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Dallas is Da Bomb

We are driving to Austin right now, having spent the past three nights at our wonderful friends’ home. The Roths are like a second family to the Perkuls, even though we might not see them that often. We actually established that the Perkuls have known the Roths for 53 years. That’s kind of a long time. So even though the last time we saw them was about five years ago, it felt like it only was yesterday.

We spent hours reminiscing about old times, and catching up on gossip about the old neighbors. Now, bear in mind, these old times and old neighbors were from about 40-50 years ago!!!! Yet our memories are so fresh.

I even got a little tipsy from drinking one margarita at this awesome fish restaurant.

The other great part about Dallas is my mom flew in to stay with her old friend (Not that she’s old) and they got a chance to catch up also.

Leaving Dallas and saying goodbye to the Roths made me reflect on how such a special component of this trip has been seeing friends and family across the country. It has been so wonderful to see people that we haven’t seen in a long time. Each time we have stayed with people it has been the most fabulous experience. Everyone, without exception, has been so generous, hospitable, open, and FUN!!! We are so grateful and honored to have been welcomed with open arms by such wonderful friends and family.

So, shout-outs to Jenny, and Ruth and Leila, and Ricki and Hannah (and Jennifer), and Hope, Dave, and Jesse, and Renee, Bryan, Betty, Daniel, Nitzan, Matthew, and Irene!

Now my mom is with us on our road trip to Austin, and from there on to Houston. From there we turn north, and start heading for home.

While we were in Dallas, besides the awesome book talk that Renee hosted for me, and the great restaurants we ate in,

and the amazing dinner Renee and Bryan prepared for us and their whole family,

and the very long, engaging conversations we had over the few days, we also got out to see a few sights.

The two things we did were the AT&T Stadium, where the Dallas Cowboys play (that’s football, y’all) where they have a very impressive tour of the gigantic stadium,

And we also went to the George W. Bush Presidential Library, which was stunning and VERY interesting.

The things I liked about it were the following:

It portrayed George as a living, breathing human being with all his faults and foibles. It highlighted times of challenge for him, and even had a large room dedicated to a simulation in decision making about invading Iraq. Now it’s pretty clear that this was a very big mistake he made and he had some pretty lousy advisors. But, it gives people a chance to see how a circle of advisors present the president with conflicting information and a variety of opinions and how he has to make very hard decisions in the moment, not after, when things may become more clear.

The other thing I really liked was his post-presidency life where it shows how he has embraced wounded warriors and has made it his mission to help them. There was a very large exhibit of his paintings of the veterans and in-depth look at the men who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

There was a very moving exhibit about 9/11 and the aftermath and how this event defined his presidency.

There was also a very thorough exhibit about the election of 2000 and how it was the Supreme Court who actually forced the decision to end the recount in Florida, which then resulted in him winning the presidency. I guess what I’m saying is that he recognizes that he has weaknesses and that his presidency was not so perfect, he’s very self-deprecating, and seems to have a good sense of humor. It allowed me to have a good overview of him as a man, as well as a president. (where he was not so great) But, as we all can see, it could definitely be worse!

On a final note, our way to Dallas, we drove through Amarillo and saw this. Cadillac Ranch. Kind of an odd sight.

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