Dallas : It's Hot, in many ways even !
Trip Start Jun 28, 2011
10Trip End Jul 16, 2011
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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
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