Fort Worth is in the heart of Texas and all things cowboy. My goals for Texas included going to a rodeo, buying a cowboy hat, driving in a big ass truck and going to hooters. Mission accomplished.

The rodeo was easy enough. We booked tickets online and turned up at will-call for our front row spot of the madness. It wasn’t long before a heartfelt rendition of the US anthem was belted out from a lady on a horse with a flag, followed by endless calves running out and being tied up and thrown on their backs. Once the bull riders came out I was sitting on the edge of my seat in pure fear and horror. The poor animals are in such anguish that it bought tears to my eyes, but at the same time the amazement of how these men could hold on to such a bucking beast was incredible. I felt at a crossroad between my moral conscience and my sick fascination. After I thought I had seen it all, along came a four year old who could ride a horse much better than I, and did the barrel race like a champ. During the intermission I managed to find a stall to purchase my cowboy hat and from then on in, I fit right in.

The next day happened to be the Texas State Fair in Dallas, a once-a-year event that showcased everything Texan. This was perfect. I donned my cowboy hat and we set off in the 40 degree heat. As we wandered around the fair we came across a test drive area for trucks. We filled in the waiver and before we knew it we were in the driver’s seat of a 2016 Silverado 1500. The test drive track was an off-road track that tested the 4WD to its limits. Texas was steadily growing on me. The fair offered turkey legs for lunch (think Fred Flintstone sized portion)  and no end of over-sized, indulgent food, services and goods.

Hooters was a must-go, but a hell-no. The food is large and greasy. The ladies and small and skimpy. The worst part was looking around seeing families dining there. Little girls dining on deep fried chicken and fries, whilst looking at scantily clad women as examples of how women should dress. It was disheartening, not the fun experience I thought I might have. However, the tater tots, ribs, and gigantic burgers were pretty tasty, if not extraordinarily overloaded with more calories than should be consumed in a lifetime.