If someone is reading this a few months down the road, the series I’m describing is the one where the Tigers had the advantage in the pitching match up in 3 of 4 games in Texas. And they won just one game. The game where they did not have the advantage in the pitching match up. I saw the second and third games of the series. The Tigers and Porcello won 2-1. Then Sanchez lost 7-2.
A bunch of Ultimate Rewards points and a Southwest fare sale lined up in February and inspired me to book this trip. We hadn’t flown Southwest for 20 years because an employee gave someone else cuts after we had arrived early to ensure the best seats for our toddler. Since then they have changed their boarding policy and if you have your act together to check in early you can usually get at least a decent seat. We had no problems except that I forgot that Southwest has stops more frequently with the same flight number than other airlines. Since my children liked playing games about when the wheels went up (eyes closed) during take off the extra legs were actually not that bad. We also had a very good crew on the way to Texas Friday. I know how hard it must be to complete the service in an hour, but they always did and they either enjoyed their work or pretended well enough for our benefit.
We stayed at the Sheraton just north of the Ballpark. There was no charge to self park despite the proximity to the Rangers Ballpark. This made renting a car cheaper than ground transportation to and from Love Field. The hotel is showing its age, but it is an easy walk to the stadium. Again the staff seemed to do very well. Once when I ordered a beer for me and lemonade for my children the bar tender went to the lobby to get lemonade since they did not have any in the pool area bar. The pool area itself is great for lounging, but it has few areas deeper than 2 feet so it is not the best for swimming. It is custom made and asymmetric so it looks very nice. It is also great for a quick wade or dunk to cool off from the Texas heat.
The Rangers Ballpark itself had a fair selection of food. It had barbecue brisket in many forms. After visiting Kansas City it was not too impressive though. They billed themselves as the loudest Ballpark in baseball. It appears mainly to come from the PA though and not the fans. Folks were friendly, but I had better tickets than I usually buy, so the cheap seats might be rougher. The stadium looks a little strange from the homeplate area because there are 3 different styles of architecture blended together. The suites in center would look nice on their own, but don’t really fit in. They also have something that looks like an homage to Yankee stadium in left center. There are not many bars and restaurants in easy walking distance. About 1-1.5 miles away to the west there is a street with plenty of bars and restaurants. Unfortunately when it is 80-95 that is not an easy walk. Or at least it is not a walk that would be fair to the neighboring fans later in the day.
I would like to recommend one of the places we visited outside baseball. The Dallas World Aquarium is not exactly an aquarium. Furthermore it is relatively small. It is also fairly expensive. I would absolutely go again. Every exhibit has something fun- birds to feed, active monkeys, tunnels through shark tanks, … I would go again if I return to Dallas.