Since we are just hanging out waiting for our coach to be fixed, we decided to make the best of it by taking in some of the local sights. Unfortunately, Dallas/Fort Worth is a huge metropolis, and going to either involves 40-50 miles each way from where we are in Krum/Denton. We've done 3 "touristy" things in the past week and a half. Unfortunately, cameras were not allowed at any of these places, so any pictures displayed were downloaded from the web.
Money money money
On Tuesday last week, we drove down to the Dallas Museum of Art, and took in the King Tut exhibit. I think it was back in the 70's when we went to the King Tut exhibit back in Los Angeles. We vaguely remember seeing lots of gold, including KT's gold coffin. This time around, we found the exhibit completely different. The museum's description is as follows: "The Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs exhibition displays works of art from royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings from the late 18th Dynasty (14th century B.C.). The main themes of the exhibition are Egyptian ideas of the afterlife; divine kingship; the Egyptian gods, including Pharaoh Akhenaten’s worship of the Aten sun disc; ritual objects of splendor; and the luxurious lifestyle of the ruling class in ancient Egypt, which was perpetuated in funerary art in order to ensure that the dead person lived well forever. The key role played by royal women and the importance of the family to Egyptians are also featured." Yawn...OK, we saw a lot of neat bracelets, necklaces, chests and chairs, but no bling. All-in-all, it was an interesting day out, but didn't quite live up to our expectations.
Brings back memories of Helms Bakery!
Last Thursday, we took a trip down to Fort Worth, to take a tour at Mrs. Baird's Bakery. Mrs. Baird started selling bakery goods in 1908 to supplement her income after her husband passed away. The business grew into a large local bakery. The tour itself was interesting - talk about rules and security: no cell phones, no cameras, no jewelry (including rings), no shorts, no opened toed shoes. And, we had to don hairnets (I got 2, one for the hair on my head, and one for my goatee!). The tour brought back memories of my college days, when I would often work a graveyard shift at the Barbara Ann Bakery in Pasadena, CA. They were making honey wheat bread during our tour - at the rate of 2000 loaves an hour! An interesting fact we learned was that each loaf of bread goes through a metal detector, just to ensure that nothing but bread is in that loaf! After the tour, our guide brought in 5 loaves hot off the line, cut them up, buttered them, and gave us a chunk. Very tasty! We've been buying Mrs. Baird's since we've been in Texas - they sell a loaf with very thick slices, just perfect for French Toast! The Baird story is quite interesting, check it out at: http://www.mrsbairds.com/ourstory/meet.html
Fort Worth Bureau of Printing & Engraving
Today we journeyed back down to Fort Worth, this time to visit the US Bureau of Printing and Engraving. This is where money is printed! As you can imagine, this tour also involves very tight security. No cameras or cell phones allowed here, for obvious reasons. The Fort Worth facility is on of two in the US; the other is in Washington DC. We really enjoyed this tour, and saw millions of dollars...of course, just out of reach!! They told us that most of what they make is just to replace what is out in circulation already. It's actually a very complicated process, and is getting more-so, as the government tries to stay ahead of counterfeiters. The design of denominations over $1 are changed every 7 years. Right now, they are getting ready to roll out a new $100 bill, and they have giant drapes that are put in place at various workstations so that tours can't get a clue as to the new design. We found the security features embedded in each denomination to be quite interesting. The inking machines are capable of using 14 colors, 7 on each side, at the same time. Check out this website (http://www.moneyfactory.gov/) for details. And, believe it or not, no samples after this tour!!
Money money money
This week we're also thinking about taking in a tour at the original Dr. Pepper factory and the Texas Motor Speedway. Hopefully the coach will get done and we can go someplace a bit warmer!