Fourteen Florida Fun and Festival Tour – February 2014

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I have a few memories of going to the fair as a child. Not really vivid ones, though.  I wasn’t one to visit our local fair as a teen. We both come from a small town. So when you mix small town mentality with a small fair, you get a lot of large personalities. The kind of personalities that wear airbrushed t-shirts that read, “I’m only sexy on days that end in Y” or “I’m the only hell my momma ever raised”.

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I do remember going to King’s Island in Cincinnati when I was very young (under 10 years old) and a few other places. Two things have always stuck in my mind when I think about fairs and theme parks -1. the smell of the food and 2. all the vibrant sounds and colors. I know, you figure a child would remember the rides first and foremost, right? Not me. I remember the food….and shockingly, no I wasn’t a fat child.

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I have never been much of a ride rider anyhow. The Queen, yeah, she has no fear or worry about rides at theme parks. She’ll get on a roller coaster in a heartbeat. Me, not so much. Local fairs? Both of us are like, “Uh Uh”.

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I don’t know, we think about how quickly some of these rides go up and we often wonder if you know, maybe on the way to the next town some really important bolt fell off the back of the turnip truck.

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So, when the Florida State Fair came up on our list for this months tour, we both looked forward to it…with the memories of our local county fair in the backs of our minds.  But we were pleasantly surprised. It was awesome, actually.

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Immediately, I smelled food. I intentionally didn’t eat breakfast so I would have more room to gorge myself on fried dough and meat on a stick, so it was sensory overload as soon as we walked through the gate ($13 a piece to get in by the way). I kept thinking, “Yeah, I wanna eat that”, then immediately, “No, I want to eat THAT.” This went on for about a half hour. I didn’t know what I wanted to eat, but I knew I wanted to eat it all.

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I mean, seriously how can you choose when you have a selection ranging from chicken on a stick to deep fried KoolAid? For real, you can buy that. You can buy a deep fried Pop Tart too.

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So we settled on Fried Cheese Curds, Corn Dogs and Saratoga Chips. See my face? Yeah, that look was on my face all day.

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Amish Doughnuts

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Chicken on a stick…again

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and candy….That’s a legit response. I didn’t pose for that shot.

The events booths were pretty daggone cool as well. The Queen had a wonderful time interacting with the animals.

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The piglets were adorable. We told each other how cool it would be to have one of these little guys as a pet. Then we reminded each other how much we love bacon. So we moved on and got Queenie a stuffed piglet instead. It was one of those guessing games. We chose “How long have you been a couple?” The girl guessed five years. She was way off.

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We didn’t play any games since you know, they’re all rigged. But it was fun to hear the barkers harass me as I walked by. “Hey buddy! Why don’t you spend some of that money you’ve been saving on shampoo?” That was funny the first six times I heard it. Fun, none the less. 

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I think as we get older and things change in life, we often neglect the need to feel young again. The Queen and I are not old by any means, but I can promise you that as we grow older, we will NOT forget to have fun.

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We laughed all day. We joked all day. We had a really good time. WE HAD FUN.

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A two hour drive, four plus hours of food and fun and we capped it all off with a stop at Yoder’s in Sarasota for some goodies.

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And we didn’t even have to use our AK. I gotta say, it was a good day.

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I’ve missed you, Thunder….

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It was good to get back to the beach last night and do a Thursday Thunder. For new friends who aren’t familiar with Thursday Thunder (and welcome, new friends), it’s a welcome break-up to the work week. Thursday night at the beach for an hour or two and the next day is Friday! Woo hoo!

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Long time since we’d done a Thunder…..since September. Almost as much time as it has been since we’d visited Blind Pass. 

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Arriving on Blind Pass, we noticed such a drastic change. Now, I have been trying my best to keep up with my shelling friends’ finds and beach visits as of late, but we’ve been very busy. So I’ve been unable to really “see” what’s been happening lately, if you know what I mean. So arriving there after the beach re-nourishment project left our jaws dropped a bit. Wow, what a change!

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And you know when I’m wandering on the beach, the old mind starts thinking and thinking…and so I got to thinking (haha) about change and circumstance.

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Change is necessary. It’s meaningful. It’s often painful. Much of that pain is oftentimes due to our circumstance. So many times when things aren’t going well in our lives, we immediately look to changing our circumstances on our own….and even more often, with dangerous and catastrophic results.

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Sometimes our circumstance changes without our consent. Maybe someone passed away. Maybe someone lost a job. Maybe your car broke down or you came up short of cash for some reason.

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But sometimes without even trying, positive change in circumstance takes place when we take our hands off the situation and just wait.

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Just like Blind Pass now. I remember the last time we went there. We were kinda looking at each other saying, “Ugh, this place used to be so beautiful. What happened?”

Now, such change…

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and we didn’t do a thing to the place. We just walked away for a bit, came back after a short while and boom – change.

I guess what I’m saying is this: Sometimes God places things in our lives to shake us up from the mundane and to test our faith and mettle. Otherwise, we become stagnant. This is sometimes referred to as “being in a rut”. haha

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So instead of using your own two hands to try and change them, take a break. Walk away. Clear your mind. Put those two hands together, make them form a cup and give your circumstance to the Most High.

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Put the change of your circumstance in his hands.

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When you come back, you might find that things have changed a bit.

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