Week 42, 43, 44 and 45 - USA, Texas, Dallas, Forth Worth and Arlington

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February 24th 2013
Published: February 24th 2013
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Route 66
Welcome Back to this edition of the blog. July – August 2010

Well, last time we left you we were just about to embark on the 27 hour mammoth bus journey from Vegas to Dallas. Well, we boarded the bus and soon realised that we were sitting with some odd balls, some homeless and some very nice people, it was a real mix on the fun bus!!!!

Kate and I saddled up rode shotgun with the driver. We covered 7 hours in no time and had to change in flagstaff which is not far from the Grand Canyon. We jumped off and joined another queue for the next bus and whilst doing this we began talking to many of the other passengers, which included a special agent from New York, Selwyn who was travelling the 2 day trip back to NY. Selwyn takes NY state prisoners who have just finished serving time to different states around the country where they are still wanted for a previous crime. Unfortunately he didn’t have a prisoner with him as he had just dropped one off in Vegas, but if he did I’m sure we would have just continually

Bus lover!
starred across the bus for the entire journey! We also met one old American lady and one old Chinese lady who were competing to speak to Kate and I whilst on the bus, they were literally talking over each other and almost came to blows. The Chinese lady liked Kate so much she gave her an antique ring as a gift!!!

The second bus we got on was from Flagstaff to Albuquerque. This bus was full to the brim with the nation’s best; we had Mexicans, country Americans, city Americans, screaming kids, screaming adults the whole nine yards. I sat next to a Mexican guy that didn’t speak a word of Americano, so I soon changed at the first toilet break to sit with a big black girl on the front seat and it was an absolute nightmare. In the nicest way…..she was soo big I only had half a seat for about 4 hours, she was squashed against the window and I was sitting in the isle and she wasn’t even a chatter. No wonder her Dad chose to sit on the seat on the other side of the isle!!! So after that I got back

First baseball game Texas Rangers at Arlington
with the Mexican guy! Whilst all this was going on Kate as always was befriending the entire bus, chat chat chat with everyone….Once we arrived in Albuquerque we had to change to get to……….AMERILLO, yes we were singing it constantly, show me the way to Amarillo!! So on board the Albuquerque to Amarillo leg Kate and I were back on the same seat, of course at the front. Now the driver did have a PA system on the bus and I was up for starting a bus quiz, you know everyone submits a question and I read them out and at the end we have a bus winner, but we were pretty sure most of the passengers didn’t know their names, let alone the answers to general knowledge questions so we didn’t do a quiz. We did have an 80 year old cowboy on the bus with us, Willie. He was so proud of his Grandson it was all he talked about, all I could think of is Woody from Toy Story, I’m sure he modeled his outfit on him….there’s a snake in my boot!! Poor guy, he had a fatty next to him too and no leg room as he had a guitar in front of his legs.

The below is written by Kate.

Anyway enough about the other passengers back to the main event and arriving in Fort Worth! As we pulled into the bus station we eagerly looked out the window and we were thrilled to see a hot Uncle Bill standing there waving in the 100 degrees heat! Aunty Helen was very sensibly keeping cool in the car but quickly came out once she had seen our faces beaming out to her from the bus!! It was so amazing to see them both, it had been 10 months since we had seen them, and 9 months since we had seen any family, so this was a brilliant moment.

We jumped into lovely Lucy Lexus and headed back to the ranch for a bit of rest and relaxation. Well, we think Helen had been cleaning for months before our arrival as the house was spotless, so neat and tidy. We put everything in our room, enjoyed the best shower which we were well in need of and then caught up with B+H for a few hours. Whilst doing this Helen made it her mission to wash all of our clothes, some of which we thought were ready for the bin, but Helen AKA “Wonder Cleaner” got them all spotless to our amazement! It felt so good to know our clothes were truly clean again because washing in launderettes for 9 months never gives you a true sense of the clean smell of a home wash!

After a few hours our Dallas experience was already commencing as B & H had arranged for all of us to attend a Texas Rangers Baseball game at the Rangers stadium just around the corner from their house. So we headed in to the heat to watch the game, with big cokes by our sides we settled in to the best seats ever, to watch the game. Before the game there was an alumni presentation to all the old players, of which B+H knew one of them really well. This was amazing we had arrived in Dallas and within hours we were mixing with their celebrities! We stood for the national anthem then we enjoyed the game. Being completely new to baseball, Bill kindly explained the basics to us both so we knew what was going on. The crowds were really vocal and the ongoing entertainment was great, we were all hoping a ball may come our way to catch but no such luck.

Now, the next surprise was how comfy the bed was. OMG it gets the award for “The comfiest bed in the whole 11 months” hands down. So we slept like babies and awoke to the smell of bacon and eggs cooking in the kitchen from the wonderful head-chef Helen. We were well and truly fed and watered with amazing British tea and it felt like home! This was the start of over-eating for the next 3 weeks continuously and we loved it!!! It was such a lovely feeling being with family and talking about the trip and what was going on with all the family back home, it was wonderful to feel at home in Bill and Helen’s beautiful home. This is where we relaxed so much we stopped writing the blog, so we are now writing this 3 years later! Its crazy where the time has gone.

So we had the most wonderful 3 ½ weeks with B+H, it

Lucy Lexus
was 100 degrees plus for 19 days straight whilst we were there so much of the activities were only possible due to our amazing hosts looking after us so well.

We went out everyday to see sights and tried some of the amazing food on offer in the region. We would get in Lucy Lexus every morning only to find, Bill had already turned her on to get the air conditioning maxing out for us and we always had a chilled bottle of water each waiting for us! This was the best service and in 100 degrees heat, boy did we appreciate it!

Snap shot of our time with B+H;

The best of the sightseeing: JFK shooting area in Dallas, we toured the building where the shots were fired from so could see from the eye of where the killer stood as John F Kenedy would have been happily parading in his open top car, waving to the huge crowds. So sad. We also went to his memorial.

Rodeo – unbelievable sight, another chance to see how patriotic the Americans are singing the national anthem and everyone standing with hands on their hearts. We didn’t realize why the bulls buck but now we will never forget! This was a really fun night out and something that you have to see.

One day Matt drove the two of us in the gorgeous Lexus to the Cowboys Stadium, for American football stadium, where we took a tour. The size of this place is totally unbelievable, we looked up and thought, oh there is a car up there in the stadium, looked a bit closer and there was a whole host of them, which you barely could notice because of the sheer size of the place! We got to go in the locker rooms and cheerleaders changing rooms! Fab!

Southfolk Ranch – the place where Dallas was filmed, amazing story how this was someone’s house once upon a time, we toured the house and even dipped out toes in their pool!

We watched another baseball game when the New York Yankees came to town and played Texas Rangers – that was brilliant to see such a big game!

We went to some huge shopping malls, and Matt stood and had his photo taken in exactly the same place where his Dad

The amazing Uncle Bill and Aunty Helen
had stood when he visited B+H in 1990’s. The shopping was totally amazing and we picked up some gorgeous bits!

Brandy (Helen and Bill’s really good friend) came over with her children which was lovely to meet her and Hunter and Sydney as B+H are so close to them, so it was gorgeous to see. We spent time with the nighbours, lovely Dawn next door, who was Ko Ko’s mum, plus Amy, Sean and Cassie the other side and we even got invited to her birthday party which was special!

Helen and I had a pampering day of facials and pedicures which was really lovely and fun doing something just the girls! Matt and Bill tech’d out on I-touch, I-Pad and skype lessons and Matt was just in heaven with Bills 60 inch TV and leather sofa!

B+H took us out to so many amazing places to eat, so here is a short list of some of the best eateries highlights for us: Papadeaux – fantastic fish restaurant, we ate alligator and red snapper – beautiful! Papasitos – Mexican – which includes as many nachos and wraps as you can eat on top of gorgeous fajitas! Pappa’s burgers – yum yum catfish sandwich and real American milkshakes! A burger challenge – B+H took us here so they could see how big a burger Matt could handle! He ate the biggest burger challenge and then helped Helen to finish her meal! Crazy big – see photo! This place should be on Man V’s Food! Babes - Southern food, like chicken fried steak, biscuits and gravy! (said in a southern accent) P F Changs has top notch quality Chinese food, so we had Yuk Sung for starter – the best. IHOP (International House of Pancakes) you can only imagine the size of our breakfast there – with all the trimmings! We have to say that B+H offered the best food in the Dallas / Fort Worth metroplex area which includes Helen’s famous cooked gammon with cheesy potatoes, Bill’s to die for salads – I did not know you could find so much tasty stuff in a salad, English breakfasts, the most fresh and tasty coffee every morning, cheesy sauce nachos and so much more! So the question is how much weight did we gain!! Ha ha a lot but it was so so worth it, we had the best time with Uncle Bill and Aunty Helen, we will never be able to thank them enough for that special time we shared.

Most days we walked the neighbors’ dogs as B+H usually do this for several of their neighbors because this is the kind of caring and generous people they are. So we took it on ourselves to try and help a little whilst we were there and we loved it! Ko Ko, Sparkles, and Watson were all gorgeous in their own unique ways. Watson even came to stay at B+H’s whilst his family went on vacation for a long weekend, so we got extra loving from him, it was great.

B+H are Matt’s family but they feel like mine too, they are so kind, caring, generous and loving to us both we are so lucky to have shared such an amazing time with them and one we will never forget. We have promised to go back and visit again, as there are a couple of things we did not do because it was soo hot, like the water park – so watch out we will be back!

Additional photos below
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Did we order enough food at Papasitos?!

Where JFK got shot in Dallas

JFK memorial

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