In early July I took another trip back to Fort Worth to see Hiroko on the Fourth of July. I had an extra long weekend for the holiday, so I booked a flight via Spirit Airlines. I had never flown Spirit before, but reading the reviews online I was pretty wary of it. Surprisingly, though, it wasn’t bad at all. It was probably better than some of my Delta flights. Yes, the price for baggage is ridiculous, but if you’re traveling light you really can’t beat the deals. I got a super cheap ticket, flew out from MSP after work on Wednesday, and arrived in DFW around 10pm. Hiroko was waiting for me at the gate and we went out to get some food. We found a random karaoke bar in the area and had some fries and some drinks while watching people sing. No one was particularly good at singing, unfortunately.
It was already late when I arrived so we didn’t do anything after eating. The next day was the Fourth.
We didn’t have any particular plans for the day, so we got on Groupon to check out deals in the area. We found a really good deal for an Action City like place called Mount Asia that had go-carts and mini-golf. Great. We were off!
We arrived at Mount Asia and right away Hiroko wanted to go to the batting cage. That’s her favorite thing to do because she can hit things.
Then we played mini-golf, which was my favorite thing to do because I can beat Hiroko at it. Hiroko doesn’t like mini-golf because she always loses.
When we finished playing the 18 hole course, we went to the outdoor go-kart track. It was pretty cool because the go-karts were real, unlike the electric ones at Action City. It is a bit unbalanced though, my kart was definitely not as fast as Hiroko’s. It was pretty fun though, I haven’t driven an actual go-kart in a long time.
After Mount Asia we went to the store to get me a swimsuit for the pool (I forgot mine at home). We didn’t know when we were going to the pool, but wanted to be ready. Our plan for the evening of the Fourth was to go see the fireworks at Hiroko’s friend’s firework post. We would be able to get really great seats and see a nice view of the show. The following day, we were planning to have a cookout with her roommates. However, it turned out that the cookout was actually on the Fourth as well. So, we had to make a choice. We decided we would do the cookout and try and catch the firework show after that. To get ready for the cookout we stopped at the Kroger’s by her house and picked up a ton of snacks, beer, and a Fourth of July cake.
When we got back with the goods, her roommates had a bunch of people over and we sat and talked and ate. The guys started grilling the main dishes. Wow, those guys knew how to cook. The food was really, really good. It was a lot of fun, I think we got a bit carried away with eating and chatting because we started running late for the fireworks show. It turns out it would take us too long to get to her friend’s fireworks show, so we thought we’d try and make the show in Arlington Park. We got in the car and drove to the park, but there was just no spot to park. There were cars parked in every possible spot for a mile in every direction. We drove around a bit, the show started, we drove around some more and then the show ended… So we never got to really sit down and enjoy the show. That was kind of disappointing, but the show didn’t seem like it was all that great just judging based on what we saw from the car.
To deal with the disappointment of missing the fireworks show, we stopped at Kroger’s on the way home and got a fireworks kit. We wanted to get some sparklers, but they didn’t have any. We brought them home and we were going to light them off with everyone. We opened the box and got a little surprise. You can’t buy flammable fireworks in Texas from any store but a Fireworks store. All of the fireworks in the box were noisemakers, poppers, and crackers. Guess it just wasn’t in the cards for us to see fireworks this year. Regardless, we did use all of the “fireworks”. It was still fun.
The following day, we went to the pool (good thing we got that swim suit) and spent the majority of the day there. It was perfect weather for the pool. Actually, it was perfect weather for my whole trip (unlike last time). When we got tired of the pool, we went to Dallas to go to a restaurant that Hiroko really wanted to show me.
The restaurant she wanted to show me was called Tei-an, a Japanese soba restaurant. She ordered a ton of small dishes to go with the meal. I took pictures a lot of them, but my phone didn’t take very good photos in the low lighting of the restaurant. Here are some pictures of the food, though…
The restaurant was really fancy and in a fancy part of town. I enjoyed it, especially the bartender that refilled my glass every time it dipped below half full. The soba was worth the trip.
The next day, I wanted to go for a bike ride. I looked around online to see if there were any bike rental shops in the area. There were quite a few of them, one just on lake Grapevine. After a quick lunch at Taco Casa (or was it Taco Cabana? I don’t know there were a lot of Taco places…. Del Taco, Taco Beuno… Well, whatever one it was I highly recommend it. They had great street tacos.) Anyway, we went to Grapevine Bike Center to rent our bikes. They had some sweet mountain bikes that they gave us for the day. They even told us how to get to a couple of mountain bike trails.
We set out to take the trails. I actually mapped our ride on mapmyride and you can check it out by clicking the map below:
The mountain bike trails were really fun to ride on. It’s really fun to ride on dirt trails and have shocks and not have to worry about hitting pebbles like I would on my road bike. It’s really cool all of the different terrains a mountain bike can ride on.
The ride was a lot of fun, but Hiroko got really tired out. She stopped the ice cream truck down by the beach twice!
Wow, this post is getting really long so I’m just gonna skip right ahead to the next thing we did. We went to a Rangers game! We got tickets, bought some nachos, and Hiroko bought me a Texas Rangers shirt – one with her favorite player’s name on it (Yu Darvish). Here’s some shots of the stadium:
We left a bit before the end of the game because it was looking like the Rangers weren’t going to win and we wanted to beat the traffic. We stopped at On The Border (we went there last time, too. It’s super good). The service was excellent and the food was really good. I got stuffed jalapenos and I can’t recommend them highly enough! I want to try and make them on my own some time.
I flew back on Sunday afternoon. I actually got a free upgrade to the business class for some reason! Yeah, I gotta say I didn’t mind Spirit Air at all. It was a nice flight back, but kind of a bummer being back in Eau Claire after such a fun, long weekend. So ends the Fort Worth trilogy, hope you enjoyed it. I know I did. We always have so mun in Fort Worth!