Part 2, Monday 22nd JuneWe didn't need to go through customs, immigration or pick up our luggage, so we were free! (I think, it is vague) we followed the signs for the car rentals. It was a very posh, new airport and the car rental place was huge and glass and gleaming. T went to the Alamo desk (while I went outside for a smoke) and picked up the GPS (vital!) and we then had to take a shuttle to the cars. We had a huge choice of cars, but picked the first one we came to - a maroony-coloured Pontiac, with New Mexico plates. We didn't need a big car - this was just a compact, I think.
We had thought to go to the Stockyards in Fort Worth, but had changed our minds and decided to utilise the GPS and, firstly, go to South Fork Ranch, which we knew to be tacky - but, heck! It was about 18 miles north of downtown Dallas, but it was no problem with the GPS guiding us. We had to go on the President George Bush Turnpike. Dallas is posh and affluent. The flyovers have lone stars embedded into them. Everywhere looks rich.
Here we are! South Fork Ranch! We went into the visitor center (toilet first) and there was a 'tour' leaving in about ten minutes. I asked if there was anything to eat and we bought some cookies. Then a guy took our photo and chatted a bit. He seemed a bit fed up and lonely. Then we sat outside to wait for the tractor! The driver's name was Richard and he took us over to the house, telling us nothing much apart from that the tractor was new! Once at the house, we had to go inside to listen to a spiel about who owned the house and how the inside was not used for filming on Dallas, only the outside (knew that from the reviews!). Then we were free to wonder around. Yes, it was outrageously rubbish, but it wasn't all that expensive and there was something about being 'there'. We enjoyed it! The pool was minute - apparently, they used wide shots when filming there! We bought our photo on the way out - it was quite good!
Now the fun began. We decided to go to the Book Depository (6th Floor Museum) which was right in the centre of Dallas, so should be easy for the GPS to find. We also needed something for our lunch. It was stinking hot (103 deg F that day in Dallas) and the GPS kept taking us back to South Fork!! At one point, we went through the same turnpike toll box 3 times and feared we would run out of money! We saw a LOT of the suburbs of Dallas, but we needed the centre and yearned just for a glimpse of that famous skyline! Meanwhile, we stopped off at a strip mall and got sandwiches from an Italian deli, called Schlotzsky's. The sandwiches were very tasty - but HUGE! Finally, there was that skyline!
As we parked up behind the 6th Floor Museum, we felt panicked. We had plenty of time, but we were worried about getting back to the airport in time, so we rushed. I guess it was interesting - but you weren't allowed to take photos inside, which was a bit of a bummer, particularly with the amount they charged to get in! There were lots of videos on Kennedy and the assassination and the window from where it's thought he was shot, was glassed in so that nobody could go in. Hmm.
Outside, on the road where Kennedy was shot, there were markers and stars. And we later drove down that road!
We drove back to DFW, dropped off the car (early) and took the shuttle to Terminal D. We stood outside for a while, sweltering. T bought bottles of cold water, but we soon had to get rid of those when we went through security! We decided to splash out on a couple hours in the Club at DFW, where there were free drinks and snacks, somewhere to wash and a smoking room. The peace was most welcome! When it was time to leave, we found the rest of Terminal D extremely swish, with loads of shops and eateries and a very odd looking 'Ice Mountain'! I spent the last of my dollars on two cushions/pillows. I have written in my notebook, this,
"Dallas Airport: The man with the bright green bag and mobile, pulling his case; thinks he's Robert Redford. The woman with grey hair, flowing down her back. The girl with the snow boots. The guy with the silver Kona Soul T-shirt. The wagon of disabilities. The large lost man with mozzie bites on the back of his legs."
Which I guess was at least an attempt to write something down - though this had been the first time I'd bothered and I don't remember any of those people!
Our AA flight to Heathrow took off a little later than scheduled (7:20pm) because of some inspection (what???). We flew over Oklahoma and Illinois and witnessed huge storms in the mid west. Our dinner was quite nice - chicken again for me. And then we slept. I woke with a coughing fit and it was nearly time for breakfast, which was most welcome. A warm croissant with jam. Then we were landing at Heathrow! I should try to sleep more often!