First of all- the traffic getting there.  Good Grief!!!  That was nuts!  Sat in traffic for literally 2 hours to go about 2 and a half miles.  It was crazy.  Could have walked faster, but the problem was trying to find parking.  The way we went to the fairgrounds was through the U of M campus.  (thanks a lot GPS lady) Would never recommend that direction.  Just take 94 to Snelling and call it good.  Although yesterday that route was totally backed up as well, the fair is claiming new employees trying to direct traffic and getting it wrong.  They actually had control of the lights.  Awful.

Aleksandra Glustsenko

But after we finally parked; thanks to this guy who charged us $20 to park in an apt parking lot.  Not really sure that was actually ok with the apt people, but that's his problem I guess.  He was making bank if he gets away with this for the whole 12 days.  We ventured into the fair.  First stop- cheese curds.  In the food building.  Those are the best ones.  My niece, who was along admitted that yes, those were much better than the ones you can get at various stands at any other fair.

Then we headed to machinery hill.  Sweet Martha's Cookies have a brand new building there and they are able to bake 2000 cookies at one time and it takes only 9 minutes.  Amazing.  Also got to try a new beer.  Grain Belt has a crazy new blueberry flavor.  It's just ok.

Minnesota State Fair
Sweet Martha's Cookies
Laura Bradshaw/1037theloon.com

Moving on... MIDWAY!  I actually won at Skee Ball.  Just a little stuffed animal which will become a dog toy.  I was happy that I actually won something.  But then another carnie made fun of me saying "I would be so proud of that win!"  Whatever.  Went through the new attraction of the Haunted Mansion, or castle, or whatever it's supposed to be.  Stupidest thing ever.  The regular Haunted House/Mansion that isn't on the Midway is way better.  That's the one that has been there forever and is still super cool.  $4 and worth it.

Walked all over, tried many different foods, skipped the alligator, even though everyone else wanted to try it.  I'm like "you go first".  They didn't.

Checked out the fun stuff at the Grandstand.  Usually that place to so hot you need to get out immediately, but yesterday it wasn't bad at all.  Maybe because it was the first day and the weather wasn't too hot either.  Thank goodness.

Moved onto the animal barns.  Those piglets are so cute, and we got to see the tallest horses ever!!!  Oh my!  Use a ladder to clean, ride, hitch up to something, and whatever else you do with those horses.

River Raft Ride- you will get wet.  'Nuff said about that.

Wrapped up the day with some salt water taffy.  Only complaint about that- they should sell by weight and not by pieces.  Good grief!  Takes forever for them to count out the taffy.. Not the best route, but the taffy is delicious in many different flavors to choose from.

Minnesota State Fair
Taffy Laura Bradshaw/1037theloon.com

Headed out after that with sore feet and a feeling of satisfaction.  Now back to the car, hoping it's still there considering the apt parking lot we were in.... and there it was, safe and sound.  Still thinking that parking spot was a bit shady.  But now our problem.

All in all, a successful fair day.  11 more days of the fair, head on down and check it out.  Best one!