Grand Prairie, Texas
Cross winds and a little rain make the 60 mile drive on Friday morning seem longer, but we pull into Traders Village RV Park before noon. The first site is not for us - too many trees, flooded pad, very tight. I take a chance and go back to the office to ask for another spot. Bingo! We move over to a more open area, hook up electric and head back out.
We're going to the Cowboys' stadium in nearby Arlington. It's why we're here!
|The grand house of Bill's team|
Our tour is at 3:00 so we have lunch at the very posh restaurant. Of course it's big too.
After perusing the good size pro-shop that has a lot of over-the-top fanabilia, we join our guided tour. Unlike other tours, this one uses escalators, which is the one thing Tessa doesn't do. Our guide takes us in the elevator, and we get to see some great photos that aren't on the tour :-)
|Ready for Sunday's game|
|We all squeeze into the owner's suite, complete with private elevator from the parking garage.....rough.|
|Football shaped cutouts with cross-stitch light figures. One of several member-only clubs around the field.|
|The construction numbers - heights, pounds, lengths, square footage, capacity, mechanics - all BIG!|
|Played in the original stadium since 1937, the Cotton Bowl moved here in 2010|
|Our first cheerleaders' locker room - but it is the Cowboys Cheerleaders :-)|
|Oh goody, goody, goody.....|
|The hallways have dozens of classic photos.|
|Big and fancy, the players' tunnel to the field lacks the "football" feel of other stadiums. This one passes through one of the clubs.|
|The very best part of the tour is the unlimited access to the field. Fans are taking pics, throwing footballs, just sitting and taking in where they are.|
|Screens on both sides are 160 feet long and 72 feet tall, each weigh 1.2 million pounds. The two end screens are 51 feet wide and 29 feet tall, they weigh 23,000 pounds each. They can be raised from 25 feet above the field to the very top.|
|So fun to be here!!|
|Those famous boots.|
One is Dealey Plaza downtown. The location of President Kennedy's assassination, it is a sad but popular site. Being the weekend, it is crowded, and we don't stop to get photos this time.
There are numerous bridges crossing the Trinity River into Dallas. The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge was designed by Santiago Calatrava, and completed in 2012. It parallels a walking bridge with a few art pieces. The center pylon is 400 feet tall - yep, big!
A very cold, wet wind means a quick walk up to get a few photos and back to Piper.
|The lovely bridge leads to Dallas' skyline|
|A little color on a monochromatic day|
|Big buildings reach to the clouds|
|The motion of the pieces is wonderful.|
|Feel the rumble of the ground under their feet. A bit intimidating!|
|The piece fills about a half block area among tall buildings.|
|It's interesting to join the herd, and easy to feel yourself being moved along.|
Built in 1936 for the Texas Centennial Exposition, it is now home to the Dallas Historical Society.
Finding it is a challenge, locked gates and deadends nearly make us give up. A city police officer gives us directions that take us past the old Cotton Bowl and through the exhibition halls of the state fairgrounds. It feels like we're "sneaking in" as there is no one else. When I stop in front of the building to take photos, a worker tells me the door is open and that it is "something you have to see". Okay!
|All to ourselves.|
|Showing some age, but stunning.|
|The pillars are surrounded with "characters" from Texas' first 100 years.|
|Lapis tiles with bands of hand painted sun tiles.|
|And then you walk inside.....|
|The magnificent central hall includes colorful murals on both side.|
|Artistic beauty at every level.|
|Vaquaro photos in a room as captivating as the gallery.|
|G. B. Dealey Library|
|Texas door - Big!|
|It's like a neoclassic ghost town.|
|The fate of the original The Tenor created in 1936 is unknown. It was recreated in 2009. The Contralto stands on the other side of the pool.|
|One of the Six Ladies of the Fair|
|I couldn't find a name for this guy, but could have fun making up a few :-)|
|The grand old lady.|
Sunday's playoff games are one big disappointment and one big relief.
The relief comes not only from the final score, but from "surviving" our first tornado warning in the middle of a violent thunder storm that dumped an inch and a half of rain in four hours.
While we're standing with other campers at the cinder block shower house we learn the tornado touched down on the other side of the municipal airport beside the park - about a half mile away. Fortunately the area has good drainage and the flooded roads clear quickly.
We were only in the Dallas area for two nights, but it was a very big experience.