Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Illinois State Fair

We loaded up our Texas on Tour footprint from Chicago’s Navy Pier and said goodbye to our newfound friends there. It was “on the road again,” as Texan Willie Nelson would say. Next stop…Springfield, home to the Illinois State Fair. Just when I think we can’t conceivably top the fun and excitement in one city, the next destination for the Texas on Tour road show is always a splendid experience in its own unique way. The Illinois State Fair was another such occurrence.

Now when I think of a State Fair I think about how they always have every kind of food you can possibly imagine fried on a stick. You know what I’m talking about…fried Twinkies on a stick, fried Butterfingers on a stick, fried grape soda pop with maple syrup and cottage cheese…on a stick.

Well, during our set-up on the Peoria Street section of the Fair we met Beverly Beckett, a warm, bubbly lady with a talent for baking and cooking who brought us her delicious chocolate ginger cake. The Texas on Tour team took it as a rewarding treat for all our hard work.

On Saturday, Beverly came back to visit us and received numerous high fives from the Texas on Tour team as she informed us that she had won 1st Place in the Fair’s highly competitive cooking contest for her “Minnesota Stuffed Pork Tenderloin.” We at Texas on Tour were so proud to share with her such an accomplishment. “I’ve got new friends in Texas” she told her daughter (whose boyfriend happens to be from Houston) over the phone. Yes Beverly, you do and we hope you come visit us in Texas sometime soon so we can return the hospitality!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Chicago Navy Pier

The wonderful city of Chicago or “Chi-Town” (pronounced “shy town” ) was the backdrop for the latest installment of the 2009 Texas on Tour road show…and boy was it exciting! Now “Chi-Town” is considered by many to be one of the greatest sports cities in the country, but for a few fleeting moments Chicago Bears fans became Dallas Cowboys fans when they lined up to get their picture taken with Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders Megan Fox and Elizabeth Davis. I guess even die-hard Bears fans can appreciate the beauty that the Lone Star State has to offer… and I have video to prove it! Sorry Bears fans, but Elizabeth says the Cowboys are going all the way!

It was certainly a weekend for special guest appearances at Texas on Tour. Representatives from SeaWorld San Antonio brought several “Animal Ambassadors” to the delight of the crowd as they were able to get up close and personal with a lemur from Madagascar and even an albino python named “Mellow Yellow” just to name a few. It was literally a wild time at Texas on Tour!

The fun didn’t stop there, though. The Texas on Tour footprint situated in front of the famous Chicago Navy Pier area turned into Dancing with the Texans when one of our brand ambassadors lead a throng of visitors in a group dance routine of the “electric slide.” I, unfortunately, had to dismiss myself from the pack for fear of stepping on toes and disrupting the rhythm. No, I can’t dance.

Bringing a little taste of Texas to Chicago was fun all the way around. We met some interesting and amazing people. We had some good times and we made some new friends. That being said, listen up “Chi-Town”... don’t be shy…come down and visit us in Texas sometime soon!

Monday, August 3, 2009

EAA AirVenture

Texas on Tour landed at EAA AirVenture, the Oshkosh, Wisconsin air show, which is the second largest air show in the world. It was amazing! It’s hard to believe, but the small Oshkosh airport is the busiest in the world for the one week during the show. The event brings an international audience, so we had people from all corners of the world come by and see us. Folks from Poland, Germany, Spain, England, Norway, and even Japan enjoyed our virtual Texas experience. “Viva la Texas!” I heard one visitor say after taking the 360 degree virtual reality kayaking trip. Texas on Tour was quite the melting pot this week!

Although we had many visitors from around the world, Texas was also well represented. We met many Texans who flew their own airplanes up for the show. At times it felt like we had a mini Texas reunion on site. Fellow Texans stopped by for a visit and a little taste of home. “Thanks for making us proud and representing our state with such style! They also said they learned some new Texas facts when they participated in the Texas Trivia contest in the Discover Texas dome theater. “I didn’t know that Texas had over 190,000 miles of rivers and streams.” It just goes to show, whether you’re from another part of the world or from Texas you can enjoy what Texas on Tour has to offer.

Texas on Tour also offered a unique spectacle on Friday morning. You might say we had a mustang stampede on the Texas on Tour ranch as seventy-five Ford mustangs made their way past our footprint to the large display area behind us. It was quite a sight to see so many vintage cars including a few Shelbys worth almost $200,000. Like true wranglers, we did our part to successfully round up the mustangs and get them corralled. It was yet another exciting start to a fun filled day at Texas on Tour!

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