Dallas/ Ft Worth and a great Texas experience

Our route to Dallas took us through Abilene Texas where we found an interesting museum called Frontier Texas. There was a virtual reality exhibit demonstrating the history of Texas; a rough and wild history involving bison hunting and ranching, battles with nature and natives.

Our destination was Dallas/Fort Worth not only as a Texas highlight but also because it was home to another cousin and my aunt. We last saw Aunt Mary at our wedding but I had not seen Cousin Blair in decades. It was terrific to catch up with both of them; we had a fun evening of laughing, sharing and then Blair took us for a tour of awesome Christmas lights around Dallas. Thank you both for making the time to visit with us, our family was so pleased to meet you.

Before leaving the Dallas/ Fort Worth area we went to the Stockyards where we tried line dancing and witnessed a cattle drive. The cattle drive consisted of few cowboys escorting a heard of long horn cattle down the street. The cattle are fairly well trained so the cowboys had a pretty easy job. As we watched these long horns navigate the narrow streets, I am glad that we had parked in a distant parking lot, I suspect those horns could do some serious damage.

Line Dancing is supposed to be good exercise, but for our family, it seemed to be more exercise for the mind than the body. We only learned, or I should say tried to learn, one dance. Brian thought he was doing well when he managed to figure out the first grapevine steps. He was annoyed that the caller kept adding steps after that. He tried hard and even went for some special help from the teacher during a break. The good news is that there were no serious injuries.

A bit north we camped for a few nights in a quaint little town called Grapevine. The highlights here were the Christmas lights, a North Pole Express train ride and an ice exhibit at the Gaylord Texan Hotel. The Christmas lights were supposed to be spectacular but honestly, the lights that Blair showed us were better. The train ride was interesting; it was really designed for younger kids. It was a very short train ride that included Christmas Carols and a visit from Santa. As part of the train experience, were treated to delicious hot chocolate and fake snow made of soap. The girls also got the help make a glass blown Christmas ornament. I looked forward to hanging it on our tree…. next year!

The Gaylord Texan is a huge luxury hotel in Grapevine. Not only is the expansive atrium decked out in elaborate Christmas decorations, they also have a cold room full of detailed ice sculptures and snow and ice slides. We each took a turn on the slides. They were nice enough to provide parkas for the visitors; I guess were not alone in our lack of proper winter clothes. The girls got to do some tubing on artificially chilled snow hills. Blair had warned us that parking was expensive at the Gaylord, we were pleased to learn that the hotel was in biking distance to our campground. It was ironic that we went to Texas to play in the snow and ice.

On the way out of Texas, we stopped for a night in Galveston. We were amazed to see all of the houses perched on stilts. This is supposed to reduce the damage from hurricanes, however some looked very precarious. Rain and cold did not make for a nice day to visit the beach, but they next day we had a lovely free ferry ride across the mouth of Galveston Bay. We even saw a few dolphins beside the boat.

About Walkabouters

We are traveling through Canada and the US as well as Australia and New Zealand. We hope this Blog will keep our family and friends up to date on our travels.
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