FORT WORTH — For our anniversary, my other half decided to surprise me with a trip to the Fort Worth Stockyards. I’ve wanted to go since we moved to Texas three years ago, but he has been resistant, so I was surprised, until I found out the real reason he wanted to go was to try out a steakhouse someone told him about.
Of course, any trip that takes us through Hillsboro requires a stop at Braum’s. After getting our ice cream fix on, we took 35W to Fort Worth, passing massive fields of sunflowers along the way. Traffic along the route was great, until we hit the Stockyards area. We were pretty much at a slow crawl because people cross into the street and stand around taking photos without realizing they could easily be run over. We eventually found parking at a lot at the end of the strip.
If you’ve never been, the Stockyards have a ton of shops along the main strip and others hidden in the alleys along the strip. There were so many unique shops with souvenirs, cowboy hats, boots, art and a ton of other things. We were only looking for one thing – a Christmas ornament.
We have a tradition of collecting cool ornaments whenever we visit a new place, so when we put up our tree each year, we can remember all the fun memories we shared. Since we have been married for so long, we no longer use any traditional bulb ornaments anymore, it’s now our destination Christmas tree. We also have a Disney tree that we put up and a Marvel tree, featuring all the Avengers. Despite how awesome the Avengers are or how beautiful the princesses are, my favorite will always be our destination tree because it’s a reminder of our marriage, kids and family vacations.
As we continued down the strip, cowboys walk down the street allowing people to take photos. It’s such a cool experience, not even doing anything, but just watching everything that is happening. It was blazing hot outside, but luckily the Stockyards are set up with plenty of covering. While I sat in the shade and played Pokemon Go for a bit, my husband went exploring again and came back to tell me that he found an ornament of a Santa riding a Texas longhorn. After watching me have a brief panic attack when he told me it was the last one and he didn’t get it, he dashed back to the shop and purchased it.
After eating lunch, we overheard people talking about the cattle run. I’ve heard about it before, but thought it was something that only happened on special occasions. Suddenly, there’s an announcement that the cattle run would be starting in 15 minutes, so we found a good spot and waited.
While it’s called a cattle run, the Texas longhorns were certainly not running. I think they felt like melting in the heat as much as the rest of us, as they walked down the main strip. Every longhorn was beautiful and unique. I never imagined something as simple as watching cattle walk down a street could be so cool, but I was blown away by the whole thing.
I would definitely recommend going for a day trip with your significant other or entire family. The Stockyards are located on East Exchange Avenue in Fort Worth. The city has the world’s only twice-daily longhorn cattle drive and takes place daily at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Before jumping into your car for a family day trip, wait to read next week’s Traveling Soldier, where Chris Hawkes takes us on a trip to Sundance Square and Trinity Park in Fort Worth.