Last week was a busy week, nothing new in this household! After realizing that my gratitude posts are getting harder to keep track of (what gratitude day am I on for what calendar day again?) I finally jotted down the dates so they coincide. Hopefully it’ll make the posts easier to follow! (and write)
Once a year, every year, there’s a massive attraction that comes to the Western Mass. town of West Springfield. It’s called “The Big E” or Eastern States Exposition. It only runs for three weeks in the fall, usually the last three weeks of September.
According to their website–there were 1,498,605 people in attendance this year! They come from all over New England and the neighboring states to attend; New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire. Pretty much everywhere.
It’s a big deal for local New Englanders. There’s something for every one; concerts, carnival games/rides, different varieties of deep-fried food, vendors, horse shows, a daily Mardi Gras parade (eh hem, G-Rated folks), wine and cheese competitions, wine tasting. There’s that and so much more.
The kids and I have been going every year since moving back to New England. I’d say since 2010. Last year, my son talked my mom into going on one of the water rides. You sit in a giant, wooden-log-style, contraption and go around a mini-roller-coaster track. As the track begins to raise up, passengers hear “click, click, click, click” while the car climbs the rails. Anticipation builds as the car reaches the point of the drop, where passengers face a watery fall that raises you clear out of your seat (luckily the safety bar keeps you snug). My mom and my son both ended up soaked after the ride, but we went mid-day so by the time we got to the face-painting station they were both dry.
My son has never been the type to enjoy going on any kind of ride that goes up too high, moves too fast or has any movement similar to whiplash. The year before, though, my boyfriend at the time assured my son he’d be fine if they went on it together. My son wasn’t in the least bit apprehensive once he realized that a 6’2”, nearly 200-pound man would be keeping him safe on the ride. They ended up going on it twice and my son has loved the ride ever since.
(above: the infamous water ride that my son can’t get enough of)
This year, we went with my dad. I wasn’t sure how my daughter would behave but it turned out to be a great night. We went later in the day, since late September in New England feels more like July this year (it was eighty degree weather until nearly 6 p.m.)
We avoided traffic (most people were leaving by this time, not going in), found cheap parking near the gate entrance, avoided the crowds (again, most people were leaving by then), didn’t have any lines to wait in for rides (or food), the kids had a blast and were as well behaved as a three-year-old and an eight-year-old could be. Plus, we got to spend some quality time with my dad.
It was more or less a gratitude experience, rather than a passing moment. Oh and I got to enjoy the one thing I look forward to every year…fried dough! (yes I know it’s not organic, but even Super Woman has her kryptonite!)
(photo credit: http://esethebige.blogspot.com/p/the-big-e.html)