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The city of Dallas is Texas’ third largest city, and the largest city in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

Downtown Dallas at dusk. Drumguy8800 [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
It’s the basis for the television show Dallas. I still remember the opening where the plane flew over Texas Stadium with the hole in the roof and the Dallas Cowboys font in the endzone.

Old Texas Stadium 1971-2008, By Allspamme (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons
AT&T Stadium, opened in 2009. By Ron Reiring, via FlickrCC-BY-SA 2.0

It was the site of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.

President Kennedy in Dallas, November 22, 1963.  By Walt Cisco, Dallas Morning News [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


DART is the name of the regional light rail system.  An acronym for Dallas Area Rapid Transport, the DART system has four different lines: red, green, blue, and orange.

We took the DART train from our hotel in Irving to downtown Dallas where we saw a hockey game.  The commute on the train was 35-40 minutes.  The stations are nice, modern, well-maintained, as are the trains.  Tickets are bought at kiosks at the stations, or on their smartphone app.

DART light rail train. By Gaberlunzi (Richard Murphy) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
View of the inside of the DART train car.

American Airlines Center

Front entrance of American Airlines Center, from the Victory Station DART platform.

Located in downtown Dallas, and across the street from the nearest DART stop, this arena is very readily accessible and a centerpiece of its downtown neighborhood, Victory Park.

Completed in 2001, it’s the home of the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League and the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association.

The arena opens into an atrium where the scanners are located, as well as some concessions and guest services.

Atrium at the west entrance of the American Airlines Center.

The bowl of the arena is huge with many banners for Mavericks and Stars, as well as four players who had played for the Minnesota North Stars prior to their relocation to Dallas in 1993.

The concourses are very nice, even on the upper level.  The only time I’ve ever seen crown molding in a hockey arena!


Six Flags Over Texas

The entrance to Six Flags of Texas in Arlington. By Bryan Kemp via Flickr. [CC BY 2.0]
Located in Arlington, halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth, this amusement park was opened in 1961.

It is located next to  Globe Life Park in Arlington, home of Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers.  They share the same parking lot for events.

Globe Life Park in Arlington. By Dopefish (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
My impression of the park was it’s a poor man’s Walt Disney World or Universal.

The age of the park was evident.  Staffing was short.  Lines were long for food and for rides.  The park was not terribly crowded.

Steam train at Six Flags. By Loadmaster (David R. Tribble) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
The steam train was cool.  An original 1961 feature, the tracks circle the perimeter of the park while the conductor gives a tour about key park attractions, such as The Texas Giant roller coaster and the 300-foot-tall Oil Derrick.

Texas Giant roller coaster. By SixFlagsTexasGiant-3988.jpg: Loadmaster (David R. Tribble)(Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
Oil derrick observation deck. By Loadmaster (David R. Tribble)(Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
We headed out at the beginning of Fright Fest, a nighttime alteration to the park centered around Halloween.  Fright Fest lasts the entire month of October and begins nightly at sundown.

The view from the kiddie ferris wheel.

Headed Back East & A Few Observations

After going back to the hotel and checking out the next morning, we started back east.

We stopped in Baton Rouge for dinner.  We had to have some Louisiana seafood, so we stopped at Parrain’s, a longtime Baton Rouge stop.  The food was all delicious.  Of course, I had to get a bowl of the gumbo–a must have in Louisiana.

Our last night of lodging was in Pensacola.  We found the hotel on the phone while driving, so we made a reservation right then and there.  The At Home Inn & Suites was a newly renovated facility, very affordable, and by far the best hotel on the trip.  The rooms were modern, the beds were comfy, and the breakfast was fantastic.  The people at check-in and check-out were both nice.  A slam-dunk, and we’d gladly stay there again.




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