Saturday, October 29, 2016

Texas State Fair

We went to the fair!  My first time, at least at the huge Texas State Fair.  I've seen Big Tex a couple times, most notably during urban races in Dallas.  But not the rest of this ginormous, sprawling, beehive of activity.  So much to see!  And only one day to see it.  Better get started...

First up, the many agricultural tents.  After all, that is the original purpose of the fair, as I understand things.  Cows and goats and pigs and there must have been sheep and horses somewhere... all getting judged or groomed or hanging out and resting.

Or being transferred from one place to another:

Abby and I found a seat at the "kids showing pigs" event, and that was quite the spectacle, a nice quick taste of what goes on here all day, every day.  It wasn't clear exactly what was going on, or who was winning as they were shuffled in and out of the pens to the side, but it sure was interesting to watch:

Simply watching people herd pigs was entertaining - apparently a pig doesn't need a leash or harness, it just needs a little tap to the head to get it to go the direction you want.

A bit of organized chaos:

Another tent was geared toward the kids and contained a whole bunch of species you would not normally expect at the fair.  Or in Texas.

For example - kangaroos and a large turtle:

Goats are always fun, and available for feeding:

Are we back in Australia all of a sudden?

The sign makes this photo a bit funnier than just a regular ostrich:

Abby enjoyed petting all the animals:

And now, we're in Scotland... I'm really quite confused (possibly the cows are too):

Hey donkey:

We hiked over to the Discovery Gardens to see their butterfly release in the sanctuary - it wasn't quite the huge numbers like the monarchs in Mexico, but there were lots of pretty butterflies to see.

And an excellent sculpture in the garden:

More fun interactive art:

The CanStruction displays were amazing - and extensive, quite the variety and creativity:

Space theme:

Go Team V!

Haven't seen an Apple II in quite some time, but here's one now:

Hello Big Tex!

I ran around a bit more, checking out the craft exhibits, all the ridiculous fried food options (fried jello and pizza - really?), the Taylor Swift Experience, and a peek into the car show.

We reconvened with the family to head to the Midway and try to win some stuffed animals.  Hey, Jerry started without us!

That didn't stop him from throwing more balls at blocks and cans to see if he could win another one:

Jenny hanging out with the tiger (or vice versa):

A hug from the lady running the game when Jerry finally hauled down a large monkey for a successful throw:

John's specialty - the rope ladder.  Time to see if he remembers how...

Two feet on the red rung, count it down - he won!  Nicely done.  A giant turtle for your effort!

So there was another rope ladder in a booth further down, and John decided to have another go, why not.  Well, I'll tell you maybe why not - the marked rung was one rung HIGHER than on the first ladder.  What?  One rung to hold onto, one to stand on.  His first attempt didn't work out, but it did give him a look at a prize at the top of the ladder that he was very interested in.  And apparently the idea that he could actually succeed, even with the added challenge.

Take two - and he did it!  We had no idea he was aiming to win a quadcopter until he pointed to the back of the booth and the guy pulled this down (and asked if he could get a selfie with John):

John has been playing around with the quadcopter recently - it's maneuverable, flies way up in the air, and even with a bit of abuse it's still functional.  So cool.  He claims he wanted it for work - to "inspect solar panels" - right.

Taking over Jenny's cart with the winnings:

We started the long walk back to the car, creating something of a spectacle along the way:

Turtle in the trunk:

While we were meandering back, Abby went and won one more!  Her softball arm came through.  We were running out of room in the 2 cars (and for some reason they didn't want to strap a stuffed animal to the roof??), so Jerry insisted on putting the rainbow fox on his lap:

I thought it would have been funnier to drive like this:

But no, Jerry wanted to squish the fox into the front seat - watch the tail!

Back at home after a highly successful and entertaining outing!

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