Thursday, March 24, 2011

Southfork Ranch

Ok, so who reallllly shot J.R. Ewing? While in Texas, I decided to head north of Dallas to the town of Parker where the Southfork Ranch is located. The published admission was $10, but I had a coupon, (yes, I use coupons, especially on overpriced tourist attractions!!!), so the fee was about $8. It's $8, I'll never get back.

The tour starts in the gift shop, which has a good array of gifts. I probably should have considered it a win, bought a trinket, then turned around and moseyed out of there. After the gift shop is a small museum, which is really just a hallway with some memorabilia and framed yellowed newspaper clippings (tacky) and a looped video clip.

Once the group has assembled, we head out to the tractor that pulls a covered series of benches....and the tour begins. The group consists of about 20 people (only 4 from the US, the rest from South Africa, Germany, France, Italy, Spain). In your best southern drawl....

Guide: Welcome, ya'll. (blah, blah, blah). If you look to the left you'll see an ol' o'l (old oil) derrick and viewing platform. The previous owner held tours. But, if I used my dipstick, there wouldn't be any o'l in there derrick.

Me (observing): The young woman in front of me (from Spain), is translating to her friends.

Me (wondering): I can hardly understand this joker. How in the world are the foreigners managing to understand this???

Guide: Ok, let's start the tur (tour). If you look to the right, in the empty pen, that's where the horses used to be. Now, if you look to the left, that's where the donkeys used to be. I miss their hee-in' and haw-in'. On the right is the stand and pen that the tv studio built, but it doesn't get used any more. On the left are some buildings used for conventions and meetings.

Me (wondering): WTH. Really? Empty pens. This is going from bad to worse.

Guide (driving us down 'the long driveway'): In the tv show, this appeared longer. It's tv magic.

Guide: Ok, Misty (or Millie or Missy or something like that) is going to give you some history about the house and then you are free to tur (tour) the inside.

Misty: Blah, blah, blah.

A few pictures:

Ok, a few things you should know about the Southfork Ranch:
1. All interior shots are from a sound stage in Culver City. Trust me, the interior of this house is circa 1970. Yikes!

2. The swimming pool is not the grand olympic size pool Bobby swam in each day. Nope, it's about an 8' x 10' pool (or a bit larger).

3. The driveway is not this long drive, it's tv magic and is just film spliced together.

4. It's flat, flat, flat. No rolling hills for Bobby and Pam to ride the horses.

5. It's really a conference/wedding center.

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