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Holland, days 1 and 2

April 22, 2022 1 comment

Our 15 hr. travel day from Dallas to Utrecht was quite uneventful, except for for a mad dash in Heathrow. Got to the Hampton in Utrecht and checked into the smallest hotel room ever. But it’s got a good shower and bed.

Met brother-in-law Jaap and niece Els for a wonderful dinner. A new concept, a high end kitchen serving small gourmet dishes. Fixed price for as many as you can eat. Only limit was that you could order only two at a time. I recommend it, try http://www.deutrechter.nl for full info. Then to bed with a time zone interrupted sleep.

Got up this morning and a short walk on the market. Yes, cheese, fish, and street food a plenty. But didn’t eat much, still absorbing last night’s meal.

Took Els’s advice and visited the University of Utrecht’s Botanical Gardens (she works at the university). Site of an old army fort that is now preserved as part of the garden. The walk to the top, maybe only two stories high, did give a good view. Probably one of the few times we got above sea level 😀.

Back to the hotel with some fast food to tide us over until dinner. Transportation is so quick, easy and cheap in Holland….. no car needed. A relaxing dinner is planned tonight, then on to more family fun tomorrow.

Nasher Sculpture Center

Located in the heart of the Dallas Arts District, the Nasher Sculpture Center is home to the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, one of the finest collections of modern and contemporary sculpture in the world, featuring more than 300 masterpieces by Calder, de Kooning, di Suvero, Giacometti, Gormley, Hepworth, Kelly, Matisse, Miró, Moore, Picasso, Rodin, Serra, and Shapiro, among others. On view in the light-filled galleries of the Renzo Piano-designed building and amid the garden grounds is a rotating selection of works from the Collection, as well as important exhibitions of modern and contemporary sculpture.

The museum was designed by world-renowned architect Renzo Piano, in collaboration with landscape architect Peter Walker, to seamlessly integrate the indoor galleries with the outdoor garden spaces, creating a museum experience unlike any other in the world. The 55,000 square-foot building and 1.4 acre sculpture garden occupy a city block in the heart of the Dallas Arts District.

Romola and I even were able to be integrated into some sculptures. Can you find us?

After visiting the sculpture Center we walked to the Clyde Warren Park, built right over top of the freeway. Lots of food trucks, but we enjoyed a leisurely lunch at Mi Cocina in the park.

Fair Park Architecture

March 16, 2022 Leave a comment

Today was our third tour of Dallas Architecture put on by the AD EX organization. This time, we were accompanied by our friends Larry and Naomi Shirey.

Fair Park is a recreational and educational complex located immediately east of downtown Dallas. The 277-acre area is registered as a Dallas Landmark and National Historic Landmark; many of the buildings were constructed for the Texas Centennial Exposition in 1936. Fair Park has been designated a Great Place in America by the American Planning Association.

Much of the complex was built for the 1936 Centennial Exhibition. It is still the largest single entity Art Deco facility in the country. It is the home of the State Fair of Texas, the Cotton Bowl, and a variety of community events.

Main Street Architecture

March 14, 2022 Leave a comment

Our AD EX tours continued today, this time of the major buildings on Main Street.  This encompassed most of the entire history of Dallas, from the original founding by John Deely Bryan to today.

Unlike Europe, here it’s all recent history, dating back only to the 1850’s.  From skyscrapers by American Pritzker winners Philip Johnson and I.M.Pei, to a hemicycle theater by Frank Lloyd Wright, and a 1970s-era observation tower named Reunion, Dallas architecture says it all. A tour of the city is a fun-filled crash course on designs by world-class architects.

Much of the history is in hotels and banks. There was huge competition to outdo the last building, resulting in one-upmanship in height, materials used and so on. In fact, at one time Dallas had the county’s largest building (Federal Reserve, 1914).

And part of the fascinating history is learning about how the buildings were used, or not used. There are several major buildings (including what is now the Statler Hotel) that were vacant for years and even decades before they were updated and repurposed.

It is almost impossible to photograph these building from the ground, the perspective makes images appear distorted. Nevertheless, I’ve enclosed some pictures to give you an idea of the buildings.

Side note: St. Patricks day is being celebrated in Dallas today, so you may see the occasional green in my pictures… especially of the AT&T Plaza!

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Arts district architecture

March 14, 2022 Leave a comment

We recently learned about the AD EX (Dallas Architecture and Design Exchange) organization.  This group gives low cost tours of Dallas area neighborhood for interested people. We joined them for the walking tour of the Dallas Museum of Arts district.

The AD EX Dallas Arts District Architecture Walking Tour examines buildings and developments from the 1890’s to the present day. Led by a trained tour guide, we explored the architectural detail of the District (including the designs of four Pritzker Prize laureates) as well as the institutions, individuals, and visionaries who are a part of this neighborhood’s fascinating story.

We’ve lived in the DFW area for almost 40 years, and this is the first time we really learned about the rich history of the Arts District. We’re looking forward to more tours to come.

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Dallas Blooms

March 14, 2022 Leave a comment

The Dallas Arboretum is one of our favorite places to take a walk. As a bonus, there is always something going on, and this time it was Dallas Blooms.  This is where the Arboretum showcases their new plantings, and many flowers and plants are in bloom. But I think the late spring and cold temperatures made the flowers later than usual.

There was a lot of work going on with new planting, and even some construction work with new concert viewing areas. Quite a few flowers were already showing blooms, although we think it will be much better in a few weeks.  Maye we’ll have to plan a return visit.

In fact, we will be back, as we have signed up for several concerts in the park.  Let’s hope for good weather!

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Museum of Art

March 14, 2022 Leave a comment

We’ve never gone much to the Dallas Museum of Art, probably never.  That was for two reasons: lack of time and the distance from Lewisville to the DMA.  But now that we live in Mesquite, those restrictions are no longer valid, so we went for our first visit to the DMA.  Also, it was free, but parking was $15 :)….

That place is huge.  It would take weeks to visit all exhibits, and when you’re done, you can start over because exhibits keep being updates.  So we just used this visit to get a lay of the land, and learn the best way to get there and view the exhibits.

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Oregon Coast

August 1, 2019 Leave a comment

The last few weeks have been terrific to be on the Oregon Coast. Temperatures in the low 50 overnight and high 60 daytime, beats the Texas heat wave anytime! But all things come to an end and we are moving to Washington Sate and a cruise to Alaska. But before we go, a few pictures from the Florence, Seaside and Astoria areas of the Oregon Coast

Playing in sand

July 13, 2019 1 comment

Right next to our RV Park in Oregon are the Oregon Sand Dunes. One section is used for hill climbs, and all day long you hear the souped up motors rev up. Fortunately, they close the dunes at dark so we have quiet at night.

It is fun to watch them though, they really take this stuff seriously. And if you can’t afford a bike or a dune buggy, you can buy a ride in one. Fun!

Badlands, North Dakota

Theodore Roosevelt visited the Badlands as a 24 year old and was so impressed he is now considered one of the founders. Today, there is a National Park and the tourist city of Medora. We decided to spend an extra day here on our way West.

We had dinner at the Pitchfork Fondue, where they take a 12oz NY strip steak, put it on a pitchfork, and fondue it in hot oil. It is then served with all the trimmings, buffet style. We were impressed with the quality of the food, and the steak in particular. But we ate quick as it was cold and very windy.

We also bought tickets to the Medora Musical, a huge outdoor amphitheater where an evening’s entertainment of song, dance and comedy made for a pleasant evening, all in a magnificent setting. The setting sun in particular lent to an impressive performance.

We managed to get in a fair bit of hiking and walked some of the many trails in the Roosevelt National Park. The area certainly lives p to its reputation… the Dakota Badlands. Here are some pictures of our visit.