Saturday, May 14, 2011

Travels around DFW - y'all

Thought we would update you on some of the day trips we have taken in this area.  Our choice of day trips varies from having some historical value, maybe, to the place has a funny name so we need to go see it.  Along the way, there is usually some billboard that will catch our eye and so that offers us another bizarre reason for a stop.  You can decide why you think we may have chosen some of these "attractions".

http://moneyfactory.gov/  With a name like that how could we resist.  Amazing tour of the Fort Worth money printing facility.  Tour lasts about 45 minutes where you actually watch money being printed from above the printing floor.  If you have ever done the Tillamook Cheese factory tour in Oregon, then you know what this was like but with intense security. They count noses going in and coming out on this tour. The facility prints money 24hrs a day Monday - Friday and has 800 employees working here.  There are lots of exhibits that you can do on your own with little video vignettes done by various employees.  The most amazing, I thought, was the recovery center.  If you have money that was in a fire, flood, eaten by insects, moldy.....the Federal government will take the time to sort it out and then give you equal amount in clean money again. And they do this for no charge to you (kinda since your taxes probably pay for this)!  No camera or cell phones allowed in premises and no free samples.

Fred and Michelle did Dallas, by taking the train which runs regularly between Fort Worth and Dallas, for $10 all day ticket which also gave us rides on buses and smaller light rail in Dallas.  Seemed to be a daily commuter for lots of folks with park and ride lots available at the little towns in between.  Made us think of riding the train in France, which we did a lot of during our last trip in Feb 2011.
Our first stop was the 6th floor museum  http://www.jfk.org/  This is the 6th floor of the book warehouse from where Oswald shot President Kennedy.  This was a very sad place to start our day, but one we both wanted to see.  I found myself unable to view some of the videos since they brought back incredibly sad memories.  Window that shots came from is on right side of building 2nd down from top.
Exhibit reinforced the tragedy of that day and the uncertainty of some of who was really involved.

We then walked all around historic Dallas, some of which was interesting, some of which was ho hum!  Went to see the bronze longhorns in Dallas, which were really fun to see.





More fun was had by taking old trolley from turn of last century to area called Uptown to see where the Dallas rich relax and spend money shopping, eating and getting pampered.  Amazing that they let us poor folks see this area, which was gorgeous!  This is a very rich feeling town with evidence of money everywhere.  they may still be wearing cowboy boots, but they are also wearing Armani suits.  Lots of wonderful plazas with water features and luscious plantings including lots of space to stroll or sit in the shade.  There is also a well developed underground system for getting to many of the buildings which we think is probably important to use during the heat of the summer.




We probably walked about 6miles that day which was hot and very muggy so were glad to get back to the train and home to the roulotte.
by for now y'all. 
Michelle and Fred - traveling around the country so you don't have to!

Monday, May 9, 2011

house update

Y'all may want to know that we will be receiving our escrow papers to sign this Thursday May 12th.  They are being Fed EX ed to us here in the campground.  I have already talked with a notary this afternoon, so we are set for that part.  We will be Fed EXing papers back to Seattle.
Once there, they get sent to county for filing number and we will then no longer own the house.  Should all be finale by Monday or Tuesday next week.
Whew, a sigh of relief, it's just about done.
Michelle and Fred - Traveling so you don't have to!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

DFW

That's how they indicate the Dallas Fort Worth area on everything.  We are actually located in Grand Prarie, a suburb of Fort Worth and not far from Arlington, which is where the Texas Rangers play baseball.
Fred says I forgot to add "y'all" in my title above, but I chose not to add it since we don't hear it as much here in DFW.  This is the big city down here and things are different than in other parts of Texas or so it seems.
Texas is like being in a foreign country.  It is very different than the rest of the states.  It is very big and everything here is big. But the people could not be friendlier and more welcoming.  We here lots of "welcome to Texas"  after they ask where we come from.  We are both really enjoying Texas.

we are camped in a very strange campground, part RV park and the rest flea market on weekends.
http://www.tradersvillagervparks.com/  We went over to the market side and were absolutely amazed.  You could buy everything from shampoo to complete furnishings for your house (bedrooms, refrigerators, dishes, windows, doors, anything), anything automotive you can imagine (tires, wheels, bumpers, stereos, cleaners) ,leather western boots( many stands of boots), then food to eat on site or take home to cook.  It was absolutely amazing!  We walked for 1.5hrs and only saw about 1/3 of the market.
It was packed with people, yet tonight as we walked around the front it was already very clean.  The market had staff cleaning all thru the day and there were garbage barrels everywhere for people to use.


everything from carriages to water being sold


copper pot over bunson burner for making candy.  beautiful!
 A few days ago we went to the Fort Worth Stockyards historical district.  Took a walking tour of the area which was great, since we got lots of info from guide that you dont find anywhere.  It is considered a very  high honor for the rancher that owns the longhorn being used in this mock longhorn drive. The  longhorns are usually about 6yrs old when they start to perform and continue for about 6 yrs.  There are no 2 longhorn horns alike and they can even be different one from the other on the same longhorn.  They can grow up to 7 feet long tip to tip.  they are BIG animals when seen up close.





A few days later we headed in a different direction, northeast of Dallas to see the sights in the country side.  And what should we find ...see below





This is Paris, Texas, which was once a area that the French settled.  There were some beautiful, but well worn out houses from turn of last century.  A beautiful white marble fountain was located in the town square.  As they say here, this is the second biggest Eiffel Tower in the second biggest Paris on earth. 




The other must see in Paris is the one and only Jesus in cowboy boots.  This one took some more hunting to find as we had sketchy info about where to find this.



This is a turn of the last century grave marker in a very large cemetary, which is what made it difficult to find.


We then went on to Bonham which is where the Sam Rayburn library and museum are located.  Had a private tour for 1/2hr with person who worked there.  She had lots of little stories to share about him.  Fred says without Sam Rayburn, there would be no New Deal and without that we would be living in a very different world.

After all this touring, the drive home was horrendous in rush hour traffic.  DFW is like Everett to Tacoma in size and there are lots of highways intersecting every which way, most of which are under construction.  What a mess getting around this area.  They are in the top 10 of bad places to drive with big congestion.  Thank god the Passat is comfortable and has air conditioning, I was still feeling like a noodle by the time the 2.5hr rush our driving was over.

More soon on the sights and sounds of Texas.  Traveling the country so you don't have to!