Showing a Friend around My Hometown

I recently took a very quick trip home to Dallas because my best friend, who went back to China and has been there for the last two years, was in the States visiting family. His sister lives just outside Dallas, so I went home and got to spend a day showing him around my hometown and catching up.

After a Texas breakfast at Whataburger, we went to one of my favorite places—the Dallas World Aquarium. I’ve shared about this amazing place before, so I won’t enlighten you with the written details of this visit. Instead, here are some pics from the outing.

2 Mar 2015 DWA with Aaron (16) copyWe did make an effort to be at different exhibits during the special programming (mostly feedings), something I have never done at the aquarium before. Because of this we actually got to see the sloths out and about and the manatee up close and the penguins slamming down some fish. The lone sloth, Leno, was eating some kind of flower pod. This was not the formal sloth program, which we also saw, but was very interesting. The guy feeding him was an intern or part-time employee who did this for fun while he goes to school. He gets to feed a sloth and tell people all about all about the fascinating animal.

All of the other feedings were kind of dull, so this is one area the DWA could really improve. Having been to other institutions with more interesting programming (Monterey Bay Aquarium), I know it is possible to make the presentation educational, informational and entertaining without it being a production like at Sea World. Kudos to the penguin keeper though who made her feeding the penguins mostly interesting.

We were downtown for the DWA and had lunch nearby in the West End District. I love me some juicy tender brisket (something you can’t really find in China). This is also near the National Historic Landmark plaza where President Kennedy was assassinated. My friend was super interested in the place and incident, so even though I’ve been before we visited the Sixth Floor Museum right there in the book depository building from which JFK was shot.

As before, this was a moving experience. No matter who orchestrated the murder—either a lone radical making a statement or a conspiracy by governmental agents—it was a tragedy that shook and changed the nation and the world.

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We also spent some time walking around the grassy knoll and watching the conspiracy theorists tell their hypotheses with interested passersby.

It was great to spend some time with a good friend who lives on the other side of the globe. Maybe someday we’ll take another epic train adventure across China, but until then we’ll have to stay in touch via WeChat.

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