About this time every year, Houstonians flock to the annual Houston Livestock Show And Rodeo, a tradition that has flourished since its inception 80-something years ago. This event lasts almost a full month and offers something for the whole family. If you're interested in the rich history, and how this event helps youngsters, click on the link above.
Before Thursday, the last time The Man and I attended any part of the Houston Livestock Show And Rodeo as a family was way back when our daughter was three, a mighty long time ago. But all that changed Thursday morning, when we collected sugar plum and her stroller and headed off to Reliant Park to spend the day.
There is so much to do, and so many events to attend (bull riding, horse show competitions, livestock auctions, big name music entertainers, to name a few), which is why you can't see it all in a single outing. We picked out activities we thought sugar plum would enjoy.
Here are some images of how we spent our time.
Watching her ride this little pony, I was taken right back to 1990 when we first brought our Anna Marie to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, where she rode a pony much like this one. I remember going home that night, looking at my Polaroid pics, and the reams of video we shot, and having myself a good cry. I realized my baby was no longer a baby. Believe me when I say the little years go by in seconds.
Sugar plum waited so patiently in line (along with the old folks) for 45 minutes, for a chance to ride the flying pink elephant, a ride that lasted a total of four minutes. I'm serious. Four minutes. When we got up to the entrance, she wasn’t tall enough to ride alone, so I went with her. The Man was a little worried, since he knows the carousel often whirls a bit fast for me (wink, wink, but no kidding). Assuring him I would be just fine, we boarded our elephant and began flying around for four minutes. During one particular turn, I said, “Oh my … Aunt Dayle is starting to feel a little dizzy. Are you?” She said she was not and that was that.
On the way home, while stuck in traffic, she said, “Aunt Dayle?” I said, “Yes, ma’am.” She said, “Did you get dizzied up on that elephant ride?” The Man and I agreed that she pretty much hit the nail on the head. Indeed, I got dizzied.
See what I mean about the carousel? I'm not sure what I'm yelling here, but it could very well be, "Slow this puppy down!"
One of the experiences in the "Kids Country" area was a “day at the farm.” Sugar plum got to climb on a tractor, plant bell peppers, feed the chickens, gather eggs, milk a cow (not a real one, but a simulated one, with results, shall we say). When she was done with her chores, she was paid in green "money" and got to spend it at the little grocery store on a sweet treat. My favorite image in this collage is the last one, where she skipped across the sunny pavement, on to the next event.
As the afternoon wound down, we strolled around the various vendors indoors, in search of a perfect cowgirl hat for our little cowgirl. And we found it, wouldn't you say? Here she is, looking adorable, having her picture taken on the back of a pony named Tiki. Have you ever seen a cuter cowgirl? Me neither.
On the drive home, all tuckered out and tired, my feet ached, but my heart was brimming with gratitude. The Man and I are so blessed to have precious little ones to share our days and keep us company.
As I write, it is Sunday evening. A cold March wind blew in this afternoon, wrapping around the house and tapping at all the windows. We even lost power a time or two. Spring keeps teasing us, but old man winter is having a hard time letting go. We will see what tomorrow brings.
Until next time, dear friends, I hope you are well and enjoying moments of sweetness in each and every day.