Saturday, August 8, 2015

Heading West To Fort Worth's Best Tourist Attractions & Uncle Julio's Enchiladas With Boondoggle Bridges

I dropped in on Fort Worth's two best tourist attractions today, those being the Botanic Garden, before visiting Uncle Julio's on Camp Bowie, and then the Fort Worth Stockyards.

I came across multiple Asian tourists enjoying the Botanic Garden. The language being spoken was Asian, but I can not tell what brand, be it Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean or any of the other Asian flavors.

In the photo you are looking at a guy who had caused a herd of turtles and koi fish to get all excited taking bites out of the piece of bread he was holding above the water. On the 5th and last slice a big turtle snapped the entire piece out of  his hand, which caused a frenzy in the water as turtles and fish battled  for bread.

Why are the Botanic Garden's turtles and fish so hungry?

Fort Worth's Botanic Garden is the first thing I discovered in Fort Worth, soon after I was exiled here, which I thought I'd never seen anything like it, done so well. The Botanic Garden really is a gem. A lot to see and explore.

Today I came upon a memorial to Charlie Company that I'd happened upon for the first time way back in 2009. Eventually I got back to my computer where I soon learned I'd blogged about my previous visit to the Botanic Garden's Charlie Company memorial in a blogging titled Charlie Company Memorial in Fort Worth's Botanic Garden. It is a rather poignant memorial.

Leaving the Botanic Garden I headed west to Uncle Julio's. My new form of mechanical vehicular transport informs me what direction I am heading. But, I already knew I was heading west. I have not yet figured out why being informed of the direction I am heading is of any use.

Arriving at Uncle Julio's a half hour past noon I was not happy to see a lot of vehicles parked on the road and in the parking lot. I figured there would be a long wait, which would have had me going somewhere else. But, I figured wrong. The interior eating zone was packed, but the outdoor patio was not.

You can  see the unpacked Uncle Julio's outdoor patio above, with Big Ed being very uncomfortable due to two blondes insisting on sitting on his shoulders. I don't understand why more people did not opt to eat outside. It was very pleasant, with overhead fans making a breeze, and, as you can see, plenty of shade.

After an hour with Uncle Julio I headed back east, intending to see if I could find any evidence of America's Biggest Boondoggle's three bridges being  built slow motion over dry land. This coming October it will be a year since bridge construction began with a TNT bang.

Well. I drove past what I think will eventually be a big traffic circle. I saw a few pier like things coming out of the ground which may be bridge supports. But, is this all there is after this much time? Driving through that area  I have no clue where the ditch will go that will go under the three bridges. Where are the other two bridges? I found no other construction activity.

Continuing on I drove through Fort Worth's #1 tourist attraction, the Fort Worth Stockyards, which I think is the best tourist attraction in the D/FW zone. And is the only thing I take out of state visitors to that impresses them as being something not seen back in their own home zones.

Fort Worth really should put more effort into improving the Stockyards. I saw there has been some sidewalk work done since my last visit. The lighting at night needs a lot of work. And get rid of any boarded up eyesores, like the New Isis Theater, which has been "Opening Soon" since before I arrived in Texas in the last century. And demolish that ugly Wells Fargo bank eyesore. How did that get construction approval?

There were a lot of tourists touring the Stockyards today. And Riscky's BBQ was packed. Made me want  to stop for the all you can eat beef ribs. But, I had just been to Uncle Julio's and was not hungry.

Leaving the Stockyards I headed north on Highway 156, also known as Blue Mound Road. My initial location in Texas was in Haslet, a tiny burg way out in the country, at that point in time. Early upon arrival  in Texas, when getting our bearings, we did not yet remember place names, so, heading to downtown Fort Worth, one would ask what route you taking? The Freeway or Tijuana? Yes, we referred to Fort Worth's Blue Mound Highway 157 Road as Tijuana. None of us had ever seen such a road with so much delapidation in full view. This was before we discovered other roads in Fort Worth, like Lancaster and Berry.

I digress.

So, it has been years since I have driven by my original Texas location. Two things shocked me. One was Tijuana, in even worse shape than it was when I first saw it. The other shocking thing was to see how much of what had been open land is now covered by houses. Houses as far as I could see.

I drove past my first Texas abode with very little looking  familiar. I continued on to Golden Triangle Boulevard. West of I-35 Golden Triangle is still  a potholed mess, despite all the new houses and side roads. East of  I-35 Golden Triangle has been turned into a modern boulevard.

With landscaping.

Crossing under the freeway was like leaving a third world country and re-entering America. When I lived in Haslet  the drive east on Golden Triangle was lonely. Not a busy road. This is no longer the case. The closest grocery store upon my arrival was Krogers in Keller. Now there is an Albertsons on Golden Triangle well before you get to Keller, along with a lot of the usual fast food joints and other developments.

Continuing on into Keller I headed south on Rufe Snow Road, which has been totally rebuilt since I last drove it from Keller.

The remainder of today's road trip was over ground I've been on in recent times.

So, what is the deal with The Boondoggle's bridges? Anyone know? Anyone know exactly where that flood diversion ditch is going to be dug? Almost a year after that big TNT bang celebrating the start of the building of three bridges in slow motion and what I saw today is all there is to see?

Bizarre. And just a little pitiful.....

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