Mississauga, Ontario
to
Dallas, Texas

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I was living in Canada at this time of this trip and then I measured driving distances in kilometers (km) but in this document the corresponding miles will also be given following in brackets.
 
1992 - the year of Anna, my daughter’s, Graduation although at the beginning of the year she did not know where she did not know where she would go, nor what she would do after graduation.
 
With Anna and Stu, my son, both attending the same university and, therefore, both having the same reading week in February, LP. my husband, and I suggested a family holiday, as possibly, we may never have the same chance again. Both accepted our invitation and arrangements for us to visit friends, Martha and Roy. in Texas. We knew Roy from when we lived in Australia and he came there on business trips from Dallas. LP knew Martha, who used to work in the Sydney office.
 
Anna and Stu came home Friday night, and we were able to make an early start next morning. Our plan was to drive as far as possible Saturday and make Dallas by early Sunday evening. With four adults in a small car and a long way to travel it was decided that we change drives approximately every two hour, stretching our legs at the same time and rotating the seating arrangement..

Day 1 - Saturday February 15 - Mississauga, Ontario to Jackson, Tennessee

At 5:45 a.m. we left home, so, with Stu at the wheel, we were on our way. Then at 7:35 we had a ½ hour breakfast stop at one of the service centers along ON-401, after which LP drove.
 
We arrived at the Ambassador Bridge, which crosses the Detroit River between Windsor Ontario and Detroit Michigan at 9:50 and it took us 15 minutes to get through the border - the U.S. Customs wanted to see everyone’s identifications! A two minute stop at 10:26 was made for Anna to take her turn at the wheel. It was 11 o’clock (425.0 km.- 264.1 miles) when we entered Toledo Ohio and shortly after that we made our first gas stop. At 12:40 and 577.8km.- 359.0 miles. from home it was my turn to drive.
 
Just as we were driving trough Cincinnati. There was torrential downpour. The rain was so heavy and the sky so dark the traffic had to slow down to a crawl along the freeway. (I was glad that I was at the wheel, a thought shared by all in the car!)
 
Immediately after Cincinnati we crossed the state border into Kentucky, and, about an hour later, we stopped for a late lunch (3:30 - 841 km. - 522.6 miles), filled the gas tank, made a booking from the Carrollton Days Inn ahead to the Days Inn in Jackson, Tennessee. It was almost an hour by the time we were on our way again, Stu taking his second turn to drive.
 
At 5:15 we entered Louisville, a city on the east bank of the Ohio River, which servers as the border between Kentucky and Indiana. Driving through the city we could see off to the west the J. F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge over the river. About 7 o’clock, after a ten minute rest stop, LP became our next driver. We crossed the Tennessee border at 7:30 . and arrived in Nashville at 8:10 Passing through Nashville, LP had two close calls on the freeway and really scared us all, such that the next half hour in the car, prior to Anna taking the wheel for the last shift for the day, was both tense and quite!
 
We reached Jackson, our first day’s destination, at 10:20 - local time (Central Standard Time) was 9:20 , so it wasn’t quite as late as it seemed! After unpacking at the motel we decided to take a short walk to find something to eat. We settled for submarine sandwiches, which we took back to the room to eat.

miles km
Distance for the day 867.4 1,396
TRIP TOTAL 867.4 1,396

Day 2 - Sunday February 16 - Jackson, Tennessee to Euless, Texas

We did not make much such an early start today. Following a good night’s sleep we had the free continental breakfast, then, before getting under way, filled the car with gas. I was the first driver for the day when we left Jackson Tn., at 8:50 a.m. Anna asked whether we could drive by Graceland , Elvis Presley’s home in Memphis, even though we would not have time to take any of the tours, We arrived at Graceland about 10:20 and Anna and I walked around the main entrance, whilst LP and Stu sat in the car. I thought that I had taken some picture (the first of the ones on our trip), but later found I had not, as I had not loaded the film correctly!!! After leaving Graceland we were back on the highway by 10:35 and ten minutes later we crossed the Mississippi River and the Arkansas border (153.4 km. - 95.3 miles), soon after which we pulled into a rest center for Anna to take over thee driving. Just before 1 o’clock we crossed the Arkansas River, which flows through Little Rock, and as we drove over the river we got the impression that downtown Little Rock was quite lovely.
 
Today we stopped for a earlier lunch (1:09 - 2:15, 389.7 km. - 242.1 miles), a buffet at Michael’s Restaurant just south f Little Rock. We found the on/off ramps quite interesting (also rather confusing! - on and off traffic using the same ramps). After lunch and again filling up with gas, Stu was our driver. It was along the next stretch of the road that we noticed the first signs of leaves bursting from their buds. At 5:25 (595.3 km.- 369.9 miles) we crossed the Texas State Line and half an hour stooped at a rest area to phone our hosts to let them know our ETA. (After some trouble with the pay phone, I got through to an answering machine! This turned out to be a wrong number so someone else would have received the message and would wondering what company would be arriving about 8 o’clock!!)
 
I was the next and the last driver for the day when we got on the road again at 6:10 and without any further stops, we arrived at our destination in Euless at 8:11, 2,318 km. - 1,440.3 miles, since leaving Mississauga the previous morning. We received a warm welcome and were served a tasty venison stew for supper (although Martha did not tell use what we were eating until after the fact! No knowing us previously, Martha did not know that we were “game” for anything!)

miles km
Distance for the day 572.5 921.4
TRIP TOTAL 1,440.3 2318.0

WELCOME
 
WELCOME to the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Texas, with its combination of modern skyscrapers and the Wild West of bygone days. The Metroplex, as the area has been labeled, spans 100 miles, has a population of nearly four million, and is comprised of multiple cities under the Dallas/Fort Worth label

Day 3 - Monday February 17 - Las Colinas and Dallas Texas

Located between Euless and Dallas, and adjacent the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Irving is one of the Metroplex cites, and perhaps best know as home to Los Colinas
 
Today being a public holiday in Texas, Washington’s Birthday, it was a quiet day for some local sightseeing. Roy drove us to Las Colinas, where we spent the morning, Las Colinas is very pleasant, 12,000 acre business and residential area withing Irving, a city located between Dallas and Fort Worth. At the heart of Las Colinas is the Urban Center, a prestigious business address for numerous corporations, not far from the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
 
Whilst Roy took LP to his office, the corporate head for the company they worked at in Sydney, Martha, Anna, Stu and I enjoyed a stroll along the tree-lined cobbled walkway, reminiscent of an old world village, to the Mandalay Canal with its Venetian water taxi. We browsed in the quaint canal shops until Roy and LP met up with us. Then we all rode to Williams Square on th APT (Area Personal Transit), a computer operated aerial vehicle, which can carry 4 passengers throughout the Mandalay Canal and the Las Colinas Urban Center.
 
In the pink granite plaza of Williams Square can be found The Mustangs of Las Colinas
http://www.mustangsoflascolinas.com/ The larger-than-life bronze statues of wildly rushing mustangs crossing a stream is a memorial to the heritage of Texas. Believed to be the largest equestrian sculpture in the world, it was created by African wildlife artist, Robert Glen, and was seven years in the making.
 
After leaving Las Colinas we went to White Rock Lake Park in northwest Dallas. Although a little chilly, we had a very pleasant picnic lunch, which Martha had prepared before leaving home. From here we went into downtown Dallas.
 
DALLAS

1841 John Neely Bryan set out to build the city of Dallas along the banks of the Trinity River, believing the river was navigable for trade all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. It was not until...
 
1872 when the Texas Central Railroad diverted its tracks to the community and a year later...
 
1873 when the Texas Pacific arrived that Dallas really began to grow. Due to the nation-wide financial panic, the town became the temporary railhead for both lines. The population double to 6,000 (1993 1,006,900, 6,300,006 (2008 est.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dallas%E2%80%93Fort_Worth_Metroplex
and soon wagon loads of wheat, wool and other products crowded in to be shipped via the railroad. By...
 
1900 Dallas was a regional banking center for north Texas farmers, and was one of the world’s largest inland cotton markets. Many insurance firms established their headquarters in Dallas as a result of the...
 
1908 Texas law requiring insurance companies to keep a major part of their reserves in th state...
 
1930 saw the east Texas oil strike and many Dallas citizens became millionaires, In...
 
1938 the Texas Centennial Exhibition came to Dallas, which provided the city with a windfall of buildings, as well as the lucrative Texas State Fair.
 
We spent the afternoon at “The Sixth Floor”, http://www.jfk.org/ an historical exhibit and memorial to the life and death of President John F. Kennedy. It chronicles the presidency of JFK, the achievements and legacy of the late president, as well as the events leading up to and the significance of his assassination. This exhibit is on the sixth floor of the former Texas School Book Depository, the site from which the shots that killed President Kennedy and wounded Texas Governor John Connally were fired. I found the display very moving, as did our whole family, and I would recommend that for anyone visiting Dallas “The Sixth Floor” should be considered a must.
 
After leaving “The Sixth Floor” and walking around in the general area of that terrible tragedy, we walked past the Dallas County Court House to the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial, Main and Market Streets - a monument to President Kennedy, who was assassinated near by in 1963. It is designed as a place of meditation, with walls to shut out noise, but open at the top for spiritual communication.
 
We then went home to freshen up before going out for dinner. We were treated to an authentic Mexican meal and Mexican beer - a fabulous meal which we all enjoyed.

Day 4 - Tuesday February 18 - Shopping and Basketball

I think that Martha realized that we were a family who liked international for and offered to cook a Thai dinner if she could have help with all the cutting and preparations. Anna and Stu were willing helpers, as they both enjoy cooking and are interested in gourmet food.
 
Grocery shopping for all the ingredients was done in the morning. After lunch, and before beginning the preparations, Martha took us shopping (Roy and LP stayed at home) as Anna and Stu wanted to look for cowboy boots and I wanted to fins a variety small cacti for my new decor in the downstairs bathroom, and a selection of tatting threads, We had no luck in finding any of these items.
 
When we arrived back at the house Stu phoned to make reservations for the basketball game that evening. Then Anna and Stu spent the rest of the afternoon working in the kitchen, preparing about eight different dishes for our Thai dinner. It was a delicious meal and we knew that we would be doing dome Thai cooking after we returned home.
 
Immediately following dinner Martha, Anna, Stu and I went to the Reunion Area to see the basketball game - the Dallas Mavericks vs. Philadelphia 76ers. It was enjoyable to watch the game, but not something I would choose to do on a regular basis.

miles km
Distance for the day 71.0 114.3

Day 5 - Wendesday February 19 - Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas

This morning I was most upset to discover that I wound have none of my photos to date because I had not checked to make sure the film was advancing properly. I knew that Anna would be disappointed about the Memphis pictures, Stu about the downtown Dallas ones and I particularly wanted the shorts of The Mustangs of Las Colinas.
 
Not having anything planed for the morning, Stu asked yo drive downtown again, so he and I went back to Dallas. Pictures aren’t allowed on “The Sixth Floor, so we hadn’t missed anything there, but we did walk around the same area we had been in two days earlier and managed to get most of the same pictures!
 
After lunch we drove west to Fort Worth and visited the historic Stockyards.
http://www.texas-on-line.com/graphic/stkyrds.htm
We parked the car, walked past “Texas Gold” (1864), a bronze statue of the famous Texas Longhorns and Cattleman, sculpture by T. D. Kelsey
http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM7GK3_Texas_Gold_Fort_Worth_Texas
and although tempted to stop in at Billy Bob’s
http://www.billybobstexas.com/
for a beer, we opted for sightseeing instead!
 
FORT WORTH
 
Fort Worth began in 1849 as a military post to protect a few struggling ranchers from Indian Attacks. Later the settlement became a trading post and after the Civil War the dusty trails were filled with Longhorns as the Texas cowboys came to town. On their heals came the adventure seekers. Fort Worth witnessed them all - the trail hands who lived it up for a night, the dreamers who rode on, and the Indians, outlaws and plain folk, who stayed it their home.
 
Today Fort Worth has blended its frontier heritage and modern industries into a cosmopolitan mix of skyscrapers and historic buildings.
 
COWTOWN COLISEUM (1907-1908) Home of the world’s a first indoor rodeo. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Fort Wort Championship Rodeo every Saturday night from April to September.
 
The Historic Stockyards District looks much the same as it did 100 years ago when Exchange Avenue was filled with cattle bounds for the Kansas packing houses and railroad yards.
 
Although a flavor of its frontier past lingers, Fort Worth is now one of the country’s more cultured cities. In some cases art has erased the past. The Water Garden, an innovative tribute to water rushing, sprinkling, and falling over stone slabs or lying quietly in pools, now covers part of “Hell’s Half Acre”, once a roaring lawless area of saloons and brothels.
 
The Fort Worth Water Gardens, a spectacular complex of sculpture and fountains, occupies what once was “Hell’s Half Acre”, a brothel and saloon packed district where cowboys had their last bit of fun before heading to Kansas on the Chisholm Trail.

First we went to the Livestock Exchange Building (1902-03), once the headquarters of one of the greatest livestock markets in the world. Here we spent some time in the museum, which houses a collection of the Fort Worth Stockyard’s memorabilia from the 1986 Sesquicentennial Wagon Train Collection. Then we took a stroll along the Overhead Walkway (1978), which was built to allow cattle buyers aand visitors to vew the livestock and from here we saw a few Texas Longhorns.
 
On our way to browse in the shops along Exchange Avenue we passed another bronze stature. This one, name “The First Bulldogger”
http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM7GK6_The_First_Bulldogger_Bill_Pickett_Fort_Worth_Texas
(1987) sculptor, Lisa Perry - is a tribute to the American Cowboy. Bill Pickett is credited with originating the rodeo sport of bulldogging (steer wrestling). A wild west show performer, he was the featured act at the grand opening of the Cowtown Coliseum in 1908. Pickett is the first black cowboy inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame.
 
Leaving the Stockyard District, we just had time to drive downtown to see the Water Gardens. Fort Worth has a lot to offer but we had made other plans for the day and our times was limited. After walking the Water Gardens we headed for home, stopping to buy a few groceries on the way.
 
It was about 4:30 when we left to meet Roy after he finished work, at a theater to see the movie “JFK”, a follow-up to our visit to “The Sixth Floor”. A very though provoking movie it left one wondering about events surrounding President Kennedy’s assassination.
 
Following the movie we treated Martha and Roy to dinner at a restaurant which the recommended for good Cajun food - the Atchafalaya Restaurant. The atmosphere was great - we were all given strings of beads (Mardi Gras style). I think that LP was the only one disappointed in his meal - he ordered steak, having in that Texas was the place to have steak, but we were in the wrong type of restaurant.

miles km
Distance for the day 125.3 201.7


Day 6 - Thursday February 20 - Dinosaur Park, Glen Rose, Texas

Day 7 - Friday February 21 - Euless Texas to Slidell, Louisiana

Day 8 - Saturday February 22 - New Orleans, Louisiana to Fort Payne, Alabama

Day 9 - Sunday February 23 - Fort Payne, Alabama to Mississauga, Ontario


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