Red Bellied Woodpecker - ATXtraveler's Bird Guide
Recently, I have been enjoying a little "birding", so I am going to start including them in the general section of my travels.
In Dallas, I observed this Red-Bellied Woodpecker, a species that is common to most of America, however seems to be a little more prevalent in the southern states. The woodpecker enjoys the bark around my backyard, however I was lucky enough to catch him enjoying a little free feed off my bird feeder.
Woodpeckers have become rather famous due to a cartoon, Woody Woodpecker. Woody was famous for his laugh, and still to this day I can hear it in my head. This woodpecker was not quite as loud as Woody though!
What is up with those hub-cap belt buckles?
Actually, as with most things here, the bigger, the better. Belt buckles are awarded to top Cowboys and horsemen, some of whom make a living doing what they love. It is a badge of courage and skill, if you will. Often if you look carefully, and quickly unless youre um, otherwise interested in said person, you will read the name of the competition, event, and sometimes the placement results (4th overall, Saddle Bronc, Mesquite Championship Rodeo, 2004). Feel free to ask the story behind the buckle...it may have been won by a favorite grandfather (if somewhat dated), he may have ridden an "unridable bull" or what not. Generally referred to as a "trophy buckle".
Lone Star Park Horse Racing
Home to the Breeder's Cup a few years back Lone Star Park is a good time waiting to happen. For men, women, or even children of all shapes and sizes. A BEAUTIFUL race park with an even more impressive simultcast building. Prices for food and drink can be a pretty penny but find a night where there are $1 drinks or cheap beer. The night we went even had live music in between the races. As long as you don't gamble away your vacation money then it really is a nice night out.
General Parking $3.00
There are nicer seats upstairs but you pay more for those. I actually had more fun being on the general admission grounds and listening to the music, walking around, etc. Bring the local newspaper for commentary on the horses and local favorites. Bring pens and pencils to do your betting! Bring binoculars if you wanna watch outside. You can bring your own folding chairs if you want to sit in some of the grassy areas outside. If you are going to be outside make sure to include hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc for hot weather.
Mary Kay Cosmetics...
Mary Kay Cosmetics manufacturing plant
1330 Regal Row
Dallas, TX 75247
If you've ever wondered how lipstick is made, you're in luck – you can find out during a tour of the Mary Kay Cosmetics manufacturing plant. Even if you've never wondered such a thing, the answer might be more interesting than you'd think.
At the 275,000-square-foot Mary Kay plant, you can watch the process in action as assembly-line workers, conveyor belts and giant-size vats go to work. Various creams and foundations are mixed in kettles so tall that cranes are needed to pour in the ingredients. Empty bottles parade past on conveyor belts as steel nozzles move up and down like carousel ponies, filling each container as it rolls by. After a perfume bottle is filled, the sprayer has to be put in by hand, and then it's tightened by machine.
The lipstick line might remind you of the ''I Love Lucy'' episode in which Lucy and Ethyl attempt to wrap factory candies. Here each ''bullet'' that comes down a conveyor belt has to be put into the tube by hand. The belt moves so quickly that it's amazing the workers don't get behind.
Guided tours of the factory are free, but space is limited, so be sure to make reservations in advance.
Super Shopping in Dallas!
The Dallas Galleria is a multi-level shoppers dream! The bottom level contains restaurants and popular ice skating rink (pics 2-3); the upper two levels offer additional shopping, eateries and a children's play area...get the idea?
You'll find Tiffany, Nordstrom, Tourneau, Bath and Body Works, Saks, Banana Republic, Gap, bebe, Baccarat, Brooks Brothers, Harolds, Versace, Pink, Williams-Sonoma, Cartier, Rolex, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and many, many others that you'll recognize. An American Girl store has also opened nearby!
Plan to spend the day here--there's plenty to keep you busy. Hours are Mon-Sat 10am-9pm; Sun 12 Noon-6pm. A parking garage is available. Just about anything!