Sometimes, the day just rolls by with unpredictably and you smile and on other occasions cringe at each event and accept it as it happens.
Today was just one of those days.
The hotel organized a shuttle to the train station a short distance away and I planned to go to Fort Worth. I’ve been there before, and yes its touristy, but sometimes you just need a little tourist delight in your day. The train appeared shortly after I arrived at the station. A great big white two-story train bearing down on me with a boom of the whistle and squealing of wheels.
I was trying to buy my ticket and the ticket machine kept spitting my money back at me as if knowing I was an Aussie lass….. and in desperation I asked the conductor to help me, but the train was taking off so he shepherded me the through the door and it shut with a resounding clang and he said. “Sorry the ticket machine is faulty” (wink. wink)
Oooh, I’m riding illegally, but I settled down, observed the other passengers in the cabin and in half an hour we were in Fort Worth. My plan was to go buy a ticket to cover the train up and back, I think its $3.50 but the connecting bus to the Stock Yards was already there and about to depart. I jumped on and pulled out a $5 bill, “don’t you have change” the driver said, “how many of you” “only me,” I said, she just smiled and indicated for me to go on the bus, goodness, the second time today….
So once again, I was traveling free. I felt a little uncomfortable at my situation, but it was what it was. It was one of those happening things.
On the bus, I observed a group of people who had been dismissed from Jury Duty board the bus. They chatted about their situation, the jurors selected and left behind and all of them had the tag ‘juror’ in big letters attached to their being like an unstable number plate They were being delivered by the bus to the nearby parking lot. I felt like a voyeur but you couldn’t help hear the conversation it was projected quite loudly.
My stop. I got off the bus and the driver called me back, “Ma’am, take this” and she handed me a day ticket, “someone left it on the bus, you might as well use it”
Oh my goodness. “Thank you” I spluttered in my surprise. It was a ticket valid until 11.00 pm. I could ride the bus free all day if I felt so inclined.
It was hot and humid, no need for moisturizer today, and I began to walk down the streets and alleys.
I photographed the things I was fascinated by and commonplace for others. Maybe no one is interested in a cracked window or a red iron ceiling, but I love it, so click away I did.
As I mentioned, it was hot and humid and large black fans spread water particles to the masses walking by. A man of advanced years stood in front of it and captured the cool, his hair glistening with diamonds of mist when he left.
Everyone began to line the street and a man in a cowboy outfit made sure we were all on the pavement. A movement and about 30 gracious beasts came towards me like an ancient ritual parade, huge horns extending their majesty.
I spent a few hours wandering, observing, eating lunch and then I caught the bus back to the station with my ‘given’ ticket. I decided to get out in down town Fort worth, I had been told it was lovely and indeed it was. I found a beautiful ‘Johnny Was’ Quilt Teachers silk jacket, some Mexican cups and I stopped and bought a Frappucino from Starbucks, the icy coffee freezing as it slid down my throat and giving me a brain freeze.
Children played in a large flat fountain while parents watched under the shade of umbrellas.
I stumbled upon the Sid Richardson Museum and went inside to a delightful Gallery.
The Sid Richardson Museum, a Fort Worth art museum located in historic Sundance Square, features permanent and special exhibitions of paintings by the premier Western artists, Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell. The works, reflecting both the romance and reality of the American West, are the legacy of the late oilman and philanthropist, Sid Williams Richardson. Most were acquired by him from 1942 until his death in 1959.
Buffalo Runners – Big Horn Basin by Frederick Remington 1909.
Walking allows you more freedom to explore, and find gems to photograph.
I figured I would walk to the station, but I wasn’t sure how far it was or when the next train to Dallas departed.
I noticed a Mooey bus or something like that. It was a free shuttle bus round the city and I knew he would go to the station…. so he stopped for me and my frappucino and I was delivered in due course to the station.
I took my free ticket to the ticket box and she said, Oh, you need to add another 75 cents to get to Dallas. Gees, its cost me 75 cents for the days travel.
The train was an hour away and I sat down to people watch…. Oh No where was my parcel of purchases. I went back to the ticket office, no it was there. Then I ran to the Mooey bus and reported that I had left it on there. I had heard the driver say it was his last run. I asked the driver of the next bus and she said to ask the ticket office to ring the Mooey office. Which I did,my parcel was there and was delivered to me in time to catch my train. Whew. fabulous service and all with good humor and a smile.
Waiting for the train, I had fun trying to sit on the ‘resting seats’ Shaped in a semi conical design, you are sort of supposed to rest your butt cheeks on them and wait… I could only get my back rested against them… I thought it was hilarious. I looked up to see fake owls hanging from the cover of the open station. Birds beware.
Back on the train with my ticket at the ready to show the guard when I heard raised voices in the carriage. A man had got on the train without a ticket, he was pleading that he had no money to the guard and patiently he was told he was going to be given a citation and that the police would be at the next station. I was getting off at the next stop so I asked the guard if I could give him my ticket. He smiled and I gave my given ticket to the man ask I walked past. He mumbled thanks and was embarrassed.
Just as I disembarked, there was a huge clap of thunder and a storm appeared out of nowhere, I rang my hotel for a shuttle. “5 mins Ma’am” but an hour later, with the rain gone, I began walking back to the hotel after 4 phone calls and a guarantee that the driver had been waiting for me and I wasn’t there…. Rubbish.
So there I was walking in the mud from the downpour, along the freeway verge with no path and a slew of onlookers. That’s an interesting occupation too, I tell you.
What a day, I rate it as fabulous.