Cousin Camp and The Iowa State Fair 2016...

For the 3rd year in a row, we planned for the 4 oldest Port cousins to meet at Nana and Papa's for a few days and then we would meet up and go to the Iowa State Fair as a group.   We got a few pictures from cousin camp.  The kids all slept in Nana and Papa's new basement bedroom complete with a trundle/queen bunk bed...yes that's right folks - 4 beds in one and pretty much amazing to kids!  They all took turns sleeping in different spots and each got a turn since they were there 4 nights!  They can't wait to repeat their slumber party at thanksgiving!  They went to Living History Farms, The Science Center, out to dinner at Zombie Burger, Hardee's and Chick Fil-A and made it to YUMZ, the froyo place in town.  It's a summer favorite for our kids especially with their 2 favorite cousins, Grace and Lance!  They also came home with new hooded towels they sewed with Nana and 2 bird houses they built and painted with Papa!

Bubbles at the Science Center
Working hard at the Science Center
Meanwhile, Lucy hung with us (you have to be potty trained and mostly nap free to attend ;).  I worked on her shopping stamina and we got a lot of to do items marked off that we had let slip all summer long (like the blog).  
She's a great shopping partner!  She doesn't ask for anything...
 Then on Friday night, we met back up to celebrate Papa's birthdays with Fong's pizza and the next morning headed out early to the Iowa State Fair.  We have establish a nice little route we take through the fair.  We normally arrive shortly before 9am and wrap up just in time to grab some food for dinner and head out around 6pm...we are all tuckered out with sore feet by then!  Our first stop is always Little Hands on the Farm! They plant and harvest different crops, then take them to market and buy a little treat at the grocery store.
Planting their crops
The Malin and Port cousins
Riding the tractor... 
Lucy picked an apple with Papa...
 Next stop is to the Agriculture building...the butter cow, egg on a stick, some kid activities and honey lemonade!
Sharing some honey lemonade as a family!
After the agriculture building, we stop by the park to let the kids play for a minute (also known as the place where Vera wondered off at the age of 2, oh my word!).  We kept an eye on everyone and then headed up to the Multicultural building to see the doll house exhibit.  We each voted for our favorite before determining it was time to head to the Cattleman's quarters for walking tacos and beef sundaes!  We try to catch it early before the big crowds...and then we like to stop by the model train exhibit and take a ride on the BIG slide 2 times.  
The BIG slide is a fan favorite for sure!
 Then its time to head to the alma mater, 4H building for some working exhibits and checking out all the cool handmade projects.  The kids love the activities and we spend a good chunk of time there while Jude and Lucy took a "nap"!

Then off to the Varied Industries building for a big bucket of chocolate chip cookies, ran into some fraternity brothers of Scott's and checked out the green screen photo booth at the ISU area.

A few "green screen" photos of the motley and tired crew!

And before we knew it, it was time to each grab what we wanted for dinner - I had the Iowa wrap (YUMMY!) at a vendor, Solon had a corn dog and the rest had pork at the pork tent.  

Port Family -- Iowa State Fair 2016

Another great year at our great state fair!