Whilst we were discussing our options, a man in a t-shirt and jeans, walked over and spoke to us. It was revealed that he owned the company that provided the shuttle bus and limousine services for not only this hotel, but a number of others in the area. He advised that he had a free day tomorrow and also had a town-car available. He agreed to take all four of us on a day tour for $50 each. We agreed.
The following morning we had breakfast, checked out, and dropped our luggage with the Concierge. Our driver arrived and off we went. The first stop was the location where President Kennedy was assassinated. It was a very surreal experience being able to stand on the roadway where the assassination took place. We were also able to visit the Schoolbook Depository and enter the room on the fourth floor, from where the alleged fatal shot was fired. There are a number of theories about the number and location of the multiple shots that were fired on that day. Given the angles and elevations at the site, the shot that killed President Kennedy was not fired from the fourth floor of the book depository.
The next attraction was ‘Southfork Ranch’, or as many would know it, the homestead for the television series ‘Dallas’. Whilst the homestead in the series appeared to be a large sprawling building, the rooms were similar in size to our normal Australian homes. It was all done with mirrors, with at least one wall, and sometimes two, covered in mirrors to make the rooms look twice as big as they were. Outside there was a large ‘barn’ in which there was a museum of the costumes and vehicles used in the series. I was at a loss to locate a suitable souvenir of the trip for my wife, so she got a ‘Southfork’ coffee mug.
Then it was off to the ‘Sale Yards’ which were a fully operational livestock auction centre until 1992. It was closed as a livestock market and then reinvented as a tourist attraction and dining centre. At the time we visited, it still had the original steam locomotive used to bring livestock to the market, running tourist trips around the centre. Our visit to the saleyards was to one of the regions finest rib roast restaurants. We duly ordered and a huge rack of ribs arrived for each of us. I duly struggled, but did finish my rack, just to be polite. No sooner had I finished, than another rack was placed in front of me. It appears that if you finish a rack, you receive a second one free.
There was no way I could have eaten the additional rack, or got a ‘doggy bag’, as we were flying out later that afternoon. I did thank the waiter, but suggested that he pass this meal on to the next person who ordered, with my compliments.
After we finished our lunch and walked through the extensive museum, our driver took us for some retail therapy. We were driving down the road when he took a right-hand turn into a huge car park. It looked like a car park for one of the sporting stadiums, but no, it was for the shopping centre he was taking us to. He eventually made it across this huge car park to a location near the entrance. When we alighted, he did suggest that we stay together and he would keep an eye on us, so that we did not get lost within the huge complex. We duly followed instructions and whilst walking along the central arcade we came across a leather goods store which was clearing their winter stock. On a rack outside the store were a number of genuine Wilson leather jackets. Whilst the label showed ‘Crafted in China’, they were good quality leather and had an exceptional amount of lining to cater for the very cold Texas winters. A similar jacket at today’s prices would be around $400. I am not sure of the original retail price, but I believe that it was around $200. The stock was being cleared for $50. We immediately reduced the store owner’s surplus inventory by four jackets.
Our host returned us to the hotel where we collected our luggage and caught the shuttle bus to the airport, all feeling very pleased with ourselves having had an extraordinary day visiting the local attractions, and having secured some top quality leather jackets at an exceptional price.