We had visitors right after Christmas – a family of four from California. They stop by for a few days about once a year and we always look forward to their visit. They are smart and interesting people with kids they have home-schooled into smart and interesting teenagers. We are always hoping that maybe some of that smart and interesting will rub off on us by proximity, so we ask them to stay with us whenever they are in town. And they always do, which makes me think they might be faking that smart thing.
The challenge for us, in hosting our friends, is this: They are from the Bay Area. And that is a problem in that there are so many great sites to see and restaurants and things to do in the Bay Area that our sites seem a little rinky-dink by comparison. Let’s see – they took us to Golden Gate Park and we took them to the Trinity River park area (no link had pictures which I think says all you need to know). River is probably an overstatement — trickle would be a more apt description. The Trinity River is the reason why Dallas and Ft. Worth exist, which proves it doesn’t take all that much. Think about it, you can probably start your own metroplex.
They have the rolling streets of San Francisco. We have Cow Town. (Be sure to scroll down to the bottom for a picture of a sleeping homeless person. And if that doesn’t make you want to visit, I don’t know what does.) It’s a struggle to think of a site we can take them to that is not known for someone being shot. I know. It’s Texas and that’s a toughie. Southfork? The Grassy Knoll? Anywhere in Dallas? But no matter what culturally enlightening freak-show shoot-out of a site we force on them, they are always gracious about it.
And it’s not just that the local sites we take them to are so… so um, (figure out your own word), it’s also that everything seems to curl up in ball and die or puke on us when we are trying so hard to make their visit enjoyable so they will come back. And we want them to come back because it’s not that many people we can trick into returning to the Antique House of Weird.
For example last year when they visited, we had a week of tornado threats and the power went off every night. And then the shower broke. And the toilet backed up. And every restaurant we took them to, it was as if someone was standing at the door on the look-out for us and hollering into the back, “They’re coming! Quick find yesterday’s schmluckchiladas! Can you get those bad boys any closer to the heat lamp? Be sure to let them get good and cold before serving them. Who’s got the bugs? We need a bug for the water. Oh, and find the dirty glass with the lipstick. Anybody seen that?” It was as if we Googled “Worst Restaurants in D/FW” and made a to-do list.
But in spite of the adventure of misadventure that usually defines their stay at our house, they keep coming back. Which proves they really are friends. Either that or the hotels here are just that bad around here.