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50 States, Day 331

  Austin to Fort Worth, 192 Miles

"The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out."
~Thomas Babington Macaulay

Texas being Texas sports the biggest Capitol after their 650,000 s.f. extension, and it's taller than the nation's Capitol (14 feet, like they just HAD to make it taller), yet takes second place in height to Louisiana. Sunset Red Texas granite makes the building quite distinctive. 

Since Texas was dirt poor in 1885, rather than contract it, they traded 3 million acres of land in the panhandle to the builder, who used it to create the huge, Texas-style XIT Ranch. The cost wold have been $3.7 million. Hats off to the contractor, who acquired all that land for a buck and change an acre.  

Since they recently built the Extension, the Capitol still conducts business and the Senate bore evidence of that, as Very Important People listened to people presenting their causes. The Supremes of course have moved out, taking their wisdom and decisions elsewhere. 

We drove straight to the place, and a visitor's parking garage provided a spot for Libby. Nice, since they were dedicating a Vietnam Memorial today, with vets, flags and politicians blathering and chest pounding. We toured the building and missed the twenty-one gun salute, dangit. Never seen one. 

Sarah the tour guide did pretty well, but fell short of what was available. So we toured ourselves afterward and snuck into the Governor's Reception Room, where I demanded to see Governor Rick Perry. You must admit Texans are friendly, as the security detail, packing mace, tazer and pistol, didn't haul me off in handcuffs, but saw my humor. Whew. 

Time for trivia. We've all heard of Six Flags Over Texas, but what does that mean? It's the six different flags that have flown over Texas, including the Mexican flag, Confederate flag, Republic of Texas, and state of Texas flags. Plus a couple others. 

And another trivia. During sessions, Senators can speak for as long as they like, subject to the following; they must stay on subject, they must stand and not lean or sit on their desk, and no food or drink. Perfect. 

We headed out and got free parking, apparently squeezing out under the two hours. Off we went to Fort Worth, and while the weather was quite sunny and pleasant, mid-fifties makes for a cumulative cool ride. But traffic was light, and everyone drove like they knew what they were doing. Although we already have a good candidate for Stupid Driver of the Week. 

And now, warmed and rested, Quilter Girl!

I enjoyed this Capitol with its pink granite.  The inside is not as decked out as some, but the terrazzo floors were nice with great ideas for quilt squares.  I think this was the easiest capitol to find and get back to the freeway, parking was easy also.  

After our tour, we hopped on 35 north and rode for a couple of hours until hunger finally got to us.  We got off the freeway at West, Texas (I am not kidding) and had a fine lunch at a local bar and grill.  Catfish for Kevin and Chicken Fried Steak for me.  It was not an adventurous menu, we had a good salad and a giant baked potato.  We watched FOX news and Kevin didn't rant once, maybe the trip has mellowed him.  Back to 35 to finish our trip to Ft. Worth.


Tomorrow, we tour the Stockyards. No idea what they are, but people recommend them.    


Mel said...

QG said, "Kevin didn't rant once." Well, we're all hoping he's feeling better, and back to his normal self soon!

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

I was rusty... Couldn't keep up with the big words.

Pam said...

Be prepared to....Hold your nose.... because usually Stockyard means hundreds of cattle and smelly poo!

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

We blew it off anyway. Gotta go! Besides, the website made it look like shops 'n bars, and most of the events are on weekends. Like a rodeo. Wished we could see one of them!