In Dallas, this time of year isn't short of excitement. The weather turns! No more 100 degree days. Well ok, maybe we still get close to that mark during the day, but at least the nights cool off. Football! Professional. College. High School. And at our house, the best kind of football, Front Yard Football!! This time of year also brings the Texas State Fair! And this is Texas we're talking about folks, so it doesn't get any bigger and better than this!
We love the fair. So what if it means dropping hundreds for dollars on bad beer, food that'll kill ya and cheesy rides for the kiddos. It's my favorite voluntary tax. This year, like most recent years, we were graced with Mimi and Bubba's company. We also met up with our dear friends the Pittmans. And like every year, we had a great time. The weather was the best it's ever been - mid 70s with a slight breeze. We got there minutes after they opened the gates and stayed until we'd had all the fun we could have.
Jake got to toss the football a few times.
It was almost like he was a real professional football player!!
Duke was feelin' it too!
Lila & Jake had a front row seat for the bird show.
The birds were flying pretty much straight at them, but our little photographers didn't even flinch.
The Owl wasn't too sure about all those kids being so up close and personal...
...but the Raven didn't care, probably because he charges for his time.
The car show at the Fair is huge, and it's always a lot of fun. Jake took his girl Keily for a test ride in the new Bitchin' Camero.
Lila chose her cars to match her hair...
...and her outfit.
Of course, we had to take a few minutes out to ogle the new Super Sonic Blue Corvette...since that's what Mimi & Bubba are cruising around in these days.
We always have a good time at the car show, but hanging off the back bumper of a real live Monster Truck was an added bonus this year. Talk about your Texas-size truck!!
Of course we did our fair share of eating while we were there. The Tornado Taters were yummy. The Sweet Tornado Taters - made out of sweet potatoes and drizzled with a marshmallow sauce - were even yummier.
Every year, I dutifully try the Official Food of the Fair. Last year, as you may recall, it was Chicken Fried Bacon. It was OK. This year's "Official Food" was fried Frito pie, and it gets an enthusiastic and artery clogging thumbs up from me! Just what is Frito Pie? And how does something become an "Official Food" of the Texas State Fair. Let's start with the Official Food thing. Every year, there's a big contest to determine which over-the-top fried food will be the Official Food of the Fair. This year's winner was Fried Frito Pie. Which brings us to the second questions, what is Frito Pie?
Well, typically it's a scoop of chili served on a bed of Fritos and garnished with grated cheese, sour cream & onions (if you're into onions). It's hands-down one of my favorite things to eat at the fair. Fried Frito Pie is a Frito scoop, filled with chili and cheese, battered and deep fried, and served with sour cream and salsa. And it was mmmm, MMMMM, GOOD! Much better than last year's chicken fried bacon. (Though Cenz and I both agreed it could be improved upon by using a cornbread batter.)
Jake preferred the ice cream.
We added a little extra excitement to our Fair experience this year by letting the kiddos take a gondola ride across the midway...by themselves. Yeah, I know...YIKES!!! It was supposed to work like this: Colin (who's 12), Keily, Jake & Delila would get in the gondola. Duke & Bob - who had a bit of a head start - would hustle through the midway (what Texans call the area with all the rides), and be waiting to meet the kids when they disembarked. That's how it was supposed to work. Well...it didn't work quite that way. The guys took their lead, but the gondola moved much faster than we expected it too. Cenz & I couldn't reach the Dads on their phones, so we took off with the speed and craziness capable only from two moms who've realized what a colossally stupid idea the whole thing was. In the end, everything was fine. The Moms made it to the other end before the Dads did. The kids were safely corralled by the Big Kid and were patiently waiting for us. The Moms were mad at the Dads. The Dads didn't think they did anything wrong. The kids didn't understand what all the fuss was about, and just wanted to know when we'd all be done yelling at each other so they could ride some rides. Whew! All's well that ends well.
Our first stop was a crazy twisting turning beast of a roller coaster. Jake did not want to go. Delila did. Jake was big enough. Delila wasn't. So Jake went. Lila was dragged off kicking and screaming. The ride was crazy and scary and nobody had a good time -- especially poor Jake, who didin't even want to go in the first place. After that horrible decision, we decided to stick to things a little more age appropriate.
Delila, still feeling a little robbed because she'd been kicked off the big kid coaster, insisted on taking a solo ride on her own roller coaster.
It was just what the doctor ordered. She had a blast!
Jake redeemed his midway experience on the pint sized monster trucks.
At the end of the day, everyone agreed that we had a great time and can't wait to do it again next year.