Sunday, October 10, 2010

Texas State Fair....The Big Tex!

It was a beautiful day in this part of Texas and Peg and I had planned on going to the Texas State Fair in Dallas. We had heard so much about it we felt we would be missing something if we did not show our faces there. Peg's nephew James and friend Mark suggested we drive to Mark's house and we could pick them up and head to the train station. We would take the train directly to the entrance to the fairgrounds. Since they wanted $15+ to park a car and only $4.50 each for the train ride, we felt it was more convenient to ride the train. We heard some folks had to wait almost an hour to park once arriving at the grounds because of all the traffic.

The drive down to Dallas was fine and taking the train was a good move. We actually took two trains to get to the State Fairgrounds but you could ride all day for the $4.50 fair. The train was a bit crowded but we managed to squeeze in and found ourselves at the front gate with many other people. The line moved quickly though.

We headed for the car show first since it was the first thing on our route. Mark was looking for a new pick-up truck so we wandered through the massive indoor display. I had my eye on a forest green Viper (pictured) but the $80,000 price tag brought me back down to earth.

It was almost lunchtime so we headed for the food court and the fried everything. Yes, the Texas State Fair is known for its fried food...fried coke, fried moon pies, fried lemonade, fried coffee, fried smores, fried frito pie, fried beer, fried magaritas and almost anything else you might have a hankerin' for fried! We opted for some of the world famous corn dogs on a stick...tastee!

Next it was time for the dog show in one of the arenas. The dogs dove into a pool, caught frizbee's and raced over barriers. We ate our corn dogs and watched the show. Next we visited a John Deere display and Peg standing next to one of the units shows just how big those tractors can be!

We moseyed on over to the horse arena and watched a show performed by a horse whisperer. He trains horses that they take in when no one wants the horse or when a horse can not easily be trained. t was a good show but we were in the direct sun so we were ready for some shade when the show was over.

We headed for the 4-H barns and saw the horses, cows goats and Longhorn cattle, like this one. Pretty wild rack of horns this guy had. Would not want to be in an open field with him!

Another building had model railroad trains running through flowers in a hot house type atmosphere. Also in that building was a pumpkin carver. He was no ordinary carver as you can see by the picture I shot as he was telling his story and carving large pumpkins. Some pretty cool designs!

Next we entered the amusement ride area and James wanted Peg and I to go on the ferris wheel. This is one of the big attractions of the Texas State Fair. We had enough tickets left for one of us so I told Peg she could go. Not a hard decision on my part. By the way, tickets are used to purchase everything at the fair. That way, the merchants do not have actual money to deal with and I am sure that keeps any potential robberies to a minimum.

Here are a couple of shots Peg took from the ferris wheel. I think she and James got one non-stop revolution on the wheel after everyone was loaded and that was it. The entire process of standing in line waiting to get on the ferris wheel to when they got off took about 45 minutes! I guess it was worth it to say you did it. One photo is James and Peg on the ferris wheel and the other is a birds-eye view of the City of Dallas and some of the fairgrounds.

By the way, for those of you not familiar with the fairgrounds, we walked right around the famous Cotton Bowl stadium where the Texas Cowboys play football.

This is an addition to this post I almost forgot about. Actually, it was the highlight of our visit to the fair. We went to the bird show at the amphitheater and it was fantastic! I tried to included a video clip from the show for you to watch, but blogger would not accept it! Sorry about that...They did have some beautiful birds big and small.  The Condor had a 10 foot wingspan and if flew into the audience, not by design, and them walked to the stage! Wow, a few people were a bit frightened when it landed. They said that never happened before. I thought it was pretty cool! The show was well worth going to.

It was pretty late by the time we got back home. We went to dinner at Luby's in Dallas and then drove back to McKinney. We can now say we have been to the Texas State Fair!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Octoberfest/Fondu At Dave and Marie's

Dave and Marie came back into town (McKinney) for doctors appointments and we got together a few times for some fun and relaxation. I am combining two events here because I want to get these online and it is a little quicker!

First we traveled to downtown McKinney for the big Octoberfest celebration. The square was filled with music, dancing and of course, drinking! Rain was threatening, but it held off while we were there. Dave and I sampled some of the German beer and Peg and Marie partook of the wine. As you can see, there were German dancers and an umpa band ringing music into the air. Looked like everyone was having a good time. We also walked around, visited a few shops and took in the whole event.

While we were watching the dancing, I noticed a sign on the light pole stating that McKinney was voted the 5th best place to live in the country by Money Magazine. I guess we chose a good area...or did it choose us?

About a week later we were invited to Dave and Marie's motorhome, which was parked at the Lighthouse RV Park in Melissa, TX about 7 minutes from MCD. We were treated to a cheese fondu which Peg and I don't remember ever having! It was tasty and add some wine, sausage and good conversation and it was a really good night. So nice to see Dave and Marie again. Since we are a little off the beaten path, it helps to have friends visit occasionally. We'll see what other trouble we can get into in the next couple of weeks that they are here...