Anywhere But Shreveport

Anywhere But Shreveport

Wonder Woman and MeI just got back from the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area on Sunday. I left Friday, May 18th and got back Sunday, May 27th and I stayed with my friend Mike in Grapevine, Texas. I had a lot of fun, which was mostly due to Six Flags Over Texas. I purchased a Season Pass here and Courtney, Mike, his girlfriend Heather, and I went there on various days. In total, I probably spent over 48 hours at the park.

Thankfully, I remembered to purchase Coppertone SPF 50 and I wasn’t burned. The rides at Six Flags Over Texas are absolutely amazing compared to any other amusement park or state fair rides I’ve ridden. They have the huge Titan (POV video) roller coaster which accelerates you to 85 miles per hour on its first 255 foot drop. The Superman Tower of Power lifts you 325 feet in the air straight up and drops you straight down. Batman: The Ride flips you around a bunch of inversions and barrel rolls all while being suspended on a reverse rail (hanging rather than sitting).

Mr. Freeze doesn’t use a track to lift you to a height; it just accelerates you to 0-70mph in 3.8 seconds from sitting still when you get on the ride using linear induction motors.

They had a bunch of other rides that were pretty cool but those were their awesome ones. I definitely got a lot of use out of my season pass and season parking pass. I strongly recommend buying the Flash Pass when going to Six Flags though, because it lets you pay for the privilege of cutting in line in front of everyone else. We rode more rides in the first two hours on the first day we used the Flash Pass than we did the entire day when we didn’t use the Flash Pass. That was a lesson quickly learned.

I even got to meet Wonder Woman as you can see above, who is lacking in a certain department. The astute readers will be able to figure out what’s missing if you’ve watched wonder woman cartoons or read the comics. I’m pretty sure she isn’t the real Wonder Woman, but who knows? I wouldn’t be able to see her plane if it was there.

Other than visiting Six Flags all the time, which is mainly what I did, I checked out various other local attractions when I needed to kill time while Mike was at work. Grapevine is a pretty awesome city and it’s right in the middle of Fort Worth and Dallas. I visited the Grapevine Mills Mall, which is a huge mall with a bunch of unique shops not found in Shreveport. I also went to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to see how paper money is made and go on a long walking tour and watch videos and demonstrations.

Visiting the planetarium of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History proved to be much less exciting than I remembered as a young child. However, I did ride the train from Grapevine to the stockyards in Fort Worth to visit the shops there. There is something soothing about a nice train ride in an open carriage. It started pouring rain at the stockyards while I was there, so I had to ride in the closed carriage on the way back, but it was air conditioned. There are just a ton of things to do in that city and surrounding area; even if I lived there, I don’t see how I could ever visit them all. I didn’t even get to go to the gun range there like I wanted to.

While in Grapevine, Courtney, Mike, and I decided to visit a restaurant called Bone Daddy’s. It was always packed and said BBQ on the sign, so we thought we’d check it out. I soon realized why it’s so packed when we walked inside and gave our name to the hostess (who was using a tablet running Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition). The waitresses and hostesses there wear very little clothing and are all extremely attractive. I’d like to see what their application process is like. The food was actually excellent (much better than hooters) and the service was great, both in appearance and quality. I definitely wouldn’t mind going there again, but of course we don’t have that in Shreveport either.

Secondarily, I gained an awesome appreciation of what a traffic system can be. Courtney claims Shreveport has excellent traffic for a city of its size, but I’m constantly frustrated here, hitting every damn red light on any given street. It’s as though nobody has put any thought into timing lights, or perhaps they have and they enjoy angering people. Traffic moves so smoothly in the DFW area, because everything is an interstate highway. While in 1 city, I was traveling on 121, 114, 635, 30, 35, 20, 175, 360, President Bush Tollway, and I can’t even remember the others. Getting somewhere may take awhile, but it doesn’t seem like it because the drive is so pleasant. Drivers there are also aggressive like me, so you’re not sitting behind old grandmas going 10 under the speed limit. Everyone speeds and there is almost no enforcement.

It’s times like these that lament the fact I live in Shreveport more than usual. Every time I get to visit a real city, as I have after visiting Baton Rouge, Dallas, Grapevine, Melbourne (Florida), and Orlando, I’m always saddened by the pitiful opportunities and attractions immediately available to me in Shreveport. I really want to move to a real city like the DFW area after I finish school. Unfortunately, that means another 30 after I finish my BS, so at least 42 more hours of school: about 2.5 years.

Since I drove my Ford Expedition to Dallas and Grapevine, it cost me a ton in gas and of course I was polluting the environment a lot, even though I’m carbon neutral thanks to credits I purchase from Carbond Fund. The day after I got back, Monday, May 28th, I decided to purchase a new vehicle. I bought a 2007 Hyundai Azera, Hyundai’s luxury model. I like it a lot, and it gets a lot better gas mileage than the Expedition. I’m hoping I can visit real cities more often, in order to stave off depression.

That was a long time between blog posts, but I’ll probably post one soon with pictures of the Azera. I’ve just been too busy to make meaningless posts like this one lately.

Author: Chris Benard

Chris Benard is a software developer in the Dallas area specializing in payments processing, medical claims processing, and Windows/Web services.