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The Annual Retreat is by far the most anticipated event of the year at RVi, and this year’s trip to the Texas State Fair did not disappoint. The adventure began with a catered lunch at our Dallas office, giving employees from all three offices the opportunity to hang out with their long-distance co-workers in person and tour the recently renovated office. Following lunch we caravanned to the W Victory Hotel downtown and then hopped on the DART to the Texas State Fair.

From funnel cakes and corny dogs to an endless supply of craft beer, our employees clearly had their priorities in order. Needless to say, upon entering the fairgrounds many of us made a B-line for the food court. Our first stop was the winner of the 2015 Taste Contest, the “Holy Moly Carrot Cake Rolly” – a delicious carrot cake and cream cheese pinwheel, deep fried, topped with powdered sugar, and served with whipped cream and caramel sauce on the side. Let me assure you, the 20-minute line was SO worth it.

After having our fill of fried dessert, RViers took to carnival rides, arcade games, petting zoos, and… pig races? Oh yes, there is something wildly entertaining about seeing four little piglets burst out of the gate draped with team numbers and fighting to out-run their piggy competitors to earn the coveted title of “fastest pig at the fair”. While the 1000-lb mama hog was less than enthused about the idea of running, she did show her support by doing a lap around the pen to cheer on her little ones.

As the sun began to set on Big Tex, we reconvened at the coliseum for dinner and the highly-competitive T-shirt design contest. In the weeks leading up to the retreat, employees were asked to submit their design entries for the infamous RVi Company T-shirt Competition. As you can imagine, after an afternoon filled with sugar and bacon flavored margaritas, the selection process for the winner proved to be just as entertaining as the designs themselves. Although there were several “creative” entries, the winner of the contest was Wes Gentry who combined the Austin, Houston, and Dallas skylines, representing our unity as a firm across Texas (can we get a collective awwwww?).

The following morning we took a stroll over to Klyde Warren Park and had the pleasure of learning about the history of the Dallas skyline and park system from Dallas Center for Architecture representative Greg Brown. Greg emphasized the distinct architectural differences amongst some of the most notable buildings, exposing the city’s rich history and prominent architectural design. After the presentation we were dismissed to tour the museums and art galleries that surround the park prior to making our way back home.

While the pace of our industry can be challenging at times, RVi always ensures that we put our pencils down and take a little time to have fun together. We strive to make each year’s retreat better than the last, but the pig races may just give us a run for our money. Nevertheless, let the anticipation for next year begin!