Well kids, it's that time of year again.
The smell of fried food, cow manure and cheap beer is wafting its way over I-15 into our hood, signaling the event that marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall for the Ivins family.
This being our third-annual trip, I believe we can now officially consider ourselves Utah State Fair veterans.
Last year we proved our dedication to this quirky tradition by venturing out with our then-3-week-old baby.
I'm still wondering how child protective services didn't catch wind of our faux pas.
This year, Lola stayed busy trying to blow kisses to the dozens of animals housed in the barns.
We decided it was a little early to explain the "Barbecue Starts Here" banners hanging above her beloved cows and pigs.
My personal favorite animal area: the pigeon and poultry house.
It's weird, it's clean, the stars won't show up on my plate one day and it doesn't smell like poop.
It wouldn't be proper trip to the fair without a visit to the fried food stand.
Usually, the line is wrapped around the entire fairgrounds.
This year, there were a measly four or five people waiting to partake of the time-honored (and disgusting, might I add) tradition.
Apparently in this economy, people can't justify paying $8 for deep-fried chocolate-covered bacon.
Either that, or the general public finally caught on to the fact that it's absolutely disgusting.
Reece tried a deep-fried double-chocolate brownie last year and almost didn't survive.
This year, he settled for a photo by the booth.
All jokes aside, I discovered my idea of heaven.
For just $3, gained access to a tent full of ice cream.
Aggie Ice Cream. Fat Boys. Creamies. Farr's. Dreyers.
All mine. As much as I wanted. No questions asked.
Thank you, Utah Dairy Association.
Ice cream is better than fried stuff, right?
We are good parents. We are good parents. We are good parents.
Next stereotypical activity on the state fair agenda: playing on tractors.
About halfway through the evening, Lola's hair gave in to the peer pressure and formed a rat tail/Utah poof/mullet masterpiece.
I was so proud, I got a little teary.
After flying down the giant slide on a potato sack a couple of times, we felt life could not get more complete.
Oh my heck, we love the Utah State Fair.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go bathe myself in bleach.
Because heaven only knows where the mysterious stains on the potato sacks came from.