Dallas : It's Hot, in many ways even !

Trip Start Jun 28, 2011
Trip End Jul 16, 2011

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Where I stayed
John and Chris Mansour's House
What I did

Flag of United States  , Texas
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Days 7 and 8 (I think ?)
After bidding a very sad farewell to the Ericksons of Fayetteville on the morning of July 3, (Thanks, guys ! See some more cute pictures of the kids and Mimi helping Brad make pizza !), we had a nice, HOT ride from Fayetteville to Dallas, which took us through Oklahoma. It was poignant to see the "Entering Cherokee Nation" sign followed up by a sign to exit for the “Trail of Tears Museum” – we wished we had time to stop and Sean and I are already planning our return trip alone to hit all the spots we've seen (and to try all the food we’ve seen advertised – the catfish signs in Arkansas were making Sean very hungry !). Also in Oklahoma we saw a church that was a full-scale replica of Independence Hall – interesting commentary on church and state !  Once we crossed into Texas we passed by Dwight Eisenhower’s birthplace and Eisenhower State Park (Ron Seyb, a trip like ours is calling you…).

We arrived at the lovely, welcoming Dallas home of the Cooney-Mansour family late in the afternoon and jumped almost immediately into their pool – we’ve been blessed with clear, sunny and HOT weather all the way through and Dallas was up above 100 both days.  Sean and John have known one another since high school in Cleveland, and after John and Chris met at Notre Dame we’ve been lucky enough to know her too. John is a professor of surgical medicine at the UT Medical Center and Chris is a legal director at the North Texas Human Rights Project. They have three awesome kids – Kelly, who is 11, Will, who is 8, and Erin, who is 4 like Miss Mimi. All the kids had a great time together, especially Will and Ronan (Will taught Ronan lots about baseball and swimming tricks) and Mimi and Erin, who swam more in one day than I thought was humanly possible. Kelly made us an AWESOME map and sign for the back of our RV that shows where we have been so far and where we are going, and we love it ! Thanks so much, Kelly !

The Cooney-Mansours live in a great part of Dallas not far from the SMU campus (which is very pretty !). They took us out for some great tex-mex, and told us lots of great stories about the sightings of various Dallas celebrities they’ve had – Laura Bush at the grocery store (with the housekeeper !), Troy Aikman at kids’ basketball games, and the trifecta of Jimmy Jones, Ross Perot and T. Boone Pickett at a local restaurant that the waiter there called “TGIFs for billionaires” !  John’s hospital is the place where JFK was brought and died, and the site is still marked with a memorial.

After a lazy, relaxing, perfect 4th of July (we were in America’s city after all), complete with hours of swimming and fireworks viewed from the backyard, we all went to bed happily exhausted ! We so enjoyed reconnecting with our smart, funny, kind and  hospitable friends and didn’t want to leave – seems to be the case everywhere we go ! I hope all our hosts know they are setting themselves up for another visit with the royal treatment we’ve been getting everywhere….

Most of July 5 was spent on the road from Dallas to Lawrence, KS. It was the first day we’ve had even a bit of clouds and rain for driving, but it was actually a bit of a relief, keeping REALLY Big Bertha a bit cooler for the whole 15 minutes it lasted. Otherwise, after the rain passed, we saw temperatures ranging from 105 to 108 on the various bank signs we passed ! In fact, it was so hot that most of the cows we passed today on the road were swimming. Well, not so much swimming, as bathing. This gives me a new respect for cows. They know heat, they do. Hey Wilsons – we drove through “Anna, Texas !”—you’ll have to take her there some day ! We drove through some more of Oklahoma, on the Will Rogers Turnpike, and passed Tom Mix’s birthplace. I will personally send a quarter to anyone who can tell me who Tom Mix was—I think I have an idea, but I’m not sure…We also passed by the sight of the “Little House on the Prairie” (although there is also a Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum where we’ll be stopping in IA in a couple of days…I guess the Ingalls did get around). We arrived in Lawrence, KS tonight (Go Jayhawks! We saw the UK campus and also drove through KSU territory today too) early enough to FINALLY have a campfire and do s’mores. In fact, the kids are in bed and I am writing this in front of the campfire (a PERFECT campfire build by Scoutmaster Sean after much effort involving unyielding wood), which is either awesome or totally wrong, I can’t decide which. Sean says awesome. I promise I’ll turn it off soon and enjoy the evening with my full attention. We have a couple days of camping and hiking coming up in KS and IA—we’ll be able to check off a couple more states on Kelly’s excellent state chart !! Hope that everyone had a great 4th of July and that summer is treating everyone well ! xoxoxo
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Marcy Wilson on

Anna, Texas...we'll have to add that to our list of places to see...along with Gary, Indiana, and of course we have been to Mount Marcy and stayed in Wilson, NC! Let us know if you find a Gregory or Madalyn in any of your states to be!! Glad you are having a super time!

Ann Frankowski on

Can't believe you can drive that thing!!! Sounds like Texas is a hoot - Tom Mix? Thinking 1930's cowboy star - not sure but if I'm right I want my quarter! Wonderful blog Kate - hi to all and can't wait until your next post!

Sumita on

Sounds like SO much fun!!! How do I see your previous entries? Eat lots of catfish for me, please. I miss southern style seafood!

Tina Baird on

Wow, what a fantastic trip guys and we love sharing it with you through your blog!
I am impressed that you can drive that RV:)!! So glad you're having a great time and we look forward to hearing about your next leg of the journey!
Love to all!!

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