ostriches, cows, and pigs down at the animal learning center. We got to see some grape-stomping up at Grandfather's Barn (once we were able to find it) and checked out a cannon loading demonstration afterward courtesy of some Civil War reenactors.
Of course, we also had to pay the obligatory visit to the butter cow, but we also got to see other art such as a giant butter cow sand-sculpture down at the art center. We ducked into the air-conditioned horse exhibition arena just for the chance to sit down. I also got in a quick ride on the Ferris wheel with Vivian (giving me the chance to snap a few shots of the midway from a birds-eye view.) Hopefully all the walking we did was enough to burn off the insanely unhealthful fair food we imbibed in, which included corndogs, fried Twinkies, and a pork-chop-on-a-stick (no sign of a José Jalapeño, unfortunately).
We took a quick ride on the ski-lift back to the entrance and called it a night. And by "calling it a night," of course, I meant drove back to Omaha and stopped by Troy and Merinda's for barbecue and dancing. We were unfortunately too late to see the Blacktop Ramblers performing live in the basement, but we still enjoyed having a drink or two with friends before heading back home to collapse.
The next day, Vivian and I spent an afternoon recovering while others went to a Polish festival and danced at the Durham museum. That evening, we dropped by Ruth's house with several of our fellow JIVE members for an appreciation dinner. We got to have some Bruschetta, tofu curry, hamburgers, and hot dogs while sipping gin & tonics and enjoying a cool August evening. We also got to play with Christy and Lindsey's insufferably adorable daughters, who got to ride about in a large pedal-cart of some kind. It was the best kind of party — one where we didn't have to cook anything.