Ft. Worth and Midland

After we left Wichita we headed for El Paso, via Fort. Worth and Midland Texas. What I love about this tour is that I am getting paid to visit places I would never have chosen to visit on my own. It’s great because I get to discover awesome places and make a mental list of cool vacay spots for Mick and me! I also get to visit places I’ve wanted to go to for years and sometimes once I’m there I realize I wouldn’t want to go back!! We arrived in Ft. Worth at the Omni Hotel in the afternoon and a friend of mine from Chicago who has since moved to Ft. Worth met me at the hotel. Mark graciously picked me and three of my girlfriends on the tour up and took us to the “Stockyards” for some southern sightseeing. The Stockyard is a tourist trap but a pretty cool one. We got there just before shops started to close but we did manage to get to a hat place and buy some cool cowgirl hats! When we were looking at hats I saw a mechanical bull and I instantly wanted to try to ride it…fortunately for me my friends were wise enough to convince me now was not the time…if I had hit my face it could have been bad!!!! So we instead opted to try and see bull riding…we were directed to Billy Bob’s Honky-tonk Bar…I guess it’s famous. It’s supposed to be the largest honky-tonk bar in the country, maybe even the world…when you enter their walls are covered with concrete imprints of various musical artist hands and feet…think the Mann’s Chinese Theater only it’s on the walls. The main part of the bar hosted dance lessons. In lieu of a disco ball there was a bedazzled saddle. We all grabbed a beer and started to explore. There was an area where you could take your picture on a fake bucking bull. I REALLY wanted to get on a picture with a bull and had the other girls at one point convinced that $30 split 4 ways was a good deal for a picture with this stuffed beast…but we did end up passing on it…we found the actual bull riding ring where a passerby offered to take all 5 of our picture and I ran into an old friend from Alaska, a stuffed grizzly bear. Once the awe of the world’s largest honky-tonk bar wore off we were pretty hungry so we ventured back out to the stock yards to find a place to eat. On our way to the car we saw a man with a LIVE bull in the street and low jumped at the opportunity to take our pictures with it! Both Colleen and Shawna borrowed my new hat to take some “glamour” cowgirl shots, then all four of us gathered around the Longhorn while Mark and the bulls owner snapped shots of us…it was so awesome and almost everyone whoa has seen the photos asks…this wasn’t real was it? So cool! Mark ended up taking us back downtown where we ate at a Cajun place called Razoos…I had shrimp but two of the girls got Alligator…it was decent. We ended the night walking through Ft. Worth and even walked by their concert hall which is adorned beautifully with large…I mean LARGE heralding trumpeting angel relief’s. It was a great day in Ft. Worth and I would def go back. That night was so pleasant. The Omni hotel was amazing, and I actually was able to get a conference room to practice in. It was so refreshing to play with out a mute and with out a million people around. I find a good practice session on the road does as much for my mental attitude and outlook as a clean hotel room and a good nights sleep. 

Mark trying out some camo cowbiy hats..

Didn't take long for me to find the jail...

So cool! This guys was just throwing this rope around.  

Shawna, Colleen, Mark, Me, and Shay.

Some love for a fellow Alaskan...

I lassoed my own pony...really..I had to muscle this machine around so I could sit on the white horse!

The next morning we were all milling around getting ready to check out when Joe H. (who always knows where all the cool shit is) told me about the famous, Ft. Worth water park and that it was right across the street from the hotel. Shay and I decided to grab a quick bite and then head to the park for a look before the busses took off. The park was AMAZING!!! It’s made for you to loose your self , almost in a Zen like state in various water states. There was a “mountain” a “river”…etc…I got so caught up in taking my own photo that I almost died when I started to walk off the stair the wrong way. There are no safety rails and I heard that a few years ago several children died when one fell in and others jumped in to try and save them.

I almost died after taking this photo because I wasn't paying attention...typical Jo.

Me and Shay on our way down.

Shay at the Water Park.

Driving to Midland was interesting. I felt like I was in the Grapes of Wrath at one point. There were shacks as houses outside of Midland. It just looked really run down and low income…but a different kind of low income living compared to what I see in Chicago. There was pretty much nothing to do in Midland, especially since we were leaving early the next morning to get to El Paso

Shows to date: 8
Number of hotels stayed to date:11
Best hotel to date: Omni Hotel, Ft. Worth TX
Miles traveled to date: 4,257 miles


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