Restaurants · travel

Day 23 & 24 of USA Road Trip – Fort Worth & Dallas 

To fill you all in on the glamour of our road trip, we woke up this morning to a special guest in our bed…. a cockroach. I’ll never be the same again. 

Taking it back a couple days before the above incident, we arrived at our Fort Worth, cockroach-infested motel on Wednesday, an hour and a half before the official check in time. We’ve been pretty lucky with the other motels because all but one have let us check in early, and the one that didn’t let us store Big Red in their storage room so we didn’t have to leave ‘her’ on the backseat while parking downtown. We were not lucky this time. The parking lot and motel seemed completely empty, but the man behind the counter refused to check us in. Okay, no problem, could we perhaps sit by the pool until we can check in? No. Okay, can we leave our suitcase then? No. Why? I wouldn’t want to be responsible. Oh it’s literally just got clothes in, that’s fine. Actually, my storage unit is full. Right….. 

We gave up and headed to McDonalds with a plan to sit with a coffee and use the wifi until we could check in. It was the roughest McDonalds I’ve ever been in and they didn’t seem to appreciate out-of-towners. While I was in the queue, the lovely patrons were looking me up and down (sadly not in a complimentary way, and I was wearing my most flattering shorts), sneering, HISSING and a couple guys were hanging around our car, looking in the windows at our stuff. Unsurprisingly, we took that coffee to go and decided to head back to the hotel to sit in reception until check in time. When we got back, there was a different man at reception and he checked us in with zero issue, 15 minutes after we first arrived. Blurgh. 

All that palava aside, we dropped our stuff in the room and headed into Fort Worth on the bus. Our first stop was the beautiful Water Gardens, an amazing park with 3 stunning water features and a man-made mountain that you can climb. One of the water features was a large fountain with steps all the way down, meaning that you could walk right into the heart of it. Gorge! The second one was built to have the effect of mosaic tiles on water, and the third was an Alice in Wonderland themed Quiet Pool. We climbed the mountain and each step was 20 inches tall…. I’ve been living off BBQ food and haven’t worked out since we started the road trip so my legs definitely felt it and are still sore today! 

While walking around downtown and visiting Sundance Square and the JFK memorial, we saw a hotel bar advertising ‘Bubble Hour’, where a glass of prosecco was only $3.50! We couldn’t resist and went in for a glass, and I realized just how much I’d missed prosecco! 

For dinner we went to Uno, a pizzeria chain we had been to in Orlando back in April and I’d fallen in love with their gluten free pizza. It was SO good to have it again, and perhaps even better than I remembered. They know their stuff about cross-contamination and offer gluten free burgers too if you aren’t into pizza (but why wouldn’t you be?!).

Thursday morning we drove to Fort Worth Stockyards (tip: street parking is free for 2 hours and you don’t really need longer than that), went in lots of shops selling cowboy boots and hats, and watched the cattle herd at 11.30am. 

Once the cattle had finished their performance (a short walk from one sign to another), we got back in the car and drove to Dallas. We stopped for lunch at Sonny Bryan’s BBQ and LOVED it. Nearly all their meats are gluten free, as are most of their sides. I went for the pulled pork, pulled chicken and brisket with potato salad and beans. YUM. Their BBQ sauce is gluten free but served in old Corona bottles, so perhaps skip the sauce if you’re a coeliac, unless you REALLY trust their dishwasher. 

We walked around Dallas, stopping at the location where JFK was assassinated back in 1963, and visiting his beautiful memorial. We also popped into the Dallas Museum of Art and Sculpture Garden (both free!) for a wander and took some pics of Founders Square. I’m glad we ticked Dallas off our bucket list, but Fort Worth was my favourite of the two. 

We had our first night in of the road trip last night – accompanied by a couple microwave meals from Walmart! We know how to live. 

Restaurants · travel

Day 22 of USA Road Trip – San Antonio 

If you’ve never been to San Antonio, GO. It’s hot, sunny and seriously pretty, making it a perfect summer vacation destination (if you prefer a pool to the beach, anyway). I could walk along the Riverwalk for hours! We entered the Riverwalk on Commerce Street and continued all the way around to do the full circuit. We came across a little art village called La Villita that was full of cute cafes and art galleries, and had a big grass auditorium on the river. Nothing was playing the day we were there, but I can imagine it’s a gorgeous place to watch a show! 

On our walk, we saw a sign advertising Free Tuesday’s at the Briscoe Western Art Museum from 4-9pm. We made a mental note to head back there that afternoon. After a quick snack break in the mall for a bit of AC, we walked towards the Tower of the Americas and came across ‘The Grotto’, a quiet, peaceful part of the Riverwalk, and saw a blue heron sunning himself. 

Next stop was the Alamo, a World Heritage Site that was the location of the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. There’s a museum inside and multiple places where you can watch informative movies about the history of the site, plus lots of cacti! I was incredibly impressed that it was all FREE! Definitely worth checking out. 

We were walking around town when we spotted a bustling bar down by the river with lots of twinkling fairy lights and servers wearing lederhosen. A sucker for fairy lights (and lederhosen), we had to pop in for a drink. Their special was a litre of beer for $5.75, which Ewan, ever the bargain hunter, ordered, even though he didn’t really rate the beer that much. He still managed to get through the litre! I had a glass of Riesling. 

Full of booze, we headed to the Briscoe Western Art Museum. Neither of us are particularly arty, but it was actually a really interesting place! It was only a short walk away from our dinner location, Rita’s on the River. Rita’s have a gluten free menu which is a little small but still great if you like Tex-Mex! I went for the chicken enchiladas and they were super cheesy… which is a huge plus for me! 

I will definitely be heading back to San Antonio one day, and would love to explore more of the local area! We also overheard a boat tour saying that one of the restaurants was known for their 32oz margaritas, which is something I’d like to go back and try!! We’re in Fort Worth at the moment and have had a great couple days, I will update you all on what we got up to tomorrow 🙂 

Restaurants · travel

Day 20 & 21 of USA Road Trip – Houston, Texas 

The drive from New Orleans to Houston was messy. As I was driving, small splats of what looked like creamy liquid started hitting the windscreen. ‘What IS that?’, I asked Ewan. He told me they were bugs! Gross. When we stopped for petrol, we wiped off all the bug splats, only to have the car covered again 10 minutes later. We stopped at a Sonic Drive-Thru for lunch, and when I rolled down the window to place the order, there they were! Black bugs about the same size as flying ants were everywhere, and trying to get into the car! They were always attached in pairs which made them look so creepy. I freaked and had to park up and hide in the car while Ewan went to place the order. 

As soon as we had wifi, I googled to find out what they were. LOVE BUGS! They are only around twice a year and come in swarms. They can also take the paintwork off your car if you don’t clean them off quick enough! What a pain in the arse. Hoping we don’t get too many now that we’re out of Louisiana. 

When we finally got to Houston, we headed into town for a walk (free parking on Sundays!). It was super quiet everywhere except for Discovery Green, a big space with lots of kids play areas and a water fountain that you could run through. We got some gorgeous views of the city skyline from Tranquility Park (which was more like Tramp-quility Park to be honest) and checked out some huge fish at the aquarium. 

For dinner, we stopped at Pappas BBQ. They have loads of gluten free options, including almost all of their meats and sides, but make sure you tell them not to add bread to your plate! I went for the half chicken with green beans and yams (sweet potato). It was HUGE and the sides were delicious, but the chicken was a little… soggy? It tasted like what I imagine canned chicken to taste like, and that is obviously not a compliment. Ewan’s pork looked good though, so perhaps I just made a bad choice! 

We decided that we didn’t need to head back into Houston the following day, as we’d basically seen everything we’d wanted to see. Instead, we decided to drive to nearby Galveston for a beach day. It was really relaxing and a nice change of pace from the last few action-packed weeks! Once we were bored of the beach, we drove back to the hotel and chilled out by the pool. We tested out our underwater camera and it worked! 

For dinner we headed to the Mexican restaurant next to our hotel, Tampico. It was really random but actually pretty good! They give you the option of corn or flour tortillas so a lot of dishes can be made gluten free on request. I ordered the veggie medley because I definitely haven’t been eating my greens recently, but washed it down with an enormous Mango Margarita #balance. 

Today we only have a 3 hour drive to San Antonio. Looking forward to seeing more of Texas, but hoping not ALL Texas drivers are as crazy as the ones around Houston. It’s no wonder that so many of the cars we’ve seen on the road have dents in them!