Geolinguist and I made our annual pilgrimage to the fair on Tuesday. We were on standby for it to be lametastic - Invisiboss went opening day and came back with reports about how all the exhibition halls were half-full and all the food was over-priced and it was a gloomy-rain-threatening day - so we both worked until 1 instead of taking the whole day and arriving when the gates opened.
I remembered Geolinguist had asked about Sunday in the Park with George, so I brought the disc for him to listen to on the ride up. Coincidentally, he picked up a Sondheim on Sondheim compilation to listen to on the ride back.
This was the best fair ever!
We headed right for the booth to get my yearly hair-wrap. Usually that is one of our last stops, but we didn't feel like having to kill time later in the trip if there was a line. Just as we were discussing the fact that all either of us had eaten so far that day was a piece of chocolate, we saw my friend Catherine's booth and stopped to say hi. She had just ordered an extra plate of Lebonese food and, without having heard a word of our conversation, gave it to us!
Duly fortified, Geolinguist and I headed on to the henna and hair booth only to discover that the girl who does them barely made enough to cover her plane ticket home last year so she decided not to come up this year. No hair wrap? Teh horror!! The owner of the booth apologized to me personally, remembering this has been a fixture of my fair for 7 years, and we sulked off to drown my sorrow in homemade garlic potato chips and a beer at the Sluicebox.
Usually we order our beers at the Sluicebox and end up chugging them because I can't take the yee-haw music or some scary redneck hits on Geolinguist, but this year smooth jazz and frighteningly upbeat folk music was on the program. Geolinguist still tanked his beer, but I forced him to stay so I could sing-along to a disturbingly perky rendition of Where Have All The Flowers Gone. I even did an interpretive dance with my Diet Coke.
After that we just wandered. Invisiboss was correct, the livestock and other exhibits had been downsized, but there was a John Deere display that made both of us squeal with joy at the memory of the fair scene in Charlotte's Web and Geolinguist's over the top exclamation "Let's go look at the tractors, Lurvey!!" There were still ducks for Geolinguist to talk to and make happy and I got to stand with all the little kids and be just as wide-eyed at a chick just barely starting to push out of his shell.
They replaced the interactive science exhibit with Australia in Alaska, so we saw parakeets, pelicans and a kookaburra who called just as we were leaving. Geolinguist loved how happy hearing that made me. The real stars were two kangaroos, of course. Two cold, over-stimulated yet bored kangaroos lounging about in their pen. One finally got up long enough to drag over to the other. I was sincerely hoping he was going to get some action, but instead it looked like he was just there to whisper "We're going to die here!"
After seeing bored kangaroos the only thing that could possibly compete was seeing some pirates! So we trooped back to the newest bar at the Alaska State Fair, a pirate-themed pub in a tent with a pirate show in the tent next door.
We sipped our beers and watched as much of the show as we could - about two minutes - before realizing all the pirates had put on English accents that made them sound like Carey Grant. That realisation sent us scurrying out of the tent and down the path giggling "Judy, Judy, Judy...yarrrr!"
As we giggled and scurried, we made the best fair discovery ever...the oyster booth!
Now, the oyster booth has always been there, and I have always been afraid of it. Someone mentioned on Facebook how good they were, though, so I figured "What the hell, I have insurance" and I ordered 3 with Geolinguist promising to have one. These were some of the best oysters I have ever had! We slurped our three, walked about 10 feet, turned around and ordered three more. They were that good!
We sang along with Sondheim tunes until we were hoarse and stopped at the Town Square Grill for dinner. Geolinguist ordered
lamb, I got ahi and everyone who knows us dropped dead from not surprised.
My new mission in life is to tell everyone in Anchorage about the Town Square Grill. The food was great, the price was right, my fish filled up most of the plate....and we were the only customers. Our waiter was quite obviously the owner. He kept checking in to ask how we were, if we were locals and if we would tell friends. So yes, I am telling friends. And I might go to the fair for more oysters on Monday.
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