The Great State of Texas
We made two different stops/stays in Texas. Our first stop was just for the night in Amarillo, TX. We originally planned to just find a spot to boondock, but because we got there so early (around 2 pm), we decided to stay at the local KOA for the night.
A few words of wisdom about the KOA in Amarillo. While it’s nice, clean, and has all the usual amenities that you would find at a KOA, it’s very near a train track AND an airport. So, it’s anything BUT quiet, but it’s a safe place to stay, hook up and take a dip in the pool if you want. I did do 1 load of laundry, and the laundry rooms were nice and clean and in good shape.
There are not many trees, so not much shade.
The Jack Sisemore RV museum was a fun place to visit. It’s smaller than I thought it would be and basically, it is a private owner’s personal collection of older and vintage RVs, motorcycles, and RV accessories. There are several old Airstreams, the “Gornicke” bus used in the movie “RV”, old pop-up campers, and more. I am very glad we visited and it was not crowded at all.
One note: there is zero RV parking. The museum is located at an RV dealership and there is parking for cars only on a very small lot. We had to find a parking lot about 1.5 blocks away and walk to the museum. So, if you go make sure to take a water bottle with you.
The Cadillac Ranch has an interesting story behind it. Basically, it is several old Cadillacs buried in a field that people started spray painting. It’s free to visit, and you just park on the side of the road and walk out to see the cars. When we went (and most photos I’ve seen show the same), there was a lot of standing water around the cars. So much so, that there was only 1 car NOT in the water/mud so there were several people all wanting to paint the same car. We didn’t stop to get spray paint, but rather snagged a few cans from the dumpster (there are two dumpsters near the entrance) that were still nearly full of paint. That worked out great and we let the kids paint a car and leave their mark. Since so many people are painting cars, most marks are painted over rather quickly unless you have some really cool artwork. (Like the car with “Queen” painted on it). One thing we missed – we should have taken some drone footage but at the time we didn’t even think about it.
The Big Texan
I had no clue what to expect at the Big Texan, but it seemed to be advertised everywhere, so we decided to go. It was an experience in and of itself! The food was good and the steak was great too. The prices are what you would expect for a steak house. It was a very large place able to accommodate a lot of people at once.
The biggest draw is their “free” 72-ounce steak if you can eat it in 60 minutes or less. The meal is actually a 72-ounce steak, a baked potato, and also shrimp – if you fail, the cost is $72 for the meal. Several people tried it while we were there, but only 1 person succeeded in finishing the steak in 60 minutes to get their meal for free.
A few tips if you decide to go:
- Plan for a 2-hour+ meal. This is not an in-and-out place. We were there for over two hours because that’s how long it took for our waitstaff to bring drinks, take our order, bring out food, the check, etc.
- Ask to be seated somewhere else other than front and center. While the “front and center” tables provide a good view of the “stage” where the people who have accepted the challenge of eating the 72-ounce steak challenge, it does get crowded and is very cramped for enjoying your meal. Next time, I would ask to be seated upstairs.
- There is a “live” rattlesnake in the gift shop – in a cage of course. The gift shop has some fun, Texas items so it’s a great place to pick up a gift or two for the Texas fan in your life.
I went to college in Dallas, so it was nice to be able to *mostly* navigate around without GPS. I took the kids to the Galleria mall to Ice skate and walk around and we had a fun time. We visited Reunion Tower (although it was storming when we went up to the tower – so the view wasn’t the best) and ate in the cafe that revolves around providing a view of the city.
One of the main reasons, the Dallas/Fort Worth area was on our list of places to visit was that we wanted to get our RV windows repaired. They were pretty fogged up when we bought our rig. RV windows tend to fog in between the glass panes over time (Your house windows do also). The seal that holds the pieces of glass together (especially in an RV) will weaken over time and moisture fogs up the windows.
There are very few places in the USA that will actually pull out the windows, pull apart the glass and reseal the panes. The cost of new windows is close to $900/each, so with over 10 windows in our RV, you can imagine how much that would cost – BUT the repairs cost much less ($200-$400 per window depending on window size).
We were very happy with the job that RV Fog Pros did on our rig. They kept it hooked up to power for us so the fridge would run off electricity and had it done in 3 days. The windows look great and they kept us posted the whole time about the repairs.
The Great Wolf Lodge
Since we couldn’t be in our rig during the time of the window repairs, we stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, TX. This was a very fun place, but it can get expensive very quickly. A few things we did to keep the costs down.
- We didn’t eat the food at Great Wolf except for meals included (1 breakfast that was included).
- We brought in food to our room – you have a microwave and a mini-fridge. I went to Wal-Mart and bought a $9 toaster and brought our microwave egg cooker that I use in the RV (I got mine on Amazon). We made our own breakfasts consisting of A cooked egg, toasted bagel, cheese slice, and Canadian bacon slice. For lunches, we ate meat, cheese, etc. And dinner, we would go grab Chick-fil-A or something similar. We did eat a pizza one night for dinner that they offered at the lodge.
- We got the Paw Passes for the kids. This let them do some of the activities at a discounted rate and didn’t force me to say to “no” to some of the fun stuff they wanted to do.
The Great Wolf Lodge was a fun experience. The water park was top notch and the wait times for the slides etc. were not too bad. We had some fun options for both outdoor and indoor water park fun. They really do make it to where you don’t even have to leave the resort, but of course, that means more expense. It just all depends on what your budget is (we are more frugal).
Overall, we enjoyed our time in Texas and it’s been nice having super clear RV windows again. Huge shout out and thanks to RV Fog Pros. If you are needing to have your windows cleared up, mention “grateful glamper” (not affiliated) when making your appointment with RV Fog Pros and let them know you found out about them through us.