Monday, December 21, 2015

Day 150 through 153 - Christmas Feelings in Fort Worth

This morning my father was already gone to work (the reason why we are in Texas), and we had breakfast in the Starbucks near our hotel for about two hours, talking. The talking continued then in our room until we were hungry for lunch at 4 PM. A friendly Jonathan was our waiter and we enjoyed Mexican food. Texas seems to be very bilingual in English and Spanish, anyway. For the first time I had Christmas feelings this year! Starbucks was playing festive Christmas music and the entire city was decorated with lights, ribbons and a big Christmas tree with a Santa Claus in a sledge.

The next days were sunny and warm. As Ft. Worth became famous and grew big as a cattle and cowboy town, the main attraction are the (once) huge stockyards. Before our tour of the stockyards, we followed the recommendation of the lady at the visitor center and went to a Mexican breakfast restaurant mostly frequented by locals. How can they serve Tortillas and hot sauce for breakfast??? If you're hungry enough...

The stockyards district is comprised not only of (the remainders of) huge stockyards, the remainders of big meat packing plants, a rail station and a livestock exchange, but also an indoor rodeo hall, Western-like streets with saloons etc., and "The world's biggest honkytonk" (Billy Bob's). Two times per day, a herd of the famous Texas longhorn cattle are driven through the main street to create some "old west" feeling. Who else wouldn't have expected such long-horned cattle?

Later we visited the water park of Fort Worth. There were three water basins to be seen. The first was a calm basin, not unlike a swimming pool with water running down the walls around. With all that water around and the shade of the trees, even hot Texan summers (with 45 degrees Celsius and more) can be bearable here.

The second basin was filled with with splashy small fountains in whose water drops one could see a rainbow from every angle. The third and biggest basin is a construction of terraces so that you are surrounded by gentle waterfalls all around you when walk down to be basis - over a stepping stone path. The more you walk down, the louder and louder its gets and the more difficult the path seems to be, because everything seems to be moving when looking down.


See the posh car in the front? This thing was parking in front of the restaurant we wanted to go which we mistook to be a regular restaurant. Nope, there was a guy opening the door for us, and we were like completely underdressed next to the waitress who looked at us like "what do these want here?". The next restaurant on our list was quite cool, and we had the best food ever (if not too small portions) in the Bird Café at Sundance Square: Gumbo, Pastrami and Roast Chicken with cauliflower purée and asparagus.

By the way, these huge huge huge flags are what you find everywhere. Sometimes bigger sometimes smaller sometimes accompanied by dozens of small flags. Isn't that patriotic? But why need car dealerships to be such patriotic? Anyway, you can't deny that the U.S. flag is the most aesthetic flag of all.

All right, fast food time! No wonder that obesity is a problem for many Americans - Healthy restaurants are expensive and need to be researched, while fast food is incredibly cheap and conveniently found at every corner. While on the road, there is hardly a chance to find anything edible other than KFC, Taco Bell, McDonalds, and the like. Anyway, it was just right for our dinner after a three-hour shopping tour. I'm totally in love with the US outlet centers, where well-known brands sell their second-grade quality products or last season leftovers for a discount of 40% or more. My mother, sister and I could have spend the entire day there, but my dad isn't that type of heavy shopper. At the end, our luggage space is limited.

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