We'll be back!
11.06.2012 - 12.06.2012 38 °C
Started: Room 1122 Hilton, Fort Worth
10.00 Tuesday, 12 June, 2012
Here's a great track to accompany this page:-
We like Fort Worth but, for various reasons, disappointed with this hotel. It was the Hotel Texas, built in 1920 (not as said before) and converted and changed to a Hilton in 2006. Now it's aim seems to be the bottom profit line rather than providing hospitality for its guests. Oddly we found the same with the only other City Hilton we've stayed at in the last few years (Boston). The pattern was the same. Meanness, eg joke breakfast served in "Executive Lounge", no room upgrade, no response to complaints (eg carpet stained and grubby). They have not taken care of their loyal customers! Last time we use a "Hilton". Completely unlike the other Hilton brands especially, Doubletree whose City Centre hotels have been great. Judging by what I read on Tripadvisor the once iconic Hilton in Park Lane (London) is another thread in the same story.
Hotels hijack most of a road for valet parking, though normal traffic can drive through the middle. Also, during the evening, restaurants put out cones and 2 out of 3 lanes around Sundance are used for valet parking! The Hilton (the road under the canopy is actually East 8th Street):
Kennedy and party leaving the hotel for Dallas.
Fort Worth has a vibrant and developing Downtown (the blocks that make up an area known as "Sundance Square"). Loads of restaurants (mostly in restored original buildings), new Arts Centre, cinemas, shops, a huge Barnes and Noble and they are currently developing new "traditional" buildings and an open space for concerts. It is refreshing to see that Downtowns can be revived. Most importantly, people want to live there, which is the key to bringing these areas back to life. Cities like El Paso need to take note.
There's also a combined Amtrak, Greyhound and local bus station as well as a new local line to Dallas, all in one transit centre, which we could watch with delight from our room:-
Inside the restored station (we got shouted at for going in an "unauthorised area" while filming a train. The guy must look out the window all day waiting for someone to do that. "Excuse me SIR" where the word Sir takes on a whole new meaning):-
The brand new arts centre. Camp!
The developing Sundance Square:-
This is where we should've stayed: Beautiful:-
Separately, Fort Worth has a totally different but still buzzing "Stockyards" area. Much more touristy but still pretty genuine with a rodeo arena (we went to the show in 1994), proper stockyards, a steam train to Grapevine and the beautifully restored Stockyards Hotel where we first stayed in 1994. Not much change really.
A big star of the show, and doesn't she know it, sorry, he:-
Who's looking at the horse?
Inside and out of the beautiful Stockyards Hotel:-
We've generally "pottered", wandering around Downtown and Stockyards. The heat (100+ during the day) has not encouraged too much walking.
We wandered up to "Sundance" to find somewhere for dinner and found the Cowtown Diner owned, it turned out, by a Moroccan guy who happens to be flying back to Spain today! He designed the menu including "Shepards" Pie and Chicken HotPot Pie. The "Shepards" was made with trimmings from the best steaks from the sister restaurant next door. Chopped not minced (not much mincing goes on in Cowtown. Not true but just had to say it). John had a long conversation with the waiter about the spelling and the fact it should be called "Cottage Pie". We'll check the menu next time. Sorry, forgot to take pictures but both dishes looked and tasted good. Not much cottag...... Er, I'll leave it there.
This morning, looking for somewhere for breakfast, there was only a choice of 2 places and one was self service and plastic cups so we went back to the Cowtown Diner again for an excellent breakfast.
We have not covered our drive from Del Rio to Fort Worth, full of adventure (well some). This will be covered along with stuff missed out from other Blogs, at leisure when back at Bag End where we arrive Thursday evening.
We have our flight DFW to Madrid later, overnight, then a night in central Madrid, and the train to Murcia on Thursday afternoon, so our vacation if far from over... yet!
Thanks to you all for sticking with us!