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Chris Sayer’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 24 Jul 2014

Location: Dallas, USA

MapIt was our last full day of the holiday, and we decided to see the world’s largest indoor stadium. Located just a few kilometres from Dallas, the hire car made it easy to reach the AT&T Stadium, and we took a guided tour of this huge facility. On the day we visited, the playing area was being converted into a rock concert stage for Beyonce the following day. Built by a Texan oil tycoon called Jerry Jones, the size of this football stadium could be encapsulated by the high-definition television screen hanging from the roof over the playing arena. It was the world’s largest video screen when built in 2009, and it dominated the view. The home of the Dallas Cowboys, the stadium had facilities that oozed money, with no expense being spared on the furnishings, floor coverings, corporate boxes, televisions, toilets – you name it. The final cost for building this thing was 1.2 billion dollars, its monthly power bill is a million dollars alone, and it employs 6,500 employees on any match day. We all agreed, however, that it lacked the character and history of the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Conveniently close to AT&T stadium was perhaps the final chapter in the story that we had been following over the past few weeks. Nearby was the Shannon Rose Hill Memorial Cemetery, where Lee Harvey Oswald was buried on the same day as John F. Kennedy in 1963. We were at the tomb of President Kennedy at Arlington in Washington last week, and now we were standing at his alleged assassin’s. The grave was relatively easy to find, since absolutely everything about the JFK assassination can now be found on the internet.

I wondered if it was just morbid fascination that made us seek Oswald’s grave. Standing there looking at the simple headstone with the name “Oswald” inscribed, I think Dayna hit the nail on the head when she said that this was like coming to the end of a journey that we set out on a couple of weeks ago. We thought about this man that had been buried below us, he was probably the only person who really knew what happened that day, whether he did the deed on his own, or whether he had been set up. We walked away all agreeing on one thing – of all the conspiracy theories that have been put forward about who really killed JFK fifty years ago, the world will probably never know the truth.

The long journey home took up a whole day of our precious annual leave. We left Dallas on a Tuesday, and arrived in Australia on a Thursday, completely missing Wednesday July 23rd. The Dallas-Brisbane leg is a newly introduced service for Qantas, and we were wondering how popular it was. If our flight was any indication, it’s a hit because our Boeing 747 was full to capacity. It took sixteen hours to complete, and another two short domestic flights had us arriving back in Launceston to be met by Leah. Both our daughters had bookended our journey home, which was a lovely way to finish. We miss them both when they’re not with us.

I wonder where and when the next holiday will be, but for now this one will provide some great memories. The world is full of beautiful friendly people, incredible natural wonders, inspiring artwork, astounding designs for buildings and bridges, and exciting cultures that just whet the appetite for more exploration.

Need to reinvigorate the holiday savings account ...