Friday, August 21, 2015

Brailey and The Queen B Take Texas

I was trying to be creative on my title - instead of "taking Manhattan," we took Texas! Took it all in, that is. Brailey was so excited to get there, she could hardly stand it! The entire plane ride down, she kept asking me how much longer, how much time had passed - it was about five minutes since the last time she asked. We arrived very late in the morning. An already late flight was delayed by two hours, and so we didn't get there until nearly two. Brady's sister and brother-in-law are the absolute best people on the planet, though, and they would not even hear of us getting a motel room for the night! They picked us up and we were at their ranch by four in the morning. Needless to say, we all slept in!
After we all managed to get out of bed, which wasn't too late considering the circumstances, we went on a little tour of the area. Our first stop was Brady's niece Codie's new ranch. They have the most amazing place ever, and last year when Brailey was there, they were just working on the house. It turned out amazing and I wish I could transport it to Oregon! Below, the cousins, reunited. They were so happy to see each other! Preslie is the little one, and then Candice.
Uncle Frank, Candice and Brailey checking things out on our tour of the facilities. It was so impressive! They keep everything immaculate and work their tail ends off - it takes the entire family to keep everything going! It is amazing and special and a dream come true for all of them, I think.
This is Candice's horse, Chanel. She is so sweet! Brailey would steal her in a heartbeat. Chanel loves Candice dearly - it is obvious they are bonded. What a sweetheart!
From The Green's place to The Tallman's ranch. We went to take one of Cindy's super cool trash cans to her friend Kristen, and Bob just happened to get home as we were leaving. Below, Bob and Cindy. They have a gorgeous place! 
I love this sign so much! This is the entry to Frank and Cindy's ranch. Frank is a living legend in the cutting horse and reining world - I may be family, but I am not exaggerating when I say he is one the best trainers that ever was or ever will be.
I hate to admit this, but it is part of the story. On our way home from our tour of Texas, I got super sick! It started as a headache and then turned into vomiting. The only thing I can think of is that I was going through caffeine withdrawals. I am not that addicted to caffeine, but I do have coffee every morning, and I am super sensitive to caffeine. I forgot to have any on this day, and I think my body was upset about it. In any case, I was so sad to miss out on and evening of visiting with Candice and the most delicious meal ever cooked by Cindy and then they all played charades and listened to music on the fabulous jukebox above. Needless to say, I was panicked, thinking I might have the flu or miss Market, but I was feeling much better by the middle of the night, and I was fine the rest of the week. I hit Starbucks nearly every day or made sure I had some form of caffeine every morning after this! 
And that takes us to Dallas Market, my first ever and the entire reason for the trip! I was so relieved to be feeling better on Tuesday, and we got the booth set up and all was well! Above, I am with my boss and the owner of Ali Dee Collection, Ali Dee herself, and one of our new reps from Mississippi, Jenn. 
The first day of Market, my beloved family came! Cindy and Candice have a store, Lucky Ranch Style, and they brought Brailey along with them to shop for new goodies. She was thrilled and so happy to experience Market after hearing all about Denver Market from Brady and I. She was in heaven hanging out with her two favorite people in the world, her Aunt Cindy and cousin Candice. Plus, she got to meet Ali Dee and have her picture taken with her!
 Three beauties, all in a row!
 A view of the Dallas Market Center from our hotel. This was from the 27th floor.
My roommate for the week, Jenn! I call her "Mississippi Girl." She was a perfect roomie and we had a great time together! On Thursday, I had another health crisis of sorts - one of my back molars broke in half! I was frantic and panicked for a bit, but it didn't hurt at all, so I lucked out. I was so scared I was going to be in massive pain. Thankfully, it wasn't a front tooth! Still, it was very disconcerting, to say the least.
One evening, we went on a little walk and disovered this beautiful little pond. There were tons of fish and a mama duck with eight little ducklings. They were so cute!
Above, you see the East Texas Rep, Tyler, and Brady's boss, Chris, with Miss Rodeo America 2015. This was one of the best parts of Market - we were right next to the Montana Silversmiths booth! Who would have thought that would happen in a million years? We had the best time with the Montana folks, although I drove Brady's boss crazy with all my picture taking. Tyler was so sweet and was our "Offcial Ali Dee Collection Photographer" for the week. Whenever we needed a picture, Tyler was the guy to handle it.
One night, there was a super cool fashion show. We watched it on our way out as we were leaving for the day. It was a lot of fun to watch with really good music and some very interesting fashion.
Another Montana guy, the West Texas Rep, CJ, came on Friday, and I managed to capture one candid of the Montana boys together. 
More Market fun! Above, our Social Media Specialist and East Texas Rep, Laurin, was able to make it up for the day. I love her so much - she is the most beautiful soul, inside and out!
I was very excited to meet Cicily Cross Blair! She is one of Ali's good friends and was on the show Texas Women with her. She is just as beautiful in person as she is in pictures. And below, as you can see, we hung out with the Montana Reps quite a bit throughout the course of Market. I love my Montana Silversmiths family!
My dear Lolo, and one of our brand new reps from Oklahoma who made the trip down just to meet us all, McKenzie. Both these girls are Crossfitters, and it was so fun to hear them talk about all their moves and lifts.
One afternoon, this singer walked around all the western booths and sang and played his guitar. Fun stuff!
After it was all over, on our way back "home," Ali took Jenn and I on a tour of The World Famous Stockyards. This was so much fun! I am so thankful we were able to do this. 
Of course I am only including a handful of the wonderful pictures from the Stockyards. It was truly an incredible experience and really, really fun! I'm so thankful Ali made time to show us this - it was even more cool than I had imagined! 
And then back to the ranch! The next day, after we had discovered a fantastic new coffee stand in Mineral Wells, we hit the local Walmart for a few goodies before heading home. The girls were searching for a movie to take home to Britt in this photo. We found one!
And then more cooking! Aunt Cindy showed Bray several recipes over the course of the week. On this particular day, it was Earthquake Cake and King Ranch, which were so delicious my mouth is watering just thinking about them!
Later that evening, we took a stroll around the ranch. I got so many cool pictures! Cindy showed us her booth and on our way back, the neighbors had stopped in and were shopping in her trailer - it was perfect! Below, Preslie found a soft spot to land.
 

The next morning, we were reunited with Preslie's mom and dad, Frank and Cindy's oldest daughter Codie and her husband Casey. There were in Amarillo all week long at a show, but we got to have breakfast with them in Cool, Texas. It was super delicious and fun!
 
On our way to the airport, we stopped by The Junktion, where Cindy and Candice have a little booth inside the store. This store is DARLING! Brailey and I could have spent a fortune, here...
And it was so nice for Brailey to be able to visit with Codie for a bit. She treated Bray to a snow cone from The Funky Munky, which they introduced to her on last year's visit to Texas. She said they were as delicious as ever!
We miss these people so much! They are such a fantastic family, and they treated us like royalty. We were spoiled the entire time we were down there! Our flight home was a bit of a fiasco, as it was delayed, and then once we boarded the plane, something went wrong, so we had to wait for two hours, ON THE PLANE, while they fixed it. The seats are so cramped, both Braiely and I had aching knees by the time we got off. After six hours sitting like that, who wouldn't have a sore body?! But our boys were there to greet us, and we were so happy to see them and to hug them and there is just no place like home. Much as we love Texas, our hearts are in Oregon! 

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