Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Happy State of A Fair, Part 1 - Sun., Oct. 16, 2016

Saturday night about 6:30 p.m., after a ten-hour workday for me, Bob and I headed to Dallas, Texas (4-1/2 hours north) in our car. Saturday morning, Bob had done his 18-mile marathon training run, and he went to work for a while too.

Needless to say, we were both rather tired and cranky as we pulled out of San Antonio Saturday evening. Dinner was first on our agenda. Both of us thought Costco's fast food sounded good, except we forgot Costco closes early on Saturday night. Plan B was to find other fast food close to the freeway. We ended up at Kentucky Fried Chicken. 

After dinner we drove and drove, arriving at our motel in Dallas at about 11:15 p.m. We made a quick trip to Walmart. 

Were we in the Twilight Zone? Never had an experience THAT bad at Walmart before. The checkers were like zombies, no greeting, no smile, nothing. They just stared at us. It wasn't just our checker, every checker we walked by on the way out was the same way with their customers. Couldn't get out of there fast enough.

In the morning, we didn't get breakfast on our way to the Texas State Fair so we decided to eat at the fair. Parking was $15 and adult admissions were $14 each. That did not include rides. The lines to get into the parking lots were long and took a while to make it through the gate

Once inside, the first thing that caught our eye was the Chevy Ride & Drive. This is a test drive track where you can try out 2017 Chevy trucks and cars. In another section of the fairgrounds, Nissan had a test drive area as well. 

Bob and I were amazed by how many auto and truck dealers had exhibits both inside exhibit halls and outside at truck zones. Our conclusion: Texans love their rides. I'd say one-third of the fair was devoted to vehicle exhibits/sales.

For breakfast we didn't immediately see anything "breakfasty." I thought sharing a turkey leg sounded good. Bob wasn't enthused. I was going to get one but they weren't ready at 10:30 am. We took that as a sign we should eat something else. (We decided today would be a food cheat day, meaning we could eat whatever we wanted, but we would share each item.)

In our fair guidebook, lists of award-winning fair food took up two pages. We chose the 2016 Best Taste 2nd place winner: Caribbean Pineapple Korn-A-Copia. This concoction is a hollowed-out half pineapple with grilled shrimp inside one end, grilled chicken inside the other end, and rice in the middle. That is topped with corn-cilantro salsa and a few pineapple chunks on the side. I ate the shrimp since Bob is allergic to it, and he had the chicken. We shared the rice and pineapple. Mmmmm! Great breakfast. 

Caribbean Pineapple Korn-A-Copia
After breakfast, we people-watched on the Midway and I photographed a few of the thrill rides. (No, we didn't go on any.)
Techno Power
Looking down the Midway
Exterior decor at the Scary Park ride
On the Rock It ride below, there is a long arm that swings up and down between the inverted V support. The cars at the end of the arm spin. When the arm gets all the way to the top of its arc, the people in the cars hang upside down for a few seconds before it finishes it swing. That thing was tall...probably two-three stories tall.

Rock It ride with Cotton Bowl in the background
New York, New York walk-through fun house
Windsurf ride
From the Midway, we headed over to see animals in the farmyard. If you've never seen a Texan longhorn up close, here's a few photos to help you visualize how huge they are.   

Be sure to give them lots of room.
Love the sign: "Please respect my space."
Fun facts about longhorns
 Below is a Frizzle rooster. He's gorgeous.

We watched kids pedal tractor pulls, tried to see horses but their barn was empty, looked at goats and cows, went to the Lone Star Stampede Show, then headed over to the Creative Arts Building (my favorite!). 
Kids pedal tractor pull
Kudos to the little girl doing the tractor pull
Another star of the fair (besides the Texas star), is the architecture. Per the Fair Guide, "many of the buildings and artwork...were created for the Texas Centennial Exposition...held from June 6 to November 29, 1936. During the Depression-era exhibition, more than 6.3 million people visited the park, including President Franklin Delano Roosevelt."

I am especially fond of Art Deco and these fairgrounds are loaded with art from that era. You'll see more examples in one of my next blogs.
The Texas Woofus
(see explanation below)

The Woofus from the front
Steer judging
Texas golf cart
The temperature was heating up and we were sweating. The Lone Star Stampede was about to begin, so we took seats in the arena and waited. No air conditioning in the arena, though we were inside (in shade).
Lasso demonstration
The cowboy below was riding standing up with one foot on each horse. The two horses he was standing on were different heights. He was really good!

Bareback riding while standing up
He had six horses;the two he's standing on
are different heights.
Bringing in the longhorns
Another lasso artist
Hopi hoop dancer
Hopi hoop dancer
Because this blog is already long, I'm going to turn this into two or three blogs. It has taken me a while to write this as I'm currently working five, ten-hour days which started last Wednesday and ends tomorrow. I only had one day off in between returning home from the fair and starting my long work week. 

To be continued in the Creative Arts Building... 

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