A Pie-Off-Contest!

23 Nov

I don’t remember if you guys remember last year when I made my first coconut cream pie? It was supposed to be for Dan’s work pie contest?! Well I did not have time to make anything to enter last year but I was on it this year. The pie contest was actually set for the day I left for Costa Rica.

I really wanted to make the coconut cream pie again but one of Dan’s co-workers was making one. Dang it! I thought what other pie could I make?! Crack pie came to mind. If anyone has heard of Momofuku or the Milk Bar in NYC than you have probably heard of crack pie. I don’t even know how to describe it. It is more like a giant, thick cookie. I made it for Thanksgiving a bunch of years ago and remembered it was a hit so I thought what the heck!

I made the cookie crust on Tuesday night.
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Cooked the pie on Wednesday night to let it sit in the fridge overnight.

pressed crust

pressed crust

uncooked pie fill

uncooked pie fill

Finished pie!

Finished pie!

Pie-off Thursday night!!
We had a massive pretend “snow-storm” late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning so there was some ice on the road. When anything like this happens Portland and the people of Portland do not know what to do so one of the pies did not make it to the contest. Also the guy who was making the coconut cream ended up making a chocolate cream pie instead.

the menu and voting form

the menu and voting form

Before:
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Fruit: Sore cherry and Twapple pie(Twix and apple)
Cream: Chocolate Cream, Pumpkin espresso, Crack(it wasn’t really a cream pie but it definitely wasn’t a fruit pie and it did not have any nuts in it—>so Dan just entered it into the cream category)

The aftermath:
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After my duties of cutting very tiny slices of crack pie I got to try them all:
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I liked them all. I even tried a bite of the 2 fruit pies. They were good just not my thing!

The votes were not tallied until their staff meeting last Tuesday so I was already in Costa Rica but I got word I won the cream category! I was so excited! Here is my prize:
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It was so much fun! I am looking forward to making another pie and defending my title next year!

If you are interested in the Crack Pie recipe you can find it here.

I read a lot of the comments and my tips are:
*Put a little more salt in the crust.
*Instead of crumbling the cookie crust put it in the food processor. You can get more of a finer crumble. I thought I would have to really push it into the pan but you don’t really need to! I will also put a little bit of cooking spray on the pan.
*Cover the crust with a bit of foil (not the entire pie but just the crust) for the first 15 minutes of baking so it does not burn. (I did not do this but I thought about it afterwards when I thought the crust was burning a bit—that was the biggest comment that the crust burns)
*After you turn the oven down to 325 only bake about 15-18 minutes. Right when it starts to bubble. I started watching it at about 15 minutes I think that it was done but was afraid it wasn’t so I let it cook a little longer.
*Put a half cup of mini chocolate chips in the filling. Just for fun!

Have you heard of Crack Pie or been to the Milk Bar??

I Mustache YOU some questions….

16 Nov

mustache

I have a couple of ideas on posts but I got tagged in Kecia’s post to participate in a little activity. I thought this would be fun so here goes…

Four names that people call me, other than my real name:
Sister–my mom (Dan gets confused and doesn’t understand) :)
Lester cream pie–my dad (really has nothing to do with my sugar addiction)
Babe–Dan (I won’t let him call me anything else)
Les–friends/co-workers

Four jobs I have had:
Game store employee–When Pokemon first came out. It was insane!
Assistant a dental assistant–boring!
NAU Downtown office assistant–work for extra money in college
Dental Hygienist–awful but pays the bills!

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:
Keeping The Faith
Italian Job
My Cousin Vinny
The Holiday

Four books I’d recommend:
Year of No Sugar
The Horizontal Life
The Blue Bistro
The Midwife’s Confession

Four places I have lived:
Las Vegas, NV
Flagstaff, AZ
Eugene, OR
Portland, OR

Four places I have been:
New Zealand–epic! I would go back in a second!
Costa Rica–Great beaches, zip-lining, white water rafting, surfing
Boston–big city with lots of history
New York–big city with a ton to see!

Four things I don’t eat:
Meat–I am a vegetarian.
Jello–gelatin has animal bi-products
Fruit pie–I love fruit and I love dessert but I don’t like them together!
Gummi bears–gelatin

Four of my favorite foods:
Ice cream–I am really into B&Js core collection.
Homemade pizza–mushroom, bell pepper, olives
Kale salad–kale, beets, homemade dressing, almonds, feta
Miso-curry delicata squash/tofu/kale dish

Four TV shows that I watch:
Survivor
Grey’s Anatomy
Ink Master
Shark Tank

Four things I am looking forward to this year:
New adventures
Working on speed for the half marathon and half iron distances
Going on vacation with Dan
Potentially moving away from P-Town and exploring new city options

Four things I’m always saying:
I am just saying’
Livin the dream
Dang it
What do you think?

Four People I Tag:
Abby
Kim
Heather
Lisa

Tell me 1 or 2 things you would like to share!

NYC Marathon ’14 Recap!

5 Nov

Dan and I arrived in NYC early early Friday morning. Looking back not sure that was the best idea. I think that it turned out to be fine but I thought I would sleep on the plane and I did not! I did sleep really well at week and felt like I was fighting a cold off. Definitely didn’t go into the weekend at 100% but by Sunday I was feeling pretty good. We got in and took the air train and subway to the upper west side where we were staying.

Kara, Dan, and I made it to the Nuun Ambassadors shake out run at 9! We had a nice run through Central Park and got coffee and bagels afterwards. I felt really good. Those 3 miles were faster than I wanted them to be but they felt good!

Melissa, Kevin, Kara, Stephan, Me

Melissa, Kevin, Kara, Stephan, Me

We hit up the expo at lunch time which was a HUGE mistake because every New Yorker that was doing the race was picking up their bib on their lunch hour. We waited a half hour in line just to get into the convention center. We got our bibs and shirts. Took a quick tour of the merchandise (which I wasn’t too impressed with nor did I want to stand in yet another huge line to buy anything!), hit up the Nuun booth (and got yet another water bottle), and was out of there rather quickly. We were in need of lunch way!!
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Nuun Goodie Bag!!

Nuun Goodie Bag!!

Saturday: We had an awesome night sleep. Went to brunch and just hung out and watched football most of the day. It was raining pretty good. I do think it was a blessing in disguise because had the weather been nice we would have wanted to do/see more! We had an amazing Italian dinner at Otto. Dan and I shared a pasta/eggplant dish and a pizza. It was so delicious!!! We watched the Oregon/Stanford football game and got ready for the early morning! Slept really well again.

Race Day:
We were up at 5:45 (the next 4 hours would go by in a flash) 1st breakfast(bagel and chocolate/coconut pb spread and Nuun)
Out the door at 6:30 to grab coffee (small vanilla latte)
In the subway terminal at 6:50 (the 1 taking us to the south ferry terminal kept being delayed) so when the first train got there and the marathoners were getting on. We decided to ask a group of the women for some help and ended up talking to them for quite a while)
Staten Island Ferry terminal at 7:40 (We had missed our 7:30 time but nobody seemed to care)

Hanging with 50,000 of our closest friends!

Hanging with 50,000 of our closest friends!


Staten Island Ferry at 7:45
Not a bad view from the ferry!

Not a bad view from the ferry!


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Got off the ferry and used the portie potties there, stood in line for the shuttles, and were on the shuttles until about 9:30 (ate Skout bar)
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Finally made it to Fort Wadsworth for the staging of the NYC marathon. There are 3 color waves all in which had their own village. Got in the portie potty line again and off we went to find our corrals. Gu at about 10:15
We were in the 3rd blue wave in the B corral.

This is where it got interesting. We were told to wait. Wave 2 was going off and then we would be able to get into our corrals. We were told the race had started late and we would all be backed up a bit. No biggie. Finally wave 3 was allowed into their corrals. But literally the entire wave 3 in our area was trying to get into corral F (we were in B) because we were told we had to go through that area. After about a half hour of literally waiting. The woman says if you are in A-E you can go through this is only F. Now this group of hundreds of people need to get to A-E. We made it to B and almost didn’t let us in. The guard gave Kara the worst stink eye possible and said we were late. IT IS NOT OUR FAULT!!! By the time we got into our corral we were mixed up with the E/F corrals which was fine. We literally didn’t know what was happening and we thought we better take off all our warm clothes (as we were walking). Kara was like there is the start line. SHIT!! No time to think about it. I didn’t even have my watch on yet.
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10:34: All of a sudden we were starting the New York City Marathon!!! Holy Shit this was happening!!!! It was go time!!! In retrospect I think it all worked out great because we weren’t standing in our corrals getting nervous we literally walked up and started walking to the start line.

Miles 1-2: Up and over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. It was WINDY. So windy. I imagine that this bridge is always windy but because of the high wind warning we were having it was even worse. We were trying to keep it slow. You really don’t feel the uphill. The wind was so nerve-wrecking we couldn’t really focus on anything else anyway! The downhill was nice!!

3-13.1: Brooklyn. Pretty flat. Some incline from mile 8-9 or so. I think this was my favorite part. The crowd was amazing. The aid stations/volunteers were amazing. This was a really fun section. I had my name on my shirt and everyone was screaming for me like I was winning the race! We took it easy. We took in our nutrition. There was an aid station every single mile. This is the only marathon(outside an Ironman) that I have seen an aid station every mile. They are usually every 2 mile. We always welcomed a quick break.

I really thought it would be hard to run with 50,000+ runners (especially in the first few miles) but these miles were great. No weaving in and out of people. Everyone had their own space. Even when we merged with the orange and then eventually with the green waves it didn’t seem to make a difference.

(sidenote: there was 4 waves this year for the first time ever so maybe that had something to do with not having a congestion problem!!)

13.1-15: Queens. We hit the half way mark at 2:18:xx. I thought it was good but I was nervous we were a little too fast. We hit it on the Pulaski bridge. I was running on feel and Kara seemed to be doing fine. We will see how the 2nd half plays out.

We went through a couple of neighborhoods not huge crowds but there were some people cheering. I knew we would get to the Queensboro bridge pretty quickly.

Up and over the Queensboro bridge was not bad. We just took it easy but ran the entire way. It was a little packed on the bridge and there seemed to be way too many people walking. It was not that hard!

16-19: Getting into Manhattan. 1st Avenue. You can hear the crowd as you start to make your way to the 16 mile mark which is close to the bottom of the bridge. You make a sharp left off the bridge and the crowd is 5 deep cheering!! It was truly amazing! Everyone screaming, yelling, and cheering for everyone!!

We saw Dan and friends at about 16.5 for the first time. It was really fun to finally seem them after 2.5 hours of running. Here was there sign:
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Dan also told me later that I didn’t look so good and Kara looked great. In retrospect I felt great and Kara felt like shit. I just think I was trying to save energy and not get too excited. We still had 10 more miles to run. The crowds were amazing up until 18ish. You get into Harlem and it is a little ghost town-ish with a few crowds. The aid station was good going through. We took a little longer at the 18th mile aid station messing around with salt pills/Advil/Gu getting something to water it down with while dealing with our gloves!

1st ave is a long stretch with somewhat of an incline. I have yet to talk about the wind. It was windy and it was cold. The wind was coming from the north and almost the entire marathon heads north. At times it was not bad and at times it was awful.

They told us in a pre-race meeting to wear a beanie instead of a hat because of the wind. I did not even bring a beanie but was contemplating not wearing my visor because I didn’t want to lose it in the wind!! I ended up buying one from CVS last minute to wear. I am glad that I had it. At mile 18 I told Kara that I could not believe I still had it on. I thought for sure it would come off in the first couple of miles!

I also had not looked at my watch since the half way mark. I just didn’t want to know. I felt like we were still at a good pace. I still felt good. I didn’t really want to jinx myself. I told Kara that at about 18. (Dang a lot was happening at mile 18) We decided we would check the time at mile 20.

20-21: Bronx: We got up and over a small bridge into the Bronx. They gave us a warm welcome. There was a big crowd out. A couple DJ’s playing Michael Jackson.

We hit the mile 20 mark at about 3:33. At this point I felt good but I still wanted to finish strong and not leave anything out on the course! This was a much different feeling than I had in Chicago! 10K left I just had to keep it together for 6.2 miles. Just over an hour. Keep it together!!! It was on. We got over the Madison St bridge and headed to 5th Ave.

21-23: Back to Manhattan. 5th Ave: Again the crowds were unbelievable. What a day for New York City. Everyone comes out and has a party! The crowd is lining the course. At this point in the race. I was feeling good and I was ready to finish this strong! Here was the problem! Remember those runners that I thought would be congesting up the first few miles here they were walking the last miles. We were weaving in and out of people. Up and over curbs. Trying not to sideswipe them. There is a hill that is quite long.. It was hard but we were staying strong. Digging deep.

23-26.2- Central Park: Again the entire park is lined with spectators. I was literally smiling the entire course. I felt really good. I was positive and confident. I never looked at my watch again. I didn’t want to know. I was so excited that the race had gone so well. I was soaking in every bit of the crowd and the cheering. The park has some rollers which felt like mountains but we got through it. (and much better than I thought we would!) :)

We saw Dan and friends at about mile 25.8ish and that gave us our last boost of energy. We were so close but so far away. Lets just get this done!!

The beanie still on!

The beanie still on!

There is yet another “tricky” mountain hill (as Bart Yasso calls it) right before the finish line. All we could do was push forward and there was the finish line. After 4:38:13 we had finished together. Kara and I didn’t know if we would run the entire way together or not but we did and it was an amazing experience!!!!!

I had walked away with literally the BEST marathon of my life. I PR’d by 5 minutes. I dug deep and finished strong. I had a smile on my face the entire race! It was one of the greatest days of my life! WE didn’t negative split but we were close to even. We had a few slower miles at the beginning of the second half but the last couple of miles were the fastest of the race!!

Thanks Kara for an awesome day and race!! Thanks Dan, Todd, Breslin, and Jess for coming out and cheering.
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Monday: Dan and I did a lot of walking. My legs felt pretty good. My feet were sore and are still sore. We took a water taxi around the Hudson and East Rivers. We saw the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty.
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We picked up a NY Times to find my name in the finisher section!! WE learned that the millionth finisher was a 40 year old gal from Brooklyn and her time was 4:43. WHAT?! They were just a little off when projecting when that person would come in!! It was probably the WIND! :)

We checked out the High Line and Chelsea’s Market too. I got an epic ice cream sandwich to celebrate.
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WHAT A WEEKEND!!!

NYC Marathon Goals

31 Oct

Well it is definitely here! As we are flying to NYC on the red-eye. I can usually sleep pretty good on the plane but I think that I am too amped up to sleep which is really going to hurt me come 10am tomorrow today or god forbid Sunday!
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I am flying on JetBlue and they have FREE WI-FI! Hello. It is like $30 bucks to use wi-fi on an Alaska flight! They also have better snacks than Alaska and Southwest! We are some where over the Dakotas I think as I write!!

I updated my last NYC post with a couple of new links if you want to check them out!!!

I wanted to write out some of my goals for this weekend.

This is one of my favorite motivational videos:

I really and truly just want to have a good race. I know I always say that but marathons are so hard for me. I really just want to have a good one! This is the plan!!

We are in the Blue Wave 3 Corral B. My bib number is 38446 if you want to track me you can do it here: live results or you can download the app (search for TCS NYC marathon) and check things out there!

We do not start until 10:30am. Holy smokes that is so late! But it is going to be cold so I am not super concerned with that. Bird Legs and I are going to start together. Run for a while and see what happens. I won’t be surprised if she breaks off after the 20 mile mark. I can only hope to be able to mentally and physically keep up with her at that point! ;)

We take it easy easy…too easy until the Queensboro Bridge. After that I hear the crowds get wild. Kind of go into a moderate mode at that point. If and when it feels good once I get over the 22/23 mile marker…Central Park then I am going to let it RIP!! If my mind and body are so inclined!

Training for NYC this year was a little different than training for Chicago last year. I was really set on making a BIG PR in Chicago. I trained really hard. I worked on my mental toughness. I had an epic 23 miler that was pretty much setting me up for a 4:30 marathon. I knew the stars would align on that day!! Well if you have been reading my blog since than you know that I did get the PR but it was not a big one. It was a tough race physically. I had multiple wrong-doings that were some my fault and some natures fault. Chicago was here nor there.

This time around I am hot off Ironman training/racing! I had 3 months to prepare for this marathon. (hard to believe Whistler was 3 months ago) I obviously had plenty of endurance but the race was still 3 months away. I had to recover and then start building again. Coach and I decided on a very conservative marathon approach. I was only going to do one 20 miler but lots of 16 and 18 milers. I was to practice my negative splitting. He asked me if i was nervous for only 1 20 miler. I said hell yes! (I have never done less than a 22 miler in training) But what did that 23 miler do for me last year. Almost nothing so what did I have to loose by not trying to kill myself in this training block. Maybe my body would rejoice!

I am reluctant to write any time goals but if all the stars aligned I would love to run a 4:35 on Sunday. My real goal should be:
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Is this crazy or what? They are not going to tell that finisher until marathon Monday!

No pressure this year. I think that I was greedy with Chicago. All my runs were good. As much as I did not think I started off too fast I think I did just a little. It hurt me in the long run. Lessons to be learned! We will see if I actually learned it last year! ;)

I would be happy to start slow, enjoy the crowds, stay positive, make sure I have enough nutrition and hydration, SMILE, and finish strong. If all those things happen I should be able to pull off a PR: sub 4:43!! It has taken 5 years to get here. I am going to make the BEST OF IT!!! This is the New York City Marathon! Holy shit I am running another marathon on Sunday! Lucky #10!

What lessons have you learned while training for a marathon?! -OR- Racing a marathon?!

Nike Women’s 1/2 Marathon Recap 2014

28 Oct

I ran my 3rd Nike Women’s 1/2 marathon last Sunday. This was going to be a fun race because it would be a training run.

I arrived Saturday afternoon and met up with Jessica at SFO. Her awesome bro came and picked us up and dropped us off at the expo!

The expotique is different from other expos. It is geared toward women. There is lots of cool stuff but I have no patience to stand in line to get my bib. Let alone stand in line for every single booth once I get into the tent. I did stand in line to get another Nuun water bottle. (I definitely don’t need another one of those but as I told Dan: it is a different design than last year.) We also stood in line at the Whole Foods booth for a cute pic and a mini cupcake.
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The rest of the afternoon was football, pizza, and bed to early. I had a big day in the early morning!

This is how it went down:
4:00: wake up
4:20: walk to Kara’s apt
4:30: leave for 5 mile “warm-up” run with Kara (We needed to do 18 miles for our last long run for NYC training.)
5:30: pick up Audrey and Jessica
6:30: Race starts!

Again I just wanted to start slow and finish strong. This was a “training” race. I wasn’t concerned with trying to cut the tangents. I just wanted to make sure my nutrition was on. I wanted to try to speed up the last couple of miles. No real time goal. I would be happy with somewhere around 10:30 miles.
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Miles 0-3: We started running. It was crowded and the first couple of miles seemed to be uphill. We went through not a great area of SF. Kind of boring. There is a significant hill starting about 2.5 miles. Not bad but straight up!

3-7ish: Through Golden Gate Park. Pretty flat. A couple of aid stations. Luna Bar was out giving Luna Bars and Clif Shot Bloks. Feeling good. We sped up a bit as we were not going uphill!

7ish-10ish: We ran through Richmond area and the Presidio. Rolling hills. It was still cool but foggy. There was no sign of the GG Bridge. :(
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A little after the 10 mile mark we knew it was the calm before the storm. A big steep hill was coming. We ran/walked up it. There was lots of spectators and cheering. It was a nice downhill on the backside.

11.5-13.1: Flat to the finish. The finish was at marina green. I had a slight weird cramp on the downhill so Kara kept going and I walked for a few seconds. I said I would catch up but didn’t really think I would be able to. I kept her in my sight and I sped up and caught her. I was excited that I had more to give. We were running like 9:15s that last stretch which felt good but hard. I felt really great. My only really complaint was: The last 1/2 mile was on the waterfront path. It was narrow and it was it was a bit difficult getting through all the runners. Especially because I was trying to speed up and there was runners and walkers everywhere. There was nowhere to run.

All SMILES!!

All SMILES!!

Even though we only ran 18 miles I felt like we really “executed” the start slow and finish fast/strong. Big negative split! I would have liked to have had a bit faster time but I had a fun time. The weather was great too!

We got through the finish chute and picked up our necklaces. They are super cute. Our last super long run was done and I felt relatively good!
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After getting cleaned up I met up with Taylor and Jamie. We had a great brunch at Squat and Gobble.
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I had a fun 29 hours in San Francisco! Never enough time and I didn’t even get to go to Bi-Rite!!!

10 Days Until GO TIME!

24 Oct

Well I survived my 3rd Nike Women’s 1/2 Marathon and I am still writing the post!  I know that you are on the edge of your seat waiting for that recap! :) It will come soon I promise!!

I have been collecting some great links I have found regarding the New York City Marathon.

This link is from Runners World —> 10 Tips on how to run the best NYC marathon!

This link is everything you need to know condensed into one post! It was very informative. This guy, Runar, has run the last 35 NYC marathons. I guess he knows a few things about the race! —> NYC marathon advice

This link is for spectators from Runar —> Watching NYC marathon

This is an awesome link. I found it weeks ago and really got me pumped up for the race. She covers everything. —> Tips, Strategy, and Info!

Bart Yasso takes you through a tour of the marathon on Google maps —> Bart’s video!
**This got me especially excited**

Kara used to live in the New York area and has run the marathon twice. —> Her tips!

This is just a NYC post! The gal just happens to be running the race this year. She is talking about things to do instead of the regular “tourist” things to do! —> Not to do in NYC!

This is a fun Buzzfeed article —> 37 things that will inspire you!

I have read lots of race reports. I am truly excited for this race. It is hard to believe that my first application for the lottery was in 2010! I will be in NYC at this time next week! Can.Not.Wait!!

I am still not sure about goals and a race plan but I will have it figured out before I step onto the plane Thursday night!

Do you have any other tips or links for the NYC marathon I should know about?!

What To Expect At The Texas State Fair!

17 Oct

I never realized that the Texas State Fair was such a BIG thing. I started to tell people I was going to Texas and the fair. The reaction was always the same. Oh wow! It is BIG! It is crazy! Take lots of pictures!!

We went! We saw! We ate! Go BIG or Go HOME in Texas!

We arrived at about 2. It is so big you have to take a shuttle from the parking lots.
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This is how I would break up the fair. 60% food; 30% midway/gamesrides; 5% animals; 5% miscellaneous. SO MUCH FOOD! It would be interesting to see how it really is broken up.

Food!! Most of our coupons went to food!!

Fried stuff:
IMG_2795[1]I love fried pickles. unfortunately these weren’t great!

Dessert:
IMG_2797[1]Connor could be my child! We split a fried Reece’s & cream and a nutty buddy bar. (We did share with everyone) :)

IMG_2775[1]Fried Oreos. Definitely interesting. The Oreo is very soft.

IMG_2756[1]Turkey legs. Literally a turkey leg. People were just carrying them around like they were an ice cream cone!

Midway!!
The boys went on a few rides. The rides are expensive. The girls were too cheap to do any rides! I was almost sad about it!

Connor made a friend!

Connor made a friend!

We think Connor liked the rides more than Lucas!

We think Connor liked the rides more than Lucas!

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Animals!!
Big presence of bacon around the fair!! OMG! This pig is 1237 pounds. He eats 20 lbs a day. (His favorites are oats and corn!)
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Miscellaneous!!
The Cotton Bowl stadium is right in the middle of fair park. We missed the big Oklahoma vs. Texas game the day before!
IMG_2753[1]They had an almost expo like area of all LOCAL Texas products. I thought that was real neat since I am super into shopping local. They had a ton of samples too!

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We found Big Tex!!
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This is what happens when you spend the day at the fair!!
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I am pretty sure I don’t need to go to another fair for a really long time!

Have you been to the Texas Fair? What is your favorite part of a fair??

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