07.02.2013 - 07.02.2013 22 °C
Day 2 in America saw us taking an easy day in the lodge and waterpark and a venture into the Grapevine Mills shopping Mall. Big thing number 1. This place was huge and it had a large variety of stores, but surprisingly, a small food court. Unsurprisingly, the food in the food court all came in large sizes! We found a Disney store whilst Carys was asleep in Daddy's arms and we bought her large stuffed versions of Dory and Nemo which we surprised her with when she woke up. Both toys were only $20! We wandered around the Sea Life Aquarium http://www.visitsealife.com/Grapevine/ which was a small but very well presented aquarium. Carys got to touch starfish, hermit crabs and coral, we watched rays and small sharks feeding, walked through a 360 deg underwater ocean tunnel and of course, we saw (as Carys calls them) "little ona Nemo" and Dory!
My favourite store of the day though was called Ross. (For those of you who may not know, my maiden name is Ross )
We came back later that night for dinner at a place called the Rainforest Cafe, a rainforest themed eatery where kids ate free on certain nights. We were seated next to a fishtank with little ona Nemo and Dory fish swimming around the coral. Carys was fascinated with the tank being so close to our table. She also loved the animatronic animals around the cafe that came to life every few minutes. Apart from the room entertainment, there was also a balloon artist who created balloon art for the well behaved children (and for the tips!). Carys asked for a pink tiger and the photo below shows Carys with her tiger and her kids drink and toy. Cheese!
The next day we travelled about 30 minutes away to the Texas Rangers Stadium for a ballpark tour http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/tex/ballpark/index.jsp. Big thing number 2. This was Nigel's first look at a Major League baseball ballpark and he loved it! As part of the tour, we had access to and visited behind-the-scenes areas of the ballpark including batting cages, press box, corporate suites, interview rooms, the gym, the dugouts and more. The stadium was nearing completion of off season renovations but it was still impressive. This ballpark wasn't even a big one compared to others like Yankee Stadium or Boston Red Sox ballpark but it was still pretty big to us. It seats just over 49 000 people which is a bt more than the Gabba (42 000) and the SCG (46 000).
and lastly, the view from the press box
After the ballpark tour, we headed off to Dallas to visit the Sixth Floor Museum (the former Texas School Book Depository) but not before passing the Dallas Cowboys NFL stadium. This stadium seats 80 000 and although we didn't take a tour, it certainly was impressive from the outside! Big thing number 3.
There were a lot of roadworks around the Grapevine area and driving on the opposite side of the car and road was at times challenging. The next two photos are examples of this and the third is our first full view of the city of Dallas.
Our plan on reaching the Sixth Floor Museum http://www.jfk.org/ was to have lunch, after which Carys would hopefully fall asleep and let us tour the museum in peace. Nope, Carys was wide awake and full of beans which meant taking it in turns to tour the interactive museum and mostly skip the good bits It wasn't until we were both nearly finished skimming the photos and articles that Carys fell asleep so we quickly caught up on the bits we missed. The collection itself was very well collated and and objective. The actual shooters corner was sealed off by glass but the boxes were stacked the same as when LHO hid from view. From the next available window down from the shooters corner, two crosses on the road can be seen through the trees representing the exact spot of the fatal bullets.
Cross number one looking back towards the museum. The shooters window is the open window on the right, second level from the top).
Cross number two looking towards the grassy knoll
This final photo is taken at the open air memorial to JFK. The bronze plaques are hard to read because of the time of day but on the left is a description of the day and dedication to JFK and the plaque on the right is the motorcade route through Dealey Plaza.
Up next, "Texas Longhorns!"