I have been a Houstonian for less than two years now but I know for a fact that March in this town means Rodeo. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo at NRG lasts the entire month and offers plenty of activities. There are cook-offs, carnival rides, State Fair-status fried foods and all sorts of furry animals to see. It is a huge event that spans NRG Park. Thousands of people are on site while it’s open and even more show up during the main events that are the nightly rodeo and concert. We went for a night last year and I was disappointed because I did not have as much fun as everyone promised I would. My whole family plus my Aunt Patsy who was in town from California went to see Florida Georgia Line. Getting in and out of the stadium was my own personal nightmare because it was so crowded. It was late by the time we were funneled into the carnival but it was so hot and humid that we were all just uncomfortable. Trying to
leave escape that night was a disaster because we struggled with getting an Uber. I was disenchanted by that first experience to the point that Josh and I had no intention of going this year. That is until our friend who lives in Dallas let us know he was coming to town…
My mistake that first visit was basing my opinion of Rodeo solely off of the very few things we did. We missed the rodeo and went straight to the concert. The livestock areas had already closed and most things at the carnival were shutting down. We went this year thanks to our friend who gave us concert tickets. We cut it close by going on the very last day but I am glad we did. We spent eight hours there and definitely did it right the second time around.
We began our Sunday with the most important meal of the week: brunch. How naive of us to think that by filling up before getting there would stop us from buying all of the carnival foods. We doubled our losses by arriving with tummies full of Cyclone Anaya’s migas and mimosas. We stopped at the Wine Garden where we stocked up on Pinot Grigio. It was gorgeous inside with fountains and lights strung over the tables. The cobbler stand caught Josh’s eye so naturally we had to get the peach cobbler topped with ice cream. Food and drink purchases from the rest of the day included hot cheeto elote, cheeto popcorn and plenty of beers. I was a glutton and paid for it with a stomach and head ache the next day #worthit.
I was desperate to visit the Birthing Center and petting zoo because the only things I love more than cute animals are cute baby animals. We saw baby calves, goats and pigs along with all sorts of different breeds of cattle. There were exhibits of Texas wildlife, milking demonstrations and a bunny room, to name a few. My favorite part was the petting zoo wherein I learned a few things: 1) Goats are savages and will do just about anything to get your ice cream cone of feed 2) Deer will eat your clothes 3) Pigs are extremely extroverted and will allow you to love on them for a total of three seconds before moving on to their next admirers. Most notably, Josh and I met an alpaca and a couple of donkeys. I asked the donkeys about how they planned on regaining power in the House and Senate to which they had no comment.
We walked around the carnival for a bit before heading into the the stadium for the rodeo. Josh had never seen one so we couldn’t miss it. Based on the way he was cheering I would say his favorite parts were the horse and bull riding. My favorite was the barrel racing. The stadium started to get packed after a couple of hours. The Zac Brown Band closed the show as the last concert of the year. They’re one of my favorites! We moved further down in the stands to meet our friends. To no one’s surprise, it was an excellent performance. Rodeo concerts are set up a little funny because they roll out a twirling stage in the center of the arena. Even if you have “good seats” (we did. Thanks, Andrew and Taylor!) you’re nowhere close to the stage. The trade off is that you get a good view no matter where you are. It was the second time Josh and I saw ZBB. The first time was when we had just started to hang out together in Austin. We sang and danced along both times.
Moral of the story: second chances are worth taking and carnival food should be eaten in moderation. See ya next year, Rodeo!
Lots of love,