Welcome to my first hometown tourist post. Every last weekday of the month, Dara from Not In Jersey and Lauren from Shooting Stars Mag share all the local tourist things they did: places they went, things they saw/ate, etc. And I am linking up with them today!
Coincidentally…but you know how I feel about coincidences (hint: there aren’t any)…my friend and fabulous photographer Terri at Second Wind Leisure Perspectives is hosting a Sunday Stills photo challenge. Each Sunday, Terri shares a theme for the Sunday Stills photo of the week. Guess what this week’s word was? Tourist!
So, being a master at multi-tasking, I am going to kill that proverbial bird with 2 stones. Shall we?
My Prince and I have enjoyed several sip and paint/drink and draw experiences in the past few years. We’ve painted cactuses (you know how I feel about that word cacti), the Eiffel Tower, Katrinas for Dia de los Muertos, an old fashioned truck loaded with a fresh cut Christmas tree, some potted orchids and our own versions of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Quite the eclectic collection!
When we heard that our beautiful Southwest University Park Triple A baseball stadium was teaming up with I Painted That! to offer “Painting in the Park“, PC and I both wanted to go. And go we did!
Southwest University Park Baseball Stadium
El Paso is a property-tax poor city. With a population of close to 700,000, our median annual income is more than $15,000 below the national median annual income. As a result, our city struggles to provide quality of life and tourist-attractive activities. Traveling east, tourists tend to drive through El Paso to get to San Antonio, Austin, Dallas and Houston. Traveling west, they pass through to El Paso on their way to Phoenix or Los Angeles. No one stops here. But now we have this beautiful ball park built in 2014 and the Triple A baseball team, the El Paso Chihuahuas, the farm club to the San Diego Padres. El Paso is beginning to get a little more tourist traffic.
Painting in the Park
Baseball was the appropriate theme of our painting in the park. A Chihuahua’s baseball cap, bat and glove all laying (lying?) along a baseline. Here is the painting that served as our inspiration.
When I called to purchase our tickets, we were encouraged to dress up for 50s night on the evening of “Painting in the Park”. The ticket agent explained that the participant with the best costume would throw out the first ball of the game. Or so I (mis)understood. I put together PC’s high school letter jacket, with rolled jeans and a big white shirt, Bobbie socks and tennies. Oh, and my Chihuahua ears, of course. Was determined to win the costume contest and then let my Prince throw out the first ball.
But when we arrived and got settled into the Sun Kings Saloon where we would be painting, I realized I was the only one in costume. To this day, I am not sure what happened. Maybe no one else felt like dressing up…but then why didn’t I win??? Or maybe I misunderstood and 50s night was some other event on another evening…but why did the ticket girl mention it then? Anyway, I was very out of place in my costume! But still had a lot of fun.
The I Painted That! staff had sketched the images of the baseball cap, ball, and bat onto the canvases for every participant.
Then we begin the step-by-step process of painting, following the lead of the I Painted That! pros. See the shadow of my Chihuahua ears on PC’s canvas?
In an effort to stay cool, I finally shed my letter jacket.
When we do this, I almost always like my Prince’s painting better than mine. Being the world’s most faithful Cincinnati Reds baseball fan, he transformed the cap in the painting to reflect his favorite team.
After we finished our art work, we were invited to sit in the air conditioned patio area overlooking right field to watch the game. We enjoyed hot dogs and French fries and a cold adult beverage.
By that time, the sun was setting and it was very comfortable being outside. The Chihuahuas even gave us a win!
Sunday Stills #Tourists
The view of downtown El Paso is breathtaking from the stadium.
For a city the size of El Paso, our cityscape is modest, with only a few tall buildings. But it’s home to me.
I took the photo below from the window of the Sun Kings Saloon before we began painting, as the ballgame was just getting underway. It is my submission for the SundayStills #tourists prompt this week.
We enjoyed our evening “Painting in the Park”. But then again, I enjoy doing about anything with my Prince.
Have you played hometown tourist this summer? What did you do? It’s fun to look at your familiar surroundings as if you are seeing them for the first time, through the eyes of a visitor to your city.
If you want to join us, please link up with Lauren for Local Tourist series and with Terri, for her SundayStills. They’d love to have you. For your calendar, the next Local Tourist dates will be: Tuesday July 31, and Friday August 31.
Have a great weekend, gals! Stay cool. We are finally finished with the triple digit temps for a bit. Hallelujah. A cold front is passing through and we will be in the upper 90s all weekend. How ’bout that!! Might need to break out PC’s letter jacket!
P.S. (forgot to mention this so I am editing a post that went live already). I am hosting a summer photo challenge on Instagram beginning 07.01.2018 and running throughout the month of July. Here are the photo prompts in the graphic below. Would love to have you join whenever you can. Tag your photos with #2018SummerInstaPhotoChallenge. And find me on Instagram right here.
Hugs and kisses,