DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Restaurants & Bars, Road Trips, TRAVEL, Travel Planning

Darn that DFW International

 

suitcase

TRAVEL HERE: DARN THAT DFW INTERNATIONAL

In the general sense, I’m pretty fond of airports. If I’m in one, I’m either traveling (which is a good thing) or I’m picking up someone I care about (and that’s a good thing, too).

DFW International Airport

In a more specific sense, I have to be honest, DFW is not my favorite airport.  Most of the time, if something is in any way associated with Dallas, the Metroplex or Texas in general, I’m one of its biggest fans, but that affection doesn’t extend to our airport.  Unfortunately, that’s where I have to start if I’m going to fly somewhere.  Since I just got back from a trip, I was reminded of my dislike affair with DFW International.

I Loved Love Field

I have to be candid with you.  I was perfectly happy with Love Field.  It was easy to get to and easy to get around.  Then the government stuck their nose into our business. The FAA decided we had to build on a grander scale and to be sure that the new airport made it, they came up with the Wright Amendment.  Like most Dallasites, I did my dead level best to ignore DFW International for as long as I could, but the amendment meant that there were a whole lot of places you couldn’t get to from Love Field.  I don’t know about you, but I’m still mad.  There’s a chance that my abhorrence of big government began there.

Changing Planes at DFW

As much as I grumble about DFW, I’m grateful that I just fly out of the place.  I’d hate to be changing planes there.  Some ding dong thought there was something wrong with having terminals that were actually connected with each other. Our terminals are spread out like cows grazing in a pasture – and the cows don’t like each other very much.   On this most recent trip, my travel companions tried to tell me DFW wasn’t all that bad – and I’m sure there are worse airports – but I just haven’t fallen in love with it.

Picking Someone Up at DFW

Going out to pick someone up is a whole ‘nother can of worms.  DFW was built a long time ago, back in the days when you had to know which gate someone was arriving at.  You strolled in, let security x-ray your purse and found a bar to hang out in until your friend arrived. Now you have to have a boarding pass to get through security – and I appreciate all the reasons for that – but there are no bars on this side of security.  There is something very wrong about that.

Layovers at DFW

And let’s say your best friend in the whole world, who you haven’t seen in twenty years, had a two hour layover at DFW.  Good luck with that.  You might have time to wave at each other from opposite sides of a security booth, but only if the moon was blue and you held your tongue right.  I’d consider waving at them from your backyard as they flew over, instead.

Layover at Denver

Which reminds me of a recent trip we took.  We ended up with most of the day to kill at the Denver airport.  Rather than waste our time hanging out in the terminals, we rented a car and played around at a gorgeous mall in Stapleton.  I’m trying to imagine what someone with the same dilemma would do, if they were at DFW.  Grapevine Mills Mall is probably close enough, but the logistical challenges would be legion.  I’m also questioning whether I really want that mall to be all someone saw of the Metroplex.  No – if this happens to you, please stay at the airport!

Thankfully, I’ll never have to manage a layover at DFW.  I just drop my car off at Park n Fly and let them worry about the whole thing.  What about you?  Have you been a victim of DFW International Airport?  Tell us about it!

ART, Attractions, DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Museums, Presidential, Road Trips, TRAVEL

JFK in Dallas

PRIMARILY PRESIDENTIAL DESTINATIONS:  DALLAS IS MORE THAN A JFK DESTINATION

Welcome to the fifteenth  installment of Primarily Presidential Destinations. We’ve covered almost all of the Presidential destinations that I’ve visited, but we haven’t talked about Dallas.  I live in Dallas now, but my family lived in Georgia when Kennedy was shot in Dealey Plaza.  Like most Dallasites I try to disassociate my city from the assassination, but we can’t quite shake it.

Love Field

Love Field no longer looks anything like it did when the dazzling Kennedys stepped onto the tarmac.  When I think of Love Field, my mind is more likely to run to hot pants by Pucci than a First Lady in a pink suit.  Sure I remember the black and white photos, but Braniff landed there a lot more times than Airforce One.  I never greeted a president at Love Field, but I welcomed the Dallas Cowboys outside the Braniff terminal after many an away game- whether we had won or lost.

The JFK Sites

If you live here, visitors are going to ask about Dealey Plaza, the Texas School Book Depository and Parkland Hospital, but I always discourage them.  From Dealy Plaza you can gaze at the infamous grassy knoll, but you can’t drive the route JFK did, because traffic in front of the old courthouse flows one way in the wrong direction.  You can find Parkland Hospital, but you’d never find anything in the huge complex, remodeled several times over, that even remotely reminded you of the hospital in those old news clips.

There’s an old building across from Dealey Plaza that was the Texas School Book Depository.  It’s been through several incarnations, but the infamous window is still there.  Inside there’s something called The Sixth Floor Museum.  Some guy bought up some of the contents of the Depository and several people went broke trying to make money off of them.   Apparently the current manifestation of the museum is the most successful, but it’s a good thing they have tourists to depend on, because even Dallas school teachers don’t want to take their students.

 

A block or so away from Dealey Plaza is a big square piece of concrete that is a memorial to the assassinated president.  It embarrasses me a little bit.  If a guest does insist that they must see where Kennedy was shot, I will drive them by Dealey Plaza and the Book Depository, but I never allow enough time to see the Sixth Floor Museum and I never point out the memorial.  It looks like an abandoned building project – blank walls and no ceiling.  If we were going to have a memorial to him, it should have looked more like Dealey Plaza – columns, a statue, lots of grass.  Maybe a waterfall or something, but not the empty concrete walls on a slab of concrete behind a red brick courthouse.

There’s so much more to see and do in Dallas.  Dallas didn’t kill John F. Kennedy.  Maybe it was Lee Harvey Oswald.  Maybe it was the Mafia.  Maybe it was aliens.  But it wasn’t Dallas.  For that matter, we didn’t shoot JR either, but I’ll save that for another day.

Come to Dallas to shop.  Redecorate your digs in the Design District.  Eat at our restaurants.  See the Dallas Museum of Art, The Meadows Museum, The Crow Collection of Asian Art, The Nasher  or any number of museums besides the Sixth Floor.  Catch an opera, symphony or show in the Arts District.  There a lot to do, but don’t waste time on an event we’re working so hard to ignore.