Sunday, January 15, 2012

A promise is a promise.

Who ever has managed to stay awake while reading this blog I know you are probably just absolutely dying to read all about me and Garett's adventures in Fort Worth. And I did promise y'all I'd tell you all about the adventures, so no worries folks, you no longer have to press the refresh button on blogger/facebook because what I'm about to tell you is what you have all been waiting for.

Our first stop in Fort Worth was the Water Gardens. It was close to the bus station and easy to get too. The gardens were absolutely gorgeous. Here are some pictures:


First Pool

Second Pool

Third Pool- I swear this is every boy's dream. Building a ginormous hole with stairs and watching the water go down.

Some pretty pictures at Water Gardens.

Garett at the water gardens.

Me at the water gardens.

Garett and I went to Billy Bob's the World's Largest Honkey Tonk. It's true. There we watched Josh Gracin. If you're wondering who Josh Gracin is he was on American Idol and is the artist of the song "Nothin' to Lose"
Next time Garett and I go to Billy Bob's we decided this;

We will learn Country Dancing.

We will learn how to correctly play pool.

Yes I am hitting the red ball. The white ball went down one of the sockets so we thought it was lost forever but apparently there is a nice little spot on the side of the pool table that the white ball returns to. Who knew? Not us.

Garett's gonna bring him a purty girl.

And I'm gonna bring me a handsome Justin.

And we are going to party, play pool, and dance the night away. I can't wait. I believe the next step to this plan is to find Garett that purty girl:)

Meet Cory. He's half Irish and half Cherokee. He is drunk, but I'm sure you knew that by the second sentence.

When getting off the bus we asked him if this was the best stop to get off to see the parade.

-A little background on the parade: This week just happened to be a big event in Fort Worth. The stock show. To celebrate this event they had a large parade. No motor vehicles allowed.

Our friend Cory said it was the right bus stop and he would show us where the parade was. Turns out we actually showed HIM where the parade was. He was a little confused. Good ol' Cory stayed with us the whole time and talked Garett's little ear off. Funny thing was even after the parade we kept seeing him around town. Silly Cory. This picture makes me laugh because I asked if I could get a picture of him and he was all excited and put his arm around Garett. Well, this terrified Garett for a moment and I took the picture at that exact moment. Scroll back up to the picture and notice Garett's frightment. Classic. Sorry Garett! I just wanted a picture of your new buddy!

The stock show parade was awesome! It had all the essentials:

Cowboy Boots.

Cowboy Hats.

Cowboy Mustaches.

Here are some more pictures.

Fort Worth according to a tuba.

I am an unintentional but successful art thief.

Hi, my name is Rebecca Carlisle. And I steal art. Not on purpose of course. I'm sure a similar situation has happened to all of us. You know, the situation where you are holding something and forget about it and later find you are still holding onto this item even though you shouldn't be. Perhaps for you it was a candy bar you forgot to purchase or maybe you went home with the whole shopping basket. Maybe you went home with the hymn book from church, or perhaps even a pen from the bank. Don't worry it happens to the best of us. For me it was a beloved piece of art...from a museum.

In Fort Worth, Texas, a town just west of Dallas, Garett and I went to the Amon Carter museum. This museum has beautiful works of western art. This museum has other assorted arts such as old photography. This museum is intimidating. This museum has a person on every floor making sure you aren't breaking the rules, such as stealing the art.

An older gentleman, who works for the museum, wanted to show Garett and I some photography. I was all over this idea because I love photography but know nothing about it. He let us hold old cameras and antique 3D binocular things. He even let us hold very old photographs, some dating back to the late 1800's. After his enlightening wisdom we left the museum to wander around the cultural district, a part of Fort Worth that has many museums. After wandering around for a while I decided we needed a map. Well when I went to grab a map guess what I discovered was in my hands. Correct. An old photograph the older gentleman let me hold. Shucky-Darn!, as Garett would say. I'm surprised I got past all the watchful workers at that museum. You would think at least one of them would have saw what was in my hands and inform me I was walking away with a photograph precious to them. Embarrassed, I went back into the museum and returned the picture, which they were grateful for. And to think I could have gotten away with it.

Garett and I have had quite the adventures here in Fort Worth. We went the World's Largest Honkey Tonk, we're escorted to a parade by a drunk man, and got caught up into the trend known as "couch-surfing". All of which I well tell you about in my next post. Hang on to yer horses!

The cameras and old pictures at the museum. I was in heaven.

The themes of these posts seem to have turned into lessons Garett and I have learned along our Texas path, and it just so happens there is a lesson number three. If you remember lesson number one was taxi's are money suckers and lesson number two was watch out for con-artists. Well, my friends, lesson number three is make sure you research your hotel before booking it. Seems simple right? Well that's what I thought because I did do research on the hotel Garett and I were to stay in while in Fort Worth. But, I should have put on my detective hat and researched every last detail.

I made sure there was a bus to the hotel but apparently it only goes there early mornings and late evenings Monday-Friday. I made sure we would be able to walk to the hotel from the bus stop but apparently construction blocks that path. I made sure there was a continental breakfast but apparently they don't serve breakfast if your the only guest.

We had planned on staying there all four nights but ended up staying one night. Here's why:

Just so you know what's going on here we booked a hotel for the four nights we are in Fort Worth at a hotel pretty far north figuring we would just ride the bus everyday. Well come to find out the bus only comes early mornings and late evenings. To get to the closest bus that comes at times other than those we had to walk 2.8 miles to the bus stop. This walk consisted of crossings two fields, two fences, two parking lots, and one river. Thank goodness there is a 7-11 on the way, it kept us going.
We only stayed in that hotel one night and decided it wasn't worth it so we packed our bags and decided we would figure it out as we go. It's kinda scary packing your bag and not knowing where you're going to stay that night, but kinda exciting and I kind liked it. Garett wasn't a fan of it although it was his idea. The next night we stayed in a part of town known as "The Stockyards", a western themed part of town with fun souvenir shops, saloons, and restaurants.

Garett in the Cowboy room we stayed in.

The second night in Fort Worth we gave "Couch-Surfing" a whirl. For those of you who don't know what couch surfing is explains it like this, "CouchSurfing is your ticket to explore the world -- from the road or from your own home. Over a million members are out there waiting to learn about your culture and show you some of theirs. Eat borscht in Odessa. Watch kangaroos in Adelaide. Find the best noodles in Tokyo. Show travelers the best live music near your home, or your favorite hiking trail. Meet locals in your own city who share your interest in travel and the world."

So pretty much it's a community of people passionate about traveling who host others in their home or visa versa. I have always loved the idea of couch surfing but have always been to scared. Garett and I didn't have much of a choice and figured since both of us would be couch surfing it would be ok. I have met people who couch surf all over and host people from all over the world and have never had a bad experience. So why not right?

We stayed with Laura, a German teacher who has traveled all over the world. Her and her boyfriend showed us what southern hospitality is all about. There wasn't a bus to her house so she offered to pick us up which was a true life saver. She told us all about couch surfing and places she has been. Her and her boyfriend gave us points of interest in Fort Worth and offered to take us to the stock show with their friends. Garett and I went to the Botanical Gardens and church instead but we sure are glad to have made some friends in Fort Worth. Thanks Laura and Troy! And we took a picture with them but unfortunately I didn't realize that there wasn't a memory card in the camera:(

Well Garett and I are putting together a post about some more adventures so stay posted. Love you all!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A big Texas welcome...from a con artist.

Remember how in the last blog post the first lesson learned in Dallas was taxi's are way over priced. Well..lesson number two is con artists are real. And they are good at what they do. Really. It happens. Here's how:
On a random road in Dallas X marks the spot where John Kennedy was assassinated. Well, turns out this X is really hard to find, and as Garett and I tried to find it a man walked up to us. This man was an older black gentleman who talked a million miles an hour in a raspy voice through the side of his mouth. He wore a super casual sweater with a decent blazer over it. So it was weird because he almost looked like a bum...but not. Kind of like an upper class bum, if there's such a thing. He introduced himself as Lamar Griffith and gave us a half an hour spill on the JFK assassination. Not gonna lie I was intrigued by the guy. He had an incredible knowledge about the assassination and had humor so weird you almost wondered if he was drunk/high/just not all there. Lamar Griffith helped us find the X and taught us a ton of things about JFK but when he was done with his spill he claimed he had worked at the memorial for 10 years now and told us he would now take the six dollars we owed and he even threw in there that he takes tips. Flustered Garett and I threw him a twenty. Not sure as to why. I guess we were hoping to get change. Well Lamar thanked us and told us he was going to go get breakfast and walked away. Yes folks, we were conned. I hope you enjoyed your breakfast Lamar Griffith.

Lamar Griffith as he walks away with our twenty bucks.

Dallas is filled with awesome architecture. Both the old and new buildings. Here are some photos...

Dallas Music Hall

Old Mill Inn

I believe this is part of Chase tower.

City Hall

JFK Memorial. And Yes it is just a random 4 walls with a little thing about JFK in the middle.

Old Red Courthouse

Criminal Courthouse from Old Red Courthouse window.

Dallas Holocaust museum

Mcdonald's is even in a cool building! It almost made me want to eat there. Almost.

I really wish I could remember what this building is called.

The Women's Museum

Dallas also has some awesome statues and sculptures. I embarrass Garett with my statue fascination.

Sculpture in Park

Superman got fed up wearing his underwear on the outside of his pants. So he decided to go without either.

Superwoman followed his example. She now goes by "Flash"

Statue of women crying. I'd be crying too if I had water spraying on me like that all day.


We went to an incredible Cathedral. It was beautiful.


There are a ton of museums in Dallas. We ended up only going to one. The Holocaust museum. Incredible but Depressing. We should of went to the African American museum. That would have been festive but then again I'm sure it would be depressing too. Maybe next time we'll just stick with the Museum of Bowling.

Holocaust Memorial for the immediate family of the survivors that live in Dallas

Garett and I may or may not have bought matching boots. But, hey, if its a good price and the boot fits then you deal with the consequences even if that means being "matchy, matchy" with your little brother.

Cowboy Boots:)

More boots!

This is our lunch at IronCactus, a TexMex restaurant. It is in my top five favorite meals I have ever eaten in my 19 years of living. It was chicken stuffed with seasoned corn bread mixture topped with a jalapeno cheese sauce. Oh my goodness when I get home my new mission in life is to recreate this meal. Seriously.

We decided to end our day doing baptisms for the dead in Dallas Temple. It seemed like a lovely, unstressful activity to give ourselves a chance to unwind from the crazy day... Wrong. It was the most stressful thing we did all day. Of course it was worth it, but my goodness, trying to get to the temple was like puke flavored jelly beans, a disaster.

First of all I have to say I am extremely impressed with Dallas's public transportation. They have an incredible light rail system that reminds me of the Trax in Salt Lake except the Dallas one is ten times nicer and the people seem more sane. Well, at least I didn't hear anyone talking to themselves, a common occurrence on Trax. So, the problems we had getting to the temple were probably my fault or google maps. Yeah, we'll blame it on google maps.

It started out great! We got to ride on a lovely old trolley. Look at how awesome it is.

The Trolley.

Garett on the trolley.

Me on the trolley.

We then got off the trolley and went to go catch the bus but apparently I had typed the wrong hour in Google Maps so we waited for a bus that had left an hour ago. After discovering this we typed in the correct hour and we were told, by google maps, to go the a light rail station a half a mile away. So we hiked to to station only to be confused because we could not figure out where in the heck the trains even stopped. Come to find out the trains were underground! And the coolest part was to get there we rode on the longest. escalator. ever. It may be something only a Utahn would get excited over but seriously it was awesome! I tried to get a picture but was told it wasn't allowed. Sorry. You're just going to have to believe me when I tell you I swear this escalator went all the way down to Hell.
Once we rode the Hell escalator to the bottom, which was more exciting than a roller coaster for me, we ran and got onto the train. An orange train. It should have been a red train. Gahh!! But luckily it ended up going to the station we needed! Just stressed Garett and I out a little. Its always a little nerve racking being in a huge city you know nothing about and you just have to trust Google maps to get you where you're going.
From that station we had to catch another bus that we hoped went by the temple. We got off at the road suggested by google. And guess what? Nope, the road did not lead to the temple. Yes, it did lead to a gated community. We walked back and forth looking for the temple. I'm sure we walked almost 2 miles. And then..we saw those beautiful spires peaking over million dollar houses. Such a relief. We felt like pioneers.
Pictures do not do this temple justice. It is so gorgeous! Unfortunately we were unable to get any good pictures due to no light.

The temple!!!!

Our excited/Japenese anime faces when we found the temple.

When telling a temple worker that we were backpacking around Dallas she was impressed we were able to make it to the temple and offered us a ride to our hotel. Not going to lie, I was praying the I wouldn't have to figure out the buses to get back to the hotel in the dark. So we were extremely grateful! Thank you Sister!