Every time I visit Texas, regardless of which city, I feel like I’m in a different world. A mix of patriotism, religiosity, friendliness, and perhaps too much taste for fried food. It’s certainly not the indifferent vibe I get from people in Seattle. People in Texas are intensely proud of Texas. They’re very proud of the United States, too. And it’s in that order
Megan and I are flying back from visiting her family in Amarillo today, and last month we were in Dallas and Fort Worth because I wanted to see the State Fair of Texas. I’ve been to the California State Fair many times. It’s huge, and my family would usually make it into a multi-day vacation, interspersed with boat trips on the American and Sacramento Rivers. But even though the Texas State Fair has less real estate (I guess not everything is bigger), it certainly wins out in fair spirit.
I was disappointed to hear that the icon of the State Fair, 52-foot-tall Big Tex, caught fire and was destroyed the very morning we flew to Dallas! Front page, above-the-fold news in Dallas, as you can imagine. But we still enjoyed the sights. And, of course, my Texan fiancee got to visit a few old friends while I met up with the elusive AAdvantageGeek over a few pints of exotic schwarzbiers from Japan and Brazil (I still love my German Kostritzer).
I had more fried food than I ever have before, and I can say with some certainty: There are some foods in this world that should not be fried. Or at least they need to be done with more care. Fried pumpkin pie? Great! Fried Oreos? Delicious! Fried BBQ ribs? I think those need to be slow cooked, and while good, the frying really leaves them overdone. Fried beer? Wow… I think I know how they do it, with frozen cubes of beer inside a pastry shell just like ravioli, but serving them with a side of processed cheese is probably not the best idea.
We saw all the cars at the enormous show spanning two huge exhibition halls, a 1,300+ pig, and took a night-time ride on the giant Ferris wheel, the biggest in the Western hemisphere. Overall, a great day and one that was surprisingly comfortable given what I’ve come to expect from Texas’ heat and relative humidity.
I’ve been to Texas several times before, so it’s time I write a bit about these trips. You can catch up on my impressions of American Airlines in coach, and on this more recent trip to Amarillo I got to try first class. While in Dallas, I experienced one of the newly renovated room at the Hyatt Regency, and I’ve even convinced Megan to write a guest post on the Kimbell Art Museum in nearby Fort Worth.
And yes, I’m still working on my Asia trip reports… Someday…