Sunday, February 11, 2007

Rodeo San Antonio!

View my photos from San Antonio by clicking here.

If I wasn't so partial to Iowa, I would want to move to Texas! In the middle of February, it was 55 degrees and all of the Texans were freezing--I thought it was tropical compared to the sub-zero temperatures we have been experiencing! I was engulfed by the Texas hospitality and fell in love with the "culture" where all of the women know each other by their first names: "honey," "darling," "sweetheart," and "baby." The young kids were all very well-mannered, as I have never been called "ma'am" so many times in one phrase!

I had a great time in San Antonio helping out at the Exceptional Rodeo, brushing the dirt off of the mutton busters, signing autographs, and taking in San Antonio history! Miss Rodeo Texas, Joanna Blackwell, and Miss Rodeo Oregon, Jennifer Steffen, were my companions for the weekend. We spent part of Friday visiting the Fisher house for wounded and recovering soldiers and their families. It was inspiring to visit a place that was so supportive to the men and women who keep this country free for us. Later that night, Jennifer and I attended a reception for new army recruits that were taking their oath of service that evening before the rodeo. It was very humbling to talk to the recruits and thank them for what they will be doing for America; I was touched because the majority of them were younger than I.

San Antonio is the richest rodeo in the PRCA, offering over $1 Million in prize money for the contestants. However, during the rodeo they had mutton busting and a calf scramble for the kids, which was awesome to see that they still took time out for the kids. Hadley Barrett and Randy Corley kept the crowd informed of what was going on, and Sugarland and Alan Jackson serenaded the fans who stuck around after the rodeo Friday and Saturday. I got to meet many of the contestants while we signed autographs and ate delicious meals in the hospitality room.

While in San Antonio, Jennifer and I stayed with Julie Kalison, a very kind San Antonio resident, who went out of her way to make us feel at home in Texas by taking us to the rodeo and around town. We ate lunch at Mi Tierra, a famous Mexican restaurant that has been on t.v. shows such as The Food Network and The Travel Channel, and then headed to the Alamo. The building from the outside is not as big as one would think, but when you walked inside, the history swallowed you up and took you back in time.

After the Alamo, we headed across the street and walked down to the River Walk, which was absolutely beautiful! The San Antonio River runs right through town, and there are shops and restaurants that are along both sides of the waterway which was really neat because we got to eat lunch overlooking the river! We also were able to do some shopping, and for this Iowa girl who only finds Western wear at Western stores, finding designer Western wear such as Sage West and Rockmount at Dillard's Department Store was incredible!

Though I had a great time in Texas and Joanna Blackwell was one of the nicest and most genuine rodeo queens I have met, it was great to see Iowa again! I am back for a few days to turn in homework, take tests, and attend lectures, then it is off to Florida for the weekend! Be sure to check out the pictures from my trip! Take care, and I will be sure to write again soon!