Sunday, February 23, 2014

There's a NEW Mexico?!

(Yes, Homer.)

And a Texas and a Louisiana too.

(Our first new state since NM in December.)

We just rolled into northwest Louisiana, after being hosted for 2 nights in Fort Worth--birthplace of grandma Janet! We saw the stockyards and the world's only twice daily cattle drive. It was about 12 longhorns going one block, but still. Pretty cool. Emmett decided to film it, so I filmed him. (No word yet on if anyone filmed me filming him filming steers.)

Our hosts were the parents of our Shanghai pal Erin, who we used to be in Documentary Film Club with. They treated us like their own kids, and fed us to the gills! We better watch out, as we head to N'awlins, or we will all gain 20 pounds. Thank you Polly and Bill!

Side note: On the way to Ft. Worth (which google maps insisted on pronouncing "F T Worth") we stopped in Comanche, TX. My mom's mom grew up there, and the store my mom's cousins (below) ran is still there. I chatted with the wife of one of these guy's sons. Which makes her my second cousin's wife. Weird.

Forth Worth was where the boys finally got to see The Lego Movie, after being told "maybe tomorrow" in several towns. THE MAIN CHARACTER'S NAME IS EMMETT. Sarah took them to the theater while I slipped off to Dealey Plaza. To face one of American history's darkest days. After I exited the freeway in Dallas, I saw in the distance a brick building that I have seen so many times before. I gasped--the Texas Schoolbook Depository.

Not much has changed, so it is almost unsettling to actually be standing there. And it is all so much smaller than I imagined. The Sixth Floor Museum is a great way to spend an hour or so. Very thorough, lots of multimedia, AAA discount, mentions the conspiracy theories just enough, and focuses much more on the gobs of evidence that Oswald was the one and only shooter. Highly recommended if you are in the area.

You can stand where Zapruder stood as he filmed (that's where I was for the photo below). You can comb the grassy knoll for evidence (none). And there are 2 white X's painted on Elm Street (see next to center lane), to mark where JFK's car was when he got hit by the second and third shots.

What JFK would have seen if he had turned around (and had he not been getting shot at the time)

As our Cowtown send-off, we paid a visit to a Texas drifter we used to know in Portland. Our boy Noah has gone and settled down, married a wonderful woman and even fathered a son. Our boys enjoyed helping the little guy at the park, and we loved catching up with Noah. Still urban planning and still a mellow dude. Pics soon (wifi issues)!

Unrelated to anything, we saw this giant wheel guy:

Before Fort Worth, we spent 3 rejuvenating days in Fredericksburg, a fun little German town that punches above its weight. Lots of beer halls and shops, great ice cream and a wonderful Museum of the Pacific War. Our hosts, Kim and Dan, made us feel so relaxed and at home. Which was nice after camping for several days in the WINDY Guadalupe Mtns National Park.

The great hikes made GMNP (as I like to call it) worthwhile. One was Devil's Hall, which was mostly along a rocky (dry) creek bed and ends in a natural amphitheater. Which reminded the boys of the Roman Coliseum (where they've never been). So they staged a sort-of gladiator fight.

They became junior rangers at GMNP and at nearby Carlsbad Caverns, which was aMAZing. Pics speak for themselves, then I am going to bed.