Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Big Tex

The State Fair of Texas is the biggest state fair in the United States with an average of 3 million visitors each year and this year, we were among those 3 million. Southwest had an installation there where fairgoers could test out the course from their latest commercial campaign. So as a result, Scott and I spent 2 days at the fair - once where it was just us, and then another where Scott was working and I was exploring what the fair had to offer.

Us and "Big Tex" - the Texas State Fair Mascot
Of course there was a wide range of fried food and we samples a few delicacies. All of the food vendors compete every year to have the best tasting and most creative foods. The best tasting this year was Fried Jambalaya and the most creative went to the Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll (weird sounding, I know but Scott said it was pretty good).

Scott and his "Cup of Trash" / Me sampling some fried oreos. 
The Texas State Fair is where you can try deep fried butter, fried corn on the cob, fried red velvet cupcakes, fried cookie dough, chocolate coated bacon, fried lemonade, fried PB & J and Banana sandwich, and fried bubblegum. Oh there was so much food. You can even get a pickle juice popsicle!

While Scott was working, I went to every free show I could manage - dog jump shows, sheep contests, birds of the world, creepy puppet shows. I milked that state fair for all of the free attractions it had to offer! Yeah it would have been fun to ride some rides or play some games, but not when it costs $7 just to go on the Farris Wheel.

In the Children's Barnyard, they had baby goats, a teenage giraffe, alpacas, and even a zeedonk - a zeebra-donkey mix. The baby chicks and ducklings - Adorable!

The exhibit halls showed the talent and hobbies of local texas. One display showcased a sculpture honoring the Girl Scout program using 1,000 pounds of butter!

At the end of the day, both of our feet were exhausted that we spent the last half hour at the fair testing out the glorious massage chairs from Furniture Firm. Scott and I agreed that the $5,000 chair was the best and if we had the money laying around we may be tempted to buy a luxury massage system.

Scott really enjoyed the massage chair. It took a lot of convincing to get him out of it.
It was a totally fun experience and a good chance to see what Texas has to offer. If we stay in Texas, I'd totally go to the fair again next fall. Especially to see what foods on the best taste and most creative awards! Maybe there will be fried salads - wouldn't that be an interesting sight to see!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

39th Ryder Cup

This year was the 39th Ryder Cup and was hosted on home turf. After losing a tragic loss of just half a point 2 years ago, the United States team was excited and anxious to try and take the title back in front of their home crowd. This year's Ryder Cup was held at Medinah Country Club in Chicago, Illinois.

Southwest Airlines has had a partnership with Sports Illustrated to host events at the various golf Majors. It has been known as Sports Illustrated at the Majors Presented by Southwest Airlines. With Sports Illustrated, Southwest Airlines would set up a tent or area close to the Major golf event and allow any to come in and see the various activities we had. At this particular event we were located at the beautiful Navy Pier and were trying to attract hundreds as they were enjoying the beautiful weekend. We had a top 100 Golf Magazine instructor on site to help anyone with their swing and give quick tips to help them improve. We had a stage where SI writers would come and speak about the Ryder Cup and highlight the day. Also available, was a chance to be on the cover of SI! They had a green screen set up with various covers you could put your picture on and send to your friends. The highlight of the tent though was in the center where people could putt for a chance to win free flights and a t-shirt from Southwest Airlines. It was a busy event and a very lively crowd. I was sent there to help answer any questions and to represent Southwest to anyone that walked in.

The perks of this trip was that we were given tickets to the Ryder Cup and we were able to spend Friday afternoon at Medinah (when the US was still winning!) It was a beautiful course and a HUGE crowd was in attendance. I enjoyed walking around the course and being face to face with the top golfers in the world. Laura discovered that she is not a golf fan and probably never would be! Tiger Woods walked around the corner as we were standing at the 14th tee and I said, "Laura look! It's Tiger Woods!" In her sweet ignorance of golf and one of the best golfers ever to play the game, she must of thought I said there was a tiger in the wood because she didn't look very impressed. She loved being outside and enjoying the scenery but we discovered that when as grow old you will NEVER see both of us on the golf course, on purpose.

I was like a kid in a candy store being able to watch and cheer on team USA as they looked strong on Friday and Saturday and there seemed to be a glimmer of hope that the cup would return to the US, but in a surprise turn of events the US lost their swagger and give up the win on Sunday to lose the Ryder Cup by 1 point! By the end of the matches on Sunday it was another opportunity lost for team USA but it was a great experience for any sports fan. I asked Laura if we go to the next Ryder Cup in Scotland and she gave me her beautiful smile and a look in her eyes that said, "did you learn nothing by taking me to a golf event!?" If we attend the next Ryder Cup in 2 years, it may be me on the course and Laura enjoying the beautiful land of Scotland... we'll see what happens  but don't hold your breath for a post from the Ryder Cup in Scotland.

 The one and only Phil Mickelson! 
 The up and coming, Rory Mcllroy

Tiger Woods! He saw my camera when he walked up and put his head down immediately!

Lee Westwood

Ian Poulter enjoying his day off from golf and following his players

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


This past weekend, Scott and I had the chance to take a quick trip up to Chicago. He had to work because of the Ryder Cup, which he will blog more about later - stay tuned.

Its always fun being in a new city, and this was no exception. While we were there, we enjoyed some deep dish pizza, Chicago Mix popcorn, a trip to Millennium Park and some time at Navy Pier.

Garrett's Popcorn opened in 1949 on Madison Street, Chicago and still makes delicious hot air popped popcorn in their large copper kettles. Their Chicago Mix claims to be a blend of salty and sweet pairing cheesey covered popcorn with their carmel corn. We tried it and its interesting. It shocked me when I first tried it but I definitely warmed up to it and actually enjoyed the weird combination of flavors.

And of course, no trip to Chicago is complete without a trip to Millennium Park and taking a picture in front of Cloud Gate, or "The Bean." Most of Millennium Park was closed for an event, but there was a nice crowd gathered around a giant silver kidney bean.

All in all a good trip. Scott had a blast at the Ryder Cup and working this weekend (stay tuned for more on that, remember?), and I enjoyed taking a little spontaneous vacation.