The drive to The Big E is an experience in itself. The fairgrounds, crammed into the rural section of West Springfield, is surrounded by one lane roads and car dealerships. The sights driving into the fair are magnificent, including the tenth Payless Shoes and McDonalds that we passed.
However, the intolerable drive becomes understandable when you actually get to the fair. For it is true that The Big E is one of the coolest spectacles in New England. Everything there is designed to please the senses and delight the inner child. People gripe about the "Better Living Center" and it's miles upon miles of infomercial products, but I actually think it's cool to see all these products up close. The desperate salespeople trying to make their quotas is also a nice treat.
Of course, my favorite part is eating my way through the fair. No Big E experience is complete without a trip through the state buildings and the food therein. Maine is perhaps the greatest with their delectable baked potato and salmon, but New Hampshire fudge is also amazing. Massachusetts does some fantastic seafood, while Rhode Island's Clam Chowder in a sourdough bread bowl is one of a kind. There was also some fantastic puddings in the Vermont house and one can never forgot the famous Connecticut steak-umms.
That's right, steak-umms. For while other states were supplying fairgoers with delicious, homemade food, Connecticut felt what best represented it was microwaveable beef. There were even fun facts about steak-umms, such as who invented them and so on.
Yes, I checked and they definitely weren't "invented" in Connecticut.
I applaud you home state of mine and your delightful willingness to suggest to outsiders that we really just don't have time to cook. We need a dinner that's done in a minute, popping hot and gooey out of the microwave. Next year I hope you can snag the elusive Hot Pockets license for your display of food.
I feel kind of heavy now, so I'm off to pay respects to my lady love, the spinning instructor. Is it appropriate to wear cologne while riding a bike?