Saturday, October 19, 2013

Philary returns to Dallas...

Phil and Hilary made their annual pilgrimage to Dallas for the State Fair.  They actually missed the fair the last couple of years because of Anni's wedding in January 2012.  So it was nice to get back to business as usual.  It just doesn't feel like fair time without the Vogts.

Banner welcomed Hil and Phil on Saturday morning by collapsing to the floor and staring at them suspiciously EVERY time they walked into the room or addressed him specifically by name.  It was all very weird (and funny).   This kid is nothing but cautious around strangers:

And you are?

To be fair, I had asked Hilary to hold him briefly the night before.  The little guy had stayed home with his favorite sitter while we had picked the Vogts up from the airport and grabbed dinner (and margaritas!) at Matt's.  We got home around 11, and found Banner completely passed out on the couch next to Molly (who was watching a movie).  While Trevor saw the sitter safely to her car, I transported the Ban-Man back to the nursery, checked his diaper and was about to tuck him in his crib for the night when I discovered that I couldn't find his sleep sack in the dark.  Hilary was in the adjoining guest room, and I whispered for her to come hold Banner for a second while I found it.  She happily complied, but Banner chose THAT moment to wake up and look around.  And, of course, the first thing his sees is some strange lady holding him.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that is stuff nightmares are made out of.  Poor baby.

(And poor Hilary.  She was just trying to help!)

I'm sure Banner's bizarre "collapse and stare" behavior every time he saw Hilary the following morning was a direct result of the previous night. After all, Hilary was "that strange lady" from his really, really bad dream Friday night.  Who wouldn't drop and stare?!

A cold front moved through the metroplex Saturday morning.  It rained a little as it passed, but the real story was the temperature.  The high on Friday had been in the 90s.  On Saturday, he high was 82...but that was recorded before the front arrived mid morning (around 10 AM).  It was all down hill after that, which meant a blustery overcast 60 degree afternoon. 

(And, yes, I realize that 60 degrees isn't all that chilly.  But it was a thirty degree difference from the day before.  Obviously, sweatshirts and jackets were in order.)

(Also, Hil and Phil are from Maryland.  Which isn't the coldest place on earth, but - unlike Texas - Maryland has seasons.  I feel completely justified calling 60 degrees "chilly" since Hilary was all bundled up in a sweatshirt and my brother's Sewanee fire department windbreaker.)

Because of the drizzle, the fairgrounds were not as jam packed as they normally are on an early weekend afternoon.  Granted, it got steadily more crowded as the afternoon wore on (the Grambling/Prairie View game was that evening), but we were able to enjoy the fair without having to wait in long lines for most of our visit.

Everyone got their corny dog (bird dog for me!) upon arrival, and then the hunt was on for fried weirdness.  Off the top of my head, I saw different members of the group try/eat the following:

  • Funnel cake (Tyler)
  • Fried cheese (Phil)
  • Fried pizza (Trev and Spence)
  • Fried mac and cheese (Anni and Hilary)

  • Cotton candy (Tyler)
  • Fried thanksgiving dinner (Trev)

I only had a small taste of the fried pizza (there was pepperoni), and a couple of bites of the fried mac and cheese.  I was looking forward to tasting the fried Thanksgiving dinner, but I kept getting lost every time I ran to my office to change Banner's diaper.

Note:  I'd like to believe that the twice flooded on floor of my office is 100% cleaner than any public fair restroom.  Trevor completely supported this theory since it also meant that all diaper changes during museum hours were my job.

(Unrelated to the weekend being discussed, but related in terms of fried fair food:  I feel the need to mention that I made my former intern try the fried spaghetti and meatballs and the bacon cheese burger between two Crispy Crème donuts this year.  Kaitlin runs marathons, though, so she can handle the calories.  And, yes, this is the same former intern that has worked at the museum on and off for four years that has willingly consumed a variety of fried food nastiness for me every fair since 2010 - from fried gum to fried butter to fried sugar cubes.  It is a game that I willingly sponsor, because there is no way I'd ever try half the stuff she so happily consumes.)

My favorite part of the fair this fall (other than being with so many of my friends, of course) was watching Banner take it all in.  He was only 9 months old when he came last year, and was more or less confined to his stroller.  This year, however, he old enough to try different things (even though he wasn't interested in putting anything fried in his mouth...not even a corny dog); including his first amusement park ride!

Of course, Banner met the fair with all its noises, smells and flashing lights the same way he meets strangers - with a hefty dose of caution and speculation.  It is impossible to know if he was having a good time or not.  I guess he is just busy taking it in one blink and stare at a time.

In fact, there were only four different times he seemed genuinely excited about anything at the fair:  when he saw the spinning bears, when he was told he could ride the wee tractor at the kiddie farm, when he discovered a three year old girl dancing on stage at the wine garden (she wasn't a professional...she was just shaking her booty to the beat over the stereo speakers while her grandpa sat near by enjoying a tasty grape flavored beverage) and, finally, when Banner found two other little boys to play a nonsensical version of toddler chase with.  Other than that, though, his game face was ON.

Banner, however, was SERIOUSLY committed to spending time with his uncle Spencer.  Poor Spence couldn't put the little guy down without tears.  At first, Spence was touched, but three hours in and his neck and back started to protest with a vengeance.  Because a squirmy 31 pound toddler only gets heavier with every Cotton Bowl loop.

I guess there is nothing like seeing the fair from atop your father's beardless doppelganger.

And, well, because it is like some sort of weird compulsion, we had to take a few minutes out of our day to visit Boris.  Because, OF COURSE.

Banner thought Boris was a MOO.  Spencer tried to explain that Boris was actually an OINK.  Banner wasn't convinced.

Some little boy even tried offering Banner a visual aid of a more typical looking pink piggie, but Ban wasn't buying it.  Apparently, at 21 months, Banner is a MOO expert.  And, to him, Boris is all MOO.

The rest of our afternoon was spent at the wine garden, the car show and taking ridiculous selfies on the Court of Honor.  Which sounds almost fun until I remember that Phil has at least two of the most heinous pictures of me ever taken.  I spent most of the rest of the weekend secretly hoping he'd drop his camera and erase all his photos.  Because, UH-OH, PHIL!

And, well, I don't have anything to show you from that whole experience, so here are two of my favorite pictures from the day (a.k.a. no paternity test needed):

I love this SO much, Hils.

They were actually looking at the same ride on the Midway that made him cry last year.
(Banner.  Not Trevor.)

Anyway, the rest of the weekend was low key but fun filled.  We played Apples to Apples (Vietnam, 1968!), ate copious amounts of cheese and dressed our favorite Raven's fans in Cowboys t-shirts (much to Anni and Tyler's chagrin since they are "apparently" Bronco fans.  And I say "apparently" because Anni thought Eli Manning played for the Broncos and assumed the secondary was made up of the team's second best players).

To be fair, Ban spent all of Saturday in purple.

And, well, I'd go into things like putting Anni in timeout (because Banner saw her hit), being forced to reenact the Dolphin Show (thanks again for missing the dramatic finale, Big Philly) and kicking the snot out of the guys while playing darts (seriously), but I feel like nothing I type here can really do the weekend justice.  Because somewhere between Trevor trying to find a "cool song for Phil" on the radio, Anni "I'm really good with kids"accidentally pushing Banner down, and being forced into purchasing jewelry by overly pushy Hilary-the-salesman, I realized how much fun I always have with these crazy people each and every time we get together.

I guess bonds forged over nearly two decades of broom closet fights, purse wine, fried cheese, blow drying the bed, "Do you think he likes me?" and Tylenol PM only result tight and lasting friendships that are always full of laughter.  

Until next time...

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