Today (well technically yesterday now) was a very long day at the wonder California State Fair at Cal Expo in Sacramento. Left the Vallejo abode with my parents a few minutes after 9, and after a long trek through 2 very inexplicable traffic jams on 80, we got there a little after 10.
Got our official Fair buttons from the office (if you like cool buttons, head over to the fair office to the left of the main entrance, ask them fro the button, they are really cool) Then started our day. We hit up the main expo buildings, Children's displays, industrial stuff, food and agriculture, and then the amazing Toytopia display.
Toytopia was really cool, lots of stuff to look at from various eras of toys, old and new stuff, stuff you never thought you'd see again, trains, planes, automobiles and Barbies. The gift shop was very packed with awesome stuff, yet it was overpriced, thought my dad did managed to buy two diecast cars (one of which was extremely rare)
We stocked up on free stuff throughout the day, a towel from Pontiac/GMC, a tote from McDonalds (which was great for hauling other free stuff), a backpack thing from Chevy, and some pens from various place.
For lunch I got some wonderful deep fried avocados, almost got frog legs, but decided I'd play it safe. My parents both got sandwiches from Grinders, my mom a dip, my dad a pastrami.
We hit up the county buildings after lunch and were welcomed with our home county of Solano winning Best of Show yet again. The last 5 out of 6 years they've won Best of Show and each year their display gets better and better. Plus they give free Jelly Bellys
Some pictures from the display (They aren't that great, as I wasn't up to fiddling with settings) (All pictures available at my My Flickr
Chicken in the window
Pigs on the inside
Bear in an outhouse
Another bird in the window.
Walked around the other county displays. Could not find the display for my home away from home county, Contra Costa. My dad also forced me and my mom to make trips to I believe the Shasta county display as he wanted more free prunes.
Also in the county building was some displays from the historical society, including an electric car from 1922, sadly I didn't get a picture. There was also a demonstration about climate change, but we didn't stick around for it.
The USPS also had a small store setup and I got to see my first R2-D2 mailbox up close. I was so stunned, I took two pictures!
After the county buildings, we walked around outside some more, picked up our free stuff, looked at some of the animals, went through the farm area, then finally back to see the pot people.
Now the pot people have been a tradition for quite a few years now. They are people made from terracotta pots and are posed in different scenes every year, usually matching the theme of the fair, or the theme of the gardens. I guess since they were playing up the wine tasting, the pot people had to be posed drinking wine. Every year I must take a picture of these pot people, one year I forgot my camera and actually bought a disposable, mainly for the pot people. I love those little guys.
While in the farm area, I practiced my flower picture taking. I think I'm getting better, but the wind kept whipping these guys about
And on the way out of the farm area, I snapped a picture of the huge Cal Expo water tower
Since the pot people were next to the gardens, that was the next stop, and these are the last of my pictures.
The gardens had a rainforest theme, and much of it reminded me of the Jungle Cruise, mainly because of the fake animals.
Waterfall with fake birds
Either a Jaguar or a Leopard, I believe it's the former
Some Tribal masks and a Gnu (?)
Some tiny flowers
A butterfly on a tree
These monkey really didn't belong
A very scary fake plant
A pumpkin with a mohawk?
Hey look, the backside of a rhino!
Waterfall on AUTO (1/60 exposure, f/3.5 aperture, flash)
Waterfall on Manual (1/400 exposure, f/3.5 aperture, no flash)
Temple of Doom?
Again, not sure what it is.
Now how did that panther get up there?
Watch out for falling panther poop!
And that's the end of my pictures.
Shortly after the time in the jungle, we made our way through another commercial building, and then to grab seats for the amazing hypnotist, Terry Stokes. We got there an hour early and sat through some Irish step dancers. The music was fine, but Irish step dancing creeps me out, because they don't move their freakin' arms!
Terry Stokes was hilarious! If you haven't seen him, he is probably the best hypnotist out there. Most other hypnotists out there pretty much steal a lot of his bits. Usually his shows are about the same all the time with little variation, but because of technical difficulties, he skipped using music and tried some new tricks and improvising. Probably the best part was where he got a guy to go into a deep sleep every time he thought of something sexual. He probably collapsed about 8 times during the show and it was absolutely hysterical. Probably the best show of his I've seen. He even let his assistant have some fun as she's also a hypnotist. She was better then some of the others I've seen, and I've seen a lot.
After Stokes we wandered more, like true fair goers. Hit more commercial buildings got more free stuff, then got dinner. I had a BBQ beef sandwich with chili and home made potato chips. It was delicious. My dad got himself a sausage sandwich from the same place, and my mom got a gyro.
We went back to the expo area to get the buildings we missed before, and then sat down at 8 to see Stokes' 9 show. At 8 was an African drumming and dance troupe, which was very entertaining. Stokes' 9 show was again mind blowing, not as good as the 5 show, but definitely better then the rest.
We left at 10 pm, pretty much doing the fair from opening to closing. It was a fun day, and I look forward to next year's.
If you live anywhere near Sacramento, even an hour out like me, go to the State Fair. It's a great time. While Sac can be quite hot this time of year, there is plenty of shade, lots of water (drinking fountains taste fine, or you can get free Alhambra from jugs, and their is coke machines everywhere for $1.50 bottles, don't bother getting stuff from food booths), and air conditioning in the buildings (though avoid the commercial buildings, as the crowd causes more heat). I guarantee a great time. Especially if you go see Terry Stokes.