Sunday, April 06, 2008

Big "D"

You meet the nicest people in an RV. The damn sirens never blew!!!!

Brenda and Lindsay exploring the Stockyards neighbourhood

Twice a day, a herd of cowboys drives a herd of Longhorns through the stockyards

Billy Bob's has a real bull riding ring inside the bar!!! NOTE - this ain't it!!!

The chefs at the Lonesome Dove dress Texas style

9:15 A.M. the racetrack is packed for a 1:00 P.M. start. A cold blustery morning yielded a hot, sunny, sweaty, sticky day. Fun though!!!

Great seats at the exit to "pit row". Bubba's car (Dale Earnhart Jr. to the uninitiated) was right up front!!!

Headin' inta turn 1

Question – If your ‘ol RV is parked in Abilene Texas with the entire region under a tornado watch, who do you want to be parked beside? Answer – The traveling motorhome for “Wine Enthusiast” magazine!! Jim, the driver, advised us that he had a great deal of “excellent” wine on board. If the tornado warning sirens blew, we were heading to the shelter with all the good wine and, not coming out till it was gone, no matter what. Now THAT is neighbourliness!!!

We’ve landed in Dallas and spent a couple of days with Lindsay, Brenda’s brother. He is showing us ALL the sights. The Dallas / Fort Worth area has a lot going on and, this weekend everywhere we go, there are “Welcome Race Fans” banners. I guess if we are only going to one NASCAR race in our life, doing it in Texas is a smart move. NASCAR is a religion in Texas!!!

The Fort Worth Stockyards is a large historical neighbourhood centred on (you guessed it) the old stockyards! There are many bars, restaurants, and cowboy boot stores. But nothing can match “Billy Bob’s”. Billy Bobs, at 100,000 square feet, is the “largest honky-tonk in the world”. It contains an indoor bull riding ring complete with grandstand, a showroom featuring major music acts (we saw B.B. King AGAIN – just for some thing different!!!), and more damn bar-rooms and other rooms than we could see in one visit.

Tim Love is an “Iron Chef” winner and James Beard Award winning chef who owns numerous eateries in DFW. His signature restaurant is Lonesome Dove which we frequented with Lindsay. To say that it is unpretentious is pure understatement. The blue jeans, cowboy boots and Stetsons were everywhere BUT, the food was extremely innovative and very memorable. Highly recommended.

And then there is …………….. NASCAR. With Lindsay, we attended the Samsung 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway and, left home at 8:00 A.M. for a 1:00 P.M. race. Veeeeeeeeeery smart!!! The traffic on the throughway stopped dead 4 miles from the race track. The “tailgating” and other NASCAR high jinks were already well under way. The track seats approximately 216,000 fans and, I think the seats were full! The race was relatively uneventful but full of good ‘ol boy “bumpin’ and rubbin’”. The last 3 laps were particularly exciting since a race re-start 3 laps from the finish tightened the field of leaders. Hot, long, and sticky but, good fun!

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