Messin' with Texas, Day 2

After surviving my first day in Texas, we fortified ourselves with some amazing home-made sausage biscuits, and once again braved the Texas traffic to go the historic Stockyards in Fort Worth.

There were immediate indications that I was no longer in Canada, Toto:

The Stockyards celebrate Texas history, especially that surrounding the Chisholm trail and the associated cattle and cowboys.  

The Cowtown Coliseum is still used to hold rodeos and other events.  Unfortunately, none were scheduled during my visit ;)

I did have a chance to practise my bull riding...

... but after he turned and glared at me simply for taking his photo, I decided not to :)

One neat attraction is the Texas Trail of Fame, and I was impressed at the number of names I actually recognized!  And yes, I do know who Audie Murphey is! 


There are a number of shops and restaurants (fantastic pulled pork sandwich for lunch, along with the fried okra I stole from Ms. PB's plate.  I know - fried okra!  But it was really good!!).   And of course, most of the shops were decorated for Christmas, in a very Texan way :)

Other attractions included a small petting zoo, a cattle pen maze, and the Fort Worth Jail, into which we immediately forced Mr. PB. 

Also on site is Billy Bob's, the world's largest honky-tonk.  No, I'm sorry, I have no idea what makes a bar a honky-tonk, rather than just a bar.  I think that's insider information that they do not divulge to foreigners like me. 

It is large enough to have real bull riding inside, but once again, unfortunately, none were available for me to ride...

A number of famous entertainers have graced the stage over the years, and they are immortalized with handprints in the Wall of Fame.  (Please note, I'm not a big country music fan, so this might be a bit more interesting to those of you who are.  Also, you would have recognized  more of the names on the handprints.  I struck out after Styx, Cheap Trick, Huey Lewis and Johnny Cash.)

But there was a small photo of a guy I recognized - yes, indeed, that is Buddy Holly!

However. the real stars of the Stockyards weren't to be found in any honky-tonk.  There were in the cattle pen, resting up for their big moment.

Yes, real, live Texas Longhorns!!

And when they say everything is bigger in Texas, they mean those horns!  Yikes!!


Twice a day, the Longhorns are taken for a casual stroll cattle-drive down the main street of the Stockyards. 

And it's a good thing these cattle are good-natured, for they get really close.

I don't think the bride is a normal part of the cattle drive, but I may be wrong ;)

After a long day immersed in some Texas history, we wrangled back through the highway system to the Poodlebug lair, where upon Ms. PB made a delicious, authentic southern meal for me:  fried chicken!!!  Yes, I am sorry to say, real fried chicken is not really a Canadian thing, and as KFC doesn't count, I hadn't had the pleasure before this trip.

A cast iron chicken fryer is now on my Christmas wish list, and one of the local chickens I bought is destined for a bath in hot oil!

And thus ended day two...

Messin' with Texas, Day 1

What?  Texas?  Huh?

Yes, dear readers, part of the lack of posts here is due to my mini-vacation mid-month to the Republic of Texas, to visit some fantastic friends.  The same friends who came here this time last year. 

And please note, for those of you who are planning vacations:  the weather is generally much warmer in Texas, vs. Ontario, this time of year.  You know, mid 70s to low 80s, rather than snow :)

I flew out of Buffalo on a plane that held approximately 5.7 people (okay, it wasn't that small, and isn't the smallest plane I've ever been on*, but it was still really small).  After the worst flight of my life (first time I ever came *that* close to hurling on a plane.  In fact, I was too sick to even think about looking for the barf bag, assuming those are still complimentary.  Gotta love turbulence in a small plane, no?), I changed planes in Cleveland, then  had a much better flight to the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, where I was met by Mr. Poodlebugs, and taken to the secret Poodlebug lair.

Okay, it's not a secret lair, but the highways in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are complex, large, and apparently multiplying at an alarming rate, given the construction I saw everywhere.  My new version of hell:  being trapped on Dallas-area highways, without a functioning GPS.

After surviving the Greeting of the Poodles, we hied our way to a local steak house for an incredible steak supper, then fought our vehicular way into downtown Dallas.   

Where upon Ms. Poodlebugs abandoned me in favour of hearing some obscure author speak about his newest book

Geesh!  Like anyone else would pick Stephen King over me!!!  ;)

To deal with our abandonment, Mr. PB and I went to a nearby bar, where upon I had my first-ever margarita (non-frozen variety).

Cell phone photo of 1st margarita, with salsa and chips for scale.

Oh, my.  I have to say, a real margarita made with some damn good tequila compares to those university tequila shots with the mandatory licking-salt-from-hand manoeuvre like a good Texas steak compares to mock meat made from soy.  In other words, it was GOOD.  Too good.  Like "if I lived here, I'd be broke and an alcoholic" good.  Almost as good as a good Scots whisky, in fact ;)

In addition to great salsa, and excellent margaritas, the bar also provided a real Mexican cowboy singer.  And, I think Mr. PB and I actually had more fun with the Mexican cowboy singer than Ms. PB had with her author.  Even though neither of us like country music.  And the Mexican cowboy sang with a twang that made Willie Nelson sound like an opera singer. 
Cell phone photo of our entertainer, complete with stetson.
The fun started after I realized the Mexican cowboy wasn't singing just country songs.

He sang songs like "I'm a Believer" by the Monkees.  And covered the Rolling Stones.  And Hootie and the Blowfish.

The night devolved into "Name That Tune, Texas-style"!

And so, after a long travel day, followed by good food, great booze and much laughter, we won the highway fight once again, and made it safely back to the Poodlebug lair, and so to bed.

To be continued...

* 10 passenger sardine can plane flying from Edmonton, Alberta to Prince George, BC.  For those of you not familiar with Canadian geography, that flight is over the Rocky Mountains.  And it still wasn't anywhere near as bad as the flight from Buffalo to Cleveland. 

After grooming...

I think Katy might be finding her recent haircut a bit chilly, since she found a cave to sleep in, silly girl!

The old love-seat is still here, and in the middle of the room. I have the old cushions piled on it, and tossed a couple of jackets over it.  I'll have to give Katy a blanket when I finally get rid of it!

Before and after...

Poor Katy.  She hates being groomed, but she sure looks more like a schnauzer, and less like a Muppet, afterwards!


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