As if the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) have any correlation between the end of summer and the beginning of fall. For some reason, this fair that began in 1879 has grown and hosted millions of people each year. The CNE opens its gates the third week of August for two weeks; and ends on Labour day, the first Monday in September.
This year I had a chance to go with a group of friends. There were opportunities to shop for basically anything one could think of, clothes, furniture, arts and crafts, cultural artifacts, spas, kitchenwares and more. There were opportunities to play games to win teddy bears which is a mark of any fair. But what mostly had our attention were the rides. All of us twenty-somethings were running around from ride to ride, pairing up with each other with no particular order, and brimming with excitement as the hours pass. No set curfew except that closing hours was at midnight. We spent the first few hours walking around- getting side tracked by games and food and the difficult decision of whether or not to get an All-Day rides pass or to purchase tickets. In the end majority of us purchased the pass and set to riding. The first two left my head spinning like a merry-go-round and my stomach twirling from side to side. Those rides zapped the fun out of me and I wasn’t the only one. Two of us were so affected by the ride-virus which left us sauntering from side to side feeling like we had a bad case of the hangovers. We told our other friends to ride on without us as we found our way to a food cart. My friend ordered chicken wings and fries with a drink and I thought that all I needed was a small cup of $3 coke. In no time the coke was done, when it only began to ease the headaches. My friend shared his wings with me as we found a seat on a ledge in the middle of all the excitement. We just hoped our friends would find us. The thought of spending $38 for a pass and only going on two rides didn’t sit well with me either so I needed to get better fast!
When our other friends came back grinning from ear to ear from all the fun they were having without us, we got up and left with them, a bucket of chicken wings in hand. When they saw other rides they wanted to go on, we watch them skip along together and there I was, hoping that I’ll feel better soon. I decided, no more spinning rides. Their ride ends and we move on. When we saw drop zone, we dropped everything and took off to the gates and found seats next to each other- it’s late so no line ups. At the beginning of that ride, everything is great. It’s when the realization of the impact of this dumb decision kick in when I’m already more than halfway to the top and there’s no way to come down that the nerves begin to go bizerk. My shrieks of “Oh NO” “HELP” is practically useless at this altitude. And the worse feeling when we reach the top, and literally pause up there. Waiting for what? ..our nerves to scream for more help that isn’t coming?! And then the ride lets us go and our mouths are open but no scream or noise is coming out, except our stomachs seem to literally feel empty. It ends and I gather my stomach and my head. Some of the guys ran back for seconds; me, I had enough. Suddenly, I no longer felt sick.
On again and off again like children we roam around on rides. When it was now midnight we gathered for food, funnel cakes of course. I won’t get into the funnel cake details but what was great was sitting together on picnic benches enjoying each other’s presence, laughing about the coarseness of the funnel cake while at the same time sticking our forks into each other’s plates, to see who had the better funnel cake. We had security tell us the park was closed which was how we ended up leaving the park mins to 1′ 0 clock, but not before group pictures. That was an awesome night at the CNE. Say Cheese!