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The Super Bowl is in Dallas but Cowboys Still Play in Fort Worth

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

You can head to Dallas for the Superbowl but you have to wander over to Fort Worth (http://www.fortworth.com/visitors/superweek/) to experience cowboy Texas.   Cowboys Stadium in Arlington is only 12 miles away, directly east of downtown Fort Worth on Interstate 30. Fort Worth is a unique combination of big belt buckles, cowboy hats, two stepping and longhorns with a mix of contemporary food, museums and culture.

Make the Stockyards National Historic District (www.fortworthstockyards.org) your first stop and watch the twice-daily cattle drive along Exchange Avenue.  It’s a fascinating look at Texas for us city slickers, as the sound of hooves and moos echo off the cobble stoned streets.  The Longhorn herd drives take place at 11:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m under the direction of trail boss Kristin Jaworski who leads the city owned cattle for two blocks past shops, food and shops and all things Western.

Every Friday and Saturday night, the Rodeo takes place at Cowtown Coliseum in the Stockyards National Historic District.  (www.stockyardsrodeo.com).  This is real rodeo and Fort Worth locals come out to watch bull riding, bareback riding, tie down roping and barrel racing in air conditioned comfort.

While you’re at the Stockyards, take a leisurely horseback ride with AJ Abernathy and Harold “Rooster” Abram at the Stockyard Arena and Livery.  Head along the grassy banks of the western fork of the Trinity River as she wanders towards the skyscrapers of downtown Fort Worth.  An hour long gallop, canter or walk will set you back $40.

The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo (www.fwssr.com) takes place every January and February at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in the Fort Worth Cultural District. (www.fwculture.com)  The Cultural District is also home to five world-class museums including the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, the Kimbell Art Museum, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame.

The Fort Worth Science Museum recently opened its’ brand new $80 million facility in 2009.  It’s a hands on visit and exhibits range from dinosaurs to beautiful glasswork and lighting created from recycled and salvaged items by Bronx-born artist Warren Muller

And to prove that everything really is bigger in Texas, you have to stop at Billy Bob’s Texas (www.billybobstexas.com).  The parking lot is packed with big trucks, working trucks that dwarf my economy sized rental car.  Billy Bob’s is the world’s largest honky tonk and more than 6,000 people have been packed into the 100,000 square feet bar, restaurant and music hall.

Step inside and the live music and buzz of people loving line dancing, two stepping and racking up pool balls is overwhelming.  Pretty darn good bar-b-que ribs here or you can grab Texas sized steaks at Cattlemen’s Fort Worth Steakhouse or Hunter Brothers’ H3 Ranch.

Iron Chef Tim Love has Love Shack, a burger joint in Fort Worth and Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, an award winning, yummylicisious upscale western joint in the Stockyards is one of the most difficult seats to land in Fort Worth.

For Mexican food, stop by   Joe T Garcia’s, a staple of Fort Worth since 1935 and you can satisfy those sushi cravings you can’t ignore at Piranha Killer Sushi for traditional and nouveau sushi with an edge.

The only thing missing during Superbowl 2011 is a stop at the Texas Motor Speedway.  The track is dark till March, but NASCAR fans will have to return to Fort Worth, for a weekend of racing at one of the premiere racing tracks in the country.

Have You Been Naughty or Nice? 10 Last Minute Gifts for the Frequent Flyer on Santa’s List

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

What do you get the man or woman on the go this holiday season?  Well with time running short, here are a few gizmos, gadgets and garb for frequent fliers that are bound to leave them platinum-level happy come Christmas morning.

Eagle Creek has designed a suitcase and storage solution that erases the eternal question faced by travelers — check or don’t check luggage. The company’s “Pack it” folders and cubes are perfectly sized to neatly store dress shirts, slacks, dresses and shoes. Put your items in the cubes and move them around the suitcase till they fit perfectly, then wheel the well-made rolling bag onto your flight. No checked-bag fees, no lost luggage and no time wasted waiting for your suitcase when you land at your destination. Eagle Creek offers an infinite array of luggage choices that are lightweight, made incredibly well and backed with a no-nonsense lifetime warranty.

If you can’t fit it all in your bag, try travel clothing from Scottevest. The multipocketed, lightweight nylon shells are practically indestructible, look great, are water resistant and easily fold for packing. The beauty of the Scottevest is the number of pockets, although it’s sometimes difficult to remember what you put where. There’s a pocket big enough for a tablet device or netbook. There are cell phone pockets, music player pockets with conduits that neatly store wired headphones and keep you from getting tangled in them.

Tired of running out of laptop power just an hour or so after takeoff?  Energizer has found a great solution to keep most any electrical device, laptop, netbook or DVD powered up from New York to Europe. Its XP18000 is just 7 inches long, weighs less than a pound, adds up to four hours of work time to most laptops and will charge up to three devices at a time. The XP18000, at $139.99 with a $20.00 rebate till Christmas Day at J&R on Park Row in lower Manhattan, is less expensive than a replacement battery for most brands of laptops.

Those who have to carry multiple electronic devices and hate to pack different chargers and cables will appreciate the Chargepod, a small, central outlet that allows you to charge up to six devices at a time. The Chargepod ($59.95) comes with three different power tips and works in a wall outlet or an automobile charger.

Photo buffs in search of an alternative method for storing their pictures off their laptop will love Verbatim MediaShare, which offers 1 terabyte of Internet accessible storage space that can be accessed remotely by land line or wirelessly. The Verbatim MediaShare also makes it easy to create a sharable file or photo library and email friends and family, who can then view or download the photos directly from the MediaShare. You can select which images are viewable and which are downloadable by different people.  The Verbatim MediaShare is available at B&H Photo and Video for $119.95 until Dec. 31.

If you’ve ever had a 6 a.m. flight and slept with one eye open, hoping the 4 a.m. wakeup call actually comes from the hotel, then the Moshi Voice Control Travel Alarm Clock will provide a peaceful night’s rest. The device ($24.99) weighs less than 3 ounces, fits in the palm of the hand and has an easy-to-use voice activation with three distinct alarm choices.

Keep your feet comfortable during the flight with the Injinji Travel Series toesocks. The nylon and Lycra material gives frequent fliers light compression high up on their calves and helps keep circulation strong during long flights. The five individual toes provide a nice feeling, keeping your little piggies separated and well-cushioned.

Have a layover in a city you’ve never visited? Stop by Smartbox for a prepaid, nicely packaged collection of adventures, ranging from a culinary treat from Zagat to a spa visit to a getaway for two. Just select your activity, pick your book and order it online. When your book arrives, take the coupon to the hotel, spa or restaurant and redeem it for your adventure. You don’t pay a penny more, except gratuity.

True road warriors need, not want, the Casio G’zOne cell phone. It’s indestructible, waterproof, well-designed and is the most underrated mobile phone on the market. Built to military specs, the phone, available for use on Verizon, can withstand almost any punishment.

Lastly, intrepid explorers should sign up for an American Express Platinum card.  At $450 a year, it’s an expensive card, but at $450 a year, it’s an inexpensive membership to an airline club. While many Continental Airline fliers are upset about losing admission to their President’s Club next October, Amex has made up for it by arranging for access to US Airways clubs, no matter what airline you fly on.

We wish many upgrades to all, and to all, a good flight.