Don’t Mess with Texas! (And that summer heat!)

Welcome to Fort Worth!

Part 1: This will be a two parter for my trip to Kansas City for the awesome Sara and Andrew’s wedding! I decided to take the long way to KC by making a pit stop in Fort Worth, TX to pick up “cousin” Hillary (who was also invited to the wedding).

Upon arriving in DFW airport at 10pm on Wednesday, Hillary got me the heck out of Dallas and over to her hometown of Fort Worth. I’ve been to Dallas before, but never to Fort Worth so I was excited to see a new city! We drove through TCU’s campus (where Hillary went to college) and it’s beautiful! Most (if not all?) the buildings use the same tan brick so it has that beautiful collegiate feel.

Since there isn’t much open for dinner at 11pm on a week night our dinner options were limited, but Hillary took me to Fuzzy’s Taco Shop near TCU. I learned from our friend Katie that Fuzzy’s is a popular college restaurant, and there is one near my hometown of KC  in Lawrence (KU). Fuzzy’s was delicious!! Hillary and I devoured their amazing white cheese queso!

And the night wasn’t over yet! Next, we stopped by The Usual, a trendy little bar in a quaint neighborhood that specializes in old time cocktails! I tried the French 75 (a champagne drink), a recommendation from a regular at the bar, and it was amazing! I could’ve drank several of those!

a French 75 and a Cosmopolitan

Then we headed for bed to rest up for our full day of adventures on Thursday! We started off Thursday with grabbing breakfast at Central Market. It reminded me a lot of Bristol Farms in Los Angeles. A great place! Then we headed to the Fort Worth Stockyards for their cattle drive! My very first cattle drive might I add. And the last remaining daily cattle drive in the country. It’s a remembrance of  Texas’ rich cattle history and the bygone era of cowboys and the Old West.

Fort Worth Stockyards

Here come the cattle!

Yeehaw!

Hook ’em!

Bye longhorns!

After watching the longhorns do their thing, we toured the Stockyards Station, which essentially looks unchanged from the 1800s. Through the narrow streets of Stockyards Station there are plenty of stores, restaurants and museums to keep you entertained. I bought dad a pretty cool John Wayne painting at one of the stores. There was definitely no shortage of John Wayne memorabilia and Western souvenirs! Also, through the middle of it runs the Tarantula Train, which still runs today. And Hillary guesses the name “Tarantula” stems from the fact that the train runs really really slow through Stockyards Station. Sounds good to me!

Stockyards Station

Tarantula Train

Some of the stations in the back that are empty. This is pretty close to how they looked 100 years ago.

Pens

If you are curious about the pens…

Shops at the Stockyards…I should have got me some real cowgirl boots here!

More cool shops

Our next stop was a tour of Thistle Hill. The home was built for Electra Waggoner, the daughter of one of Fort Worth’s wealthiest cattle baron’s, as a wedding present. Electra had met her husband Albert Buckman Wharton, a prominent Philadelphian, in Kathmandu in 1901, and they married in 1902. What a cool story to tell your kids: “oh your father and I met while we were casually touring the Himalayan mountains in our youth.” Electra was very fortunate to meet a man that matched her family’s extensive wealth back in those days.

Thistle Hill was finished in 1904.

Only a few of these mansions remain today in the neighborhood which originally featured many many mansions 😦

The original columns were wood and Mr. Scott replaced those with these much more magnificent ones

The porch used to wrap all around the house but Mr. Scott had that removed.

Front door

Hillary and I waiting for the tour to start.

Thistle Hill is located in the wealthy residential district known as Quality Hill (I’m pretty sure every city has an affluent neighborhood called Quality Hill haha) and quickly gained a reputation for lavish entertainment. Electra and her husband loved to throw parties, and that is one of the reasons for the home’s gigantic entrance hall and grand staircase. (We were not allowed to take pictures inside). Sadly though they did not live in the house for long because Electra wanted her son to grow up on  a ranch, and so they sold the house to friends of her parents Mr. and Mrs. Scott in 1911. Mr. Scott did not like the exterior of the home so the home went through extensive remodeling to change the front from Colonial to Georgian Revival. But unfortunately Mr. Scott did not live to see the finished product. Though, Mrs. Scott and their son still moved into the home and occupied it until 1938, when Mrs. Scott passed away. The son then sold it to the Girls Service League who occupied the home until 1968 when they put it up for sale. In 1976 the mansion sold to a group of citizens attempting to save the mansions on Quality Hill, and they restored the property before gifting it to Historic Fort Worth in 2005, which continues to restore the opulent home.

The pergola and tea house that Mrs. Scott added

The back of Thistle Hill

The carriage house/garage. Thistle Hill was built during the transition period of cars and horses. Therefore, this building accommodated both cars (to the left) and horses and the carriages (to the right). This was one of the few carriage houses built for both at the time, and also one of the last left in it’s original condition today.

Since our tickets were a two for one deal, we decided to also go and tour the
Ball-Eddleman-McFarland House across the street. This home gets it’s name from the three women who occupied the home. It was built in the Victorian style in 1899 on a high hill overlooking the river and is a part of Quality Hill. The home was originally built for Sarah Ball but she only lived there a very short time before it was purchased by William Eddleman in 1904 after Mrs. Ball passed away.  Eddleman’s daughter, Carrie McFarland, lived in the home until her death in 1978 at the age of 99. She was the homes longest living resident and therefore the home remained mostly in it’s original design. In 1979, the home was purchased by the Junior League of Fort Worth and then by Historic Fort Worth that also owns Thistle Hill.  Both of these mansions feature lots of wood work (in the floors, walls, fireplaces, ceilings, etc) which is reminiscent of the craftsman style.

Ball-Eddleman-McFarland House

The grand front porch of the Ball-Eddleman-McFarland House

The entry hall. Not as large as Thistle Hill’s but still very large for the time period. This home as well as Thistle Hill were at the start of the trend of homes being built with large entry halls for a grander reception area.

This is the receiving room to the right of the front door where the guests waited.

The ceiling of the entry hall showcases the craftsman style with all the intricate wood work.

Both this home and Thistle Hill were equipped with electric and gas systems. Since electricity was so new at the time, they weren’t sure of it’s reliability, and thus gas was still installed as a back-up.

The parlor: Since Ms. McFarland lived on her own she added more feminine touches to her parlor.

The unique rail train lighting system in the ceiling of the parlor.

The dining room

Back area of the home. One of the first questions our tour guide asked us is if either of us was married. Upon learning that we are both single, she offered up her single son lol. Then throughout the tour she insisted that Hillary and I must get married here. She even gave Hillary a pamphlet before we left. 🙂

After our historic home tours, we ate at my favorite BBQ place in Texas, Spring Creek! (well I haven’t really been to any others, but I love this one so much!) My tummy was very happy after we left here! I essentially repeated my meal from when I ate at the Spring Creek in Houston in February. BBQ beef sandwich, green beans, and of course, coconut cream pie! YUM!

After our late lunch Hillary showed me around the art museum district in Fort Worth. We viewed the permanent exhibit at the Kimbell Art Museum, which includes works by Michelangelo, Picasso, Matisse…it was pretty cool!! Next we watched a film about the Titanic at the Omni IMAX Theater. Though the film was a bit dated and just plain weird at times haha, it still provided interesting facts about the Titanic that I didn’t know and the Omni Theater is pretty awesome in itself! Plus, Hillary used to work there so that was fun to see! (If you ever get the chance to watch the documentary Titanica do it! Especially with certain beverages of the vino variety… http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105601/)

Forth Worth Museum of Science and History. The Omni Theater is to the left.

“with an eight-story domed screen and 30-degree stadium seating, [the Omni] remains the largest IMAX dome in the United States west of the Mississippi River. The Omni’s 120-foot-wide screen places the audience in the center of the action, producing a sensation much closer to real-life than a conventional movie theater.”

Next, Hillary drove me through downtown Fort Worth which was a charismatic area! If we had more time I definitely would have liked to spend some time in downtown. Lastly, we ran some errands and then headed back to Hillary’s house to pack up our stuff for our next journey to Kansas City. Before leaving Fort Worth we stopped by the very charming area Montgomery Plaza for dinner! Then we drove the 3 hour drive to Oklahoma City for the night!

Downtown Fort Worth

More charming downtown

Part Two Coming Soon!

7 Comments on “Don’t Mess with Texas! (And that summer heat!)

  1. Kayla, you are quite the tour guide yourself. I felt like I was there with you. I really enjoy your adventures.

  2. Pingback: These boots are made for walkin’! | Wherever Life Takes Me

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