Growing up in a small town in the mountains, there weren’t many things to do. My parents, who were constantly busy, didn’t take us out much. That’s why whenever I get the chance to come home, I love to take my brother and sisters out to fun day trips. We lucked out this weekend by getting permission from our parents to stay overnight at a big event about 2 hours away. Whoo-hoo!
Day 1: NC Mountain State Fair – Asheville
Parking was free, surprisingly, but entrance fee was not. The dense mountain fog did not allow us to leave until 9:30 am. No matter, we’re getting out of the house, and everyone was in high spirits. Right off the bat, we took advantage of the vast amount of heavenly, greasy, inaccessible-at-home foods: Blooming Onion, Corn, Funnel Cake. One of the coolest acts of the mountain fair was the pumpkin chainsaw carving. We watched him carve a bear out of wood and sold it for $70! Afterwards, he made a minion (Stewart) and gave it to Winthanh when she asked for it. AWESOME guy. He said yes! We brought our pumpkin friend with us and named him “Bob.”
Next stop: swings. I don’t know how they do it. Just two rounds on those things would make me want to throw up (yes, I have thrown up from a swing ride before). I’ve never really had a great liking for rotating rides merry-go-rounds, teacup rides, etc.
Fairs are always so colorful; so many things to look at… and buy. It is a wonderland for kids. After walking around in the hot sun for awhile, we found a building where tons of booths were set up. We took free samples, ate food, and walked around. In the large performance area was a Kenyan Acrobatic Show. Their performance was passionate, energetic, and amazing that it made me want to do cartwheels and dance with them (I’m no good at either). Leaving the sweet air-conditioned building, we walked around some more before stumbling upon this money pit: pony rides. Children as they are, they begged me to let them ride on ponies. What a money pit this fair is! $5 per child for barely 2 minutes! I can’t wait ’till they grow and understand the concept of money. I guess moments like these are hard to recreate when they get older. I’ll probably look back and find it worth it just to see the smiles on their faces.
Who doesn’t like sliding down a giant inflating dino slide? Me. The friction on the way down burnt the bottom of my feet. That expression of pain was real. Note to self: wear socks. Ouch!
Kids love the hypnotists. Something about creepy mind control hypnotism is just appealing to these little humans. I was skeptical of the “hypnotism act” at first, but I came out a believer. He chose an unlikely group of 15 people, and brought them onto the stage. He then hypnotized them to do crazy random things that I could not imagine, like fall asleep in the middle of walking, making them believe that a normal belt is a snake. Whenever he makes that sound, the hypnotized people will see a snake. The belt belongs to the one of the girls, so it was really funny seeing her put it on and have it turned into a snake. The boy threw his shoe at the man and hit him on the face. What a fun night! I would love to see another show like this again.
Day 2: Elaida Corn Maze
We left the hotel at 11 am. On our trip there, we saw several streets named after medieval queens and knights: Lancelot, Arthur, Gweneviere, Merlin. There was an air-conditioned room with stage and an inflated pumpkin. The kids watched the movie on display. It was hot day and we were all sweaty but there were lots of things to do at the corn maze! There was a giant jumping pillow, corn box, giant checkers, spiderweb net thing, tic-tac-toe, hay ride, oh, and of course the corn maze.
I’ve never been to a corn maze before. Lesson learned, mazes are hot! We did all the other activities before going into the corn maze. The path we went on was also very long. There were 5 different maze trails. The Elaida trail one took over an hour. Luckily, we brought apples and we ate them to hydrate from the long trail. We didn’t have enough water and we were lost for a long time because Tam refused to use the map. We were exhausted when we finally finished the maze, and immediately seeked refuge at a nearby corn box.
I have also never seen a corn box before. It is bizarre seeing a box full of corn kernels. I thought that it was somewhat a waste to just have an entire box of kernels for filthy, sweaty kids to play in. As soon as I sat it in, I understood why it was there. It was amazingly cool and strangely soothing (like running your hand through rice). As you can see, Winthanh and Winthien wasted no time burying themselves in the corn. The corn box was surprisingly fun and we stayed there for a long time as we recovered from our long maze hike. Afterwards, we rewarded ourselves with Waffle House before going home. A fun filled weekend drained the energy out of everybody. We were ready to go home and watch some TV.
Looking back, when I ask them what their favorite parts of the weekend were, it’s very interesting to see what they remember fondly. Winthien’s favorite activities were jumping on the big trampoline pillow, diving through the corn box, and receiving the Minecraft sword gift. Winthanh’s favorite part was the corn box. Lastly, my favorite part is that the children will remember this weekend as a quality time spent together.
What is your favorite trip to take with children? What are good quality time activities to do together?