Trip Start Nov 01, 2012
Trip End Nov 28, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Monday, November 12, 2012

So after one hellavu long bus strip from Phoenix, we arrived in Dallas early yesterday morning. But the bus trip wasn't without its fun. I met a lovely couple, Keith and Samantha and between them, the African American lady (never got her name but she is originally from the South so I called her Louisiana) and the ex con and his girl, the trip actually went by too quickly. The bus driver was, according to the ex con, worse than the wardens in the state pen. I got moaned at coz my feet were in the passage, Keith got called up to the driver and was told to "fix it, fix it, fix it!" Coz his size 13's were also peeking over the line. At one point we were laughing so hard at the lady, I had tears rolling down my face. She was telling us a story about her smelly niece and thanksgiving dinners and tips on how to sue Greyhound and the City Bus service. I am laughing all over again thinking about her. But as it happens, we were obviously too happy and having too good a time coz the bus driver told us to tone it down. Asshole! I think Louisiana is going to sue him!

We had to swap buses in El Paso which is right on the Mexican border. We also went through passport control where a man came on the bus to check our passports and to also check for drugs. Unfortunately Louisiana got off the bus at this point but the rest of us were together. We got another bus driver but by this point it was night time and we were all pretty beat. Keith, who is larger than life sat in one spot and spread his cheeks across two seats saying no-one would want to sit next to a big guy and Sam and myself sat petite'ly and innocently next to each other with the intention of moving once the bus was on its way. It worked for awhile, but then the bus was so full that when one guy needed to sit down, on the arm of the chair next to Keith, I offered to swap with him and Keith got to sit next to Samantha.

Unfortunately not many people got off between El Paso and Dallas so it was a full, smelly bus all the way and again I didn't sleep for 2 and something days. As we came into Dallas and seeing the buildings I did start humming the Dallas theme tune - it was the right thing to do - although somewhat lost on Keith! Once in Dallas, Keith and Samantha continued on their journey and I got a taxi to the hotel. Luckily it was Sunday so downtown was quiet and everything only opens at noon. It was now around 9am. So I arranged with the concierge to get a shuttle into town at 12 and I went up to the room. I lay down for a quick power nap and woke up disheveled and feeling a lot worse, just before 12. I hadn't even had time to shower but I bolted downstairs.

My first stop was the 6th Floor Museum. This is a museum dedicated to John F Kennedy and his short-lived term of office and life. He was only 43 when he was sworn in as President. It was a really moving experience. This building, on the sixth floor, is where Lee Harvey Oswald was sitting when he shot JFK. This used to be the Book Depository building and he had positioned himself by a corner window and had concealed himself from view by boxes which are still there. If you look out the very next window, you can see the spot where JFK was shot. Interesting, the conspiracy theory is that there was another gunman positioned on the Grassy Knoll. When the evidence was studied in intricate detail, it was 'concluded' that JFK received the shot from the front and not from the back where Oswald was positioned. Oswald was also apparently not such a good shot. Oswald was shot and killed 48 hours later. He never admitted to shooting JFK nor did they ever find a second gunman. But a very tragic day indeed for America. He was clearly a visionary and had ideals and beliefs ahead of his time. If you speak to people living in Dallas, they are very sad and bitter about this tragedy happening in their beautiful city as I am sure most American people are. But once again, a really great tour.

Next stop, Wild Bills. If you were perhaps unsure as to your whereabouts, Wild Bill's certainly put that straight. Boots, Stetsons, Belts, Buckles, Jeans, Bling, Leathers - it was amazing. Of course I have no idea of my US shoe size but my mission was to get boots and I wasn't leaving till I had a pair. There were so many to choose from which is always a bitch. When I asked for help, I was forced to take my takkies off - oh my hat! I'd had these socks on for 3 days and my takkies on for over a week and I had to put my bag on top of them to stop them from walking out on their own. The assistant brought me a pairing boots to try on for size and there's no zip on these boots. There's an art to putting them on. You have to hook your fingers into the loops on either side, stretch your leg out and pull. I did as ordered and still couldn't get them on. That was a size 8. Nice of the assistant to point out that I had broad feet. I put it down to my high instep. So he brought me an 8 and a half and it so happened to be the pair I had spotted when I first walked in. I pulled them on like a pro and once my foot was in, it felt like these were perfectly hand-crafted just for me. I strutted my stuff round the store for a bit and they felt like slippers. These were mine. Except now I had to take them off. When the assistant saw the panic on my face along with the beads of sweat forming, he hurried on over and showed me the boot removing block and how to use it. What a flipping brilliant invention. One back kick into the suede covered groove, one yank up of the leg and the boot is off. Ill have to remember to take this with me when I go out in case I have to get my boots off in a hurry. Unless of course I meet someone with a boot fetish. I don't know if I was more relieved that I'd found the perfect pair so quickly or that I could put my takkies back on before the smell reached the customers at the back of the store, but I whipped out the card and I was outta there, a very proud owner of a lifetime investment.

By then I was famished so it was time for a Texan steak. I was told that Hoffbrau was a sure winner but they only opened at 3pm and it was now 2:30 and fatigue was setting in big time, so just over the road was YO Steakhouse. I went in there and ordered my steak. This was the first proper cooked meal I've had since arriving in States. They brought a salad first which I devoured and then the steak. It doesn't come with a sauce and you can't order sauce separately so I just asked for Tobasco. But when I first cut into that steak with a steak knife that would've made Jack the Ripper weep, and popped it into my mouth, I understood why you don't need sauce. Oh my goodness, it was the nicest steak I've ever eaten. And done to perfection. They serve it with veggies and garlic mash potatoes. Absolutely delicious.

I then went and met the shuttle bus and back to the hotel. I had a luxurious bath and I kid you not, when I was done, the water was so dirty. Remnants of the previous three days of travel - brilliant! I then lay down on the bed, put the TV on and I think I saw the title scene of NCIS and the next thing I knew it was morning. TV was still on as were all the lights but I felt refreshed and it was time again to hit the trail.

So here I am, back on board the Greyhound en-route to Memphis, Tennessee! And yes, I'm wearing my boots and yes, I have been singing "I'll be walking in Memphis.." But Cher's version. We should arrive there tonight around 7:30. I'm really looking forward to Memphis and will hopefully get to go on a steamboat ride on the Mississippi. But that's tomorrow's plans. Right now I'm admiring the scenery on an empty bus, with a clean toilet and my music.

Looking forward to having you all walk with me in Memphis!

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