So our trip to the United States would not have been complete without a visit to the state where everything is bigger, Texas. And with good mate and home grown Texan tour guide Kristin along for the ride our weekend to the big T was never going to disappoint. First stop for us was the capital Austin. Austin being one of the more liberal of Texan cities and home to the University of Texas ensured that our night out on the town was not going to be a quiet one. We hit 6th street and it was reminiscent of Bourbon street New Orleans but you guessed it bigger. The street was shut down to traffic and full of drunken young people meandering about the place as far as the eye could see, along with pray groups that stand on corners in bright orange shirts praying supposedly to deter violence.
Rising a little hung over the following morning we set off for breakfast and strike me down we very randomly ran into our old mate Hadz from tailgating at the Broncos game and his wife and daughters (talk about a small world).
Next stop was a whirl wind tour of the capitol building followed by a stop at Lance Armstrong’s bike shop which plays (played) home to his 7 tour de France winners jerseys. Fortunately, we got there just one week prior to them being revoked. Next we moved onto the University Co-op to get ourselves decked out in some burnt orange Longhorns gear in preparation for their game later that evening against fellow Texan side Baylor. After picking up 30 or so tinnies, a foam eski and ice for just over $35 from a nearby 7 11 we set off to experience tailgating Texan style. In previous blogs we have detailed the tailgating concept (at the Broncos and CU v CSU games) and I’ve got to say Texan’s take tailgating to a whole new level…. Everything is bigger, the parties, the TV’s, the accompanying generators, the food, the hospitality and
even our fellow tailgaters such as Mark “TexMark”. TexMark befriended us at a tailgating party we crashed thanks to Kristin’s contacts and after a shot or two of Petrone we were best of mates. TexMark accompanied us into the stadium as he too was sitting way up in the nose bleed section. Approximately midway up DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium I was a little concerned for TexMark as he was all red faced, huffing and puffing struggling along the hand rail only seemingly moments away from a certain heart attack when he flippantly turned to me and apologised for the slow pace he was setting with “sorry I’m a little out of shape…. and I weigh 400 pounds”. Fortunately, TexMark’s seating was not quite as nose bleed as our seats and he made it to his seat with his heart still beating to enjoy an attacking match which saw the home team winning 56 to 50.
Unfortunately, we had to leave the game a little early as our next stop was Dallas a little under three and a half hours north of Austin. Our primary objective for including Dallas into the itinerary was to visit the Texas state fair. We had heard much about the state fair where you can get just about anything fried, fried Chicken, fried Snickers, fried Twinky’s, fried Beer you name it they fry it. As it turns out even fair marquee figure head for the “Big Tex” was fried. After some 40 odd years of service poor old Big Tex caught a light due to some electrical fault and burnt to the ground only days before we arrived. After coming to terms with Big Tex’s passing we moved on through the fair which reminded me a lot of the Easter Show back home…. but slightly larger. Following the fair we rounded out the weekend with a trip to the JFK memorial museum and a walk down to the grass knoll.