We decided to take the train to Fort Worth to see the Fort Worth Botanical Garden. Dallas and Fort Worth are forty miles apart. The all-day train pass to do all the train and bus transfers was five dollars each.
We first rode from Parker Road in Plano, about ten or fifteen minutes from our home, to downtown Dallas.
We found that the next train to Fort Worth from Union Station was almost an hour away, so we went to Gator's in the West End for lunch. We had a very satisfying meal at Gator's some years ago, when I remember watching the University of Arkansas Razorbacks best the University of Texas Longhorns in a game of collegiate football. Today,though, we each ordered a soup--and although it tasted fine, it had a certain soup-can-Campbellesqueness we found non-Warhol-ian. We were sufficiently fed, but disappointed in Gator's, which will do nicely without our company, I'm sure, from henceforth.
We took the Trinity Railway Express to Fort Worth, roughly an hour's ride. My wife struck up a conversation with the librarian/web facilitation genius next to her, while I read a sci-fi and listened to my mp3 player.
The scenery was lovely out the window as well.
Fort Worth has an "inter-modal" station in which the inter-city Amtrak train, the Greyhound inter-city bus line, the city bus system and the municipal train system all converge--every city would profit from this set-up. We caught a city bus to the botanical garden. The bus driver helped make sure we got where we were going.
The Fort Worth Botanical Garden was in lovely bloom--roses everywhere, as well as peonies, daisies,
hot-house begnoias, and a host of other things in bloom. We had a really fun time. Then we hopped a bus back to the intermodal station,and the train back to Dallas. Then we switched to a city rail line, stopped for a dinner of fresh fish at a Rockfish Grill at Mockingbird Station, and then rode home.
We had a great time. I imagine I will take the train when possible whenever I visit Fort Worth in the future, as it is very handy and very inexpensive.