Fort Worth is upscale country
We spent 5 days in Fort Worth last summer while attending a conference and while there, we stayed in the Omni Hotel which is right across the street from the Fort Worth Convention Center. I believe the Omni is a Texas based hotel conglomerate and we stayed there from Wednesday through Monday. Now the last time I stayed in Fort Worth it was at The Worthington Hotel which is also in the Sundance Square area downtown. That last time spent in Cowtown was at a West Texas Press Association meeting and as President of the Association that year, they put me up in the Van Cliburn suite complete with a baby grand piano. I was amazed then and still am today at all the business and commerce going on in downtown Fort Worth. Being a newspaper man, I was very familiar with Fort Worth and back when the Star-Telegram had a larger circulation, I read the paper every day. Yes it was delivered-same day-to Big Lake, Texas and many other points farther west. The newspaper’s circulation department put bundles of freshly printed papers on a bus and off they went around the state. So was the Dallas Morning News. Lots of hustle and bustle there with business type folks all jockeying for their spot on the planet.
I like to get up early and walk around big city downtown areas and that’s what we did our first day there. Walked down several blocks and stopped in at the Jamba Juice place. They don’t have those in downtown Mertzon. There we had a bowl of steel cut oatmeal (? how else would they cut it?) and a mango,banana, carrot juice combo. It was pretty good stuff. And while we were walking around, we window shopped at M.L. Leddy’s, Reata steakhouse, a downtown radio station, and plenty of other places in the downtown area in Sundance Square.
It’s good for country folks to get out and see the big old world every now and then, even if we never leave Texas. Actually, why would we want to or need to? I suppose we should venture outside the Great State now and then just so folks won’t get the idea we are just a bunch of gun-toting yahoos…or would it re-enforce that stereotype of most Texans or at least West Texans? That stereotype just does not bother me and in fact, at least in my case it is more accurate than not. Folks from other areas of our nation just seem to know where I am from when I open my mouth.
The fact is, since I have actually traveled some outside of the Great State, I am finding that it is much more comforting to travel within the state lines as much as possible. I came to this conclusion after many trips and then found a lot of joy when I passed the state line entering back into Texas. Sounds provincial I know, but that is how I felt….safer, more comfortable, more at ease.
And after spending a lot of time in San Antonio with Ramona’s doctors, I have come to appreciate the change in culture from West Texas to more South Texas even there. On the drive to San Antonio we travel through the city of Comfort and then on to Welfare. That usually sparks a mild political discussion until I just change the subject. The trip south of where I live is just a big part of Texas culture that is so different than the more western part of the state that is it good to be able to appreciate the people, the culture, the music, foods, attitudes, and the many Texas icons located there.
In planning our trips in the future, you can bet they will be mostly within the confines of the borders of Texas. There is just so much to see and do and experience.
If I were to draw a line from Fort Worth straight down the state to McAllen/Brownsville and start my explorations only to the west of that imaginary line, I’m sure it would take quite some time just to hit many of the highlights of the western regions.
The Eastern part of the state and much of the Gulf Coast is a whole other country and it’s just waiting for us…..I may have to live vicariously through some of you readers with stories of your part of the state. Several of my readers live the RV lifestyle, traveling in your RV’s all over the place. Give the rest of us some Texas travel ideas.