The past weekend, I made a special trip home to go to the NC State Fair in Raleigh. I know I’ve mentioned it on here before but the State Fair is a staple part of fall for me. Growing up only 30 minutes away from the fairgrounds allowed me to go every single year as a kid. My parents were super cool and use to let us skip a day of school to go to the fair on a weekday to avoid the weekend chaos. So, wonderful memories surround it for me. Here are a few things in my opinion make it such a wonderful experience.

1. The Prize Winning Pumpkins. These amaze me every single year. How is it possible to grow something that huge in the same patch as regular size pumpkins?? I mean, what do you do differently? I’m not a farmer so I don’t know. But it’s pretty freakin awesome if you ask me!

2. The People Watching. There are people in the state of North Carolina who only come out of the hills twice a year. And the State Fair is one of them. I love to watch people. It fascinates me. It’s the Sociology minor in me, I guess.

3. The Atmosphere. There is nothing like walking around in the fall weather with your scarf around your neck listening, sipping a cup of apple cider, smelling the different foods, hearing the sound of the rides, people screaming and laughing as they get spun around, seeing the lights come on as it gets dark…I could go on and on.

4. The Novelty Vendors. The fair is the only place where you can buy Maple Syrup Cotton Candy, a Rod Iron Dinner Bell, and a SHAM WOW in the same place. It’s fun to walk through the buildings, see the different vendors and the things they’re selling, admire the craftmanship of the handmade items and the ingenuity behind the latest frying pan. Random but fun none the less.

5. I saved the best for last. THE FOOD. It’s no secret that this is why I really love the fair. I ate healthy all week before going to the fair for the simple reason that I wanted to enjoy myself! As a kid, it was all about the rides. As a teenager, it was all about walking around with my boyfriend holding hands. As an adult, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FOOD! I won’t go  into detail about the 9 or 10 different things I ate in a  4 hour period but I will tell you this, I hit all the major fair food groups. Dinner (i.e. some sort of protien). Fried vegetable. Fried Dough. Dessert on a Stick. And Hot Beverage. I also may have partaken in some other foods in between which hit one  or more of the fair food groups. Needless to say, I am hitting the gym hard again this week! It was totally worth it though. It’s officially fall to me!