I have been following Elizabeth and her blog on twitter for a month or two and I saw her call for arms. I thought; I can write a guest blog. How hard could it be? When she accepted, I wasn't sure where to begin. What to write about. What to take pictures of? She's in the USA, do her readers even care what I have to say? I persevered and began to formulate. I was knee-deep in website renovations and I don't want to disappoint. Images have been thumbnailed and if you like what you see, take a gander at my site; give a little feedback and if I'm really lucky, you'll tell your friends about me too. I hope you enjoy my post! In Vancouver - British Columbia, there are two constants Vancouverites can look forward to every year: Rain and the PNE. While we may not look forward to the rain all the time, it sure is welcome after three weeks of heat and humidity. The Pacific National Exhibition, on the other hand, is a guaranteed good time. The PNE has been an integral part of Vancouver for a very long time. This year was the centennial celebration; the first fair was in 1910. Initially started as an industrial fair to bring recognition to the Fraser Valley's diverse agriculture and highlight the growing economy. To read more about the history; click here. Today the fair showcases the very best: performers, animals, food, art, and we can't forget the midway and the amusement park rides. Most children growing up around Vancouver or within a day's drive of the city look forward to going to the PNE. I was no exception. I have fond memories of clamoring into the car, excited, bored, asleep, waiting the five hour trek over the rocky mountains to the great city of Vancouver, home of the PNE. The first time I saw the fair, it was sunset and the lights of the amusement rides were a beacon of excitement for my little heart. I was exstatic; wanting to ride every ride, snack on every treat, toss every ringtoss, whack every mole! It's been many years since my last visit to the PNE, now that I am a true Vancouverite; I thought it was only right I partook in the fair. This past Saturday, we planned our day at the fair. Not going to lie, Saturday morning I was a mess. I was bouncing up and down, climbing the walls and that was before my first coffee. After a fantastic breakfast, we put on our walkin' shoes, sunscreen and filled our pockets with change. Caught the skytrain to 29th Street Station and took a direct shuttle bus to the fair. Everyone in the line for the bus seemed to be standing on the tips of their toes, anticipating a fun day at the fair. Excitement like that is infectious. Maybe it was me infecting them all. Either way, the bus was full of smiles as we pulled into the parking lot. We started with the food vendors. There were so many choices it was hard to decide! I settled on a plain old fair-style hot dog, though there were these crazy dogs with whip cream and chocolate sauce. Talk about a heart attack! There were tiny doughnut vendors, deep fried mars bars vendors, kettle corn, ice cream, cotton candy, ribs, barbeque, the werkz. I had my heart set on a sno-cone but wanted to wait; I remembered how messy they could be. The tallest part of the fair, used to be the Ferris wheel. After the installation of the newest ride, Atmos-fear it has become dwarfed by the mammoth. I wanted desperately to go on the rides; the line ups in the hot sun just weren't my bag. Instead I peaked and hoped and shot a few pictures before we took a walk through the animal house. There were ducks, bunnies, ponies, cattle, show horses, and my very favorite; the Clydesdales. They are very seriously my favorite breed of horse. If you haven't read the Chrysalid's by John Wyndham, do it. You'll appreciate the horses and their awesome power so much more. Try as I might to snap good pictures of the beauties, There was always someone standing in the middle of my shot. I put the camera away and enjoyed their majestic beauty instead. Once finished the animal house, we walked through the BBQ section, past some beer gardens and onward to the rides. We stopped briefly to sample some pizza and watch the motorsports show; it was pretty cool! Motorcycles doing front and back flips are always cool; add explosions and fire to the mix and we've got a party. There was even a snowmobile doing stunts, the audience (myself included), Ooooh'd and Awwwe'd at all of their tricks. The part I was looking forward to the most, was the playland portion of the fair. Midway games, stuffed animal prizes, whack-a-mole, the lights, the shouting, the almost innocent gambling. Everybody knows the games are skewed towards the carnies, but I can't help but be drawn into the games of chance. If even the smallest chance exists I could be walking away with a ridiculously sized hello kitty doll in my arms: I'm in. Before we left, I picked up my sno-cone and feasted in it's sticky sweet glory. The rides, the excitement, the smell of kettle corn and cotton candy, I couldn't help but be swept away in the excitement during my day at the fair. We gorged ourselves with our eyes, relived our fondest childhood memories and made new ones to treasure until next summer. Tuckered out, dehydrated and longing for a shower, we made our trek home. Margaritas and good friends to finish off a fantastic day at the fair.
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