Day 5: Dallas
I apologize for dedicating so much space to the Kennedy assassination. In doing so, I've neglected to touch on the rest of my wonderful experiences in Dallas.
Contrary to what I expected, Dallas was a remarkably low-stress, easy to navigate city. For whatever reason I've got it caught in my head that every big city in the world will involve some gargantuan, labyrinthine freeway system that is constantly stuck in gridlock traffic. Not that Dallas doesn't have a freeway system like this, it's just that I had minimal experiences like this in Dallas.
I spent my day in Dallas' West End, which, in addition to the Kennedy museum, also has an Arts District, an Aquarium, several shops and restaurants, and even the first home ever built in the city.
The streets are easy to navigate, the area is relatively uncrowded, and police and security are wandering around everywhere, moreso, I believe, for peace of mind than for any regular mischief the area might encounter.
The people of Dallas, furthermore, couldn't be friendlier, in my experience. I had one gentleman tell me I looked like actor Ron Livingston. I had another give me a coupon for a free appetizer at the Hofbrau Steakhouse, just for asking him for a lunch recommendation (by the way, the Hofbrau Oktoberfest is delightful).
After my visit to Dealey Plaza, though, I found myself wandering the streets looking for something to calm me down. As I stated in previous posts, the Kennedy experience left me shaken. I needed something to calm my nerves.
I headed up to the Arts District and wandered around a sculpture garden. But I was in no mood to pretend to enjoy art that I didn't get.
Finally, after about 45 minutes or so, I decided to visit the Dallas World Aquarium.
That's when I saw this little guy, and everything was all better.
The Dallas World Aquarium is unlike any aquarium I've ever seen. It not only houses aquatic animals, but also birds, primates, and even a cheetah. Several of the animals are not actually kept in pens, and inasmuch it is possible to see lemurs and pelicans hanging around the upper rafters. Also, in an odd and incredibly trusting move, the Dallas World Aquarium has decided to let their sloth just sort of hang around out in the open, leaving only a sign that says "Do not touch the sloth". The picture of the sloth below was taken from 2 feet away.
After a full day's worth of adventures, I headed back to my surrogate home to stay with Ryan and Erin. We had a light evening before calling it a night. The next morning, I got ready and got out of everyone's hair. They had already been kind enough to put me up for two days.
Ryan, Erin and Gunnar, thank you all so much for the hospitality. I hope to see you all soon.