I’m finally getting caught up on my blogging. I haven’t blogged anything that’s been going on recently. On the last weekend of the summer, before school started this semester I took a small vacation to visit Hiroko in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in Texas. She had moved to Texas a few weeks earlier. I haven’t gone anywhere on vacation recently, so it was a nice break. I hadn’t been to Texas since I was a kid. Going now as an adult was so much fun! A lot more fun than I expected. It’s been a while since I’ve returned, but I will do my best to recall the story…
I arrived at DFW in the late afternoon around 4 or 5pm and it was 103 degrees F. It was a dry heat so it wasn’t so bad, but it was at least twice as hot as Wisconsin at that time, so it was kind of a surprise. Hiroko picked me up at the airport and we went to her friend’s place she was staying at, about an hour away from the airport.
I hadn’t been to the south for a long time and it was definitely a bit strange to be back. Everything’s just a bit different from the north and I almost felt like I was visiting a foreign country. There are completely different restaurant chains (lots of really good ones!), the roads look different, the people talk different… although everyone was very friendly. Especially the worker at the liquor store who talked to us for about ten minutes. We tried Five Guys and some other chains they don’t have in Wisconsin – Five Guys was especially good.
I was only there for three days, but we managed to fit a lot of stuff in. One of the first things we did was go to see some Dallas night-life. Actually, Dallas was kind of scary at night. There weren’t many cops around and a lot of shady looking people in some sketchy looking areas. I was happy to get to the bar and have some drinks. We went to a place called the Electric Cactus which had very reasonable prices for a large city (like Eau Claire prices, even). We wanted to go to Reunion Tour when the top of the tower rotated so we could see the city – but there was a dress code which I definitely did not meet. The house was about an hour away so there was no way we were going to make it in, unfortunately…
I’m not really sure what the order of events were, but at some point we went to see the Fort Worth Zoo. Like Como Zoo in Minnesota, it was pretty impressive – maybe more impressive. Here are some pictures I took there…
Hiroko watching some monkeys.
I liked this frog.
The zoo was really cool. Another thing we did was go to a TCU football game. Hiroko used to go to TCU for college (before Eau Claire), which is partly why she moved back there. She wanted to give me the full TCU experience – and I think I got it. Going to a TCU game, a college football game, was very impressive. The stands were packed with thousands and thousands of people. There were jets flying overhead. There was a helicopter for security in the sky. Tailgaters as far as the eye can see… All this for college football? The south sure is different!
Arriving at the stadium.
The stadium was actually too packed, we didn’t go inside until after the game was over. Hiroko’s friend had a tailgating spot though, so we sat outside watching the game on his big screen and drank beers and talked with people.
TCU Golf Cart.
Hiroko with the cart.
Cops on horses.
During half-time we walked over to the TCU campus and I got the tour. We ate at the cafeteria but I was so full I couldn’t really enjoy it.
Found a piano.
After the game ended we went out into the field. TCU demolished the opposing team (they never even scored). That’s good I guess, but it was a pretty boring game. It was the TCU’s coach’s 110th victory so they had a big ceremony with fireworks after the game.
This one almost turned out right.
TCU is a pretty big school. We went to the bookstore and I was impressed by the size of it…
Hiroko got me a TCU shirt to wear to the game there. Oops, we did this before the game I think. Yep – my memory is not the greatest.
Here’s some other stuff we did…
Went to a bar called the Electric Cowboy. I wanted to see some Texas nightclubs, and it was definitely an interesting experience. Nearly everyone was wearing cowboy hats!
Watched Premium Rush. This was a really fun movie.
Went to the Fort Worth Stockyards.
It’s a very old-western style town.
Tried Dublin Dr. Pepper. Couldn’t really tell the difference…
Oh yeah, and we went jet-skiing!?
Scarier than I had imagined.
Imagine going as fast as a car on the freeway… but instead of being inside of a car buckled up, you’re out in the open sitting on a small seat flying across the water. It definitely took some time to build enough courage to go faster. Any disturbance from the waves was pretty scary. It was a fun experience though, I’d do it again.
We ate at a lot of different restaurants. I forget the names of them…
We saw the JFK assassination museum in Dallas. I didn’t take any pictures though because photography is prohibited in most of the areas of the building. The museum itself is not very impressive, and way too expensive for what is there. Lee Harvey Oswald’s perch is still undisturbed (mostly) to this day and it’s walled off in glass. But, that’s about the only interesting part of the building.
Like I said, we packed a lot of stuff into just three days! Feels good to finally be getting caught up on blogging.