Outa here, Goat Yoga and a Beer!

We’re off again on another exciting journey visiting a number of places we’ve not visited before with one exception. I am looking forward to exploring ancient sites and monuments, seeing very colourful buildings and many very old cars. Not so sure I’m looking forward to the food though. Hot, as in spicy, is not my flavour of choice, in fact, I’m not a fan at all so we’ll see how I manage.

‘Well, where are you going?’ you’re thinking. Hmm, I might just keep you in suspense a little longer…..

Yesterday was my birthday…ah, now, a lady doesn’t divulge her age…although ask my husband and he’ll eagerly impart that information, in fact, you don’t even need to ask he just tells anyone around whether they care or not. It’s interesting meeting his friends or work colleagues for the first time…they have advance knowledge of my age and more. I can tell by the way they look at me when I’m introduced! No amount of me telling him not to discuss my age helps, he ignores me using the excuse ‘you should be very proud of your age’ then ‘you certainly don’t look your age, darling’. So that’s supposed to make everything ok and curb my annoyance. It doesn’t.

Moving on, we don’t normally fly overseas on Saturdays as I much prefer Thursday or Friday flights because flying those days tend to extend the holiday a little – especially when you’re a full time worker. However, I didn’t want to be in the air on my birthday. This trip we’ve had to curb our spendings and be frugal. It’s the horrid ‘f’ word that has started to infiltrate my vocabulary on a regular basis. We also didn’t have enough frequent flyer points to upgrade…..I’d like to think you all feel sad for me…..but I doubt that.

After meeting Lord Lunchalot (regular readers will know him from previous blogs) for a late afternoon sitting of wines served with a cheese & fruit platter I met Ty for my birthday dinner at Cafe Sydney. A restaurant in Customs House with a direct view of the fabulous Sydney Harbour…well worth a visit for the view alone. After which Ty and I adjourned to our airport hotel – so much better and less stressful than being caught in Sydney airport traffic the next morning.

Next morning it was a five minute walk to the terminal and the formalities of check in and customs was completed in less than 30 minutes. We now had plenty of shopping time and some price checking to do. Ted and dog, my travelling companions of 10 years, were lost in Amsterdam last year and it wasn’t till I saw a couple with their teddy companion that I realised how much I would miss them. I now have a new buddy called Gwandy joining me…

Time to board the plane, this time, first time in several years, we walk through business to our seats. One of the cabin crew is there to greet us. Very friendly, chatty woman. Ty mentioned we travelled business class on our previous US trip, so on and so forth, as he does, and she said ‘We’ll, I’m only here to help people find their seats after which I’m in business and first class so I’ll bring you up a couple of glasses of wine we serve in first class later in the flight and my name is Jules’. ‘What would you prefer…red, white or champagne’? That was very nice of her so I say Sauvignon Blanc please. Yes, I know, you thought I’d say champagne however Tattinger is ok but a little dry for my taste and I doubt they’d serve Moët Ice. We settled in and soon we were up and away……hmmm sounds like part of an old advert for TAA or Ansett. Oops, showing a hint of age here!!!

Lunch had been served and 2 hours later Jules came to us and whispered are you ready for a glass of wine? ‘That would be lovely’ I said, 10 minutes later we each received a glass of a Margaret River 2012 Sauvignon Blanc…..a very light wine. Very easy to drink! As we were leaving the plane Jules was at the exit and said ‘I came back a couple of hours later with more wine but you were both asleep’ ‘You should’ve tapped me or spoken to me because I wasn’t sleeping’ I replied. We probably didn’t need another glass of wine! Although I’m sure Lord Lunchalot would not have missed out….oh wait, how silly of me….he wouldn’t be seated in premium economy or economy.

Ok, where are we going? I think I gave it away a little in the first paragraph…

Dallas/Fort Worth again…..

Mexico City

Havana

Caribbean cruise visiting Montego Bay, Georgetown and Cozumel

Havana

Dallas/Fort Worth and home.

On this trip the only place we have visited before is Dallas/Fort Worth all other places are new to us….Cuba has been on my list for many years as has Montego Bay so I’m excited at visiting Havana, touring in an old convertible, possibly sitting at a rooftop bar taking a puff on a cigar whilst sipping a Cuban rum…..I don’t smoke but whilst in Cuba…… and I don’t drink Cuban rum however I’ve had a couple of Havana Club and cokes to ease me into the traditional drink.

Having to fly from US to Mexico before we’re able to fly to Cuba wasn’t a bother as we get to spend three days in Mexico City as a bonus with tours included.

Our flight was uneventful and we touched down in DFW 30 minutes early….

Getting through Fort Worth customs was tedious…

Since our previous visit DFW airport has put in electronic passport readers which should speed up the exit time, it does at home. However, almost every passenger on our plane, except for US citizens and a few others, was required to stand in line for a customs officer to speak to them even though we had all completed the electronic entry system. This included scanning fingers and thumb on our right hand. When our entry document printed out it had a big cross through the middle so we had to go to a customs officer. Not too much of an issue, we thought, except the A380 holds over 400 passengers and at least 300 were required to go to a customs officer and at this point in time there were 2 working. We noticed that they were asking people to scan their left had as well. We eventually moved to the front of the line and were requested to scan fingers/thumbs on both hands. That was it! A little strange why we were herded to the electronic booths if they knew they wouldn’t work for us…..no, I didn’t ask the customs officer as they’re pleasant but not open to those types of questions. Best just to move on. At least standing in the queue for over an hour and a half gave the baggage handlers time to get our luggage off which meant our luggage was happily doing circles on the carousel when we made it to the baggage hall.

The last process was to pick up the rental car and we’d be on our way.From the time we stepped off the plane till leaving the terminal to go to the car rental pick up took 2 hours. This topped Charles De Gaulle airport. We understand the strict security….however it didn’t appear to be because of security but technology not designed for international travellers.

As I mentioned above I’m practising a little frugality therefore we’re staying at the new Hampton Inn and Suites in Fort Worth with complimentary breakfast. It’s a relatively new hotel with spacious rooms and overall decor is very good. We generally find enough items in complimentary hotel breakfasts to sustain us till lunch.

Thank goodness our room was ready and after a hot shower and change of clothes we headed out for a very late lunch. We wandered around the downtown area and decided on Risky’s BBQ for lunch. Ty had the ribs and I the shrimp. The weather was hot and dry….just the way I like it. The prawns (shrimp) weren’t bad either!

Of course, Saturday night it was off to Billy Bob’s to listen to the house band and watch the rodeo. Before stepping in to Billy Bob’s we wandered around The Stockyards and came across the following sign….what is goat yoga? How do we know goats, like the little fellow in the picture, want to do yoga?

I had my first beer ever! As Billy Bob’s not serving wine my husband decided it was time I became his drinking buddy so he bought me a lime infused beer….no glass, no straw just the bottle. Ty’s reason for not bringing a glass was twofold – they only had plastic cups and other women were drinking out of the bottle. Due to thirst I drank three quarters of the bottle. After listening to the house band for a while we headed around to the rodeo ring to watch the 10pm bull riding event. Not sure why but I like the bull riding….

It was now 11pm and the last food we ate was around 4pm, as well as jet lag now creeping in it was also time to eat something. A Wendy’s salad would do so off we went in search of a Wendy’s on the way to our hotel. Unfortunately all the Wendy’s outlets were closed – In/Out burger was only place open… I was pleasantly surprised to find they peeled and cut the potatoes to make their own fries.

Sunday we went into Dallas Galleria for a few hours and had dinner at Applebee’s. I opted for a Margarita and requested it in a small cocktail glass, instead of the very large round glass they served them in. Glass duly arrived along with the full cocktail shaker – for US $8 I drank 3 Margaritas with probably a fourth still in the shaker……very good value!!

Monday we decided to take a drive to Austin and, on the way, visit a factory outlet near Georgetown. We stopped at the outlet first and I’m sure you can guess the rest. We were only 26 miles from Austin……could have been 100….we never made it those 26 miles. I’m sure someone must have written a country song about being 26 miles from Austin.

We also discovered the Water Garden Park not far from our hotel….it’s well worth a visit, it has beautiful gardens around serene water pools and an amazing waterfall which is the main feature. If you’re in the downtown area of Fort Worth make sure you visit it….take your lunch and sit amongst the water and the gardens.

_

Ty had heard the Yankees were in town to play 3 games against the Texas Rangers. There just happened to be a Texas Rangers store downtown FW. Two tickets were purchased for the baseball Tuesday evening. Nine innings took around 4 hours including the breaks between. It was a warm night with a light breeze so not too bad really.

Ty wouldn’t let me finish this post without adding the score – rangers at home 6-4 over the Yankees….

Wednesday dinner will be in Mexico City.

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