(This post was written TWO summers ago and for some odd reason I never posted it. What’s good about me posting this now is, you have time to make some summer plans! So…here you go, y’all!)
Ha! Bless the sweet Greeter’s heart, he tried a couple times and just could not get the family in focus!
(I guess that could be said of us on many levels…)
No matter, our main focus, during a recent vacation, was a side trip to the Texas Panhandle to see Texas! The Outdoor Musical!
Our oldest son had to finish up his summer baseball season, so he was unable to join us on the first leg of our vacation, so ThrillCam and I loaded up our youngest and started the drive toward Montana, with an intentional stop in Amarillo. We told our youngest that if he really wants to consider himself a true Texan, then he needed to see Texas!
Texas! Outdoor Musical, is performed, every summer, in the beautiful Pioneer Amphitheater, nestled in the basin of the Palo Duro Canyon (which is amazing and entertaining, all by itself).
Sidenote: Palo Duro Canyon suddenly appears out of nowhere and drops down into the earth, revealing beautiful reds, browns and greens. (see above picture) Did you know, Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the United States?
(We’d love to go back and spend time there hiking and camping for a few days.)
We planned out our whole route, with a couple stops along the way, obviously, including an extra night just to see the musical.
(As we left town, we stopped here: another Texas must!)
The musical is about…you guessed it…Texas. It’s a little bit of history and a whole lot of entertainment.
Yes, the show is sort of cheesy at times.
Yes, it’s even occasionally corny.
(Would that be cheesy-corny?)
But, by golly, you learn a little Texas history while being entertained.
(And who doesn’t want to learn more about Texas?!)
And, because we drove straight there, we opted to eat dinner, on the grounds, before seeing the show. (Your ticket can include dinner, if you’d like. Click on the first link above and you can see the ticket prices. The earlier you make your plans, the better!)
I’m not going to lie and say it was the best BBQ in town, but it certainly wasn’t awful!
While waiting to be seated, we milled around outside the amphitheater where we noticed a huge map of the world. Folks could purchase a pin and show where they traveled from to see the show. There were numerous people from almost every country of the world. (Shown are the pins from just around the Waco area.)
The stage is set, literally, in the cliffs of Palo Duro Canyon. As the sun sets, the special effects become a little more impressive and way fun for the kids.
(I may not remember any of the songs and dances, but I can still remember, as a young kid, seeing the Lone Horseman atop the cliff.)
(Oh! And, the lightning strike!)
(You just have to go to know what I’m talking about!)
No cameras are allowed during the show (that means phone cameras, y’all!), so I don’t have pictures of the set or the actors/dancers, but I can tell you, the colorful costumes are wonderful, the characters are sweet and funny, and the songs will make you tap your toes. It’s, honestly, not a bad way to spend a few hours.
TIP: When selecting tickets, don’t sit at the VERY front. Choose more toward the center middle to center upper-middle, so you can see the stage and cliffs fully. The place will fill up, so order tickets early for best seating choices.)
Honestly, if you plan to visit the Texas panhandle (or just visit the state), this is a fun event for the whole family! There’s singing, dancing, decent BBQ, a few variety acts before the actual show. Of course, all of this while you sit under the great and vast Texas sky.
(“The stars at night…Are big and bright!”)
(clap, clap, clap)
(“Deep in the Heart of Texas!”)
If you’re a native Texan like me (6th generation, y’all!), I’ll tell you, like I told my son, you can’t truly call yourself a Texan until you’ve seen this show.
There’s really no way you can drive through, or even near, Amarillo, Texas, without making the jaunt over to the Cadillac Ranch.
As the daughter of the now deceased Queen of Everything Texas, whether kooky or historical, there was no way, I, personally, could bypass this famous (or infamous) tourist stop.
(I texted my sister later to say how proud our parents would have been of me for the little side stop in our vacation.)
Honestly, though, even if I weren’t still trying to impress my (deceased) parents, I would so stop at Cadillac Ranch! It’s just one of the Texas things to see and do!
Cadillac Ranch has zero educational value, unless you count quirky “art” and the mere ability to say you’ve been there, educational.
And, I do.
My youngest son has added to his culture bank, fo’ sho!
(Now, to make sure we inserted something educational into the visit, we discussed the importance of Route 66 and the various, often quirky, attractions along the famous highway–Cadillac Ranch is located in a pasture along Interstate 40, but the road the pasture is on is the original Route 66.)
Cadillac Ranch was originally created by three artists, back in 1974 , by sticking 10 Cadillacs into the ground, a la Stonehenge style. (Although, the degree of tilt corresponds to the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.)
The pasture where the cars reside is private property, but it is encouraged to cross onto the land via an unlocked gate.
Once you’ve entered the field where the cars are on display, you begin to notice, unfortunately, trash.
Empty spray paint cans.
Besides “trespassing,” you are also encouraged to “tag” the cars.
We had not come prepared (with our own can of spray paint), but there were plenty of partially used cans on the ground to pick from.
When in Rome…
We all got in on the act!
Once you look closely, you realize just how many years of graffiti/paint has been coated on these cars!
Look how thick the paint is!
There is not a single inch of any of the cars that hasn’t been colored upon.
Really and truly, if you are ever in Amarillo–or anywhere near there–you should take the 30 minutes to see the Cadillac Ranch.
Just to say you did.