The big state gets a big blog
12.01.2009 - 24.01.2009
So Texas, I’ve been saying that I’d come here since 1997............hmmmm 12 years but better late than never. The big attraction here (not including the big state) is the family that live here. The Lisby’s, who have been holding down the fort (worth, hahaha) since forever and the whites, recent immigrants from NZ.
We had a jam packed first week staying with cousin Rach and her family Victor (hubby) and wee bubs Ava. They wanted to fit in every single thing Fort Worth had to offer in 15 minuets, which was fine by us. So we went to the old stock yards area and had all you can eat ribs, the water gardens (more of a water sculpture), played some Frisbee golf and a game of Whirly Ball (bumper cars mixed with la cross mixed with awesomeness).
Weird horse that had some ugly teeth
Frisbee golf, I sooooo rocked it.
Whirly ball, not so much rocking on my part, very team I joined seemed to loose
Rachel pretty much addicted to the quarters game at whirly ball
In the middle of all that was my birthday where I basically sat on the couch and has some me time, until the family came over and long story short I goaded Uncle Les into smashing a cake in my face (there was still frosting up my nose in the morning).
So after our first week at Rach and Victors we had a week at Andrew and Sarah’s (NZ cousins who moved stateside a few years ago).
Della, Andrew and Sarah’s dog... many a walk was had, many a stick thrown, many a slide slid and many a Frisbee lost over a fence.
Now there are 4 things I wanted to do in the states
- Shoot a handgun
- See a college sports game
- Go to a batting cage
- And go to a rodeo
The first Monday at Andrew & Sarah’s was Martin Luther King day and for some reason Andrew had the day off. So we told him our list and he was keen as on the handgun idea. So we rocked around to Bass Pro, a huge sporting store that he thought might have a range. Well they didn’t and as we were asking if they knew anywhere where we could go I noticed a guy milling around behind us in an All Blacks top. “Cool top”, I commented in my best kiwi accent to which I got a drawly Texan reply “Yeah I really like rugby”. Turns out this guy (who’s name I forget and for future purposes will be called Bob) had overheard our conversation and told us directions to a shooting rage.
After about an hour of trying to find the place (GPS woes and calls to Sarah) we walked into the range only to find that same Rugby shirt wearing Bob was there, hands in the air “what took you guys so long?” It was kinda busy so he offered to take us onto his lane and we could borrow the guns he’d booked out and split the cost at the end...sweet.
So we’re on the range popping of shots while Bob is giving out gun advice and tid bits, showing us how to load them and explaining the differences between the guns. Then out of nowhere he tell us to go rapid fire gangster style on his cue. This had been expressly forbidden on sign in, but ehh it’s not like we were coming back.
Rachel style, gansta style....popping caps
We had a great time with Bob, even more so when we got out and found out he’d paid for the whole thing. Nice one Bob.
Later that week we knocked off another thing on the list a college basket ball game, TCU playing some Wyoming team. These teams weren’t even in the top tier of competition but they had all the bells and whistles, a super nice stadium with full brass band playing, cheerleaders and dancers, 2 mascots and a half time show.
Not to mention the big screen that showed a super produced video montage of each player pre match when introducing them and then whenever they did something awesome on the court (no wonder these kids have super egos). What we weren’t impressed with was sportsmanship of the supporters who were more than enthusiastic on the booing of the other team. So me and Mark (another cousin) took up their cause cheering and hollering (we are in texas) when they scored.
One bright and sunny day we hopped a train into Dallas, and we were pleasantly surprised. What we thought was just gonna be a city of 4 million with a bunch of skyscrapers around an x where JFK was shot, was actually a stylie manageable city with free transport up and down on a old school tram.
We ended spending way too much time at the running bulls sculpture, well it’s more that a sculpture more like a whole herd of steers cast in bronze, frozen in time.
This one got a bit techy and tossed me off
Driving range in the middle of the city, kinda felt like we were going to smash the windows on the surrounding buildings. Look and the muscles.
Batting cage, another list item.... the 70 mil and hour ball was scary, I only hit about 4 out of 20. Back to the 45 mph cage for me.
And last but not least the rodeo.
We just happened to be in town right when the big rodeo came for it’s Fort Worth leg. It was pretty cool in it’s own arena and lots of patriotism at the start and many a prayer for the men about to take to the ring.
There were heaps of events from bucking bronco’s (the first guy out got stuck and dragged around the arena a few times), speed hog tying cattle, kids chasing calf’s, wagon races and of course bull riding. Rachel finally got herself a toffee apple and I got a corn dog with mustard.
So an awesome few weeks in Texas with heaps of stuff to do and lots of time with family. Now we’ve hired a cargo van, slapped a mattress and chilly bin in the back and we’re going to vegas baby.
Big Texas sky