There's a fair bit to tell but I don't want to bore y'all, so I'll try to summarize the highlights as briefly as possible. I need to start out by telling you that I personally had not flown since returning home from SoCal in 1988, partly due to my love of roadtrips and in equal measure since they banned smoking on airplanes but I wasn't going to miss this get-together and I couldn't roadtrip it with my limited time off in my "new" job. It's not that you have to go without a smoke for a 5 hour trip; it's that you need to add in the time to get through security before boarding and add in the layover since the vast majority of airports these days don't have a smoking area. So Ell and I get to Portland on time, get through security pretty smoothly (though he forgot he had a saline bottle in his bag LOL) and were off to wait to board the flight to Chicago. Well, we noticed one big band of nasty weather in the Midwest and soon heard that our flight was delayed, followed shortly by the announcement that we wouldn't make our connecting flight in Chicago to Dallas (nice way to help the smoker deal with his addiction!) So we got on the plane and were told they'd take our info and get us rerouted. When we landed in Chicago (a nonsmoking airport), folks lined up to try to get info about our leg to Dallas but we noticed that the screens were saying that flight hadn't left yet and we had plenty of time to get on it. So we made the decision to hustle way over to where that flight was board and made it in plenty of time. Luckily for us they had never taken us off that flight. End of airport and smoking stories...suffice to say I'm proud of how well I handled it.
We arrived in Dallas around the same time that TJS did and soon found AA and my brother who were there to pick us up. We proceeded to Ranch AA, after a short stop at Tom Thumb for critical supplies, where we commenced to catch up, drink and eat lots of cow and pig. AA grilled us some awesome burgers for a late lunch and we then awaited the brisket and pulled pork he'd been smoking all day. Man, was it worth the wait. Forgot to mention that we flew on Friday and the game was scheduled for Saturday night.
Saturday we had a relaxing morning and then struck out for Grapevine to eat some real Texas chili at a place AA was familiar with (hopefully the name will come to me as I write.) Grapevine is a tourist town, for lack of a better description, a town that's maintained it's old Texas downtown look and is littered with little artist shops and restaurants. Stevie Ray Vaughn played at the chili place when he was still a teen. I can't begin to tell you how good that chili was. "Real Texas chili" doesn't have any tomato base or beans, though beans are an option. It's just meat and spices. Good time to share a few pics I took in Grapevine. Tolbert's!
|TJS searching for espresso|
Now on to Sunday, our last day there since we were all flying out Monday morning. Our tee times at Champions Golf Club in Justin were for 9:00, which came really early for yours truly who got only a little over an hours sleep thanks to the above-mentioned night in AA's House of Pain. I had been dreading the golf to some extent because I don't play nearly often enough to play well enough to enjoy it. Well, I'm very glad I went. The course was pretty forgiving and I played well enough to have a very good time. Bro, myself and Ell played in a threesome and TJS and AA played with a couple of AA's new friends in a foursome right behind us. I'd share my scorecard but I didn't play THAT well. After an adult beverage at the 19th hole, we went back to AA's to relax for a bit before we struck out on the final leg of an awesome weekend.
We had reservations for 6:00 at the famous H3 Ranch Steakhouse in the old Stockyard area of Fort Worth but we left early enough to look around the stockyard area and have a drink at the historic White Elephant Saloon, where I took a picture and bought a cool-looking t-shirt. I'll let you decide whether to click the links to learn more about these cool places.
But it's the first time I've smoked inside a public place in many years -- had to have one just for old time's sake -- and we learned about the history of the saloon and took in lots of eye candy. Then it was on to H3, where we actually ended up eating in the saloon side called Booger Red's, where you'll see a much better picture of the place than the one I took. At the link you can better see the critters on the wall. I'll tell you, we ate lots and lots of cow at H3, yours truly and one other having rib-eye and the others porterhouse. Throw on top of that a couple of awesome appetizers and goblets of grog and we left well satiated.