Last Saturday, the fam and I went to the State Fair of Texas. We took the Trinity Railway Express from Hurst to Dallas and hopped on the Dart Green line, where we were let out at the entrance of Fair Park. I had purchased tickets to the fair online, so they scanned my phone, and we were in.
Usually, we hit up the fair in the middle of the week when the crowds aren’t as bad, but I thought about how precious vacation days were and didn’t want to burn one on the fair, so I decided to go on a Saturday.
This particular Saturday was during the OU game at the Cotton Bowl, and fans were out in droves! It was incredibly crowded.
My son was hungry, so we ate our customary corn dog and planned what we would do next.
When we get to the fair, we look around and always find our way to the Vitamix guy, the highlight of the fair. When my wife and I first moved in together, we had purchased many a blender, but they never lasted long. Some 15 years ago, we purchased a refurbished Vitamix at the fair, which has been going strong all this time. I think it was $300 when we bought it, which was a big deal for us then. But seeing the demonstration of how it could blend anything from soup to ice cream with no issue, we had to have it.
Last year at the Vitamix demonstration, they showed us some new features, and we were tempted to buy the upgraded version. I thought I would wait until the next fair, and if I still wanted it that bad, I would get it.
It was the only real reason I wanted to go. So, instead of making it our last stop, we agreed it would be our first and made a beeline for it.
On the way, a man leaving the OU game stopped my son and asked if he wanted his coupons. If you don’t know, the coupons are how you pay for almost everything at the fair, from food to games to rides. One coupon is a dollar.
This guy gave us sheets.
Walking along, happy about our newfound luck, another guy offers us his coupons. Then his friend mentioned he was leaving and couldn’t use them, so he also gave us his coupons.
When we entered, we purchased $45 worth, but from the random fairgoers, we were given 125 coupons!
Normally, we have a corn dog, ride the Crazy Mouse, and take the Vitamix samples. I’m pretty frugal, so we steer clear of the midway and don’t try all the newest fried foods, but this time, we had coupons to blow. We couldn’t take them with us, so we decided to live it up!
My son said he was looking at the caramel apple. BOOM! The boys got an apple. I always wanted to try the elote. I have a cup of corn. We even played a few games on the midway. Then we took the sky tram across it.
Strolling out holding a few stuffed animals, I saw the dippin’ dots. Now I remember when dippin’ dots came out—ice cream of the future. I was at Wet n’ Wild as a kid, and my mom was just as cheap as I am now. We packed everything we would eat at the park and stayed all day to get our money’s worth. The ice cream of the future seemed like it would not be in my future.
Now I had tried it, a bite of someone else’s dippin’ dots or a kid’s party at Chuck E Cheese, I would grab the one left over. Since it was melting, I would hate for it to go to waste.
But to purchase it on my own, cold and from the fair, seemed like such an extravagance—the hang-ups from my childhood. But I had over a sheet of coupons left, so I went for it. Cotton candy dippin’ dots!
After a few bites, I asked my son if he wanted to try it. He had his hands full of midway winnings, and I tried to hold a few. He started spilling the dippin’ dots. He looked at me sorrowfully, but I smiled and said not to worry, they were bought with free coupons! The look of relief on his face was the perfect end to the perfect evening.
I told this story to my cousin, and he asked me if I paid it forward. I was proud to say that I did! My niece and nephew were going to the state fair on Tuesday, and I gave them all the loot we had left over.
One ticket each.