Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wonderland, rediscovered.

Trip*Day 9

Some things never change. Some towns. Some people.

One of the great ageless wonders for me, is the timeless, hilarious, and highly addictive product of the 1950's,
During the week in Neoga, Grandma got my kids completely hooked. They quickly learned what time it aired and were counting down the seconds each day until the familiar sound of the Desi Arnaz Orchestra began it's spirited theme. They laughed until they couldn't breathe. Literally.

I Love Lucy wasn't the only thing that wrapped our attention, however. The kids were constantly
Nevan, Mayzie, and Meeka watched and waited for their opportunity to put out new corn cobs for the visitors. They were kept fairly busy, just taking care of this
After I Love Lucy, the girls were getting antsy to go to the park. I left Nevan to watch Grandma, instructed him to call the cell phone if there were any problems, and took Mayzie and Meeka back to the park. Even though I had explained to them that the carnival didn't open until after dinner, I think they had secret hopes and ambitions that they would be riding rides and eating cotton candy. Instead they found the inanimate amusement rides and the same old play equipment that was there when I was their ages.

It was really muggy, so we didn't last very long at the park, but it was fun, nonetheless. We spent the afternoon cooking, and playing many, many more games of chess and checkers. But after supper, we were
We spun,

and rocketed,

and slid.

There were some rides that Meeka was too little for.
She looked on as Nevan and Mayzie rode with

I'm fairly certain that the rides at Neoga days have been supplied by the same group for many years. Even the layout this year was about the same as every year from my childhood memories. Clearly the multi-colored fencing was not a fashionable faux finish, but evidence of
Every person has their individual response to each ride. It could be
Or pure joy.

We were trying to get in as much fun as possible. We could see that there was a
It wasn't all rides and games... there were several refills of these, as well:
This was Meeka's first festival of this type that she was big enough to fully enjoy. She learned the ropes and was soon a professional
Of course, she was taught by the best.

It rained on us here and there,
We wouldn't be truly celebrating, if the evening didn't include

Sometimes we enjoyed it with a little too much enthusiasm.

Even though we had enjoyed some nice breezy evening hours, there was

Such is the nature of Illinois summer weather, soundtracked by the singing of,

While it rained, the whole town seemed to gather beneath the ramada. Because of the lightning, even the vendors were closed and taking shelter beneath the ramada.

We enjoyed watching the talent show, which included several singers, and a little girl imitating the dance moves of Michael Jackson. She was pretty good, too! Nevan was enthralled with watching the radar map that the DJ Announcer was tabbing. It looked somewhat like this:
Every few minutes the DJ would update us stating where locally tornadic activity was being monitored, and predicting exactly when the rain would let up for us. 15 more minutes, then 12, then 5, then 2, and like clockwork, it stopped exactly when he predicted it would. It was rather amazing.

The kids had each been given a crisp $5 bill from Shane's Grandma before we left Cincinnati. They had been itching to spend it for 48 whole hours. I told them that if they were going to buy anything, that they couldn't buy it until it was time to go home-- I didn't want to be stuck carrying it all night.
When the rain stopped we headed out for a few more rides. Within 15 minutes, the rain came back with a vengeance. The kids, desert-dwellers as they are, were finished battling it at this point. That said, they still wanted to spend their $5. They had been watching other kids with their carnival buys all night long. They knew exactly what they wanted.

I don't like to get overly involved with the kids spending money. I told the kids that they had to order and pay entirely on their own, and that I would not be supplementing their purses should they fall short in change. They were fine with that-- that's normal for this family.

Making a bee-line for the vendor, we found him just closing up shop, due to the rain. I guess my kids looked terribly disappointed because he offered to stay open just until they got what they wanted.

Nevan got this blue alien man for $5, which is funny because we had one identical to this only smaller when he was a baby and he wouldn't go in any room where that alien balloon was. He was SERIOUSLY freaked out by it. Just funny.

Meeka couldn't wait to purchase her $3 worth of crown jewels.
Then it was Mayzie's turn. Mayzie really wanted a stuffed puppy on a leash. She asked how much it was. The answer: $8. She looked back at me with a look of total disappointment. She walked around the tables, looking for something else. I heard the vendor ask her how much she had. She told him, and he said, "Well, I think $5 is a fair price for this pup!," pointing back at the puppy she had originally wanted so badly. Her eyes widened with surprise and she quickly traded her crisp fiver for it.
I stood at that point and walked over to the vendor. I told him that I would pay him the difference, but he said, "I made a deal with the girl, Mom, and I'm sticking to it!" I thanked him ever so much, and we were on our way. I love Neoga.


Elena said...

What a nice vendor. And I'm with "little Nevan"...stay out of rooms with creepy alien balloons! My brothers tried to tease me when I was little; they drew alien eyes on a balloon then stuck it in my room while I was sleeping. Scared the tar out of me when I woke up. That radar storm watching is pretty cool (as long as the tornado arrow stays away from me). Looks like you lived it up while in Neoga!

kchristner said...

Nice to see the vendor lived up to his bargain with Mayzie! There are still good people in the world--and you just never know where you'll find them :)

Heidi said...

I'm hormonal I know...but that vendor just made me cry.

Crazymamaof6 said...

seriously got teary over the end. LOVED IT! yay! love the treasures they got and love that vendor.

and the pic of Nevan in the rocket. is FREAKING AWESOME!

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