3/21/2009

Howdy!!

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Fridge out and the recall parts being installed.

Yesterday the repairman came and did the recall work on our Norcold refrigerator. The good news is that it is done and everything is all back in place. The bad news is that John believes he was charged for a part the repairman claims was broken, but after John paid for it and the repairman left, John discovered that the old part was not really broken… I will let John post more about this on his own… he knows all of the complete details better then I…

Today we went for a ride on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad from Grapevine, TX to the Forth Worth Stockyards. The tickets cost $20.00, which I though was reasonable since the trip took 80 minutes each way. We purchased our tickets online Thursday evening – good thing because they had “sold out” signs posted today. The train was six cars long and was at capacity, but it seemed like everyone was able to get a seat – did not see too many people wandering around looking for a place to sit. The staff on the train did a nice job of going up and down the isles asking if anyone needed anything from the various snack bars, collecting garbage and offering to open/close the sliding windows. The windows weigh 50 lbs each and they did not want the patrons to attempt opening or closing them by their self… Our only complaint was the amount of kids on the train. On the way there, a child behind us would get overly excited and start talking with a high pitched shrill – reminiscent of running your fingernails over a chalkboard…. We had a better experience on the way back.. most of the children in our area were tired and over being excited….

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John checking his brochure... don't want to miss any thing.

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Train pulling out and going around the first bend...

On the way there the trained stopped and then bandits on horses appeared. Some of the bandits kept going back and forth along the train cars on horseback shooting blanks out of their pistols. Then a few bandits hopped on board and handed out fake money and jewelry to the kids… it was fun….

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One of the bandits..

The trained arrived at the Stockyards by driving right though the middle of the covered station. This is the building where cattle were originally unloaded on their way to the various yards and factories. We walked outside the station and headed over to the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. They featured lots of restored wagons that were neat to look at, along with displays showcasing the various superstar cowboy and cowgirls. John enjoyed the wagons but was not getting into the cowboy stuff at all…. Here’s some pictures:

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Train unloading at Stockyards

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Chuck Wagon

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John checking out a wagon....

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One of the cowgirl outfits... I think either Perry in St. Louis, or Bernie in Naperville could do this pant suit some justice... ;)

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Photography Wagon from 1830's

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Wagon used by farmers to haul vegetables to market

We then headed over to the Forth Worth Live Stock Exchange. Once the headquarters of one of the largest cattle markets in the country. Today it is a mixed use building with various companies like ADM having offices. There was a small museum that we checked out that had misc. items from Ft. Worth’s past.

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Cattle Drive

We then headed back to the Stockyards where the train was going to pick us back up. We noticed people were living the streets like waiting for a parade to start. I checked our brochure and found that a “cattle drive” was going to happen in a few minutes. I had a vision of a large number of cows going down the street with cowboys keeping them in line. The actual drive took about 2 minutes for the 12 longhorn cows to pass us. It was neat to see the longhorn cows close up, but there was only 12 of them…… oh well… the price was right… free….

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Inside the Stock Yard - lots of little shops and people waiting for train to arrive.

While waiting for the train to arrive, I purchased some loose leaf tea from The Spice & Tea Exchange – Berry Melange, Cranberry Apple and Wild Blackberry. The tea smells really good and I hope it is tasty…

The trip back to Grapevine was uneventful – no bandits this time. On the way home we stopped at Cozymel’s Mexican Grill for supper. I had a crawfish stuffed chili relleno that was tasty. We both liked the food, but did not care for the atmosphere – it was a bit dirty and they crammed in lots of tables into too little space….

So that’s our big tourist adventure for today… Tomorrow I need to get laundry done and I might head back over to the Trader’s Village flea market in the morning to check out the bargains and “junque” ….

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