Living in Texas: Fort Worth Stockyards

This weekend marks exactly 5 years since we moved to Texas!
Wow.  I honestly can’t believe it’s been that long.  Or that Owen was younger than Clara when we arrived here (read more about our decision to move from California to Texas here).

Over the years we have really grown to love Texas.
I mean, we loved it from the get-go.  It’s charming.  And the people are so kind.  And there’s tons of great food, right?  But I guess there are things you never know about yourself until you move somewhere different….like how much I love wide open spaces.  I grew up in the suburbs of Orange County, California and then lived in Los Angeles for my young adult years, where people and street sounds were constant.  And it was great! And fun!  And I knew the best back roads and alleys to avoid the 405/101 interchange at 5pm (the SNL Californians. heh heh).  But today I love breathing in the space around me.  Every day I drive down a wide country road to get to Target, the freeway, Clara’s school.  And I just love it.

I guess there’s a season of life for everything.
And one day we might be back in the bustle of cityscapes.
But for now we’re exploring Texas.

Here’s a taste of our adventures so far:
Texas Bluebonnets
The Poppy Festival
Friday Night Lights
Lake LBJ
3 days at the beach
The Kite Festival
Trip to Dallas
Shopping for fabric in Texas
Weekend at the Lodge

And this summer we made it to Fort Worth! (which is near Dallas) and spent a couple hours at the Fort Worth Stockyards, which friends have recommended over the years.  The irony of our adventure is that the stockyards are great to visit with your kids….and we left ours at home (thank you Grandma and Grandpa for the day of freedom!)

So if you’re looking for a fun family outing, here you go.
And if you see this in your rear-view mirror it means (A) something fantastic is about to happen or (B) you parked in the wrong spot.

It was a little of both.

But mostly fantastic.

So, the stockyards are a slice of old Texas life.  It’s the place where cattle were once sold and traded and was considered the “Wall Street of the West” (read more about the history here).

Twice a day at 11:30am and 4pm, the Longhorn Cattle Drive comes trailing down the main street, giving you a glimpse of real Texas longhorns.   It’s a pretty short procession and kinda gimicky, but it’s colorful and cattle-y and so very Texas.
Hook ’em!

And just like that it’s back to normal life….

…or to the awesome stockyard maze.

Just make sure you stamp your timecard.  And head to the lookout platforms if you’re totally lost!

There are spots for goodies,

and silly photo-ops (I need one of those signs).

And plenty of moments to look like you’ve mixed up your “Wall Streets”.

(which is what happens when the outing is planned at the tail-end of business meetings)

So head to MJ Leddy’s and you’ll be looking like a local soon.

Seriously, this store is worth a stop!  There is a boot for EVERYbody.

….and the boots are all fixed by the chimney with care….

Annnnd, we still look like idiots.

Sorry Texas.
But hey, need a knife? Need an alley?  We found both.

And this guy definitely made my day.

My name is Chong Wang.
John Wayne?
Chon Wang.
That’s a terrible cowboy name!

On the drive home we found a fantastic little hole-in-the-wall taco joint called Melis Tacos. Delish! The egg and bacon breakfast tacos (add cheese) were my favorite.  And we ate under a scrap-tin roof while the rain poured down.  I’ll always remember that moment.  And the sunset that followed us home.

Thank you Fort Worth for a fun outing.

Country roads, take me home,
To the place I belong….

  1. 1) Jill

    As a Texan, I give this post two thumbs up! Not sure if you have visited this fabric store on Burnet as it’s fairly new.

  2. There is always something to see in Texas. My twin moved to SA 4 years ago and has no complaints.

  3. Your posts about Texas make me want to move there. Thanks for sharing with us who can only live it through your photos.

  4. 4) Mihla

    My middle daughter met a Texan 20 years ago while she was in the army. He proposed to her at the Fort Worth Stockyards and when they got out of the military they moved with their two children to Fort Worth where all my son-in-law’s family lives. A few years later, my youngest daughter and her little girl came from Florida to visit her sister and decided to stay. She met a Texan, married him, and had a beautiful baby girl. The sisters live only a few blocks from each other, so every December my husband and I travel to Fort Worth to stay until the snow melts in Minnesota. My oldest daughter and family are likely to move to Fort Worth when my son-in-law retires from the Air Force, so we’ll all be Texans eventually.

    • 5) Dana

      What fun ties you have to Texas! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. 6) susan

    I love all your posts, but this one especially. It is nice to see that romance isn’t dead and I think your getaway was very romantic **swoon** (the cowboys, the boots, the photos of your husband, and the tacos!!)

    • 7) Dana

      Such a sweet comment :). Thanks Susan!

  6. 8) Erika

    I, too, love all your posts but this one was especially neat. I’ve never seen this side of TX! Love the boots! Yee-haw

  7. 9) Stacey

    We just moved to Texas last month and I love it! Thanks for sharing about the stockyards; I had no idea!

  8. seeeeee, that’s why I like you so much! you love my good ol’ hot texas! you guys are so cute. 🙂
    ps. I’m not a texan native either (don’t tell anyone i told you)

  9. 11) Kem

    I love your posts, and since I moved to Kansas from Texas two years ago, they always make me a bit homesick, but this one really got me missing Fort Worth, the place of my birth. It is a great city with really nice folks and a charm about it that really grows on you. I mean, what other city in the world employs cowboys to herds longhorns in a downtown area! Thanks for posting this and keep up the good work!

  10. 12) Nancy

    That’s our favorite taco place in Ft. Worth! Glad you found it too

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