Deep Fried Everything: The Orange County Fair

OC FAIR HEADER


Where: The Orange County Fair
Location: 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa
Cost: $3.00 (before 11:00am); $12.00 general admission


There are a few rituals that I have yet to conquer to truly make it feel like summer. At the top of that list, spending a lazy day at the beach with a good book. Luckily, that’s on the agenda this weekend!

It wasn’t until I found myself at the Orange County Fair a few weekends ago, that it started to feel more like an authentic American summer! Not that I go every year, but there’s something about being out in the sunshine, slathered in sunscreen, around deep friend everything (and I mean everything: Snickers bars, Twinkies, Oreos, butter….yes, deep friend butter…I don’t even know how that works); while people watching, walking the endless miles of vendor booths, listening to live music, and spying on the animals that channel the inner workings of summertime.

Goat ATG FINAL{Sorry to interrupt lunch, but you’re a cutie!}

OC FAIR ANIMALS 1 ATG FINAL{Boy, did I feel for this little lady. Please excuse the number of butts in your face so early in the post.}

Pig Races ATG FINAL{Prepping for the pig races.}

We’ve traveled together to the LA County Fair on the site, but never made the approximate 36 mile journey south to check out the festivities in Orange County (affectionately now forever known as “The O.C.” thanks to Warner Bros. Television, circa 2003).

I’ve only been to the L.A. County Fair twice in my life. And while each have their own unique pros and cons (I found a great article from last year comparing and contrasting “which is the fairest of them all?”), of the two venues, I have a fondness toward The O.C.

I’ve shared that I’m native to Southern California, hence my eternal devotion to sunshine and overall “wuss-iness” toward cold weather. However, to be more specific, though I grew up in L.A. for the first 10 years of my life, I consider The O.C. my hometown because I spent my more formative years (a.k.a. the time in my life I actually remember most) there. I remember going to the Orange County Fair during summers as a kid. I don’t recall it being every single summer, but enough that whenever I’m there, I feel a part of my childhood with me once again.

So what fun, after a 4-year hiatus since returning home, to head back to my old stomping grounds – looking for that summertime feeling!

Hangar ATG FINAL

OC Fair Rides ATG FINAL

OC FAIR RYAN ATG FINAL

I tried to behave myself and not go overboard on the sweets or the deep fried anything (I know, I know…who goes to the fair and resists part of the fun in actually going?). Instead, I used the time to simply take it all in, enjoying a lazy Saturday with my favorite person.

Maui Chicken ATG FINAL{My indulgence. Finally tried the famous Maui Chicken: teriyaki chicken, rice, and chunks of pineapple, in a hollowed out pineapple shell.}

Maui Chicken Done ATG FINAL{10 minutes later.}

Food Stand ATG FINAL{Given the options, I chose about as healthy as you could get.}

Going to The O.C. Fair again was like going back to your old middle school. It somehow felt much smaller than you recall. It hasn’t changed so much as you have. And perhaps because my last adventure into the world of deep fried everything found me at the LA venue at almost 340 acres larger – the scale in comparison would look different to my now adult eyes in contrast to my childhood memories; but my heart (however mushy that sounds), hasn’t changed perspective much at all. It’s still just a good time.

Crafters Village ATG FINAL{Strolling through the merchant booths in the Crafters Village.}

Garden ATG FINAL{Strolling through the gardens, learning about the crops.}

Fruit Growers ATG FINAL

This doesn’t necessarily mean I won’t find myself at the L.A. County Fair when it starts later this month to take advantage of that missed opportunity to finally indulge in a deep fried Twinkie. This must be why the universe has both events run so close together.

Eat ATG FINAL{…but mostly people just go to EAT…ALL DAY LONG!}

The Orange County fair ends this Sunday, August 10th.

The L.A. County Fair starts August 29th and ends September 28th.

Scene ATG FINAL

Blog Signature Official_FINAL


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How I Plan to Spend My Summer Vacation

They say youth is wasted on the young. I might also add so are summer vacations. Three months of complete carefree freedom – no bills, no big worries other than your new first day of school outfit, and plenty of opportunities to sleep during a time when 3 months seemed like a really long time. I find that as I get older, I hear myself saying “rent is due again!” more and more frequently.

Year after year of the famed summer vacation as a kid through my college years was always welcomed, though became more and more complicated as I got older (insert summer job/responsibility here), but likely nothing compared to what a summer vacation would look like today as an adult if I had 3 entire months to do whatever, whenever I wanted.

What once was an endless day doing arts and crafts at the Boys & Girls Club when I was 10, ironically would be similar, but on a yacht in the middle of the Mediterranean. I’d still read books, veg in front of the TV for hours while eating incessantly (not gaining a pound, of course) with the caveat being that I would be in the middle of a 3 month tour of Europe, and this was just how I would choose to unwind after a day exploring the city.

While I’m grateful for being steadily employed, I won’t let a little thing like a full-time job prevent me from having the summer of my life. While I won’t be in the middle of the Mediterranean making art collages, nor will I be stuffing my face with pasta all day while watching re-runs of Friends dubbed in Italian during my European adventure, I do have big plans to enjoy the California sunshine, explore the time of year that LA really comes alive, and make collages all summer long…for my blog. In fact, here’s one now…

How I Plan to Spend My Summer Vacation

How I plan to spend summer

Picnics. Outdoor movies/Cinespia. On the beach. Under the stars at the Hollywood Bowl. Hiking. Reading. At the movies. Yoga. Farmers’ markets. Eating cupcakes. Museums. Blogging. Milkshakes. Bookstores. Fruity inspired everything. LA County Fair. Drive-ins. My favorite grilled cheese joint. Iced lattes, lattes, lattes! A weekend getaway with my guy, place: TBD. The beach again.

…And exploring my beloved LA as much as I can.

Happy Summer!

🙂

Deep Fried Everything: The LA County Fair

Location: 1101 West McKinley Avenue, Pomona

A great way to appreciate the last few weeks as the summer season winds down (at least according to the calendar, but not the weather gods and/or global warming) is a day among animals, carnival rides, shopping booths, cotton candy, BBQ pits, and deep fried everything. This past Saturday, we made our way out to the Pomona Fairplex and braved 93 degrees of sunshine to enjoy the LA County Fair.

{Thanks to Groupon we got a buy one, get one free deal. FYI – tickets are $17 each. Not sure why they said $5.95.}

Since I knew that we were going out to dinner later that night, I did my best to indulge lightly. A few spoonfuls of my boyfriend’s vanilla bean ice cream, a sip of his lemonade, followed by the heart attack waiting to happen from the best chili cheese fries ever! In retrospect, I wish I had at least tried the deep fried Oreos, but felt that I did well under the given circumstances.

{The fist station I saw when I entered the grounds.}

Luckily, before all the eating began (though not much later) we started the day with a trip through the farm to meet and greet the animals. What a sight to see a pig feeding their young! Who knew they just climbed and fought all over each other, looking for the prized milk source, and go to town as poor mom just lay there? So anxious were those little guys!

{Animals, animals, animals.}

From there, the day became a special mixture of walking around the grounds, people watching, trying to decide what to eat because the options were endless, looking for shade when we needed a break, walking through special exhibitions; and browsing around the shopping buildings filled with booths from hundreds of vendors, ranging from the cheapest looking of jewelry to purchasing a new hot tub. (Apparently, people actually go the fair to remodel their homes?)

{Food, food, food.}

{Rides, rides, rides.}

5 hours later, I was LA County Fair’d out (in a good way)! As the day went on, it got more crowded and warmer; and while I loved being there, I wanted nothing more than a chair, a solid healthy meal, consistent air-conditioning, and a shower!

We finished the night at Osteria Coppola a small Italian restaurant in Sherman Oaks, and was I ever excited to see their insalata mista (aka salad) and a fresh-baked chicken lasagna sitting in front of me. It was the first time I had a vegetable all day. It was the perfect way to top-off a perfect LA day!

{Insalata Mista.}

{Chicken Lasagna.}