Chasing the Game - to Houston!

We arrived in Houston this morning, early, and it was cold, for our very short two day adventure chasing DC United.  This is the first time for both of us spending more than one overnight stay in the city, and we are fortunate to be hosted by Jodi and Matt for our whirlwind trip!  Matt and Jodi drove up to the pick up area shortly after a brief exchange of text messages, and they turned the heater on full blast for us.  It was a short drive to their community, which is really quite impressive.  I am really impressed with their home, and with how the rooms are laid out - quilting for Jodi, war room for Matt, and a pool table for all!  Our room was very comfortably laid out, too, and Wayne settled in for a bit of a nap.

Jodi and Matt gave us a lazy morning to relax and then told us about the Rodeo Houston event for the evening.  Jodi fixed up a great lasagna (I can never get mine without liquid pouring out!) for lunch and we headed out.  Of course, their cat got out and gave Matt quite a hard time in corralling him - until Jodi came out with treats.  Works every time!

We went to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo this afternoon and evening.  It was amazing to see all of the livestock inside, and to observe the sheer number of people.  We got to go by the baby pens, and saw most recent birth dates and expected birth dates of different calfs, lots and lots of bunnies, and different bulls.  The bunnies and calfs were absolutely adorable.  I went on a mission to find Kate a pink cowgirl hat, and managed to do so.  I made sure this time to put it on my head in order to be sure that it would fit on Kate’s (unlike the German walking hat, which was far too small).  She is just growing and growing. 

Then we walked the concession stands outside in search of dinner.  Two gigantic tents filled with the smell of roasting beef hit me immediately, and I really had to focus in order to pin down a non red meat alternative.  Wound up with bbq chicken, which was great, but why oh why am I in Texas not able to eat meat and potatoes when at a Rodeo!  Curse my class on treating people with chemical dependencies!  I need a Meataholic Anonymous meeting, stat! 

Then it was in to our seats in the stadium for the main show.  We saw stage 2 of the BP Super Series which involved tie down roping (not a favorite event to watch!), bareback riding, team roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling (scary!), barrel racing and bull riding.  All are definitely very athletic events that I definitely do not possess the talent to accomplish.

Mixed in with this were three other events - a covered wagon race; something akin to a 4H event where the high school aged children herd in a cow, which is then raised for a year and sold, giving the kids scholarship money; and my absolute favorite event of the night:  Mutton busting!  5 & 6 year old children were placed bareback onto a sheet, and had to ride it across the pen.  The sheep are so slippery that a number of the kids fell off before the pen was even opened!                

One young boy rode exceptionally well, and made it all the way across the pen.  As if by direction, all the other sheep then ran out and circled the boy and his sheep, and then returned back to the far side.  You couldn’t ask for a better indicator of who the sheep thought should win!

After that, it was back to home base for a good night’s rest.