We woke up this morning with a slight roller coaster hangover but all together feeling pretty good. Jasmine and I didn’t really want to do to much walking today so we planned a light itinerary. Our first and only stop in Dallas was going to be downtown.
Downtown Dallas is similar to many metropolitan downtown areas. It has a couple of very beautiful buildings and a lot of uninspired skyscrapers. However, the difference with this particular downtown is that it also has a site of incredible American historical significance. Located in the narrow streets of downtown Dallas is the spot where the 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy was assassinated. This is a very sad subject, but we felt it was important to visit this historic spot.
The feeling of walking down the street and suddenly looking up at a building you have seen countless times is a strange one. Most Americans have seen this building many times before and it looks no different in person. Looking at that sixth floor window of the old “Book Repository Building” where Lee Harvey Oswald stood and fired his gun gave me the chills. I then looked over at the “X” in the middle of the street and felt the enormity of what happened there.
After taking a few minutes to look over the area, we decided to head back to the car for our long drive south to Houston. On our way to the car we saw the JFK memorial plaza. This plaza is made of four tall concrete walls formed in the shape of a square, with a plaque featuring JFK’s name in the middle. I found the design of the plaza very interesting.
The drive down to Houston was long and much of the same. As we entered the outskirts of the city, I couldn’t help but think how much it reminds me of Los Angeles. Both L.A. and Houston are huge, smoggy and both just don’t feel like home. The traffic on the freeways also had me drawing parallels in my mind.
When we arrived in town, we still had a couple of daylight hours left. With nothing planned, we decided to head over to the Houston Nature Center. (It worked in Austin right?) The Nature Center features about five miles of marked hiking trails through the woods (swamp), so we thought that this would make for good exercise. It probably would have.
Soon after exiting the doors of the visitor’s center on to the hiking trails (or should we say swamp lands), we were welcomed to the south by a swarm of what seemed like hundreds of mosquitoes. They must have been incredibly hungry, because they came after us like they hadn’t sucked blood in years. We quickly ran back indoors, sprayed ourselves with mosquito repellant and then headed outside once again.
The mosquito repellant didn’t seem to be one-hundred percent effective, so after about 30 minutes we decided to call it quits and head back to the car. (Whether it was perceived or real, we were all itching from head to toe) Before we reached the car, Jasmine decided to go to the bathroom quickly. What we saw next will haunt us in our dreams. On the outside of the bathroom door we saw a mosquito literally half the size of my hand. (I Have Big Hands. Also I would’ve taken a picture, but I must have been paralyzed in fear, as this idea didn’t cross my mind until minutes later!) Luckily we survived the giant mosquito. I guess this officially brings in the part of our trip where we must spray insect repellant religiously (we have plenty) in order to avoid bites. This will be good practice for us since mosquitoes in other countries carry many more deadly diseases.
After leaving the nature center we decided to wander over to our hotel. We checked in and decided to head over to the local steak house next door for dinner. As a reward for sticking to our budget religiously, we found room in it for a big steak. With our bellies full, we went back to the hotel, worked on the blog and went to bed. Tomorrow brings about a five hour drive to New Orleans where we will be staying just off the French Quarter for two nights. When I write next, you will find out how we are faring in the Big Easy! Talk to you soon.
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The Coomer Family