The first time we went was with our dear friends Barney and Deb and Mare. Matthew got lost at the fair and he was only about 4. I was pregnant with Thomas and definitely shortened my life span considerably in those ten minutes. Fred swears to this day that he came home that night he found grey hair on his head that was never there before, and never left since. Matthew simply wandered away from someones hands. He also wandered back on his own and then told us a policeman stopped him and asked "Matt baby why aren't you with your Mom and Dad? You better go back to them now!" and so he did. Just one more reason to believe in guardian angels.
Anyway. Even though this fair does have rides- we don't do the rides. Fred and I have figured thats what amusement parks are for, so we do rides at Hershey or town fairs during the summer. We really try to keep this to the animals, and foods, bees, and farm equipment, and blue prize jams and pies etc. It makes it really special and we don't want to ruin it by making it all about the tilt a whirl. While that takes a little navigating, the fairgrounds are big enough to take strategic walking paths.
Last year when we went the older boys were teenagers and didn't want to come along, so we said OK fine you duds, stay home and 'be cool'. This year Andy could drive. So he and Peter did so, and JP came as well. They met up with their friends and we took the kids around. We got a phone call after a while and sure enough they wanted to find us too and have fun. That was really nice. Their independence has actually made us a bit closer at times which is a pleasant surprise. Almost on cue a rain started to fall about 8:30 signaling us to head home. The little ones fell off to sleep so easily, happy from the evening out. Life is good.