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Ok so more Rodeo. Seriously, its the best. Come to Houston in March, buy tickets (they start at $18), you can’t beat the deal. Did I mention there’s a carnival, I don’t think I did. But yeah, there is an insanely huge carnival too, and a live stock show, which I just didn’t have time to go see this year…anyways, Tim McGraw.
This is me and my friend Ann (who got the tickets) we also went with one of her friends and my friend Stacy (I’m mad that she’s the only one with a picture of us from this night). Stacy is the wife of the police officer I mentioned in my previous post about the cook off, well she rocked our worlds, called her hubby and he was able to get us great parking and a golf cart ride to the entrance. Made me feel like somebody. Anywho, this is Ann and I on the back of the golf cart.
When we entered we met up with these guys, who were kind enough to entertain us with a bit of a rhyming skit/song. I guess they are long time Rodeo volunteers going through some sort of hazing to get some sort of long time volunteer award. If anyone else has info about these guys I would love for this story to be cleared up a bit.
Ok so all that other mayhem I mentioned in the Sugarland post, well here it is, well some of it. This is the calf scramble. 20+ teenagers are unleashed on about 10 or so calfs. They have to chase, catch, rope, and tug them into the center square. Then they win. This year even Jimmy Fallon joined in the fun (you can watch the video here).
Oh yeah, and those sheep you saw in that previous post. Yeah we have 5-7 year olds hang on to the for dear life as they go leaping across the stadium. Yeah. Seriously. Don’t worry, the kiddos are protected, and they like it. The winner was asked how he practiced, after a long pause, he said, “on my dog” as he shrugged his shoulders as if to say, “how else would I practice”. Cute. Period.
And then there is Tim McGraw. Fantastic show. I’m not a crazy huge fan but I know a lot more of his songs than I realized. AND for four whole songs, he got off the stage and shook hands/hugged people/ and made dreams come true for the crazy screaming women (so funny to watch).
So if I haven’t said it enough…GO. TO. THE. RODEO. Even if you’re totally not into westerny things, just do it. My yankee husband loves it, you will too.
I started out telling you all about the Cook Off which kicks off the month long Houston Live Stock Show and Rodeo. Be still my heart. Seriously, I’m a city girl grew up in the inners of Houston, I never rode a horse to school, nor have I ever worn chaps, but even still I am enamored with rodeo/western/ranch things, experience, etc. So when rodeo time starts I turn into a little girl giddy with excitement. When I was little my Uncle would take me to the rodeo and I’d get to pet all the animals, and wear red cowgirl boots, and eat turkey legs and pecan pie.
And sometime over the last few years the eating part of the rodeo has gotten bigger and bigger. You can now get just about everything on a stick.
And just about anything you could ever imagine fried. (Oh yeah, and jalapeno lemonade.)
Bring a pregnant woman to this place and this is what you get…pure. unadulterated. joy.
See, told ya.
So other than the food there is the rodeo part, almost equally as ridiculous.
See these sheep…yeah…it gets crazy (you’ll have to stay tuned to the next post to find out what happens).
Next you go into the GIANT auditorium (ie. the Reliant Center, where the Houston Texans play football, yeah there).
Live stock…er…giant pigs sitting in the seat behind you.
Oh yeah, and then after some craziness happens with some animals a fantastic artist like Sugarland comes out and entertains us some more. Seriously a great show! Have I said that I love the rodeo, because I do. (More Rodeo to come!)
Introducing the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Annual Cook-Off, not only delicious but also a really good party and a grand site to people watch. It’s Texas at its finest and an event Bill and I look forward to every year.
So, this is how it works: for a whole weekend several hundred teams of BBQ masters cook their hearts out competing for best brisket, ribs, other meat, etc. etc. You can buy a ticket and get into the whole party, but each team has their own tent (they win awards on tent designs/decor too), so essentially its a giant party of private parties. You kind of have to know someone to get to the real party (ie. free drinks, food, music, and clean porta-poties), its like the Texas version of Mardi Gras, beads included. Luckily we do know someone, my dad! He’s been volunteering with The More or Less Cookers for years and this year he’s actually a sponsor.
Come to think of it, I really really should have taken pictures of the food. But honestly it was too delicious and we ate it too fast.
But there were lots and lots of beads.
This is Bill with my dad’s girlfriend Christine. She’s a total blast! Dave and Busters was also a sponsor of the More or Less Cookers booth so they were there too, with a spinny wheel giving away drink holders, beach towels, and $10 Free Play certificates!
This is our annual father, daughter cook-off photo. I’ve got ‘em going back to when I shot with real film (yeah, I’m that old).
And this year our good friends Kim and Dean joined us. They were new to the whole Cook-Off event so it was a blast to take them.
This is not the More or Less booth, but just one of the many, many, many booths to check out. Please note the two guys sitting on the roof at the bottom right of the image. They are cowboy robots that drink their beer and shoot their guns. Yeah, I said cowboy robots.
And as the evening goes on things get more and more interesting. Yes, that man is wearing a trench coat made out of Crown Royal bags. We tend to head out around dusk before things get just a little too crazy (and slightly dangerous) for my taste.
That said, I must give mad props to all the police that work this event, they come from all precincts and sections of the city and surrounding areas. A good friend of ours is a Houston PD officer and heads up the troops. He and the rest of these men and women stop their day to day lives for the nearly month long rodeo event and dedicate that time to keeping people safe. So I thank all of you, I am forever impressed and grateful for everything you do for our city.
Also, none of these events could happen with out all of the great sponsors who spend their hard earned dollars to support each of these teams and the event as a whole. If anyone is interested in sponsoring the More or Less Cookers or would like more info about the cook off please feel free to leave a message and I can get you in contact with the correct people. And if you are planning a vacation next March consider Houston, the Rodeo is WELL worth it!
I love nights out with friends. Those blurs are Josh and Kristen. This was a random trip to Discovery Green and I’m a huge fan of long exposures and any opportunity to play with them. Josh and Kristen were awesome and acted as my guinea pigs. Thanks guys, you rock.
In a few short days I will be at Imaging USA 2011, the mecca conference for photographers. Above is my good, dear friend Andrea from Ethan Avery Photography, we braved last year’s Imaging USA in Nashville together. Boy was it cold…that was when they had that big freeze and the water main broke down town… I’m talking c-o-l-d. This year its going to be in San Antonio, not too far from home and quite a bit warmer, and we’ll be braving the hoards of camera toters together. Seriously, its nuts. But we learn SO much and get to see great new products, props, backdrops, etc and meet really great photographers. Its a great way to kick start a new year.
(An explanation of The Photography Chronicles can be found here.)
On a recent Saturday my husband Bill, his friend Bradley, and myself went on an adventure to the almost the heart of Houston (if we’re going to use the anatomy metaphor I’d say it was more like the lung…) to St. Arnold Brewery. St. Arnold Brewery boasts as being Texas’ Oldest Craft Brewery, I’m not really sure what exactly that means but I guess its a good thing for them. The brewery consists of 17 people who really love what they do, and I have to e-high-five them for that! St. Arnold has a cult-like following here in the Houston area. Personally I’ve never been a huge fan but I do love this city and the really cool things it has to offer as well as the cool people (like those 17 folks over at St. Arnold) that make it what it is, sooo I’ve always wanted to check it out.
$7 will get you into the brewery and the tour, a souvenir glass, and four tastings, not a bad Saturday afternoon. You enter a very large, slightly loud room half filled with picnic tables. Our friend Bradley was smart enough to know that the tables fill up quick and that we should bring a blanket so I grabbed the quilt that a friend made us as a wedding gift. It was kind of nostalgic/awesome.
I had never played dominos but had inherited my grandmother’s set. Bradley taught Bill and I how to play the train…mexican train…I can’t remember. It was very fun though and I’d totally play again. So board games are highly recommended.
(Taken with my iPhone, please excuse the poor-ish quality)
Did I mention St. Arnold Brewery is kid friendly? They make the most awesome root beer ever (sorry A&W), and its free. You’re also welcome to bring food in. I highly suggest visiting, but remember to bring a blanket, board game or cards, $7 and friends or it won’t be nearly as fun.
This post is going to be a little jumbled, so I apologize ahead of time.
I was watching old videos from college on YouTube, which lead me to finding an old junior high friend’s YouTube. Even though he was all grown up he still had the same expressions. It was odd and it got me thinking about old times, and how I’m like, for real, an adult.
I miss college. I loved dorm life. I loved college life. I feel like it all went way too fast.
I am happy with this new stage in life, its definitely totally different than any other stage. This adult, married, home ownership stage.
…Enter the rabbit trail…
Somehow, through all this I ended up on one of my favorite blogs The Wedding Chicks. I have to take their blog in doses because the things posted there make me so exorbitantly happy that if I looked at it on a regular basis I very well might explode. There is a richness to everything they post. Every wedding they post makes me want to get married all over again, not because I’d change one thing about my wedding day, but I just want another excuse to throw that awesome/put together/design-ed-ly sound/visually rich party. This one makes my heart melt. Sigh. I want to plan a party.
So this got me to thinking about my own wedding all almost 1.5 years ago. So here’s a couple pictures for you, some of my (and my husband’s) favorite things. (Photography provided by my dear friend Brenda Horan, check her out, she’s fantastic, especially if you have a new baby, whew she’s incredible)
This is Bill’s favorite group shot of the wedding. I’m a big fan as well. You know I think this is the first picture of myself on this blog (if you couldn’t figure it out, I’m the one in the big white dress).
Lady Bug’s Floral on the north side of Tulsa, OK rocks my floral world. She did exactly what I asked for, and cheap too ($250 for everything). I picked out ever flower in this bouquet. The single orange protea is an ode to my missions trip to South Africa (they grow wild there), I left part of my heart in that country.
My one splurge (the whole wedding cost us $5,000, and we paid cash, Dave Ramsey would be so proud), the photobooth, which I had given up on until about 3 days before the wedding. Brenda met Ryan Smart at a camera store a few days before my wedding. Ryan, among other things, rents photo booths. Did I mention he has the best rate in the city? It was my childhood dream to have a photo booth at my wedding (I still want one in my house) and he made that happen.
So that’s it, thanks for taking that little rabbit trail down memory lane with me. You all, you rock.