Everything is BIGGER in TEXAS!
Texas greeted us with 78F temperatures and sunny skies. Certainly a nice change from the major winter snow and ice storms at home.
Our AC flight arrived late so our local hostess with the mostess was busy on the phone altering our days itinerary.
I’ve known “Alice from Dallas” for a few decades. I couldn’t ask for a better person to look after us – she is a pro. At one time Alice represented the city of Dallas so let me tell you she knows “everyone” in the tourism industry plus she is so well respected. It only took a couple minutes and everyone was at ease with her. Her personality is infectious and is she so funny. Alice is a busy lady so we are fortunate that she has cleared most her schedule in order to spend a great deal of time with us during our Texas stay. I know she has done that especially for me – thank you Alice!
Priorities first – we were hungry. Alice and her husband live in an exclusive area of Dallas and they know the best restaurants in that area so we had lunch in their Italian restaurant hangout. This is a family run operation and the owner kindly showed up to meet us. She graciously extended their lunch time service in order to accommodate us. We had the restaurant to ourselves – the building dates back to 1911. Our waiter was very old school – what a terrific gentleman – he used a long pice of narrow paper to take down our orders in his own code. I’m sure he would be the only one that could possibly figure out what he had written. The chefs cuisine was truly homemade – just like going into Grandma’s kitchen – no wonder Alice and her husband love this place. The salad dressing, soup, entrees and lucious dessert are all made from scratch. If I was a local this would be my hangout too! So happy that Alice’s husband joined us – a true southern gentleman.
As we drove around the city I was really impressed – what a beautiful place.
In the downtown core Alice walked us around the area where President Kennedy was assasinated. She has collected so much conspiracy information which she has compiled a binder type book. Tomorrow we will go to a museum where we will learn even more about that tragic day.
Our drive to Parker, Texas was during the heart of rush hour. Traffic was heavy but it moves well – certainly not a headache like Toronto’s rush hour. Parker is an impressive bedroom community and as Alice explained $500,000 will buy you a mansion in this area – a beautiful home might set you back a couple hundred thousand – certainly a bargain in comparison to home.
Talking about mansions we felt like VIP’s when the Southfork Ranch staff, home of the television series, DALLAS welcomed us after hours for a “Travel With Bradley” EXCLUSIVE Valentines event. They even staffed the massive gift shop after hours just for us.
We walked through an excellent memorabilia museum before we boarded a very modern John Deer tractor pulled tram that took us to the well known mansion.
Our Cowboy guide was a real character – very genuine – I think we are going to meet many very friendly and welcoming folk during our Texas stay.
We could explore the mansion at our leisure and take all the pictures we wanted. We then gathered in one of the mansion rooms for a Valentines Texas BBQ Dinner featuring brisket that has been slow cooked for 30 hours and very moist bbq chicken – variety of salads, homemade baked beans, pickles and peppers, freshly baked southern cornbread and of course very hot apple cobbler for dessert. Enjoyed by all! Valentines treats were on our tables and my passengers wore Western bandanas – after all we are in Texas!
We were ready for bed when we arrived at the unique, downtown core hotel that is our home for a couple of nights. Alice arranged for our luggage to be delivered while we enjoyed our lunch so it was already in our rooms. She had our keys too so we just boarded the elevators when we arrived. Felt like VIP’s again.
This hotel is housed in an old building that has been repurposed into two hotels and residential suites. Our rooms are fantastic – massive – incredible high ceilings – original wood floors – oversize washrooms and the most unique feature in my room is one of the original building cement columns. When I put my arms around it they reach just about 1/2 way. Its a huge column – but everything is bigger in Texas! These hotel rooms are larger than many of the condos in Toronto. The bed is extra comfy too. This hotel only been open a couple of months. What a great find – I could move in! Thanks Alice for suggesting we stay in this unique boutique property – so perfect for a “Travel With Bradley” Journey.
Day 1 was an awesome one – a wonderful city to spend Valentines Day!