Downtown DALLAS/JFK City Tour

I was interested in going into downtown Dallas, but I would need to find some kind of “bus” tour because I knew Jack would NOT want to drive into downtown Dallas! We didn’t really know what to go see much less how to get around downtown in our own car. I googled “downtown bus tours” and several tours popped up. The one that really caught my eye was a 90 minute tour called “Downtown Dallas City/JFK Tour.” Forty-five minutes of this tour was devoted to the most popular city sites (museums, famous buildings, old churches, sculptures, parks, etc.), and the other forty-five minutes were dedicated to sites and buildings associated with the November 22, 1963, assassination of President John F. Kennedy. We chose to take this tour on Sunday (Dec. 3) in the hopes of avoiding the bad downtown Dallas traffic. That was a very wise decision on our part! There was very little traffic that day.

The first part of the tour was the downtown city sites. We were given a lot of information about the buildings, parks, etc., but since I didn’t write down any notes, I have forgotten most of it all.  😞  However, I took a lot of pictures! If I remembered anything about a picture, I wrote about it in the captions, SO be sure to read the captions!

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Downtown Dallas skyline.

4B5A56EC-7B60-4DF7-ADCB-CA0D14DF677B Building used as the “Ewing” building in the filming of the office scenes of the TV show DALLAS. They actually filmed inside the building using some of the offices.

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Dallas City Museum in the background.

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This historic old church is getting a “face lift.”

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MIZZOU in downtown Dallas! Go Tigers! MIZ…

AF672AEB-B15B-4B94-A67E-2455364C65EE First Baptist Church, downtown Dallas.62F47BDC-D2E3-4584-9945-8FC5835F513B FBC Dallas Family Center0DBB6FFC-DDC8-47F0-B87B-BDA9903898EF FBC Dallas entryway fountain.

The second half of the trip was following the path President Kennedy’s motorcade took that fateful day in November, 1963, and other interesting places related to the assassination.  I remember exactly where I was when I heard President Kennedy had been shot (5th grade classroom right before recess; our teacher let us girls go to the bathroom, and we were all crying thinking the world was coming to an end). It was a sobering tour, and Jack and I both learned some new things about the President, Jackie, the shooting, Harvey Oswald, and Jack Ruby. It was interesting to say the least.  Here are just a few pictures of the JFK part of the bus tour:

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JFK Memorial Plaza in background.

59EA7F26-DC3A-4636-A4E8-E710C0F7CF1C JFK Memorial Plaza monument.E944A106-97FA-4603-8243-016D2AEFDA69903767EA-70B1-4523-AA27-8D7BFEEDC55435D6AB05-4E31-4477-BB0F-F52DF0FAE6EF

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Replica of the limo in which JFK, Jackie, and the Governor rode.

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Building from which Harvey Oswald shot JFK (second from the top floor, last window on the right; right side of window is open).

A8342A56-6ED9-4C6D-9804-D68A0B0C4CD9 The window where the white card with the black circle on it is the exact location of Oswald.987ADB40-E463-4765-9430-E09AE7D2F757 On the street at the spot where JFK was struck by the bullet, looking back to the building in which Oswald was located (window is hidden behind the tree limbs).1B43F84F-F8C4-4C78-96CF-D53B5423551A That green X in the street marks the spot where Kennedy’s limo was when the President was hit by the first bullet. There’s a second X further down the street where the second bullet hit him, but I didn’t get that in the picture.18AE0C90-362B-4BCF-8355-B9BDA3412565 The “grassy knoll” where it was believed a second shooter was located (now it is believed there was no second shooter).2BF41CCD-2C00-446C-A82B-D2F253F0BA14 The view of the street where JFK was shot from atop the grassy knoll.A0EFAE7A-0CD1-4CFD-B2FE-F0CC6AA625B4 View of the building Oswald was in, the grassy knoll, and the location of the assassination from the other side of the street.1673D379-9403-4918-8C45-8E8545F4A7909DF76BB4-3AC3-4E7C-B5E5-0BC8D6B517BA
We had the best tour guide, and she was very knowledgeable about the shooting of JFK.  She showed us the route that Oswald took after he shot Kennedy, the street where Oswald shot a police officer (Did you know he shot a police officer AFTER shooting Kennedy? We didn’t!), the theater where he was when the police found him and arrested him, and the boarding house where he was living at the time.

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This is the entrance to the police station back then where Jack Ruby just walked in and stood with the reporters and others. When the police brought Oswald out to transport him to another jail, Ruby shot him. That shooting was actually broadcast on live TV. Did you know that Jack Ruby had cancer at the time and didn’t have too much longer to live?

19434A8B-83FE-4BD8-A5D9-C8A1AA007498 The rooming house where Oswald was living at the time.2D37E868-7109-408D-A6D7-13FA0E56A2A5 The living room of the house where Oswald lived. Fifteen minutes after the assassination, Oswald walked back into this house after shooting the President. As he walked through the living room, the lady who owned the house was sitting on the couch watching her soap opera (you can see the back of the L-shaped couch in the bottom of the picture). Her soap opera had been interrupted by the news of the shooting. She told Oswald, “Someone just shot President Kennedy! Come sit down and watch this with me!” He walked into his room which was just off the living room, grabbed some stuff, and left the house without saying a word. All the furniture in the house is the original furniture from Nov. 22, 1963. This is our tour guide in the photo.7E095312-FAAF-4BC1-97CE-9FCC3A83B31C This is the small room just off the living/dining room that Oswald where Oswald was living at the time of the assassination.5A6C5B63-6B44-46D4-8457-99B234AB6BF4 Inside the rooming house was this death certificate for JFK. Something was incorrect on this certificate (I don’t remember what it was), so they had to issue a corrected certificate. This incorrect one was placed in the rooming house.

There was SO much more that we learned on this tour about the city of Dallas and the assassination of President Kennedy.  Jack and I both decided it was well worth the money.  The price for this 90 minute tour was $25 per person!  It was certainly worth the money and I’d recommend it to anyone!

So for now …. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

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Wagons Ho!

Today I want to tell you a little bit about the RV park where we are staying. It’s called Wagon Master RV Park located at 3926 FM 455 West, Sanger, TX. This is a nice park with 102 sites located just west of the town of Sanger. Being out in the “country” is kind of nice.

The park is based on a western theme with wagons, cowboy decor, rustic wood buildings, and everything western. There are several buildings in the park: an office/house (where the owners live), a laundry house, a pool, fenced in areas for pets to be off leash, a big barn (used for equipment and storage for the owners), and a building called the “Wander Inn.” They even have a small herd of alpacas which I  will tell you about later. Here are a few pictures of Wagon Master RV Park:

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The Wander Inn is a type of “gathering” place; there’s a kitchen (fully equipped), tables and chairs, an entertainment center with TV, etc., a couch, love seat, and chair, and a men’s and women’s bathroom (complete with two showers each) with both inside and outside the building access (the outside door access is acquired through a coded lock). It’s really quite “home-y” and would be a great place to host a birthday celebration or any family activity if a camper so desired.

We’ve been here a little over two weeks now and have kind of established a routine to living in an RV full time. We have met some of the people in the park who all seem very nice. The owners of the park (who also mange it) are super nice and helpful. They recently opened another RV park about 17 miles east of Sanger (just outside of Pilot Point, TX) called WAGGIN’ TAIL RANCH RV PARK. This park is geared towards RVers who have pets! Many of the RV sites are actually FENCED IN so your pet can be off leash while within the area around your RV. That sounds pretty cool, so we might have to try that park some day if we ever get back to this area. Here are some pics I downloaded from their website (photo credits to Waggin’ Tail Ranch RV Park).

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img_1006You can see the fenced in RV sites better in this close up aerial photo above.img_1007This is a really nice park, but it has considerably fewer sites, and it is harder to get reservations.

Now back to the park where we are staying. A few days after arriving, we received an email telling us that the park was having a Christmas Party on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 6:30-10:00 p.m. for all RVers at BOTH Wagon Master Park and Waggin’ Tail Ranch Park. The party was to be held at The Wander Inn at Wagon Master Park where we are staying. All we had to do was let them know if we would be attending and how many were coming. They would take care of everything else! Here are some pictures of the party. We had a great time, met new some new people, and gorged ourselves on chili with all the fixings, chips with dip, veggies with dip, and a wide variety of desserts. They also served a scrumptious punch – both plain and spiked!

 

 

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There was a DJ and sound system playing a variety of music (he also took requests), dancing, and PRIZES! One person from each RV site was given a ticket to put in the bucket for the drawing of the prizes. You had to be present to win.

Believe me: the prizes were really nice! There was one “FREE MONTH’S RENT” for each park (if you drew the free month’s rent but you were not staying at THAT park, you had to put it back and draw again).  There also cash prizes ($100, $50, and $25), and gift cards in varying amounts to Amazon, various local restaurants, and retail stores in the area. Our number was called but by then the free month’s rent for our park had already been won. Bummer! Jack drew out his prize; he drew the free month’s rent for Waggin Tail Park – BUMMER! He put it back and drew $50 cash. We were both happy. All in all, it was a fun evening and really nice of the owners to throw such a party all at their expense.

Now – the ALPACAS! Alpacas are related to llamas and look a lot like them, however, they are somewhat smaller. They are like sheep in that their wool is shaved once a year and can be used to make garments. Alpaca wool has no lanolin, so it does not have that “itchy” feel. Now, that’s MY kind of wool! They sell the yarn made from these alpacas in the office here at the park. It is SOOO soft; I could not believe it.

They have several areas fenced off for the alpaca herd. All the females (and one baby!) are in the largest of the fenced areas. The oldest male and the two younger males are in other fenced areas close by and kept away from the females until the owners want to breed. In the large area with the females are two large dogs. I’m not sure exactly what breed the dogs are (they kind of look like some kind of Labrador mix). They are well trained, and their soul job is to protect the alpacas.

Apparently alpacas have no way to defend themselves! I had NO idea. We were given park rules when we arrived, and one of the pet rules was to keep your dog/pets far away from the fenced areas where the alpacas are. If you are walking your dog and get within 20 feet of that fence, those dogs come charging at you! Ironically, if we are by ourselves, we can walk up to the fence and the dogs are very friendly and will let you pet them. We found out later that the dogs could care less about anything on two legs; it’s the four-legged creatures that they are trained to attack in defense of the alpacas.

They feed the alpacas once a day around 4:30 or 5:00 (when the days are longer, it might be later; shorter days feedings might be earlier). One day we decided to participate in feeding the alpacas. I was a little hesitant because up close, they are still pretty good sized animals.

The alpaca caretaker meets you at the gate, and, after giving instructions, takes you down to the shed to feed the herd in an oversized golf cart. When you enter the gate, the alpacas start coming towards the cart. They KNOW exactly what is about to happen. I

had been warned that alpacas will spit on you if they are aggravated or feel threatened. We were instructed to not make any sudden movements, but we could slowly and gently reach out and pet them.  Believe me; I moved slowly and gently because I did NOT want to be spit on!

The adult alpacas had been around people enough to be used to the feeding routine as well as a group of “strangers” being part of the feedings. However, remember the little baby I mentioned earlier? She was not as eager to get close to humans, and she kept her distance.

We fed many of the adult females.  The caretaker to put both our hands together and cup them.  He pours the food pellets in your cupped hands, and they eat it right out of your hands.  We pet them as they ate the spilled pellets off the ground.

One time the little baby went by me, and, after she passed, I reached out and gently stroked her back.  She was not in the least bit startled, but she didn’t hang around me very long either.  She was the SOFTEST of all the alpacas because she was so young.  The wool from younger alpacas is much more expensive, and now I understand why:  it is SO SOFT!  Enjoy the pics:

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Coming to greet us.

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Baby alpaca with momma.

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Awe! Look how cute baby is!

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One of the alpaca guard dogs

The pictures don’t really do the alpacas justice.  I personally think they are cuter than the pictures show.  While we were getting our instructions on how to feed the alpacas, the dog in the above picture saw something moving at the far end of the field just beyond the fence in some bushes.  You should have seen her take off after whatever it was and hear how fierce she was barking.  I would have hated to see what she would do to that creature if it had been inside the fence.  Needless to say, it probably would not have survived.

Well, I have more to share, but it will have to wait for another post.

So for now …. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

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