Mary is the most organised person I know. (Next time you come to Oz, Mary, I’m putting you to work in my study!). We didn’t need to be at the airport until noon, so she figured we could get to the Dallas Arboretum to see the Chihuly Glass exhibition if we left her house at 7.30, all packed and ready to go. That meant a rather early wake up, but since our bodies are still not quite adjusted to local time, it wasn’t too difficult an ask. And she had promised us left overs of yesterday’s delicious “breakfast casserole” (which was even better, if that’s possible, second time around – and yes, I did get the recipe!).
We had heard a lot about the Chihuly exhibit, and had hoped to see it, but it was scheduled to finish last month. Much to our delight, it was so popular they decided to extend it so we got to see it after all. Rain was forecast but the morning was clear, if somewhat chilly 30 deg F (yes, folks, that’s around -2 deg C) and a crisp frost on the ground. By the time we got to the Arboretum it was sunny and almost warm, and the sky was clear and blue – perfect! We entered as soon as it opened, so we had the place almost to ourselves and had a delightful 2 hours wandering, photographing and enjoying the gardens, the incredible glass sculptures, and the ‘fall’ festival displays.
We left the gardens in time to get to the airport for our flight to Guayaquil, in Ecuador, via a brief stopover in Miami. They say everything is bigger in Texas, and we were struck by the amount of space between buildings. Even in the CBD (downtown) there are open air car parks around office towers, and we saw many huge malls surrounded by vast open space. No wonder they need so many multi-lane freeways and those incredible spaghetti-like interchanges!
We are excited to be embarking on the next leg of this trip. I am writing this on the plane, so by the time I post it we will be in Ecuador, a country (and continent) neither of us has visited before. We had a great time in McKinney, Texas with Mary, and are very grateful for Mary and Rick’s generous hospitality.
PS. To save scrolling through endless photos, I have created collages using an iPad app called Diptic. Enjoy.
Dallas Arboretum is a beautiful botanic garden
Footnote – it is now nearly 2am and we are finally in our hotel room at Guayaquil. Our flight was uneventful except for a 45 minute delay while they tried to fit everyone’s oversize carry-on bags into the overhead lockers. We were expecting a ‘driver’ to pick us up but instead were met by Chris & Frank (our guides/hosts/organisers) in a cab (“bit of a mix-up”), and then waited in the lobby for an extended period because apparently they had re-let our room and there were no others available. A lot of heated words in Spanish were exchanged (not by us!) and in the end Frank moved out of his room so we could move in – thanks Frank!! Welcome to Ecuador!
The room is very comfortable, however, and we will sleep well tonight – what’s left of it!