Driving down the middle of the country was something of a hurried affair for us, as we had a minimal amount of stuff to see in places like Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma. Nothing but corn, corn, corn. The abundance of corn in the region led to a steady supply of corn-based fuel, which led to us scratching our heads in confusion at the lopsided prices.
But before we left Oklahoma City, we wanted to see something to validate our drive through town. We settled on the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, which had a lot more to it than I expected. The building was massive, with gallery after gallery filled with artwork and artifacts. Much of the artwork was for sale, with price tags attached to them that I wouldn’t pay to free my own brother from a Mongolian prison.
Now, back east, we visited a handful of museums that prominently featured “period rooms” among their exhibits. A period room, for those of you who haven’t willingly experienced one, is just a room decorated in the style of a particular culture and era – for example, a Victorian dining room from the 1840s sounds boring enough to fall into that category. Every time we’ve paid money to enter a museum and encountered these boring rooms, I’ve muttered some string of gripes and groans before stomping past to something worthwhile.
At this here Cowboy Museum, they had not only a period room, but more of a small period town, an entire square in a nighttime setting, featuring everything you’d expect it to – a doctor’s office, a church, a school, and so on. This totally changed my opinion of the period room concept, because it belonged here as an educational tool. Still, the appropriateness of the concept here made all the other ones I’ve seen seem even stupider in comparison.
Once we had our fill of cowboy history, but before we drove over the Texas border, and our stomachs rumbled at us for their share of attention. Given our proximity to the state, it seemed important that we indulge in a little Tex-Mex – which is kind of a misnomer, considering it’s just Mexican cuisine with a few American ingredients. Regardless, we let Google show us a few local spots, and settled on the soon-to-be-fantastic Casa Juanito.
What a great decision. This place set us up with some massive quantities of food for very little money, less than ten dollars per person. I went with two enchiladas, one beef and one chicken, which came next to a mountain of rice and beans, and had a hard-shell taco on the side for good measure. Joey and Sarah got pretty much the same thing under a different name – the beauty of this type of food is that about ten ingredients make up about 90% of the individual dishes, just in varying shapes, sizes and ratios. But they’re all so good.
We made it to our hotel shortly thereafter and wasted no time in hitting the town, with help from a cab driver whose road rage was like something out of the Old Testament. He angrily drove us into the vicinity of a good Irish pub called Trinity Hall, where we eagerly took to the bar and enjoyed some delicious Guinness and authentic Irish music, as a warm-up for our main attraction next door.
Around 7:30 or so, we strolled over to Hyena’s Comedy Club, where we’d decided to enjoy a few laughs for the next few hours. A handful of different comedians would be taking the stage that night, starting with the host to get the audience going – for the life of me, I can’t recall his name. We paid a little extra to sit up front, which eventually resulted in the host binging me up on stage to give him a hug – whereupon he informed me that I was the “son he never had.” I’ve been using that line ever since.
Really, I’m kind of embarrassed that I can’t remember anyone’s name. I can’t say it’s entirely my fault – the venue held a two-drink minimum in return for their fairly low admission prices. So naturally, Joey and I went for the best value, which turned out to be the 24-oz. cans of Foster’s. I ordered my second a few sips before I finished my first, and a staff member came over and told me I couldn’t have more than two of them. Make up your mind, dude.
So we got a lot of good laughs, and filed our way back into a taxi, directing our driver (named AK, short for “African King”) toward our hotel. He drove us there cheerfully and left us off, where we soon discovered that we’d travelled to the wrong hotel. Got the name right, but there were several of the same chain of hotels in the area. Whoops. Another thirty dollars later, we successfully directed a new cab to the correct hotel, and finally called it a night.
Good day in Dallas, and big plans for the next. More on that from Joey, coming very soon.