A Life Worth Binge Watching

S2:This is 50 E1: Go Big or Go Home

Turning 50 is no joke. I mean, how can you even begin to define this milestone in your life where you literally have lived half a century?  I could drown myself in a pool of tears thinking that I only have half of my life left, but why the hell would I do that?  I think by now you all know me better!  I may be 50, but I identify as 30, so I decided to make my 50th an adventure to remember.

It took me some time to decide exactly how to celebrate this momentous occasion, but after some deliberation I decided to take my celebration to Ft Worth, Texas.  For those of you who know me or have followed my column for a while, you know that my inner cowgirl has more than peeked her head out.  It’s just who I am deep down in my soul, so this seemed like the perfect place to start my next chapter.  Let me tell you, I could have written my next three columns about this experience, but I’m going to try to cram it all in!

So the story begins as three of my best friends and I (Ashley, Helen and Mary) embark on my 50th birthday celebration, Texas style.  I mean everything is bigger in Texas, so go big or go home, right?  I will say that the trip started out a bit sketchy.  A really early morning flight at the Orlando airport on Frontier Airlines pretty much says enough, but add in the fact that I left my credit card in the car and we missed the Starbucks line just to find out our flight was delayed.  All I can say is thank God for Apple Pay, great friends and a sense of humor.  Once we made it to Dallas/Ft Worth and finally found our Uber driver, the fun times officially started..  

Ft. Worth is like going to an authentic cowboy town, and you all know I like cowboys.  Everywhere you look there are cowboy hats, boots and wranglers.  To top it off, men both young and old say “yes, ma’am” in the most respectful way.  There are weekend rodeos and when you go to a bar in Ft. Worth ,men politely ask you to dance.  I can’t remember the last time that happened in Florida (but that is a whole other article topic).  One of my favorite cowtown moments was when the cowboys led a herd of steer down the middle of the road downtown.  We met a working cowboy named Jorge who allowed crazy tourists like us to take photos on his precious steer named Jake.  If I could have taken Jake back to Florida with me I would have.  

Ft. Worth is also home to some of the most incredible restaurants and bars.  Of course we had to check out the world famous Billy Bobs where they have bands playing on multiple stages and the best country line dancers I’ve ever seen.  John Fogerty was there over the weekend and they had a packed house.  One of the other bars that stood out was the White Elephant, which is the oldest bar in Ft. Worth.  Inside you can find cowboy hats all over the walls and ceiling of famous country western singers and cowboys.  I danced with a cowboy in the Filthy McNasty Bar, as it was his birthday too and I had to show off my mad two-stepping skills.  Well ok, so I caught on eventually and even learned a spin or two. 

One of the best local spots we discovered was this bar/restaurant called the Brand Room in The Stockyards.  This eclectic venue was formerly a members only club with alcohol lockers and the sweetest bartender named Jess.. The owner, Dawn, opened it up to the public and I can honestly say it was my favorite place.  There were hundreds of cattle brands  from ranches around the country hanging from the ceiling and random Texas themed antique decor all over the dining area.  The food was so incredible that we ate there twice and I can’t rave enough about the tenderloin sliders and banana pudding!  The best part of the night was when my friend Monique surprised me by showing up in her semi truck from Florida.  I was actually waiting outside the restaurant when she showed up because Nolan Ryan was also dining at the Brand Room and I wanted to meet him!  And yes, we met the Hall of Famer and he was very nice!  Taylor Sheridan was there but unfortunately I did not see him. Monique was our Uber that evening as we all piled into the cab of her rig!

When I say that there is just so much more to write about, I am not exaggerating, but I am going to just give you a few more short clips.  The Drover Hotel is probably one of the most beautiful hotels that I have ever seen.  Look it up, I want to stay there one day.  A few more highlights:  The Second Rodeo Brewing Company outdoor patio and the women’s bathroom ;  the Atico Rooftop bar at the Springhill Suites Stockyards-this is not your run of the mill Springhill; the outdoor dining at Joe. T. Garcia’s; the incredible rooftop view and food at Reata in Sundance Square; the custom made boots at Lucchese; hanging out with Gophie the gopher at the Curfew Speakeasy.

The trip would not have been complete without riding a mechanical bull.  I mean why wouldn’t I do that on my 50th birthday?  I stayed on for way more than 8 seconds, got thrown off and have the bruises to prove it, but I sure had a blast!  Ft. Worth, thank you for the best birthday ever!  I will be back!

So there you have it, this is 50, and this is just the beginning of the next season of A Life Worth Binge Watching  Join my Facebook page for more photos and videos.  I’d love to hear your ideas for my next adventure.  https://www.facebook.com/alifeworthbingewatching/


Melodye Lewis is a Friday columnist for Flagler News Weekly giving you something to talk about over lunch. Follow @ALifeWorthBingeWatching on Facebook.