DAY 2 – Waco – Fort Worth – Dallas
With no disrespect to Waco we hit the road straight after breakfast. We were booked in for two nights in Dallas so the decision was taken to go to Fort Worth first. The I-35 was to be the arterial road almost for the entirety of our road trip and it split in either Fort Worth or Dallas direction.
Entering Fort Worth, America’s 13th largest city was a scene of serenity and peace. Other than a couple of people living rough there was no-one else in sight. Parking was a pleasant surprise compared to London and cost $1.50 per hour and we could pay by card. So simple.
We stumbled on Sundance Square in the middle of Main St. One end has a mural commemorating the Chisholm Trail a very impressive painting indeed. There was seating and fountains that start up at 11.00. Starbucks (of course) offered a bathroom opportunity but it is so expensive now. Two small lattes worked out at over £10 but there was free WiFi at least.
The sidewalks were immaculate with floral displays and art work at some corners and still no-one else around. We visited the JFK memorial located outside of the Hilton Hotel where the young President spent his last night before that fateful day in Dallas in 1963. Very sombre but actually more interesting than the memorial in Dallas.
To make the 11.30 cattle drive at the Fort Worth Stockyards we moved on the short distance to the attraction. The one issue we did have is that parking at the Stockyards was by QR code and we didn’t have data for use in USA but with a drive through and a wriggle around the back of yards we got street parking for free. It really is worth the effort seeing if you can get on street parking because it left us only a block away and being able to see the old fashioned stores along the way including the Cross Eyed Moose Antique Shop and Leddy’s Boot Makers. Boots in every colour and design adorn the shelves in this famous outfitters. The most expensive pair we found was $4,620.00!
The crowd was quite sparse today so it was easy to get space on the sidewalk opposite the rodeo stadium to see the Longhorn Cattle Drive. The span on some of the cattle must have been longer than their bodies as they ambled along the main st being driven by cowboys on horseback. The spectacle is twice a day at 11.30 and 16.00 and is free to watch.
Leaving Fort Worth behind we headed the 30 or so miles to Dallas. The road system in Dallas is massive and intimidating especially if you haven’t driven there before. Looking at the GPS it is like a ‘spirograph’ drawn by an infant and you have to choose the right road. Roads are built over each other like ‘hot wheels’ or ‘scalextric’ set in any direction. Finally we got to check in at Days Inn Irving/Grapevine at DFW.
We are generally accepting of you get what you pay for but this unit failed on almost every point and upon entering the room at the back of an open corridor littered with debris including a broken T.V we decided to leave immediately. Having to use the elevator that was covered in rubbish, then walk along the open corridor strewn with debris including a broken TV to our room. The impressions weren’t good but the room was very poor, the toilet seat was broken as well as the lock on the door and the telephone. The bedding valances were stained and the windows were so dirty you couldn’t see through them.
So for the first time on many visits to America we took the gamble to leave. We used Hotels.com and booked into the relative luxury of the La Quinta across the road.
We were really impressed with Forth Worth and it’s architecture so ended the day in a great location to visit Dallas on day 3 of our Texas, OK road trip.