So I’m only just over a week behind ‘real time’ in terms of blogging our trip, but we’ve done so much stuff lately that I feel like I have some serious catching up to do. As someone who leans towards procrastination, this is kind of a nightmare… But as I am currently holed up in a gross motel in Jackson, Mississippi, I can see no better time than the present to tell you about Texas.
I had been pretty darn tootin’ excited to get to Texas; the accents, the BBQ, ranches, the music and the fact that everything is just bigger (or so popular culture has led me to believe).
The first thing we saw when we pulled off the highway at a place called Amarillo was Cadillac Ranch:
It’s an art installation, a row of 10 Cadillacs stuck in nose-dive position and covered in graffiti. They’ve been there since 1974 and there are plenty of cans of spray paint lying around if you feel artistically inclined.
Years and years and layers and layers of paint have made for a weird, bubbly texture all over the cars, especially the tires.
I am not in the least bit patriotic, so I have no idea why I did this:
We spent an uneventful evening in Amarillo and then drove to Dallas.
A word about the roads in Texas, I think whoever designed them must have been inspired by a bowl of spaghetti. There are a million roads and about half a million exits winding around in different directions, a lot of which aren’t numbered. Google maps was no help whatsoever, but after a few false freeway exits and inevitable re-entries we made it to our hostel between Dallas and Fort Worth. There are no hostels in Dallas itself?!
That evening we had an impromptu night out with a bunch of dudes from our hostel (I was literally the only gal staying there) at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth. Billy Bob’s is a giant honky tonk nightclub. How giant? Well it has room for 6,000 people and 20 bar stations. Things really are bigger in Texas. Unfortunately I have no photos to show you! I always forget to take photos when we are out at night.
Later the next day after some recovery time we made it into downtown Dallas. We went straight to Dealey Plaza to take in some history. The cross on the road marks the spot where President John F Kennedy was fatally wounded by a gun shot in 1963.
There were people running onto the road during a break in traffic to take pouty selfies with the cross. So bizarre. There were also JFK assassination conspiracy theorists selling their DVDs and pamphlets and a big sign pointing to the grassy knoll:
The whole area was a very strange kind of tourist attraction.
After wandering around outside we headed up to the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. They have preserved the crime scene up there and added a comprehensive exhibit and timeline of the JFK assassination. It was incredibly well done and incredibly moving.
We wandered around downtown afterwards but there didn’t seem to be much going on, the football was on so I think everyone was either at the game or watching it.
The next day we braved the roads again and drove to Austin.
Hi Bec, I’m really enjoying your travelogue. These photos are terrific. I’ve heard a lot about the Cadillac Ranch and seen many photos but yours are extra special because you added to the art and made them personal. That’s terrific. Bruce Springsteen wrote a song called Cadillac Ranch after visiting the place. Its on his album called “The River” The photos of the plaza and the book depository were really touching as well. Travel safe.
Thanks Patrick 🙂 looking up that song right now! I love Springsteen but I don’t think I’ve ever heard Cadillac Ranch.
The museum was very moving. I always get teary when I see tiny John Junior saluting his dad’s coffin and this time was no different. The other good thing though was the museum had a lot of information about JFK’s presidency and I learnt lots more about the Cuban missile crisis and the Bay of Pigs fiasco.