Pumpkins at the Arboretum – Autumn is here!

One thing I really love about America is how the arrival of each season is celebrated wholeheartedly.

Autumn has now arrived in the northern hemisphere, so there are plenty of decorations around celebrating Fall and Harvest; with many scarecrows, hay bales and pumpkins! All the stores and so many porches and balconies around town are displaying their Fall decorations. It is wonderful!


Fall_signToday I went to visit the Dallas Arboretum with a friend to take a look at their Fall Festival, which features a huge pumpkin patch – with more than 75,000 pumpkins, squash and gourds. It was amazing! I had such a wonderful time; I just had to share – Here are a few photos:





I have been to the Arboretum twice before (one of which was for the Springtime bloom event) and it has been great every time. A visit to the gardens is truly delightful and there is something to see at any time of the year. If you are ever in Dallas – go; you won’t regret it. It also has a fabulous Children’s Adventure Garden for the kiddies (and adults).


Travel Newsletter Links

Under the heading of Travel Newsletters there are links to pages that contain  “newsletters” (in pdf format); these document some of our travels within the USA before I started this blog. It has come to my attention that since we swapped servers the links to the pdf travel newsletters were not working. I have now fixed these and all are working as they should – apologies if you tried to use them and they did not work!

The newsletters include Oklahoma City, Tulsa, San Antonio, Seattle, Las Vegas, Arizona, Arkansas , New York, Memphis , Fort Worth and Dallas if you are interested.

24hrs in Dallas

Just a quick post about our trip to Dallas last weekend. We visited a park, an Art Museum, an underground restaurant, the Farmers Market and the Arboretum.

So, although not the best weekend – overcast and rainy – we headed to Dallas for a quick break.

Klyde Warren Park

Klyde Warren Park

After checking in at The Fairmont in the Dallas Arts District we headed off to check out Klyde Warren Park (had heard a bit about it and it is ranked No. 6 in TripAdvisor’s list of things to see/do in Dallas). It is a 5-acre green space built over the Woodall Rodgers Freeway in the middle of the ‘concrete jungle’ of Downtown Dallas. I didn’t think this was anything too flash (there wasn’t too much going on when we were there), but I am sure it would be great in summer or on any lovely sunny day. A nice spot to relax, for the kids to play, listen to music, dine or even exercise the dog.

Following on from the park, just across the road, we took a look at some of the exhibits at the Dallas Museum of Art. Not just art, but ancient pottery and gold, sculptures, etc. It is an interesting place (we enjoyed it) and a really good way to spend an hour or two (particularly on a wet, bleak afternoon), and it’s free!


Dakotas Steakhouse – looking outside

Saturday night, we went to Dakota’s Steakhouse, a great underground restaurant just about 100 metres from our hotel – a wonderful find! Take the elevator from street level down to the delightful, somewhat upmarket restaurant that is completely underground. The history of why this is so is very interesting – it has to do with the church – read about it here. Part of the restaurant is open to the elements with a lovely garden, and waterfall fountain, which is lit up at night. This would be fabulous in summer when the doors are open and the roof is retracted. The complimentary bread served with balsamic olive oil was delicious and the pre-dinner cocktails were yummo! Dinner was divine (we both had the fillet steak) – I have not had a bad steak yet in Texas, and this was one of the best; the sides were equally great. Don’t miss this place if ever you are in Dallas – it’s a bit pricey, but really good!

The Dallas Farmers Markets were something we had heard a bit about and were told that they were great – so we took ourselves off to see them Sunday morning, walking across the city, figuring parking might be difficult. Since Dallas is a large city with a population of more than 1 million, I was anticipating something like the produce section of the Queen Victoria market in Melbourne (if you have been there, you will know they are fantastic). Unfortunately, I was disappointed – there was only one shed, consisting mainly of fruit and vegetable vendors and granted, they were very good, but even Newcastle Farmers Markets could out-do what Dallas offered.

Our final stop was at the Dallas Arboretum where we spent the afternoon before driving home. The sun came out and it was a spectacular afternoon. With Spring having sprung, the Dallas blooms were stunning. The tulips, daffodils and hyacinths provided a feast for the senses – the scent was heavenly and the colours provided a visual feast. This was our second trip to the Dallas Arboretum and it is definitely worth the trip and it is beautiful at any time of the year.

Hyacinths at The Arboretum

Hyacinths at The Arboretum

Texas Longhorn!

Texas Longhorn at Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens