State Fair of Texas

Oct. 10, 2011

   I drove from my new home of Austin to the Dallas-Fort Worth area to hang out with my buddy Tim and go to the State Fair of Texas. I drove to his place after work, slept, and then we went to the fair the next day.

   Parking was $15. Admission was $16. A sheet of 20 coupons was $10. Goodbye, paycheck. We parked and took a tram to the entrance. We started off just wandering around. We looked for food since we hadn't eaten yet. I wanted to start with something relatively normal like a burger or hot dog and wait till later in the day to get some odd fried food. We went inside a food court, and I found a booth that had the Texas "Big Dawg," which is a nearly 2-foot-long dog. I got chili on mine. It was really good. I don't remember how much it cost, but I think it was a decent deal compared to the other foods. Tim got chicken fried steak on a stick.

   We wandered around some more. I saw a bag of bread in some grass. We wandered along the midway until we got to Big Tex, a state fair staple. There were some auto exhibits, so we went to those next. We saw the so-called oldest running Chevy in the world, which was build in 1913. We also saw this sleek car and the Heisman Trophy. Nearby was a big furniture and bed expo, so we wandered around that. There was a huge Texas-shaped bed. The sign said it's the largest Texas-shaped bed in the world. For $75,000, who could say no?

   We went outside again and walked along the midway. We passed the Ferris wheel because the line was so long. We went to one end and rode the Skyway to the other. There are good views of the midway from the enclosed cabins. After that, we paid four coupons ($2) to go to the Home of Tomorrow. This exhibit began with a tiny house that had a "bedroom" and standing-room-only kitchen/living area and bathroom. After that was a hot tub, though I didn't see how it was energy efficient or futuristic. We walked through the large house, which used wind and geothermal energy to power it. It also collected rainwater. The person at the end of the tour told me the house made $60 a month from selling electricity back to the grid. Outside was a tiny lawn mower.

   We watched a Marine Corps band play some songs. Then we went to the midway again to ride some coasters. We started on Windstorm. We sat in the back of the short train. The first couple of drops were fun with no airtime. But the real highlight is the twisting drop halfway through. The most of the ride is decent, but that drop is insane. I rode a Windstorm in 2001 in Florida, and I remembered that drop. This was easily the highlight of the ride.

    After that, we went to another coaster, Zillerator. It's a typical traveling-style coaster. It has one vehicle. Tim sat in the front, and I sat in the back. It's got a few fun drops and lots of turns and helixes. It was pretty fun.

    Then we went back to the food booths and got some real fair food. That means fried stuff. Tim got a fried Twinkie. I got fried ice cream and a bottle of water. Total: 20 tickets, or $10! Here's me eating it. It was a huge ball of vanilla ice cream surrounded with batter and deep fried. On top of that was lots of whipped cream, chocolate syrup, sprinkles and a cherry. I thought it was pretty good until the batter got cold and the ice cream warmed up. Then it was only OK. It wasn't anything terribly special, but I had to eat something strange from the fair.

    We decided to call it a day. It was a fun visit to the fair, though I could just feel it burning through my wallet. The exhibits were cool, and the coasters were enjoyable. I'm also glad that I've finally made it to the state fair after living in Texas for three years. Lastly, as we left, we swung by Rangers Ballpark and Six Flags, where we drove right next to Titan. I hope to make it back there to ride New Texas Giant.

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