Jason, Michal and I went to Fort Worth, Texas for 3 days for the next part of my teacher of the year competition. It was Michal's first time flying! It was fun to watch her face as the plane took off. She decided she didn't really like the feeling of flying because she felt so out of control.
We stayed at the Fort Worth Hilton and enjoyed roaming around downtown and trying out some of the local restaurants. Thursday evening I had an interview with the committee for the Teacher of the Year. Thursday night we ate at Mi Cocina, a popular Mexican restaurant. It was very good. I just couldn't handle the salsa because it was too hot. But I'm a baby about that anyway.
Friday I had workshops all day so Jason and Michal did some more exploring except when it was time for the luncheon and the awards were presented. There were six candidates for the Southwest Region Teacher of the Year.
Yo Azama from California won the award. He teaches Japanese. He was super excited about winning and will now be a candidate for the National Teacher of the Year. It was great to meet so many wonderful foreign language educators and learn some new teaching ideas for my students.
On Friday night we took a cab to the Stockyards and ate at Cooper's BBQ. We couldn't believe our eyes when we were shown the choices for meat! They just slice off a hunk of whatever you want, dunk it in their famous barbecue sauce and slap it on a cafeteria tray! Then they weigh the meat and you pay for it by the pound. You can get baked potato and fixin's, drinks, cobbler, and there's this giant pot of beans that has whole jalapeño peppers floating in it, plus a giant jar of jalapeño peppers on the picnic tables! The cashier hands you a piece of freezer wrap and says "This is y'all's plate. Y'all eat on the shiny side." It was a hoot!
We explored the Stockyards some more. It used to be a slaughtering place for cattle but now they've turned it into shops and restaurants, etc.
Check out this cute, old couple singing "You're Cheatin' Heart."
There was also a guy there with his longhorn steer offering photo opportunities. It's easy to start saying y'all when you're in Texas! Everywhere we went it was "Hi y'all", "Bye, y'all", "What would y'all like?", "Wher're y'all goin'?". But my favorite was this cute gramma lady who rode with us in the shuttle from the airport to the hotel the first day we were there. She was from Indiana! She said, "Wher're all a you'uns from?" I wrote it down and she asked me if I was accusing her of being a redneck. I said absolutely not! I just love language. It's fascinating!