Boring old married couple goes to big city.
Y'all know my wife's a sculptor, right? Oh, she has "real job" to pay for bills and insurance, and such, but she's classically trained and has the tools and skills to make art out of clay, glass, bronze, brick, wood, leather, and maybe even stone, for all I know. She can also make a box of acrylic paints sing.
So I decided to surprise her with a trip to CowTown for the Fort Worth Main Street Arts Festival.
This is a yearly thing that Fort Worth has been putting on all my life. They close down the red brick avenue that is Main Street, and rent out stalls to artists that have to be good enough to pass a jury to get the privilege to spend a lot of money to get a 10'X10' piece of pavement. There are three or four stages for performers to put on free shows, and a very large kids' play area with lots of crafts and such for the kids to do, for free or almost free. In the past, we've brought the girls, and made a day of it.
Somehow Fort Worth knows how to make this work. If they tried it in Dallas, for all their bigger budget and larger infrastructure, they'd screw it up. Fort Worth manages to keep it clean, orderly, and clear of overly-obnoxious people. The police and security presence was obvious, but not at all intrusive. I never once saw a panhandler, even though I saw plenty of sidewalk performers with open music cases or hats on the ground. There's a distinction that I can appreciate. This event is a city-wide team effort, and the results are pleasing. There's no gated entry, and it's free.
This year, the surprise was that I ditched the girls, and reserved a hotel room at a decent old hotel that overlooks Main Street.
Because my wife and I are
This joint was swank, though. Pull up to the valet desk, leave your key in the ignition, pick up your receipt for your car, and go check in. I tipped the dude a buck, and he seemed happy for it. Later, when we came downstairs for our car, I showed my receipt, and an attendent ran into a giant elevator, only to emerge from it two minutes later in my car. He seemed happy enough with his buck, too.
We checked in, and discovered that we had two full sized beds in the room. Aw, crap. I had forgotten to specify a king. I looked at my wife, who was trying the mattress, and who looked over to me with a grin and said, "This is just fine!" See, we've been married for a decade, and the whole novelty of sleeping in the same bed is pretty well worn off, for the most part. Oh, we love each other, and are demonstrative and such, but honestly, we use separate blankets while sleeping in the same bed. She says I'm a blanket hog, and I know she's one.
That memory foam mattress rocks, by the way. You'll think it's too soft, at first. But it's not. I might just buy one.
The room overlooked the festival, and we enjoyed a drink while doing some people-watching, scoping out the street three floors below. Buildings across the way were built in the nineteen-teens through the thirties. Urban, in a charming kind of way.
We wandered the festival for some hours, and came back to the hotel for a swim and a soak before going out to dinner. We walked to Daddy Jack's, for bowls of lobster bisque. If you haven't tried it, do so.
That next morning, we broke our fast in the bakery downstairs, and wandered through the festival some more, checking out new upcoming artists and re-checking stuff we'd seen and liked the evening before, with fewer crowds. I bought a gift for a friend. The last thing that we looked at was the Best In Show winner. Lewis Tardy took that prize in a vast and highly-talented field of artists. This guy's stuff is amazing. Cyber-punk-robotic-tech kind of stuff, most of his pieces are about 3 feet tall. Lots of stainless, chromed, glass lenses, etc.
We hurried home for my wife's cake-decorating seminar, and I went to pick up the kids later.
I'm sorry to bore you with this episode of staid married life, but I gotta tell you-- it was the highlight of my month. My wife enjoyed it, too. I think we'll do it again.