Monday, September 29, 2008

A Rainy Day at the Big E

A couple of months ago, I won tickets to the Fergie concert on the last night of the Big E (a.k.a. the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, MA). The tickets also included admission to the Big E, so we held out until the last day (yesterday) to go at all. The morning started out dreary, but then the sun came out, so we thought it might turn out to be a decent Big E day after all.

We arrived mid-afternoon and made our way around, sampling delights along the way. Yes, it is all about the food! First was the corn dog (hadn't had one in years, had to try it). Then we sat down for a beer and some munchies in the Sam Adams Beer Garden. We moved on to the Avenue of States, checking out the food and wares of companies and organizations from each of the 6 eastern states included in the Big E (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island).

Mr. valleywriter had some Connecticut kettle corn and we both enjoyed a Massachusetts creamy cone. The popcorn and ice cream were OK, but I don't think they played to each state's culinary forte quite like the Maine baked potatoes did. The line for the those was at least 75 people long, so I have to imagine they were good, but honestly all I could think was "Geez - it's only a potato!"

(Yes, all these people really are in line for a potato.)

By this time, we were stuffed and needed to walk it off. We had a 3 hours to go before the concert and I really wanted a Big E cream puff, so I had 3 hours to make room. We roamed around the midway and checked out the various displays and exhibits.

For the most part, the crowd seemed smaller than the last time we'd come to the Big E, probably thanks to it being the last day. But while we were in the Better Living Center laughing at quite a few ridiculous "As Seen on TV" products, we suddenly noticed the crowd was swelling. And then we noticed everyone was wet. Ugh - it was raining.

And it kept on raining as we dodged to other buildings in an attempt to stay dry and hold out to see if the rain would stop in time for the concert. Between the bouts of rain dodging and complaining, we did manage to see the Clydesdale horses, a few goats, some sheep, a little piglet having a snack, 2 alpacas and some baby chicks that had just hatched. (And a partridge in a pear tree... OK, so maybe not that.)

Unfortunately all the rain and walking got my joints acting up, so about an hour before the concert started, we decided to bag it. We agreed we're getting too old to be standing out at a concert in the rain anyway. I still wanted that cream puff, so we hunted for it on our way out. On the way, we got to see the parade go by, which somewhat randomly included a Star Wars contingent. (A sight to which I cried out in what will likely go down as my nerdiest statement ever "Ooh! Storm troopers!")

By the time we found our gate, we were soaked, our feet hurt and the cream puffs remained elusive. I reluctantly gave up the hunt and told Mr. valleywriter we could go home. Next year, little cream puffs, next year.

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