Exploring the Lone Star State
Business trip, sightseeing, and visiting friends. A great ten days of history, BBQ, and Texan hospitality!
Texas is big, people.
Texans know how to BBQ stuff.
Texans are delightfully hospitable and proud of their beautiful state.
There is a prevailing sensibility that we have encountered in our trips overseas… and that is, Americans are cowboys. We understood this on some kind of molecular level – I mean, in the way that we are all pilgrims and puritans and adventurers and transplants of some sort in this melting pot we call America… reaching toward a new frontier. The cowboy is a distinct symbol of our past and our foundations. Texas is exemplary of this gestalt (I know, Nicole’s background is in anthropology, and they used this word like it was candy).
If you are scheduled for a business conference, the Gaylord Texan Resort is a pretty cool place to be. Diane is our (Nicole’s) new BFF. And… uh huh.. it is so big, they have their own app to help you navigate.
We had delicious meals in Grapevine and fun window shopping. Bone Daddy’s House of Smoke was a delightful entry into both Texas and Texas BBQ. They make a mean fried okra that we are still dreaming about. And Big Fish Seafood Grill & Bar… *snf* you struck a resounding chord of nostalgia in Nicole’s heart with your amazing crayfish platter – it was like being back in the homeland in the mountain lakes of Oregon (I even crunched into those shells like Daryl Hannah in Splash… much to the chagrin of my digestive system the next day), but with a spicy twist. Your pecan pie brought a tear (seriously, more than one). Things are big in Texas, like portions. We quickly devised a sharing system – Jeff picked the meat(s), Nicole picked the sides… perfection.
Grapevine is located about 30 minutes from Dallas and about 40ish minutes from Forth Worth. It is worth it to branch out and explore these two iconic cities.
Were there four shots or three? Did Oswald act alone? What really happened on that grassy knoll? Cuz, honestly, he had a clear shot and probably a good five to ten minutes from the oncoming street… I mean, that car was only going five miles an hour. We spent a good four+ hours at the Book Depository learning a ton about the Kennedy presidency and assassination. The museum is well curated and informative. Get your tickets a day in advance to avoid the lines (even on a weekday).
“Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys…”
Never seen a cattle drive? The Stockyards has a fun one twice a day. Did you know the average age of a cowboy was 16? The youngest 9? Retirement mid 20’s?
Yes. We went to the silos. Yes. It was awesome. Yes. We (Nicole) bought stuff. If you have not been hit by the “Fixer Upper” bug, you are now baffled. To say the HGTV show has been a boon to the already cute town of Waco is a gross understatement. The influence of the show can be seen all over town and in Waco’s beautiful residential neighborhoods. We had a fun time touring the neighborhoods with locals and enjoying some fabulous BBQ.
Want to make friends with a BBQ lover? Take them to The Salt Lick. Oh… my. Our friends have developed a 5-sausage-link rating system, but everyone holds their criteria close to the chest. Of course the BBQ itself has to be good, but for some, it’s all about the sides. Their vinegar-based coleslaw and German potato salad are SO wonderful. Wait… when are we going back?
Transportation: Virgin America, Hertz Rental Car
Accommodations: The Gaylord Texan Resort, Friends, AirBnB