Not too much to report about our first evening in Dallas. We arrived late evening, and Cheryl and Lou met us at the airport. We went out to eat, what would be the first of five days of fantastic meals. Our waiter "y'all"'ed us more than my friends the Indigo Girls. I had ribs and shrimp and baked sweet potato......soooooo good. Lou and I had leftovers, and we started to scheme over how we could eat them without assistance from our spouses.
We had our first tour of the lovely Smith residence. We were set up in the "Lou Wing" of the house, in the "Map Room." Should anyone be debating what theme to develop for their guest bedrooms, I would recommend a "Map Room" theme. For one, you get to put cool framed maps up all over the walls. For two, for visitors who've never been to your state (like me in this instance) the maps are most helpful in demonstrating the geography of the state. Nathan had already helpfully pointed out that the state flag of Texas did not have a bear on it. I pretended to be shocked by this fact.
Thursday morning we got up for our walk. We had decided that we would walk every morning on California time, so in Texas, we walked at 7:45. Which seemed very decadently late. Of course what the walk lacked in earliness, it made up in humidity. It was downright damp out there!! Texas has gotten some weather lately, towns an hour north of Dallas have been flooded. We'd had just a few showers, but the sky was overcast, and, did I mention the humidity? Cheryl and Lou live in on a golf course, with a house that backs up to water feature. A very pretty neighborhood. Swarming with BUNNIES!! I didn't count the bunnies the first day, but we ended up seeing two or three dozen rabbits per walk. We toured the neighborhood making only right turns, until we hit our half way point. Then we turned around and came home, making only left turns.
Our plan for the day was to see some of downtown Dallas, and then take a driving tour of the area. First, though, Cheryl showed me how to feed the turtles off the back porch. Turtles came swimming over from all directions when she stood out there and waved a cup of cat food around. You don't often think of the phrase "feeding frenzy" in connection with turtles, but trust me, I've seen it. Cheryl also whipped up a big batch of muffins for a brunch on Sunday, which led to another kind of feeding frenzy. I'm not sure you'll be able to make it out in the photo, but that muffin cup has Power Rangers on it.
Our first stop was the Sixth Floor Museum, more commonly known as the Texas Book Repository, or the window from which Lee Harvey Oswald fired on President Kennedy. Perhaps a slightly grim introduction to a city, but an interesting place all the same. Got me thinking a bit about how quickly "history" happens in this modern age. Or even what was the modern age forty years ago. The museum had a centerpiece from one of the tables at the luncheon JFK was scheduled to attend that day. In the craziness of that day, someone thought to grab a centerpiece, because it was, suddenly, "historic." What artifacts will come out of the woodwork when someone puts together a Diana Museum, or the 9/11 museum? Will there ever be a shortage of artifacts for either of those events? Anyway, a good museum, and I'd recommend it to anyone visiting Dallas. Also, for the graphic artists in the crowd, they have an intriguingly simple logo. I liked it.
After wandering around the Grassy Knoll briefly (it was really hot and humid) we got back into the car for some lunch, and a drive. We toured the towns around Dallas that were significant to the family: Plano, Lucas, Princeton, McKinney, in one big loop. We finished up with a little shopping at Tom Thumb (always fun to see supermarkets in other towns). There's a play center in the same complex as the grocery store called "Wiggly Play Land" or some such. We never went in there. Kids today get way more cool stuff than when we were kids. You'd be lucky to get to ride around and around in a circle on a horse outside the store, IF you'd been good the whole time inside. No magical Wiggly Play Land for us.
Cheryl cooked us a fantastic salmon dinner with crusty parmesan cheese on top. And there was Apple Pie from Willie Mae's Bakery. Sooooo goooooddddd. We rolled off to bed, completely full and exhausted.