After getting thrown out by the UK, I was back in Texas for the first time in almost a couple of years. I was visiting my sister in Dallas, ok, it was closer to Fort Worth, but that's what I say when people ask. And it's not really Fort Worth, it's in a town called Grand Prairie. Actually, well, if you want to get technical, they're barely in Grand Prairie and much closer to another town called Mansfield.
But it's all Texas, anyway, so who cares?
After spending time with my two nephews playing, among other games, Trouble, Outer Space Fort Monster (guess who was the monster?) and King of Scotland (yours truly, of course), I sadly bid adieu and hit the road again back to Austin, Texas.
Since I was on a grand road trip of Texas, I decided to stop at some places that I'd never stopped before or that I wanted to see again.
On the way out of Fort Worth, I passed by the signs for Dallas and was oh, so tempted to make my way to the Sixth Floor Museum at the Texas School Book Depository. But I had seen the museum before and, as much as it pained me to do it, had to pass it by for virgin territory.
Instead of the Texas School Book Depository, I decided that I would stop in Waxahachie, Texas.
Why Waxahachie? I can only give you the retort that Mallory replied when people asked him why he wanted to climb Everest.
"Because it's there." (and I also had a fleeting thought about trying to find the Supercollider site, but remembering that my UK iPhone with GPS and maps didn't work here, I'd settle for a beer).
And also because I remember having to watch Places in the Heart for some kind of movie scripting class and, if my memory serves me right, it took place around Waxahachie somewheres. (Sally Field won an Oscar for it - that's she speech where she was doing the "you really like me!!" business)
So, after driving for about thirty or forty minutes from Dallas/Fort Worth/Grand Prairie/Mansfield, I saw the sign for Waxahachie and pulled over.
I was looking for the Central Business District, which is usually the most interesting part of the city. Unfortunately, these districts also happen to be the furthest from any major freeways, so you've got to be ready to brave some exurban/surburban small town hell before you can find them. The road to the CBD for WaxDo (that's my new hipster urban slang for Waxahachie Downtown) was pretty well marked and easy to follow.
Entering WaxDo, I found a place right away (come on, it was Sunday!), took out my camera and proceeded to discover what I could, including an elusive beer.
Now, I mentioned this fact to several people who scoffed - "What's so hard about finding a beer on Sunday?" Uhhh, dude, this is TEXAS. Until a few years ago, Dallas County (you know, where DALLAS, is) was DRY, meaning you had to join a special club to buy beer there. Texas has all sorts of crazy liquor laws - and you can read all about them here.
But I was momentarily distracted in my quest for beer by the scenery in WaxDo. The building that you see at the top of the article there is the courthouse for Ellis county, where Waxahachie lies, built back in the 1860s, which is old timey as far as Texas is concerned.
The entire downtown was actually pretty cool, as far as I was concerned. The central courthouse building was surrounded by a ring of buildings that looked like they were maybe late 1800s/early 1900s. There was even a Texas Theater! It looks like WaxDo could be a hip and happening place if we could only convince the hipsters to move there.
Finally I spotted a place that I thought might be open. I think it had something to with a Frog...oh yes.. here it is, thank you InterWeb!!...I stopped at the Twisted Frog.
And I was the only one there at 3pm on a Sunday.
At one time, this might have unnerved me, but, after my visit to the Coke Bar in Stirling, nothing really phased me anymore. So I first ask the proprietor if they were open (they were) and if I could get a drink (I could).
She did the first thing that I love to see any bartender love to do - reach inside a freezer for a beer mug - and then poured me a Shiner from the tap.
Now, this was the first Shiner that I'd had for a while and....MAN WAS IT GOOD. What made it even better was that the ice in the glass started to break off and fell into my Shiner, forming some kind of beer slushie!
I stayed inside the bar, watching football (that's American football) playing on about 1423 different screens and sipped at my Shiner slushie. I wanted to stay for another but knew that I couldn't tarry. I had more towns to visit on my way down to Austin.
Besides, I generally tend to avoid any kind of bars with the word Frog in the title.
Thanks WaxDo! You like me! You really like me!