Thursday, March 5, 2015

TEXAS: FORT WORTH MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND HISTORY, OUR LAST TEXAS BARBECUE, AND A LONG, LONG JOURNEY HOME

On our last day in Texas we happened to be driving past the FORT WORTH MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND HISTORY, a place not on our itinerary, but when we saw a marquee for the showing of the movie Jerusalem in their IMAX theater, we made an unscheduled stop because we have a trip to Jerusalem coming up in 2015.
We had very little time for checking out the actual museum, but it looks like a wonderful place to spend a day. On our way to the theater, we did admire a 9/11 Tribute that included this piece of the North Tower of the World Trade Center:

The Fort Worth Omni Theater was the first IMAX screen in the Southwest, and it's still the largest screen west of the Mississippi. If you get vertigo, the soaring images on the 8-story tall 120-foot-wide screen will definitely be a challenge, as it was for me. However, the movie, produced by National Geographic, was a spectacular visual introduction to Jerusalem, and I am glad we went.



On our way out of the theater and back to the parking lot, we stumbled on a lovely sculpture garden, the only permanent exhibition in the United States of a collection of characters from Dr. Seuss's books:
Again, I was wishing I had two little granddaughters next to me to pay tribute to the Grinch and Yertle the Turtle:

To Sam I Am and Horton the Elephant:

And to the Cat in the Hat and the Lorax:
They would also love to sit in this magical alphabet chair:
Oh well. Maybe someday.

Just around the corner we ran across one more noteworthy sculpture, Sacagawea & Jean Baptiste (her baby with her French-Canadian husband who was a trapper on the Lewis and Clark expedition). I love everything about this bronze--the natural vegetation growing around her feet, the walking stick, the strong planes of her intelligent face, her steady gaze, her animal-skin cloak:
From behind, we could see the bump of the baby on her back
. . . and the best angle of all shows his pug-nosed sleepy face:
A year ago on a visit to Staunton, West Virginia, we saw this bronze of the Lewis and Clark Expedition that included a subservient Sacagawea:
I much prefer Fort Worth's version depicting her as an explorer, a mother, and Someone to Be Reckoned With.

Well, it was time for our last meal in Texas--a good thing as my pants were starting to get snug. Some helpful clerks in the Amon Carter Art Museum gift shop had recommended a place just down the street from the Museum of Science and History:
It was lunchtime and the place was hopping.  We waited in a long but quickly moving line and ordered at the counter. Note the great t-shirt on one of the workers:
 The verdict? Best ribs and brisket of all our BBQ meals on the trip but the worst sides.
Ah, the happy traveler with his tableful of delicious meat:

We made our way back to the DFW Airport, several pounds heavier than when we had arrived seven days earlier (and I'm not talking the luggage, although that was probably heavier too). The wreath-bedecked longhorns being driven by a Santa hat-topped cowboy really got us in the Christmas spirit. 
Darn, I just didn't have room in my carry-on for one more souvenir:
After our 2 1/2 hour layover in Albuquerque, we finally made it back to LAX at about 7:00 p.m. on December 23rd.  We waited and waited and waited for our single shared bag before finally acknowledging it hadn't made the flight with us. I guess 2 1/2 hours in Albuquerque wasn't quite enough time for the bag transfer. More disturbing than our missing bag, however, was that American Airlines didn't even have a record of it in the system. They had no idea where it might be, even though we had a claim ticket. Just to the side of the claims office we noted this depressing Luggage Graveyard--luggage like ours that had been mis-routed and really belonged who-knows-where-but-not-LAX.
(Note: American also lost my bag on my flight to Louisville, Kentucky, last June. Not a good record, American.)

We went home without our clothing and souvenirs, worrying particularly about the three bottles of infused vinegar we had purchased in the Fort Worth Stockyards and which were wrapped up in our clothes to prevent breakage. We were really hoping that everything wasn't wet when it finally arrived--if it DID arrive.

Before we got a call from American saying they had located our bag, we got a call from a nice young man who said he was going to deliver it. (One last faux pas on American's part. Shouldn't they have notified us that it had been found and was on its way? Even their website said it was still unaccounted for.) All arrived safe and sound just two days late on Christmas night--including our unbroken bottles of vinegar.  American responded to my complaint with a very nice $200 travel voucher. If an airline makes a mistake like that, it's a good idea to be generous, and I think they were. (Much more generous than when we had to spend the night at the Miami Airport because of them in February 2013, a much worse experience than this one.) We have already used that voucher to buy Bob a flight to join me in Kansas City after this year's AP Reading in June.  I guess all's well that ends well, right?

3 comments:

  1. Next time I get stuck on an airplane I am hiring you as my complaint writer.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yep that Sacagawea is beautiful. A very definite improvement on the last one. I love how unmistakably American Indian she looks.

    Let's all keep our fingers crossed that you've statistically guaranteed we won't be having any luggage problems coming up.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Conclusion of an unexpectedly nice visit to northern Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Looking at the weather they are having there right now, I'm glad we were as fortunate as we were weather-wise.

    ReplyDelete

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