Every kid has to experience those Mini Donuts at the PNE!  

This year did not disappoint for all things nostalgic.  I don’t think I’ve missed many PNE fairs over my lifetime.  Growing up on the East side, a stone’s throw from the Pacific National Exhibition, my parents always took us every year. Back then, I recall the smash’em up derbies at night and the lumberjack show. These things I think are no more, but ah well. 
My kiddos love to see the Superdogs and it’s practically the first thing we catch after we enter the fair grounds.  This year, instead of the Peking Acrobats, we stuck around the barn to watch the pig races for the first time.  Um. No offense to pig lovers, but we won’t be doing that again.  
Bebe bugged us relentlessly to go on the rickety old wooden rollercoaster.  I recall in my youth going on the rollercoaster 8 times consecutively. Hee. It was a teenage thing to do and there was absolutely no lineup so we really got a good adrenalin rush.  Since Bib’s only 6, she and Stomach went on the kiddie rides.  It is my duty as the less centrifugally-challenged parent to go on all the big rides.  So we did.  It was fantastically quick but a wickedly great ride.  Afterwards, we caught up with them and spotted Stomach riding with Bib in the helicopter ride.  Lol. The look on his face.  
An outing out to the PNE is never complete without the requisite cheap, hole in the wall Chinese food to end the day.  We went to Penny’s on E. Hastings (I can’t count the number of times my parents had ordered out and eaten in here in my youth).  Not much has changed here.  The same red naugahyde metal chairs, the same humongous menus.  Stomach exclaimed after our meal of Bok choy with squid, scallops and prawns; Chow mein with gailan and beef; Vegetable egg foo yung (my fave childhood dish–comfort food!)…”gee, we should eat on the Eastside more often.”  Yah. No kidding.  The portions are huge compared to the dinky West side or Richmond portions.  Read: *cheap*.
So we decided right then and there to make more frequent outings back to my Eastside roots on a regular basis for shopping and food.  My plan is to hit: Penny’s or Koko’s for grub, Gourmet Warehouse, Fujiya and Santa Barbara market on The Drive. 
Good times. 
The PNE is the signpost that Labour Day–the saddest holiday in the calendar–is around the corner and Fall is fast approaching. You can practically hear the collective wistful sigh of children and imagine the heave of relief of parents across the country.


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