Texas report

/ Tuesday 30 November 2010 /
We had a wonderful time in the Dallas area, visiting family for American Thanksgiving.  Our hotel was near a little town called Grapevine.
We were also just down the road from the Gaylord Texan resort, so we went in there to see it all dressed up for Christmas.  Oh my word!
plus-sized ornaments
mariachi band at the Gaylord Texan
Watch out for the wicked witch!
Gingerbread cowboy boot!
I loved these shotgun shell Christmas lights!
only in Texas
It was great to be with family.  My Aunt June loved the Christmas wreath that I made for her.  I almost didn't do it, because I was so busy with work in the days leading up to our trip, plus I felt so guilty for working on something besides all the bee blocks I have in arrears.  But I'm so glad I did it - it made her so happy to have something made by her late sister.  Within the last four years, my aunt has lost her husband and the younger of her two sons - both of pancreatic cancer - and her sister (my mother).  She up and left everything in Tennessee - too many memories - and moved to be near her son in Texas.  I was thrilled to hear that she has been keeping company with a gentleman, a rancher who wears cowboy boots, of course!  My cousin's eldest son had just been married, so we got to welcome his lovely bride into the family.  We did puzzles, played Scrabble, watched Dallas lose to New Orleans, and ate loads of delicious food.
deep-fried turkey
We got lost just about everywhere we went.  My husband says it's because the roads weren't signposted particularly well, but I wonder if we are just getting older and more decrepit.  Next time we are definitely getting a GPS unit with our rental car.  However, one place we did not get lost was the Grapevine Mills Mall, which was right across the parking lot from our hotel.  Eve and I decided we would participate in the great American tradition known as Black Friday by hitting the stores at midnight on Friday morning. It was deadly, trying to stay awake when we were stuffed full of turkey, but once we got there, we perked right up.  We shopped until about 3am.  It was pretty busy!  But the mood was fun and festive - I couldn't see any of the desperation that you hear about with pushing and shoving to get bargains.  I wasn't really shopping for anything - paying duty and overweight luggage surcharges act as a counterbalance to all but the most astounding Black Friday deals.  However, my daughter certainly did quite well.  Nevertheless, we both agreed that we were glad we had done it, but that it doesn't bear repeating!
Ft. Worth Stockyards
We also went to the Stockyards in Ft. Worth and dined at Cattlemen's Steakhouse before taking in the rodeo!  We peeked into the bar at the Stockyards Hotel, but we were in too big a hurry to take advantage of the bucket of Buffalo Butt Beer.
Bar of the Stockyards Hotel, Ft. Worth
This handsome fellow is Elvis, and he was the mount of the current Miss Fort Worth Championship Rodeo.  He had an important job to do at the beginning of the rodeo as the crowd sang the national anthem.
National Anthem
The events at the rodeo included bull riding, calf roping, barrel riding, and a crazed event where hundreds of children chased a sheep around the ring, trying to remove a tag from its tail in order to claim a prize.
At the rodeo
These guys are so much bigger in real life than they seem on television!
Star attraction
I never figured myself for a girl who goes for cowboys, but some of these guys......!
Bull riders getting ready
And they start young!  My pal Jennifer clued me in that the letters on his sleeve probably stand for Professional Bull Riding instead of Pabst Blue Ribbon, which is what I thought!
Junior cowman
These fellows had to stay on the bull for 8 seconds in order to get on the scoreboard.  It doesn't seem like much time, but most of them didn't qualify.  Those bulls were pretty angry!

Bull riding
Bull riding
Barrel riding was the women's event.  These women had to race their horses around each of three barrels and back to end of the ring.  The best times of the evening were less than 15 seconds.

It was an exciting evening!  A glimpse into another world - far from the university where I spend most of my time, for sure!
Isaac's new boots
I did make it to a small quilt shop in Carrollton, TX, but I will tell you about that in another post.  For now, I will leave you with this video of bull riding!


{ Sarah Craig } on: 1 December 2010 at 07:56 said...

I'm so glad you had fun on your Texas visit! We have the original Gaylord (Opryland!) here, and it is definitely something to see at Christmas time. And the best time to experience Black Friday (particularly at a "Mills") is when you don't particularly have any shopping to do - then you can just people watch and enjoy the festive atmosphere!!

{ Dee } on: 1 December 2010 at 08:32 said...

With family in the Austin area, I consider myself a Texan by marriage! LOL It's a huge land with wide open skies and vistas! Cowboy hats and boots on everyone!

The pictures you took are amazing and I'm so glad we Yanks were polite to all y'all whilst you were here!

Thanks for sharing your vacation with us. It looks like it was an amazing time!

{ Jennifer } on: 1 December 2010 at 10:24 said...

Ok, so you were in my almost exact neck of the woods! Grapevine is so fun and the Gaylord is one of our family's holiday traditions! It looks like you had a great time and you even got a taste of our "cold" weather...

Jennifer :)

PS... I'm a native Texan and grew up in Carrollton. I bet I even know which quilt shop you went to! :)

{ Monica } on: 1 December 2010 at 11:32 said...

I'm glad to hear you had such a great time in our wonderful state! I love the Dallas/Fort Worth area...which is about 30 minutes from my little town. There is so much to see and do there. We travel into the city at least once a week.

Anyway...next time you're heading this way, let me know and I'll point you in the direction of all the great quilt shops. There are several "must visit" shops.

{ Jennifer } on: 1 December 2010 at 17:19 said...

visions of my past! i wouldn't be surprised if you had hit big rocks... :P

{ Lobela } on: 15 December 2010 at 14:28 said...

I just wanted to comment on how much I love the photography on your site! Your pictures have a lot of color and life in them.

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