October 13-21, 2016
It’s been 13 years since our last visit to this Texas City and lots of changes. As with a lot of the US cities re-vitalization of downtown has come to Dallas. Uptown is the new place for millennials and broken down warehouses are replaced with lofts and upscale apartments. Residential towers are planted among high-rise office buildings. Market and Main streets and the West End are hopping with restaurants. We are here for the SEG (Society of Exploration Geophysicists) Annual Meeting and Convention. We were greeted with the SEG silhouetted on to the hotel facade. It took us a while to realize that even our hotel did not exist on our last visit. The front of the convention center has a massive bronze cattle drive sculpture and it is awesome to walk among the “cattle” in the middle of downtown.
I also had the opportunity to see a few local sights and to tour the Perot Museum of Nature and Science – a massive modern building offering dynamic and interactive experiences for visitors of all ages. The Earth Hall has an earthquake simulator for one to experience, and the Energy Hall has a drilling well and petroleum plant. There were fossils and gems, a hall devoted to the human body, and exhibits everywhere that encouraged touching, building and exploring. You could learn to program a robot or even pilot one around. On the basement floor was a Children’s Museum for those under 5 years and an Athletic Museum, which was a favorite with the teens. A most fascinating place to visit.
I also spent a day at the Arboretum when the autumn flowers were in bloom, and the Pumpkin Village was amazing. There were over 50 different kinds of pumpkins and 90,000 pumpkins covering everything – so many of every kind and color. There were houses built out of pumpkins as well as spirals, and there were horses made from cornstalks. The gardens were interlaced with creeks, waterfalls, and lakes, as well as eight bronze statues seated on benches throughout. It was an outing away from city noises and distractions as we saw hundreds of monarch butterflies among the fall flowers.
We attended the International Reception which included Russian dancing and food. To close the convention, we attended a the Wrap-up party which stated “bring your cowboy boots” and we had the opportunity to ride a mechanical bull and to eat Texan food while John Wayne movies played on the wall and line dancing was led on the stage.