Sunday, October 02, 2011

Revisiting Old Stomping Grounds & the Yexas State Fair

With the State Fair of Texas opening in Dallas this weekend, our Houston family decided to make the drive. It's what I call a rite of passage as a Texan. Little K packed plenty of DVDs, Barbies & other dolls for the incredibly long (4-hour) drive.

Upon our arrival in Big D, we were all filled with energy. I was thrilled that our 6-year-old loved the rides & games. I was surprised with the number of activities for the very young, too. Little K was proud that she popped two balloons with a hackie-sack & won a Smurfette doll. I giggled with the sight of Big Tex, although he wasn't as tall as I remembered him.

A trip to the State Fair wouldn't be complete without a Fletcher's corn dog, followed by a funnel cake. It was calories galore! I even rode in the very tall ferris wheel but I insisted that everyone hold very still. The

view really was beautiful!

After hours at the state fair, we checked into a downtown hotel. We drove by my old Arthur Andersen office on Main Street, which brought back great memories.

Since both my husband & I attended SMU in Dallas, we had to make a few pit stops. First, dinner at Snuffer's on lower

Greenville (because we hadn't eaten enough at the fair!). The cheddar fries were impeccable as we remembered.

We drove around the SMU campus, amazed at the growth that President Turner has brought to the university. We stopped by the Delta Gamma sorority house, where Andrea politely showed us around. The decor looked great! We not only found my old composite photos but also my mother-in-law's composite! Little K grinned from ear to ear.

Next, we drove through Snyder Plaza to see which places remained from our college days. Shell's, check. Burger House, check. Kuby's (a German restaurant & grocery) was even celebrating Oktoberfest with a

live band, food & beer. We enjoyed a cold one & a few dances. Kuby's was my father-in-law's favorite so this stop made us all smile.

To end the night, we made one last stop at a wall near Hillcrest & the Umphrey Lee building.

Trent showed our daughter a brick that his parents bought him at graduation & that was incorporated into a marquee entrance wall. Inscribed on the brick was "Trent Salch -- a 2 keg brick". My husband beamed.

On Sunday, we drove to Plano to see our first house & the trees that finally grew. We stopped by our old church, St. Elizabeth Anne Seton on Spring Creek & remembered how the events of 911 unfolded. It certainly prompted our move to Houston.

On our return home, we swung by Ozona's Restaurant on Upper Greenville to pick up our to-go order.

As we struggle to get a good radio signal in the car so we can hear the Houston Texans game, I'm so thankful that we moved back to Houston. Our family is much closer & our community much tighter. Even Little K pointed out that she was glad we lived in Houston because Dallas didn't have her friend Clare. Still, it's great to go back to Dallas & Plano, relive memory lane & see how we've all grown.

We look forward to SMU's homecoming on Nov. 1 when we hope to return. We'll need to make a new list of places to visit. Here's hoping SMU wins its football game that weekend like it did this weekend.

Until the next nap time...