Taking the fork to Southfork

Trip Start Sep 22, 2012
Trip End Oct 21, 2012

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Where I stayed
Sean and Mike's place
What I did
Southfork Ranch Parker
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of United States  , Texas
Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day 1

So much for the sleep-in! One of the nearby rooms had a kid screaming in it which meant I either tracked the kid down, or just got up. As tempting as tracking the kid down was, it made more sense to get up and pack for our next flight. This hotel has a free laundry so rather than burden our friends with our smalls upon our arrival, I thought I'd do a quick wash before leaving.

We needed to leave at 10am, so I asked reception at 9.30 to order a taxi cab for that time. Unfortunately it turned up straight away, giving you that horrible feeling like you needed to rush to avoid keeping him waiting. Grrrr. Here's hoping we haven't left anything behind.

At the airport we got our boarding cards straight away, even though we had to change from shorts into jeans (American Airlines mustn't like the sight of legs), and we're happy it wasn't as stressful as yesterday's flight was. The flight was long but smooth. We quite like American Airlines, it has certainly improved over the years.

When we arrived at the airport, we met up with Sean and Mike whom we haven't seen since meeting up with them on our European holiday last year. The weather here in Dallas is cooler than we'd expected but we don't mind. When we arrived at Sean and Mike's house, I went to give them the bottle of red wine we'd bought for them in Chile to discover that, whilst it had travelled perfectly for three weeks, had smashed on this last flight and was now all over my bag.

(insert several swear words here)

Seriously, what? How could it break on the last leg? Sean and Mike blamed American Airlines exceptional baggage handling. Fortunately the thing that took the brunt of the wine was a pullover from Canada which was already coloured red, but still disappointing since it had already survived seven previous flights.

We also met their dog Storm, whom I've already accidentally called Tiger a few times. We watched the guys on "House Hunters" again which was just as good as the first time, before trying to have a nap to recover. The guys cooked us a roast for dinner, complete with peanut butter cream pie (certainly haven't seen that in Australian supermarkets)

Tomorrow we are visiting Southfork which I am very excited about. It's not every day you get to see a piece of living (TV) history.

Day 2

I'm sure when people think of the city of Dallas, they remember the day a great man was shot here. It was certainly a defining moment in history. In fact, there are plenty of those who still remember this event like it was just yesterday. Today, we visited the place where this place in history occured.

That's right - I'm talking about J.R Ewing! And today we drove to the legendary Southfork ranch. This morning we had a cruisy time before heading off on our journey. The other three went off to the gym whilst I stayed behind and met Sean and Mike's housekeeper Margarita, who has very limited English. We really can't tell half the time if she's laughing with us or at us.

For lunch we headed to a fast food diner called Whataburger which was quite decent, and cheap. Then we talked about the cost of houses in Dallas, which are less than half the price than in Sydney. Then about the cost of movie tickets which are $5 here. Seriously, what is going on in Australia?

After driving past several malls and restaurants, then even more malls, then more restaurants (are there enough people for all these?), we arrived at Southfork. Talk about small! I remember being surprised when I first saw the White House and Buckingham Palace at how much smaller they were, but Southfork is TINY! It doesn't look much bigger than most suburban houses.

Either way, I was still excited. After passing through the Dallas souvenir shop, we bought tickets, walked through the Dallas museum and then boarded the tractor pulled tourist tram which drove us the short distance to the house. When we arrived, our guide informed us how the original owner (who strangely, also had the name J.R), had bought the ranch, then leased it to Lorimar to make the show but ended up taking his family and leaving due to crazed fans camping around the house at all hours. The fans clearly couldn't define reality and fiction, and expected the Ewings to be living there.

The inside of the house has now been renovated to resemble the sets of the show, since all the indoor shots were done in a studio, meaning we saw J.R and Sue-Ellen's bedroom, Miss Ellie's kitchen, Jock's drawing room and so on. I took a lot of photos around the place before we headed through another souvenir shop before reaching the exit.

We've now decided to leave for Palm Springs tomorrow instead of Saturday, as there are very few seats available on the weekend. Tomorrow is looking a lot better so we've changed our listing. We decided to have Mexican tonight, so Sean and Mike took us to Taco Diner in the city. There, an intoxicated Ted met his new best friend, Tracey, an African American lady who was sitting next to us with her friend Katrina. Listening to Tracey talk was like watching an episode of "Moesha". We felt like handing her a phone book to read just so we could hear her voice all day long.

We'd heard on the radio that today is national "Coming Out Day" so after dinner, we headed to the local venue J.R's to meet the locals and watch a drag show, before heading down the road to a country and western bar called Round Up, for an evening of two-step. Mike tried to get me to give it a go with him, but my legs were so sore from tensing up and lack of coordination, I needed to sit down afterwards. We returned back to Sean and Mike's house at 2am after a night full of Dallas culture.

So was today all a dream? No, Pam it wasn't...
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