Monster Jam returns to Minnesota!

Last year we took Markus to Monster Jam along with a friend of his. They had a BLAST! This year they’re back at the Metrodome on December 7th, and I will hopefully have more info to come in a couple weeks. Stay tuned! And check out their website for more information.

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Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam®, starring the biggest performers on four wheels: Monster Jam monster trucks! The twelve-feet-tall, ten-thousand-pound machines will bring you to your feet, racing and ripping up a custom-designed track full of obstacles to soar over or smash through!  Monster Jam provides a massive night’s entertainment tailored perfectly for your family’s budget, and these colorful, larger-than-life beasts are sure to capture the hearts of both young and old.

Minnesota State Fair Foods 2013

Obviously homeschooling, photography work, and blogging don’t mix well. It’s been over a month since the State Fair ended, but I still feel compelled to share all the things we tried so that folks in 2014 can make solid choices. All three of them who read my blog. 🙂

Anyhoo, we did a super-long day again this year. I think it was close to 14 hours! And the kids were troopers. We saw a ton of stuff, but still didn’t even make it to some of the usual haunts like the Midway and Heritage Square. Bummer. But there’s always next year!

We actually went ON Anja’s birthday this year, so she though she was pretty hot stuff. First stop of the day, just because it was the first stand on our list we passed, was a Pronto Pup. The rest of the family devours them, and I’ll eat a bite or two. Meh.


Pre-sweat. It was one of the hottest days at the fair, but the crowds were very low and we were quite glad we went that day.


The Fudge Puppy stand had a new flavor this year…English Toffee. It might be my favorite yet!


We decided to hit the Kidway before it got too hot. Bumper boats were a big hit, as well as the hot air balloons. Look at those long legs!


Daddy got TWO sweet corns, and he and Markus at most of them.


One thing both kids loved this year was the library’s area in Carousel Park. We were there for MacPhail’s Sing Play Learn Band and happened across the book Moo! posted in large story boards so kids could walk along and read it. Markus was enthralled, and even got a poster signed by the author and illustrator. Anja made a postcard and sent it to Grandma.



Hot cheese curd!


Ignore my finger…I was just using it to prop up the bowl. I’ve had the sweet corn ice cream with bacon butter topping at Blue Moon Diner 3 times now, and I think I’m done. It wasn’t as good this year…or maybe I’m just sick of it.




Anja got some sweet and sour rope thing in the Coliseum. I didn’t like it, but sugar + kids = happy. This quelled their begging for cotton candy for about 4 minutes.


She also insisted on watching a lot of sheep and cow judging this year. Not my cup of tea, but she seemed genuinely interested. Future 4-Her?

We also checked out all the other animals. I probably would’ve gone home with one of these bunnies if they were for sale. SO SWEET.


Something about a llama being washed struck me as funny.


The kids were big enough to help us eat Australian Battered Potatoes this year, so we bought a plate for the first time since 2006. Tasty!


No one gets between me and my Moe & Joe’s Banana Sandwich!


A Gopher in the making? He asked for this pic. 🙂


And he was obsessed with the 1-day-old piggies in the CHS Miracle of Birth Center.


This is how Husband felt about our malt in the Dairy Building this year. They were handing them out melted. Gross.


We have yet to eat this little Smoked Honey and Scotch Stick, but we’re taking Dara’s advice and saving it for some Gouda.


The apple cider freezies were a cheap way to cool off, but they were virtually tasteless. The kids didn’t even like them. Bummer, because for $1, I’d buy them again next year if they had.


But the honey lemonade, also bought in the Ag Building, never fails to disappoint.


At a friend’s tip, Husband sampled some Belgian craft brews also in the Ag Building. He said they were decent.


And we caught the tail end of Flippenout, way up in The X-Zone, which proved to be entertaining. I recommend! Same goes for the Third Lair Skate & Bike Show.


Beyond excited for her spun sugar! We asked for a fresh bag, so they got to eat it warm and in three flavors.


Ollie’s Crab Fritters were not on our list, but were in the coupon book and near us at the north end of the fair. A pleasant surprise…they were delicious!


One of my favorite moments of the day was watching Andrea Martin work. Such a beautiful form of art!


During the hot days of the fair, they had these little misters in various spots. SO refreshing. I may have hogged one once or twice.


The kids also had fun at the Lego tent.


Hooray for the Minnesota State Fair!


Vegie Fries, another perennial favorite (mostly of Husband’s).


O’Gara’s Deep Fried Bread Pudding was delicious, but I didn’t feel like it was worth the $6 I paid for it.


Favorite New Food of 2013 goes to North Woods’ BBQ Taco. Here’s how they describe it: “BBQ pulled pork topped with bourbon syrup and fresh coleslaw, served on a house-made corncake then wrapped in a flour tortilla.” Perfect combo of soft/crunchy and sweet/savory for me. Triple yum!


Husband thought my taco looked icky, so he bought jerk wings from Harry Singh’s. They were disgusting, and he was wrong about my taco and ended up eating half of it, the jerk. 😉


Obligatory nighttime shot.


We ran into some friends who tipped us off about the laser light show (on Cosgrove most nights at dusk). Fun times watching my weird kids dance, uninhibited by thoughts of what others might think of them. Love it.


Other foods not pictured:
– Fresh-squeezed lemonade
– 1919 Root Beer (our favorite root beer at the Fair)
– Wild Rice Burger (sooooo good, but always devoured too quickly to photograph)
– French Meadow Bakery Scone (see Wild Rice Burger)…also tried their Dough-sant, and it was tasty but not worth the $…I’d rather have a second scone to share. 🙂