Sunday, February 5, 2012

Texas State Fair and Gardens!

After traveling throughout Asia for two years, one of my biggest fears coming back to the States was that I’d be bored silly. Fortunately, I’ve discovered that Oklahoma and the surrounding areas have some excellent sightseeing destinations, only a few hours away.

During fall break, Mom and I took a road trip to visit my brother in the Austin area. On the way, we stopped by the Dallas State Fair. While my hometown Tulsa State Fair is famous for food, livestock, rides, and animal shows, the Dallas version also features international performances. We got there about noon, and first enjoyed the Kenya acrobats.

Here’s a human pyramid:



Balancing on a bunch of chairs:



Crazy low limbo (he actually went even lower than that):



Flipping while jumping rope:



Next we saw the Shanghai circus with its delicate dances and body bending beauty, every bit as good as I’d seen in China.



A couple did an interesting ballet rendition of swan lake where the girl stood on the guy’s head. But this was my favorite act:



Circ du Sole has a similar dance, only with a guy and girl. I don’t know why I like it so much, only that I think it’s a very beautiful expression of love. This is how my Terrian characters dance in one of the novels I’m writing now, An Honest Assassin.

After that we took a break for food. Turkey leg for me, nachos for Mom, cotton candy, caramel popcorn and nutty ice cream to share. Man, it was so bad for us, but so good.

I’ve got an acute interest in birds, thanks to my novel series Bird Girl, so after that we went to a bird show. Here’s an albino hawk. Don’t see them everyday.




Mom had never watched a pig race, and squealed right along with the little hogs as they ran around the track. The night ended with the spectacular Illumination Sensation, a multi-media presentation of lasers, water, pyrotechnics, and fireworks, lighting up the night sky with images and songs of American pride.

The next day, the Dallas Arboretum came alive with colorful mums, fall foliage, and cascading streams:












Our favorite attraction was the Cinderella pumpkin village. Over twenty varieties of 50,000 pumpkins and gourds had been donated by farmers to create cottages, coaches, and transform the entire park into an autumn fairytale. Sadly, I only got a picture of the arboretum entrance with pumpkins, then I ran out of battery power.



Finally on Thursday evening, we got to Benjamin and Raina’s (my brother and sister-in-law’s) house. Here’s a picture of us all together, taken by a neighbor:



We played games most of the time (settlers of Catan, dominion, and Benjamin’s card game that he invented, swords and soldiers, based on the video game). Ben had to go to work on Friday and showed us his cubical and all the cool stuff in his new company, National Instruments. He says he’s “arrived.” I’m a bit jealous, since my chances as an artist of “arriving” are very slim, but then, I would probably die in a “cubical.” I always have to be doing something new and fresh to keep from getting bored. Saturday morning we had breakfast at I-hop, then Mom and I had to go home so she could be at work (church, to play the organ) on Sunday. But it was a great trip, and I look forward to many more!

Until next time, keep loving and praying,

L.J. Popp

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