Friday, October 31, 2014

Finding fall

Just a few pictures of a Texas October - quite different than what our Pacific Northwest clan is experiencing (nobody there is wearing flip-flops, I bet!) with lots of pretty things in lots of places.

This one is my favorite :)
And candy corn pumpkins!

Oops, I almost forgot. Our Sara sent this to me; it's so perfectly fall & any minute now I expect tiny gnomes to pop out from behind the toadstools:

And one more fun thing: birds here chirp on fall mornings like they do elsewhere in the spring :)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Great Texas Tradition

We jumped into the month of October with a few hours at the Texas State Fair. It begins at the end of September and I think tomorrow is the last day. For a couple of WA kids, it seems strange to hold a fair so late in the season, but I know this is meant to keep everyone from succumbing to heat stroke in the middle of the cow barn. I appreciate this; I really do. However. On October 1st it was 92 degrees. Thank goodness for air conditioned buildings full of prize-winning quilts and fancy car displays and samples of root beer floats, is all I will say about that.

We spent no money on rides but spent a ton on food. For brunch we each ate a corn dog, and then 45 minutes later, after exhausting ourselves by watching a dog show, we shared a gigantic plate of nachos (with Texas-shaped chips!) and I drank an iced coffee. Following several bottles of water, and as we were on our way out, Jan Michael ate an ice cream bar & I made a mess of myself with a caramel apple. Then, after we took the train home, we ate cheeseburgers and french fries and possibly a chicken strip or two for dinner. Moderation is hard sometimes.

The very best part of the whole day was the petting zoo. In terms of animal exhibits, Texas wins. Of course there were the usual barnyard animals, including the two which must always be present or a fair just isn't a fair - tiny goats & a huge mama pig with her itty bitty babies - but there were also animals we'd only ever seen at a zoo. A camel! Some zebras! A  huge tortoise! We were too cheap for this, but someone at the entrance was selling bags of feed; next year I'll spend less time feeding me and more time feeding the animals :)

We don't know what kind of cow this is, but she must have awful headaches :)

Fun giraffe trivia: They have the same number of vertebrae as we do (7) and their tongues are 18-20 inches long (!!) 

And then, something I'd never seen in real life before, zoo or not: 
Not long after I took the picture, he/she twisted all around and pretty soon the only thing sticking out were feet :) And this guy made us laugh with his beefcake poses in the sawdust :)
I could have stayed for ages admiring these three, but the corn dogs were calling ;)