From Sunset Sushi Cruise TO Texas Rodeo And Bar-Be-Que!

When we originally planned our trip to Costa Rica, we decided it would be nice to book a sunset cruise and hire a sushi chef to prepare the meal for us.  Well...since there was that "little glitch" in "the best laid plans"...and we found ourselves in Texas instead, we had to think of something else to do.  Why the solution was right before our eyes...we would go to a RODEO!

I had never been to a rodeo, as was the case of several in our party.  So Robby began to research finding one for us and low and behold there was one to be found in Mesquite!  Mesquite was only a short ride from Dallas; 20-30 minutes.  Upon calling to inquire about the rodeo, we found that there was an option to view it from the comfort of a private box.  It would be catered with a full "Texas Style Bar-Be-Que Buffet"; beef, sausage, beans, coleslaw, potato salad, rolls and peach cobbler.  Now, WHO could resist THAT?!  We booked the box for Friday night.  However, first, we needed to do a little "rodeo shopping" in preparation for the big event.

Robby googled western wear shops and BOY did we have FUN there!  We tried on everything from shirts to hats and boots and even found Parker Ann the cutest rodeo outfit.
DAVID:  "Hey! How do I look in THIS?"

PARKER ANN:  "Ya Ya, Can I have THIS hat?"

JUSTIN:  "What do you think about THIS shirt?"

SARAH:  "Which boots do you think look the BEST on me?"

CODI:  "Which ones should I get?"

When it got time for the rodeo, we all definitely LOOKED like Texans!

Caitlin and I sporting the SAME boots!

Uncle David and Parker Ann ready for the rodeo!

What a CUTE little "Cowgirl"!

Friday, we had all taken a trolley downtown to shop, see a movie and eat lunch.  We headed back to our rooms in time to get dressed for our Texas evening out at the Mesquite Rodeo.  When we arrived, we found our way to our box seat and guess what?!  There was a name plate beside the door with "Rogenmoser" on it!

The private box we had for the rodeo was GREAT!  It wafted with the smell of Texas bar-be-que and had plenty of room for dining AND sported a perfect view of the rodeo events.

Robby and his 2 little "cowboys"!

3 generations of Rogenmoser men

Justin and Parker Ann

Ya Ya and Parker Ann

The Rogenmoser (Cow) Girls...AND all of their CUTE boots!

The rodeo was LOTS of fun for all and I would suggest that if you have never seen one to GO if ever given the chance.  It is SO AMERICAN...and THAT was EXACTLY what our crew needed!

Making History In Dallas...

Ryan called from Metarie to ask how it felt to be in Dallas the day history was made. WHAT could he be talking about?!  With Ryan, there was no telling!  He said, "Dallas broke a record for both the low and high temperature in the same day; the low was 89 and the high was 102".  Thanks, Ryan!  But I suspected it was pretty HOT.  That's one reason we decided to head out for Hurricane Harbor for the day to get wet and cool off!

Since my father-in-law had just recently recovered from heat exhaustion, both he and my mother-in-law made even cooler plans for the day; they used a pair of those tickets given to us and spent the afternoon at the art museum downtown.

Robby and I mostly played with Parker Ann at the water park and I must admit that she has been a REAL TROUPER!  From flying (back to back flights) hotel dining...bowling and now spending a day at a water park.

After a day at "Hurricane Harbor", we all met up back at the hotel, got dressed and walked to a restaurant that can also be found in Louisiana, "S and;D Oyster House".  The mood was loud and noisy there (perfect for us!) and the food delicious.  We turned in for the night; tomorrow would be another BIG day in Dallas!

When we woke up the next morning, we knew that it would be a full day so we lazed around a bit at breakfast and didn't leave too early.  EVERY trip must have a "Retail Therapy Day" (much to the dismay of the guys...) and THIS would be that day!  There were some great shops connected to our hotel and we started there.  From there we drove over to The Galleria, where The American Girl Store would be our first stop.  For those of us who knew all about the American Girl world and had previously visited the stores before, it was quite a treat.  For those (the guys...) who had never experienced this was quite a shock!  Parker Ann?,,,She LOVED it!

To appease the guys, upon entering The Galleria, we headed straight down to eat some lunch.  I KNOW it hadn't been long since breakfast, but that is what guys do in a mall to keep from we went!  We ate a place called, "Luciano's".  They served Italian food and it was delicious!  However, as we were sitting there eating, David got this great idea in his head...he wanted to ice skate! who was going to skate with him?  Not me...That was for certain!  The last time I tried to do any sort of skating, I broke my tailbone.  Justin agreed to skate with him, saying, "One or both of us will probably end up with a broken ankle."  And there is a reason he said that; David is "wide open" at everything he does...and the ice skating was no different.  I HAD to grab my camera and snap a few pictures; one thought passed through my mind as I did so..."Blades of Glory" with Will Ferrell!

After our day at The Galleria, we made our way across town (using some crazy navigation app. on the i-phone again that kept getting us lost...) to "Medieval Times", where David insisted we go for dinner and a show.  We had been to one of these years ago, but Sarah and Codi had never been.  We gave them the full experience by dressing in the period clothing for a picture and then continued into the theatre, where we watched knights duel as we ate our dinner with our hands.  It was fun and everyone enjoyed the evening.  Just being together as a huge group...PRICELESS!


When Life Throws You Lemons, Make Lemonade (OR...Lemon Martinis) And Do It In TEXAS!

Being sent back to Texas was the perfect refuge from the storm we had just experienced in the past 24 hours.  We were on the phone with our travel agent until our plane took off.  When the plane landed, we had rooms booked at the beautiful Rosewood Crescent Court Hotel.  As soon as we checked in, there were two things I wanted to do immediately:  1.  Take a shower.  It had been a day and a half since I had, had one.  2.  Brush my teeth.  After that, although we were extremely tired, we all walked over to a great Italian restaurant, where I enjoyed a hot meal and a couple of glasses of wine.  When we got back to our room, everyone was sitting around talking and watching television when I realized that I just could not keep my eyes open one minute longer.  I made it up the stairs to my bedroom...instantly fell asleep...and did not wake up until the next morning;quite a feat, since I wake up once or twice EVERY night.  If this was what it took to cure my insomnia, I think I would rather continue to have sleepless nights!

Once dawn broke on Tuesday, it was time for us to regroup.  We were in Dallas, not in Costa Rica.  Dallas is a BIG (as is everything else in Texas...) city and although we have come here quite often, there are things that we have never done.  First on the agenda for the day was The JFK Museum that is housed in the Book Depository in Downtown Dallas.  Everyone was excited about this because REALLY...who is not fascinated with the JKF story and all of the mystery and theories surrounding his assassination.  THIS ended up being a GREAT choice for a day starter!

Next, we walked 3 miles (I know this because of i-phone gps AND it was over 100 degrees!)  to eat lunch.  Once the kids spotted "Dick's", it was decided (by THEM...not me) that we HAD to eat there.  I wasn't sure this was such a good idea since the entire theme of the restaurant is built around the servers insulting the patrons; perhaps a bit much after our ordeal?!  Well, the insults were not too bad.  They told us the REAL taunting begins in the evenings (WHEW!)  Although, a couple of people DID earn a hat!

OK...So, Codi wouldn't wear her hat for the picture!

After eating lunch, we headed out to the bowling alley, where we had a great time just hanging out with one another; bowling, eating, drinking and listening to music.  Our good friends who live here in Dallas met us there for drinks and to visit.  Lori had called me earlier that morning and when I answered my phone, she said, "Welcome to Texas!" (obviously she had already read about our travel woes...).  I replied by saying, "I LOVE TEXAS!"  Lori brought us an entire packet of complementary tickets to several museums and shows in town...WOW!  What a sweet thing to do for these weary travelers looking for something to do.

We headed back to our hotel and Robby, Kevin and Caitlin headed out to get dinner and bring it back to us.  We all met up in our suite and ate, played cards and watched television.  At the end of the day, everything had turned out OK; not as we had originally planned or expected, but a family...had survived this change of plans quite well.  We are a close knit, loyal bunch and there are NO other people that I would rather spend a week with...not matter where in the world we may end up!