Thursday, October 14, 2010

Let 'Er Buck

Every year my little hometown of Pendleton, OR puts on a world-famous rodeo called the Pendleton Round-Up. It's a big deal in cowboy world, even if most of you have probably never heard of it.
Our little town of 15,000 swells to 50,000 for that one week, and this year it was even more than that because it was the centennial celebration of the Round-Up. To celebrate, the state built this new addition onto the rodeo grounds, and we trekked all the way to eastern Oregon to visit it.

I was 7 months pregnant, yes, but that didn't stop me from flying alone with the girls to Salt Lake and then driving with my family the 9 hours to P-town. Crazy? That's already been determined. We had fun, though, and the girls were great road trippers. We met up there with everyone from the fam who could make it including Mom, Dad, Jonny, Jamie, Julie, and her "good friend" Leo (not pictured). We missed Joseph, Peter and Abby and boys, Scott, and Geoff.

We were blessed to stay at the home of some friends, the Merrill's, who were gone for the week. (We often left town for that week when we lived there, too.) The girls fell in love with their dog Yogi, and played fetch with him for hours on end.

We made it into town in time for the Westward Ho! parade for our first event. It had more horses in it than any other year I can remember, and the girls were so excited. (Of course that didn't have annnnnything to do with all the candy people threw at them.)

Sophie waved her little American flag and looked adorable in her cowgirl hat.

Avery waved, too, and was cute in her cowgirl shirt, but was mostly enthralled by the horses going poop in the street. Seriously, that's all she could talk about, and I had to stop her more than once from running out to examine it up close. I think it stems from the fact that she's been potty-training and knows that she's not allowed to poop on the ground, so why do the animals get to?

Sophie caught onto the "Yeehaw! Let 'Er Buck!" phrases that everyone can be heard saying in the parade, and she said it over and over the rest of the weekend.

The girls decided they wanted a try at riding something, so we took them over to ride on some ponies. Here's Avery on a little pony named "Rockstar".

Sophie wanted a bigger pony, so she got to ride "Patch".

I think it was love at first ride.

For both of them.

Then we made our way over to the Round-Up stadium for a few hours of rodeo fun. We were on the very front row in the west grandstand, the newly built one. It was very nice, and the girls loved being right near where the horses rode by. We had a great shot of the princesses flying past on their steeds.

The Indian Princesses took the track at a much slower speed. They were beautiful, though.

The girls only got antsy a few times, but all in all did well during the rodeo and really enjoyed it, especially Sophie. Her favorite was watching the bulls and broncos buck their riders. Avery had her first and last taste of beer thanks to the idiot next to us who left it sitting precariously on the edge of the fence while he no doubt visited the bathroom, so of course Avery snuck over and dipped her fingers in for a taste. Remember the bitter beer face commercials? That was Avery to a "T". She didn't go back for seconds.

My parents get very into dressing up for the occasion, even if their daughter is much less zealous in it herself. I think I had one too many years of being forced to wear a cowgirl shirt for a few days growing up that I can only stand to put my little girls into them now.

We didn't get to attend the rodeo on Saturday, too, but these love birds all did. It was obviously a first for both Jamie and Leo and I think they all enjoyed it.

We tried to see as many people as we could while we were in town and were glad the Smiths had a couple minutes free one night to let us drop by and say hi.

We also spent a very fun evening with my parent's best friends, the Neals and the Leonards. We got to watch them in action playing charades and it was hilarious to say the least. They seemed like they were all in their 30's again.

The girls loved spending time with their Gramma and Grampa Lamb.

We spent one morning at the carnival to keep the girls entertained. Sophie loved posing as Ariel as this is her new favorite Disney Princess. It's the hair.

What a cute face. (Can you tell we've got "Cheeeeeeese!" down really well?)

The girls each got to go on 4 rides, and this airplane one was a huge hit.

It's funny how it doesn't matter how many different places the girls have gone on carousels, apparently it never gets old.

They even still choose to do this at Disneyland all the time, even with all the other fun rides to choose from.

I thought they'd get scared on this little roller coaster, but they loved it.

We had a very fun weekend visiting my hometown (and I even got to show the girls the house I grew up in, my high school, and my elementary school where they played on the playground for a while). The Pendleton Round-Up never gets old. Let 'Er Buck!


Emily Widdison said...

sOOO much fun! I want to be from a small town!...wait...Kyle is from a small town so I think that counts. Loved Sophie's cowboy hat...want one for myself now!

m said...

What a great chronicle! Hey, I never saw that giant cowboy boot. Was that down on Main Street??
Cutest little cowgirls there!

The Hurley's said...

So fun I just drove through last week. Looks like the family is doing well. Good luck on the last little bit of your pregnancy.

Holly or James said...

Love me some good round-up. Wish we coulda been there.

Jenny W said...

I'm so glad you got to go!! Fun, fun!! Love you :)