The first few months of graduate school have kept me busy. Busier than I ever could have imagined. I’ve quickly had to come to terms with the fact that there’s more work to do than can possibly done. Sometimes, this means it can be hard to take time for myself. I haven’t gotten to explore my new home in Durham as thoroughly as I’d like, and nights off from school are a rare occurrence because of the constant threat of homework looming overhead.
Which is why, my recent visit to the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh with my husband was a rare treat! We spent a lovely Saturday afternoon exploring the fair, sampling ridiculously unhealthy food, and checking out some of the exhibits.
North Carolina’s first State Fair was held in 1853, and it’s been going strong ever since. Today, the fair lasts ten days and it attracts vendors from all over the state. This year, the fair installed its first permanent ride. The “State Fair Flyer” is a colorful chairlift that carries patrons from one end of the fairgrounds to the other. While we didn’t end up riding to it, we waved and smiled at a number of people as they passed overhead.
I spent my middle and high school years living in Wisconsin, so I’ve been to my fair share of state fairs, but I was impressed by just how many people there were from all around the state! As a Nic Schooler, sometimes it’s easy to forget that the world is made up of more than just students and professors! My husband and I wanted the full experience, so we made sure to try some of the fair’s “delicacies” including deep fried Oreos and chocolate covered cheesecake. (Calories don’t count when you’re in grad school, right?) And despite his protests about “sketchy carnival rides,” I made him ride the ferris wheel with me so that I could see the fair all lit up from above.
Even though I still have end-of-semester projects and papers hanging over my head, it was nice to take a break from all of the school work to explore a little bit of North Carolina. And until I find Hermoine’s time-turner, hopefully these weekend excursions will provide me with enough motivation to make it through these last few weeks of classes before finals.