Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Amarillo by Mornin'...

Up from San Antone
Everything that I got

Is just what I got on

My blog is called Texas Life. But, I've realized that I don't write too much about actual Texas life... Here's my chance.

So, if you're not a country music fan, you probably do not know this song. But, I hope that you have atleast heard of George Strait, or King George as he is known by country music fans. This song describes life for a Rodeo rider- travelling from place to place, making next to no money, but absolutely loving his life. Afterall, it's what he was destined to do. Not everybody is cut out for such a rough and tumble line of work.

When the sun is high in that Texas sky
I'll be buckin' at the county fair

Amarillo by mornin'

Amarillo, I'll be there

Right now here in Houston, Texas it's RODEO time! This is big stuff people. This is the equivalent of the Super Bowl here in Houston. And, as you know Texans love their football! For twenty days in March, the Reliant Center is transformed into the largest Rodeo in the country. It kicks off with the arrival of the trail riders. Yes, you heard me right. Trail riders. They come from all over Texas in covered wagons, riding horses, carrying all they need with them. Some wagon trains can take up to 30 days to arrive in Houston from their destinations. They all arrive in downtown Houston the same day, where people line the streets and a parade is held to welcome the Rodeo into town. After this a HUGE two-day Bar-B-Q Cook Off commences, because what is a Texas party without barbecue?

(Yes, they are on the highway headed towards the 4th largest city in the country- I wasn't pulling your leg!)

They took my saddle in Houston
Broke my leg in Santa Fe

I lost my wife and a girlfriend

Somewhere along the way

I was lucky enough to attend Rodeo last year. It was something the likes of which I have never witnessed before. Being from Ohio, I had never been to a Rodeo. It was quite an experience. There is a massive carnival set up, along with pretty much every carny-type food imaginable. Here in Texas, they will "chicken fry" anything they can get their hands on. At the Rodeo, they deep fry anything they can get their hands on and then slap it on a stick to make it easy to eat! For example I've seen, oreos, twinkies, bananas, ice cream, snickers, shrimp, even butter. It's basically a heart attack on a stick. I can personally say I have never tried any of these deep fried "delights."

(This would be a deep fried twinkie on a stick... covered in chocolate. Enough fat and calories for a month in one little bite!)

But I'll be lookin' for 8 when they pull that gate

And I hope that judge ain't blind

Amarillo by mornin'

Amarillo's on my mind

Now, for the actual Rodeo itself. There are a variety of different events that encompass the overall Rodeo experience. Here are a few of the most popular (and dangerous):
Tie-down roping, which is just another name for calf-roping. You know, cowboy on a horse chases down a poor, innocent little calf, throws a rope around his neck, jumps off of said horse and ties up the calf. This isn't my favorite event to watch. I always feel so bad for the little calf!
Bareback riding, pretty self-explanatory, right? Except, man does it look hard and scary! These cowboys tie one hand to a crazy horse and hope to dear God they can hang on for 8 seconds. Not my cup of tea.
Saddle bronc riding, another difficult and scary-looking event. This time the cowboy is riding a wild, bucking bronco, but he atleast has a saddle to sit on. That makes it SOO much easier!
Steer wrestling, or, as I like to call it, crazy man jumping off of a horse and tackling a giant steer (large cow with horns, for those who don't know the lingo). Whoever does it the fastest wins! Insane!
Bull Riding, the main event. Who doesn't want to see a man mount a 2000 pound animal, and hold on for dear life with one hand?
I must say, I have a whole lot of respect for these men. Not only did they grow up with names like Rusty, Howdy and Tuf, but their day jobs are extremely dangerous and demand a lot of physical prowess and guts. (And yes, those are names of real cowboys at the Rodeo. Look it up!)

(Crazy bull rider...)

Amarillo by mornin'

Up from San Antone

Everything that I got

Is just what I got on

Another cool aspect of Rodeo is the Livestock Show. They fill a large convention center chock-full of cows, bulls, horses, chickens, goats, pigs, you get the picture... It's fun for kids and adults alike to walk around and see all of the livestock. There are also plenty of vendors selling things (who doesn't need a new grain silo?), as well as great photo-ops for all to enjoy.

I ain't got a dime, but what I got is mine
I ain't rich, but Lord I'm free

Amarillo by mornin'

Amarillo's where I'll be

And finally, my favorite part? Well, the entertainment of course! Where else can you spend $16 and get to see the Rodeo and Livestock Show, have admittance to the Carnival and all of the fattening food you want AND be able to see Kenny Chesney? NOWHERE! The musicians they get are just out of this world. I can't believe it! This year alone, some of the acts include: Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, The Jonas Brothers (if that's your cup of teeny-bopper tea), Mary J. Blige, Rascal Flatts... Well, you get the picture! BIG NAME SINGERS!

Amarillo by mornin'
Amarillo's where I'll be

I love the Rodeo. I am so disappointed that I cannot go this year. It's too soon for me to leave my little man. So, instead, I chose to tell you lovely readers ALL about it. So, if you live in Texas... Walk. Run. Sprint to the Rodeo! Do it for me! You'll regret it if you don't!

I leave you with King George singing this fantastic song live! Please watch, you won't be disappointed.

Happy Trails!

P.S. I got a signature, yay!


  1. I am heading to the rodeo Saturday ..Love me some rodeo food ...nice to find a fellow blogger in my area I look forward to reading along...hope all the new mom stuff is going buggy boy is 7 now and time flies.

  2. Thanks for your rodeo post! It brought back a lot of great memories. I lived in Katy for 6 years and loved going to the rodeo. You described it all so well. I try to tell people here in Dallas about what a big deal it was and they say "Oh, like the Ft. Worth rodeo." But the Ft. Worth rodeo doesn't even compare! There's nothing that gets the community as involved as that rodeo, unless it's maybe "Fiesta" in San Antonio. We lived there two years and the whole city was involved in that, too!


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