A Travellerspoint blog

Farewell Texas

We'll be back!

sunny 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):

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Kennedy and party leaving the hotel for Dallas.

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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:-

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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):-

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The brand new arts centre. Camp!

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The developing Sundance Square:-

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This is where we should've stayed: Beautiful:-

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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:-

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Who's looking at the horse?

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Inside and out of the beautiful Stockyards Hotel:-

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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.

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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!

Posted by Johnash 09:46 Archived in USA

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Comments

So the trail ends Pardners!
It sure has been an interesting trip which we have followed with interest. Now you must leave the four legged friends and move forward to the 21st style of travel home. Safe journey. Ready for a rest?
Toodles
Jand R

by Jand R

Thankyou both for your great blog and photos....will miss the daily journal...have a safe trip home and will see you at the end of August xxx

by Cherry and Chris

There won't be much point in turning on my computer now as there will be nothing interesting to read or any great pictures to look at. Have a good journey home. Terry

by Terry Edge

Thanks for all you wonderful blogs. We have enjoyed them all, but think you have left the best to last. Sundance Square, the "Hollywood" Angels, the cartoon graffiti and the great hotels.
See you soon.
Margaret and Dennis

by Margaret and Dennis Chambers

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks for making it so amusing yet informative. Looking forward to your next trip. Safe journey home. x

by sally (brien & jan's daughter)

Thank y'all. Waiting in American Airlines lounge, which is one of the nicer ones we've been to, watching the planes take off and enjoying some snacks and drinkies.

Do appreciate your support and there will be another page... and trip! Gosh, the skies are looking black over Dallas. A storm may be on the way...

by Johnash

Feel the same way about Hilton Hotels as you do. The Marriott chain are so much better at looking after there regulars. Hope your flight home is comfortable and you didn't leave too much money in your Spanish Bank account.

by bob

Guys what can I say apart from I think I enjoyed your holiday almost as much as you did.
Remember to get those taste buds working back to spanish style by having a bocadillo de Calamari (calamari a la romana in a baguette) opposite the Atocha train station. The best you'll ever have, trust me.
Have a great time in Madrid x

by Antonia

Wow what a holiday makes our 2 weeks in Lanzarote seem very boring we've enjoyed all the blogs just like being there great insight to USA.I suppose you did'nt bump into JR.Anyway havea good journey home.

by jan

Pity about Hilton, still one poor experience isnt bad.
Have a good journey home.
Good job they only weigh your luggage and not you.

by Brien

What a fantastic trip. We'll miss catching up every day, it's been like a fantastic holiday for us too!!
You'll have to spend the winter writing the book!!!! Your blog certainly beats a lot of the travel books we've read. Have a good journey home and hope to see you in Leiva soon xx

by Sue and Gordy

I expect by now you are back on Spanish soil. Your life is one long holiday and Bobs and I will miss your blog I have spoken to you more since you have been away then when you are here and you only live 5 mins away please write a book and wear the big hats xxx

by vivienne

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