USA Road Trip - Day 17 (Fort Worth, Texas)

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April 1st 2016
Published: April 4th 2016
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Fort Worth, TX

The day started quite late for me. Kerry went down for breakfast but I was quite tired so had an extra 30 minutes lay in. I let Kerry choose todays agenda and she suggested we go to the Amon Carter Arts Museum which was about 10 minute drive away in the Arts precinct and then go to the Cowgirl Museum not far away, then grab some lunch and head over to the Stockyard’s District in the afternoon and spend the evening over there. It was quite cool as predicted when we left and the wind was chilly but not as bad as we expected it might be. Quite cloudy with possible rain in the air. We went to the Art Museum first and they had a lot of the area dedicate to two artists who focused on paintings of the Cowboys of the late 1800’s. Their names were Frederic Rimington and Charles M Russell. Both were very good at the detail in their paintings. They were also both very good at doing brass sculptures as well. We spent about an hour and a half there and decided it was best to start heading back to our Towne Place Suites hotel as we had booked the hotel shuttle for 2.45pm to take us to the Stockyards. I suggested to Kerry we grab a coffee at Starbucks but on our way back Kerry spotted a better option. It was the famous In-n-Out Burger. Yes, I love this place. We went in and I had the # 2 meal which is a Cheeseburger, Fries & Soft Drink for $5.95. Kerry ordered just a Cheeseburger for $2.60. The first bite into the burger is filled with such expectation as we have been here before and rate these as the best burgers in the world we have eaten, so I let Kerry go first. I look for a reaction and the delight she shows is followed by a nod and smile, yes this is awesome ! I get stuck into mine and the first thing I notice is the crispy lettuce. It’s unique and a big part of the mix as are the fresh tomatoes. No fat to be seen, just looks like a healthy burger (if there is such a thing !). I had the fries as Kerry is not fussed with these. The fries taste a lot different than everywhere else and need a bit of salt and ketchup to round out the flavor. No Coke this time we tried 7 up instead for a change. Back to Hotel just in time to catch our free shuttle and we had a driver who instantly picked up our Aussie accents. He gave us some pointers on how best to use our time. We started out by looking around some of the shops which were selling some quite unique Texas stuff. Kerry found a nice leather handbag which is in the colours of the Texas Flag (Red, White & Blue) but decided against buying it in case she found something better as there was so many shops here all selling different things. I found a shop that had lots and lots of licence plates (actual original ones some were quite vintage and rusted a lot). I decided to get one with Kansas although we are not heading there until Thursday next week we are only driving through quickly and may not be able to grab a souvenir version so this is Plan B. It was now close to 4pm and time to head back onto Exchange Avenue to get a good viewing spot as right on 4pm they do the famous Texas Longhorns Cattle Drive down the main street. It was a pretty impressive sight as these bulls have such massive horns. There was about 20 in the cattle drive and only went for about 15 minutes so we went back to do more shopping. Kerry goes back to the shop to see her handbag again. There was only one left the first time we looked so she hid it away from other potential buyers and this time it is hers ! She wonders about this unusual compartment on the side but alas it will be used for something. Next we went to the Visitors Centre to enquire about whether they have bus services back to downtown, as our hotel shuttle driver only works until 8pm on Friday nights. An old man who volunteers there told us the bus runs until just before 10 pm so that will be fine as we plan on having dinner then going to famous Billy Bobs the largest honky tonk in the world ! That was all I wanted to know but he wanted me to know more. “Where are you having dinner ?” he says and we shrugged our shoulders as we had no idea. He then asks what we were planning on eating and we said steak or ribs. He then suggested we try the local specialty chicken fried steak. We have seen this on the menu and wondered what the hell I was. The nice old man goes on to explain that is not in fact chicken but steak that is pulverized and battered with lots of flour and eggs and then fried. He mentioned where each restaurant was and what they did well. The Star Café came up in his recommendations so we thought we would give it a try. He mentioned we would not be able to go to Billy Bobs as it was now closed from 5pm ! They open again later a 10.30pm for a live show (too late for us, what a shame !). Oh I forgot to tell you about that secret compartment in Kerry’ handbag. We went in a few other shops and all the handbags had this compartment, but in one particular shop they had a sign saying it is to put your gun in for easy access ! That’s a first. For the next 30 minutes both of us had a tendency to be looking at everyone’s handbags as a precaution (don’t bump into her !!!). As we walked out back onto Exchange Avenue we were across the road from the Cowtown Coliseum. This place is the first place ever to hold a Rodeo indoors. We decide to buy some general admission tickets, The Rodeo Show starts at 8pm and she tells it is first come first seated so best to come when doors open at 6.30pm. We then head off to Star Café, and it is a nice saloon style place. Kerry ordered some fried chicken strips from the appetizer menu and I had a grilled chicken breast with mashed potato a bread roll and a side salad with thousand island dressing. It was basic stuff and not prepared in any fancy way but it tasted awesome. No beer on tap here so had to go for a bottle. Corona’s were only $2.50 so I had a couple of these and Kerry tried some White Zinfandel which is actually red and looks like Rose. I wonder if they have a Red Zinfandel that looks like a Chardonnay ? They had a jukebox so I picked 5 tunes to play to build up some atmosphere. Kerry picked Dolly Parton’s Island in The Stream, and then I picked a Keith Urban tune followed by Jackson by Jonny Cash and followed by another Jackson song (this time the Allan Jackson variety called It’s five o’clock somewhere) and finished up with Willy Nelson’s On the Road Again. All up we paid about 45 bucks including tip. We then headed back to the Rodeo and joined the line of about 50 people queueing outside right on 6.30pm. They soon opened the gates and we went in to grab a seat. It’s fully enclosed so no need to worry about the cold and the wind, although temperature has now risen to about 18 degrees and sun is coming out so not too bad anyway. Rodeo was fun, the commentator got the crowd involved. An Aussie guy was competing in the Bull Riding competition but was unable to hang on for 8 seconds. Highlight was the cowgirls doing the race around the barrels. The ability to get the horse to change directions whilst sprinting is very impressive. The show finished around 10pm and we decided to head home. We went to the nearest intersection and I was going to hail a Taxi but there was one actually waiting on the corner and he was free so we jumped in and $15- later we were back at the Hotel. That worked out well. Oh well another fun day and really enjoyed dinner again. Shame we missed out on Billy Bobs as that was one of Kerry’s must see attractions on this trip. We should have got over to the Stockyards District much earlier and get to Billy Bobs before it closed at 5pm. Unlike us, but bad planning let us down here. Tomorrow we pack up again and start heading East again. Not too far away is Dallas.

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