Monday, August 30, 2010

Let's go to the Ex: The Canadian National Exhibition

On Saturday I went to the Ex with some friends for the first time in probably 5 or 6 years.

The last time I can remember going was with my sister. It was fairly memorable because we went on the ride called The Zipper (warning: video contains a lot of screaming girls) and thought we were going to die.

Don't get me wrong, I love rides. And I'd been on the Zipper many a time before. On this particular occasion I think the maintenance guys (more polite than calling them carnies) had literally just walked away from our car with his oil can because our car did not stop flipping once. We flipped around and around and around and arround for the entire duration of our ride, picking up speed as we went.

"Robin?" I asked, unsure of our fate. "I think our car has detached itself from the ride. I think we're hurtling through the ex grounds to our death."

This is the obvious logical conclusion when the green-then-blue-then-green-then-blue field of vision blurs to the point you can no longer distinguish when you're seeing ground or sky.

We held hands and prepared for the worst.

Thankfully the car eventually lost momentum and we stopped spinning. We were able to walk away with our lives but, unfortunately, not without two terribly upset stomachs.

We used up our leftover tickets to hobble through a fun house like two girls who had gotten into the liquor cabinet in a bad way the night before.

Then we sat in the shade and when that didn't work either, we made our way to the streetcar to sit with plastic bags on our laps, just in case, until we got home.

That was the last time I was there.

I will never go on the Zipper again.

I did go on a few good rides with my friend Marion this time around though. Her husband is petrified of heights so she was happy for the ride companion. We did the Fire Ball, an upside down one that I have forgotten the name of, and the Starship - you know, the one where centrifugal force pushes you against the wall so that you can climb up it and hang upside down (am I that smart that I can throw out terms like 'centrifugal force' like it's something I say all the time? No. Wikipedia is my saving grace. I did know the word centripetal force, though, and it's somewhat opposite to centrifugal force. Point for me!).

There was an exhibit of photos that had been taken from the very first years that the Ex was open. I couldn't help but take a few pictures of those pictures.

I love old photographs like these.
And those sailor bathing suits? Where do I get my own???

We enjoyed some fair food, like ribs, pizza-on-a-stick (true story) and caramel corn. I really wanted a corn dog but there were none to be found inside the food building and I was too hungry to wander back out into the sea of people to grab one from a vendor.
Next time.
My male friends experienced a similar culinary letdown:
the line-up for the much hyped 'Deep Fried Butter' was deemed too long to be worth the wait.
Why can't those obese Americans learn from our healthy Canadian eating habits?

After wisely passing up the option to sample fat-fried-fat, I dragged my friends to the Direct Energy building where Chef Michael Smith was visiting!

For those of you who do not invest as much time in The Food Network as I do, he is the host of Chef at Home and Chef at Large. He has also competed (unsuccessfully) in Kitchen Stadium and is the proud author of a cookbook that I bought for John when he graduated from U of T.

I would like to quickly send a thank-you shout out to Danielle Rose who understood my excitement at seeing Michael Smith and for making me feel less like a food network weirdo by asking if Gabe was with him when I sent her a photo.
You complete me.

But I digress...
Marion and I managed to talk the boys into joining us on the Ferris Wheel.

We waited until the sun had almost set before we hopped on so that we could make the most of the amazing lights of the midway an dof the city.

This year's Ex visit was wonderful.
Expensive, yes, but what a wonderful way to spend a beautiful day with good food, fun activities, and great friends.

P.S. John handed in his thesis today so he is officially done his Masters degree!
I'm making turkey burgers with brie, bacon, and avocado for dinner with potato and sweet potato wedges. I also picked up a nice bottle of wine (cost more than my usual $12-or-less bottles) and a cookies and cream cupcake from The Cupcake Shoppe. I even set the table on the balcony all nicey-nice so that we can celebrate properly!
Expect pictures tomorrow.

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