Friends in Dallas
When we moved to Texas, we passed through Dallas on our drive. It was our first time there and the rain was like nothing I’d ever driven through. Most of the trucks were pulled off to the side of the road. Let’s just say, we didn’t see too much. So in August, when we visited the area for several days, without any such disturbing weather, we actually got to take a look around. The travel was surprisingly good even in the Texas heat. Anna stayed busy with her doodle pad, books, and whatever games we would come up with. She loves I-spy and we tried a new game of add-a-sentence storytelling. There were plenty of princesses and boogers, oh the stories toddlers help think up. One story got so silly, my laughing almost sprayed water all over the steering wheel.
We drove north on the backroads and went right through Johnson City. We stopped into the Lyndon B. Johnson visitor center. What a throwback that was to my War in Vietnam class I took in high school.
Once we arrived in Forth Worth, we explored the city’s Water Gardens. The idea was to show a variety of environtments and experiences that can be made with water: rushing and loud, still and silent, misting, gently falling. Anna and Jacob had a great time climbing around. They almost gave me a heart attack of worry as they descended into the huge pit of cement art. Anna’s only issue was that she couldn’t go swimming. Later in the evening we fed her need by enjoying some fun pool time at the hotel.
Our hotel was between Dallas and Fort Worth in Arlington. On the same street as the sports parks for the Rangers and the Cowboys. Jacob had Anna believing that the Dallas football team plays in a mothership from space. It was cool. Nearby was a new stone sculpture park. We wandered around at dusk enjoying the varied statues and stretching our legs. Anna and Jacob chased each other around, playing hide and seek and just making giggles.
Arlington is quite the touristy town, or at least where we were staying was. Our street connected to Six Flags as well. I was very surprised to drive past the park and see the rollercoasters at a stand still. I’m used to Williamsburg and Busch Gardens where the place never stops going (when the weather is nice). But we chose our vacation the week everyone went back to school so there were not high schoolers to run the rides I suppose so the parks close except for weekends.
We spent our first day in the Fort Worth area. We went to their Cowgirl Museum and saw some wonderful photographs of cowgirls from a variety of time periods. Anna got to ride a kid-friendly mechanical bull and they had a great children’s area for pretend living on the range.
After lunch, we went for a tour of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. US Currency is only printed in two places, one is in Washington DC and the other is in Fort Worth. The first week of school starting meant the place was abandoned except for a few adult groups of 2-5 people. Anna had a great time, much more fun than we sort of expected. There were puzzles and microscopes and defect-finding games. We toured the plant from above and watched the money-machines at work.
After our packed day, we headed over to the Grange’s home for dinner. Audra kindly invited us over and made a wonderful meal for us. We sat and chatted for what seemed like forever at the time in a good way but when the time came to leave was way way too short. Audra and I grew close in New Haven and they recently moved to our new state, we couldn’t be happier about it. Our kids had a good time as well. In the car on the way to the hotel, Anna asked if we could come back tomorrow? Probably not babe. The day after, then? We visited Audra in the hospital when she had Ruby and here she and Anna were together playing and talking. Life is so good. We are grateful for such good friends and can’t wait for our next trip to Dallas for a visit with them!
Our last full day of the trip we spent in Dallas. We explored a Civil War museum first. I was impressed with this museum’s collection of period clothes. Anna was hard to please in the dark hallways but Jacob and I really enjoyed the weapons, including a mine, and the flags on display.
We spent some time at the Dallas Museum of Art downtown before checking out the temple, the flagship Halfprice Books, and grabbing some pizza on our way back to the hotel. Wherever we went, Anna made a friend. At the restaurant play place, at the city park and playgrounds. She was always going up to the other kids and starting conversations and having a blast, with who ever was around.
Anna loved the portion of the art museum just for kids. There were puzzles, and a pretend nest, and a lightbox table with transparent shapes to create with. The museum was huge, we got lost just trying to find an exhibit. But they had art from all over the world. We explained about Buddah and African tie-dye, we did not explain the art from Papua New Guinea. And we enjoyed hearing Anna’s interpretations of the art.
To break up the drive home we stopped at the Waco Mammoth Site. The town built a building over a very fruitful dig-site that contained mammoths of every age and gender as well as some other animals including a camel. The tour was super cool and we learned a lot about what a day in the life of a mammoth was like.
We had a lot of fun on our spur of the moment, sort of, trip in the middle of the week up to Dallas! The very next Tuesday we were asked to be seminary teachers in our ward. Taking us from not knowing which day of the week it is and no alarm clocks for us, to an interesting regiment of new bedtimes and cleaning practices since there is a group of teenagers sitting in our living room every morning before their school starts. We absolutely love diving into our scriptures every morning and feel so blessed for our new callings. Our next adventures will just have to be on the weekends. 🙂