Fort Worth’s Worth It

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I’ve always liked Fort Worth.  There’s just a rustic quality to the whole city that really appeals to me.  As a self-proclaimed history nerd and wanna-be cowboy, I must say that the answer to Terri Clark’s question “Is Fort Worth Worth It” is a resounding “YES!”
Even though it’s only a Texas-sized stone’s throw from Dallas, it couldn’t be more different.  You may have seen our Fort Worth episode featuring the city’s historic Stockyards District and world-class art museums (not to mention epic food).  However, that episode only scratched the surface of the “City of Cowboys and Culture.”  So with another episode bubbling in my head, I returned to Fort Worth to experience some of things I missed, both new and old…very old.
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We checked in to the Omni Hotel downtown and headed immediately to the newly-remodeled Sundance Square.  We could have walked but opted instead to hop aboard “Molly the Trolly,” a free shuttle taking folks around downtown.  It couldn’t have been easier.
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The new Sundance Square is fantastic!  And packed with folks dining, visiting, and just enjoying the night’s breeze.  It was crazy to think that this area used to be a parking lot. The vibe was something you’d expect to find in Europe, but not Fort Worth.  We ate on the patio of Bird Cafe.  Craft beer and craft food lovers take note – this place was great.  I had wild boar sausage on top of mashed sweet potatoes.
Over by the water fountains, the Fort Worthians (???sure???) were living it up.  Keeping our one-and-a-half year old from bolting toward the water was…”fun.”
Sundance Square
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The next morning, I think our kids would have been happy just hanging out in the window of our room at the Omni, but I dragged them out of the hotel to explore.  Gotta teach em young.
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We hit the road and headed to the Fort Worth Zoo.  I hadn’t visited since I was a kid and was just as excited about it as my kids were….OK, probably more excited.  I’m like a big, dumb kid anyway.  I loved this zoo.  All the animals (big and small) were out to play.
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http://www.toddwhite.org
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PLUS – the entire place was shaded.  If you’re a Texan, you know how important this is.  PLUS PLUS – they had GIGANTABUGS.  Seriously – Gigantic Bugs.   If you ever wanted to know what it felt like to live inside of Honey I Shrunk the Kids, just head to the zoo.
http://www.toddwhite.orgMy 5 year old was in heaven.  My bug-terrified wife – not so much.
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For dinner that night we headed to Tim Love’s new restaurant Woodshed which is on the Trinity River.  It’s got an awesome outdoor patio.
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And in typical chef fashion, rather than just stick with one sort of wood, Tim mixes it up with different logs for different dishes.  Awesome stuff.
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The next morning, we hit up the Fort Worth Water Gardens.  As a kid, I remember these being roughly the size of Niagara Falls.  They weren’t quite as big as , but are still pretty huge.
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That’s my 5 year old on the mountain
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That’s my wife way down in the valley.  I told you this place was big.
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Before heading home, we hit up Peters Brothers Hats (since 1911) which is still making hats the old fashioned way which takes something like 4 months to finish.  I didn’t get my head sized just yet.  I think I’ll save that for the episode.
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And just one block over was the JFK memorial where President Kennedy gave a impromptu speech before heading to Dallas.
http://www.toddwhite.org
We left with much more still to see in Fort Worth, but that will have to wait for another trip.  I could probably do 5 more shows about this place.  If you’ve never been – get on the road and….Vaya con Dios Amigos!

Cell Phone Tips for Cross-Border Tripping

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I was recently swimming in the Rio Grande inside Big Bend National Park and just a few feet to my right was Mexico.  I fondly remember the days of crossing the border as a kid to eat enchiladas and paletas.  As I sat in the river, my buddies and I started considering the idea of visiting the small Mexican village of Boquillas.  Of course, this requires a passport, but our other big question was – What do we do with our cell phones?

Can we make calls over there?  Can we snap and share photos?  We didn’t want to get charged a busload of money because we’d crossed some invisible barrier, but also didn’t want our cell phones to hold us back from exploring.  Ever wondered the same thing?

To find out more about how to travel internationally with a cell phone, I did some research and here’s what AT&T told me. For Texans who want to explore the great big world beyond our borders (which does in fact exist) but don’t want a big bill, here are some tips.

  • Review the International Plans.  It turns out that as soon as you use your cell phone outside of the US, you are on an international plan.  If you know you are going to use your phone, you can sign up for a plan before you go, or you can just use the pay-for-use rate, which is going to be more expensive.  Details on AT&T’s International Plans are right here.
  • Turn off your data. Without a prepaid plan, data usage is going to hurt.  So you might want to turn it off.  An easy way to do this is to switch your phone into “airplane mode” so you can still use your camera or listen to music without racking up your phone bill.  And if you want to keep your data on, post to social media sparingly each day so you can keep track of how much data you are using. If you plan to be posting often, turn off the automatic video play settings.  Those videos will use more data than you expect.
  • Be Prepared to Avoid WiFi.  WiFi can be spotty, before you embark on your international journey, make sure to look up and program into your phone any emergency numbers for your area – doctors, the embassy, tour buses…  This way you don’t have to use bad WiFi searching for these things once you land overseas. To further monitor when your phone is using WiFi, set your email settings to receive email manually instead of automatically, then only check your email when you are sure there is a WiFi network.
  • Customer Service is Helpful.  AT&T also suggests writing down their customer service number (916-843-4685) in case something comes up while you’re traveling. To ensure comfort while abroad, AT&T even has a roaming app that will track your data use and alert you to when your allotted number of minutes is about to expire. While AT&T devices work in more than 210 countries, you will want to make sure that your device will work in the country you are traveling to by checking the AT&T Travel Guide.  Other carriers should have something similar.
  • Bring a charger.  But not just any charger, an international charger so you can make sure your phone is ready to go.
  • Consider Insurance.  Remember to get some insurance before you leave to make sure your phone is covered in case of theft.

I hope this was helpful so the next time you consider jumping to Mexico or somewhere else, you’ll know what you’re getting into…at least from your cell phone.  As for the rest of your adventure – that’s up to you….

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An Intern’s First Taste of Cuvee

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Howdy Daytrippers!  Let me first introduce myself…I am the summer intern, Linsey.  As a fellow Daytripper fan, it’s been fantastic to spend my days following Chet on his crazy adventures.  I’m having a blast!

A week into my internship, Chet found out I claimed to be a coffee-addict but hadn’t yet tried Cuvee Coffee.  Shocked and appalled, he immediately sent me to the Galaxy Bakery down the street to buy a cup.

If you’ve seen the Spicewood episode of The Daytripper, then you saw Chet take a tour of the Cuvee Coffee factory. If not – check this out.

Cuvee Coffee is one of America’s top specialty roasters, and they’re based right here in the Hill Country.  They roast their coffee meticulously, using formulas and coffee-labs to ensure the taste is just right.

While Cuvee gets their beans  from countries all around the world, including Brazil and El Salvador, I chose the Spicewood 71 Classic for my first cup. Usually, I need to load my coffee with tons of cream and sugar, but with Cuvee I didn’t. The taste was sweet and smooth, and not too strong, which I loved.

And since I enjoyed my first cup so much (and since Chet was paying, of course!) I just had to try the Cuvee Meritage Espresso. I’d never had a cup of espresso before and was expecting to be bombarded with bitter coffee grounds and overbearing tastes, yet Cuvee was just the opposite. It tasted fresh and sweet, with just the right of amount of kick to get me through the rest of my day. After all, coffee is an intern’s best friend!

So, fellow coffee lovers, grab yourself a cup of Cuvee, and raise a steaming mug to Texas family values and world-class taste!  I’m now a faithful drinker.

If you’ve never had it (or need to restock), Cuvee Coffee is now available via The Daytripper General Store where Chet is compiling some of his favorite Texas-based shirts, food, and cool stuff.  Order some today.  You won’t regret it.

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NEW Texas Flag Shirts!

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We just got some new shirts in and I am excited!  We have youth sizes and unisex adult sizes.  They are printed on a soft, ringspun shirt (Canvas Brand) and are cut in a modern fit, so size up if you want a looser shirt.

It’s the perfect shirt for Daytrippin’ Texas, or anywhere else you may roam.


FREE SHIPPING



Trippin’ on the Grid with AT&T

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Sometimes it’s good to go “off-the-grid” and find a place where you are completely unreachable.  A land with no computers, no social media, and no cell phones.  Everyone needs to make time in life to unplug.

However, when you are producing a crazy TV show with crew scrambling through shot lists, costumes getting thrown together, and locations being confirmed and reconfirmed, going “off-the-grid” is a bad thing.  We rely heavily on our phones in the field, and if they aren’t working we are left with nothing but a wink and a prayer hoping things go smoothly.  Sometimes it works, but generally, it doesn’t.  We need our phones all over Texas, not just in the cities and on the highways.

For a decade, I was a loyal customer to my old cell phone company.  However, there was a little problem with their coverage.  It was called The Texas Hill Country.  Make that West Texas completely.  They seemed to forget that it even existed.  And this was one of the major carriers.  Their coverage dropped off just past the I-35 corridor.  I spend a lot of time out West, so this was a big, big problem.  Then I found AT&T who let me test out their phones all over the state.  See their coverage map below.

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I could actually make calls in the Hill Country.  What a revelation!  I could stream music and podcasts on my cross-Texas road trips.  I could share photos from the back country in places like Guadalupe Mountains National Park (pictured above).  I could stay in touch with Daytrippers all over Texas while I was traveling all over Texas.  After just one day trip, I made it final and broke up with my old carrier – never to return.

Sometimes it’s good to go “off-the-grid” but I’d like to be the one to choose when that happens rather than have stinky coverage decide it for me.  See you on the road!

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The Daytripper Texas Film Series – Secondhand Lions – Feb 1 at 1pm

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:  Writer/Director Tim McCanlies will be in attendance.  He’ll share some stories about making movies in Texas and what it was like to work with the likes of Hollywood greats like Robert Duvall and Michael Caine.  This is going to be a very special afternoon.  I can’t wait to see you guys there.

Buy Tickets HERE

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We always thought it would be fun to get folks together in a historic Texas theater and watch movies made here in the Lone Star State.  Well, that dream is becoming reality.  And the first film to kick it off will be Secondhand Lions shown in the historic Georgetown Palace.

So join me and crew on FEBRUARY 1, 2014 at 1pm to watch this family classic.  Filmed in the Greater-Austin area, this film is about a young boy (Haley Joel Osment) who is left with his eccentric and supposedly wealthy uncles (Robert Duvall and Michael Caine) on their Texas farm.  This begrudging relationship blossoms as the boy learns his uncles’ quirky ways and the truth about how they came upon their hidden millions.

Trippin’ with Chet – NEW TOUR

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Eagles, Caves, BBQ and Wine… Come spend your day, “Trippin’ with Chet.”

You’ve seen the episodes, now join us on January 25, 2014 as we head to Burnet and explore this unique area. We’ll start the day scouting for Bald Eagles then grab some fantastic Texas BBQ. After that we’ll enjoy some award winning Texas wine and end the day exploring caves. All along the way Chet will be your guide…both educating and entertaining.

The bus will leave from the Austin-area, and tickets are $125/person (includes food and beverage).

Get your tickets today! By the way, this would make a great Christmas gift for your favorite Daytripper fan.

Georgetown Finale Party, Thursday, June 20th, 8pm

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Well, believe it or not, Season 4 of The Daytripper is coming to an end. To celebrate, we are having a FINALE party in Georgetown to premiere our Georgetown episode! How perfect is that. We will have a big movie screen set up in the park, so bring your blankets, frisbees, and your good-time-having selves.

Date: Thursday, June 20th
Time: Party starts at 8pm, showing at 8:45pm when it gets dark enough
Location: San Gabriel Park, Georgetown, TX  MAP
Cost: Free!
Ages: ALL AGES! Bring the family.
What to bring: blankets, camping chairs, frisbees, and cooler with your beverage of choice (it’s BYOB)

Here is the Facebook Event to share with your friends – CLICK HERE

The whole crew will be there (including me) to hang out, answer questions, and take photos. There will be raffles, FREE Blue Bell ice cream, and lots and lots of Daytripper-iffic fun.

If you can, you’ll also want to stick around after the party because the City of Georgetown will be holding a movie-in-the-park night featuring The Odd Life of Timothy Green.

¡Vaya con dios amigos!

- Chet

Sony EX1

Sony EX1

We need a camera that can dangle from trees, withstand the heat of a BBQ pit, all while shooting beautiful HD.  This is the perfect camera.