Following the excitement of the previous night I am pleased to report that (thankfully) the tornado warning came to nothing. I was shocked awake at 6am by a police siren. In my half asleep state I was sure that it was the tornado warning siren! The weather had improved this morning and we planned to start on towards El Paso whilst seeing Witchita Falls on the way out and heading on to see Fort Phantom Hill.
The Falls proved tricky. Hubby navigated us to the general area we followed the signs but they sent us round in a big circle. After several loops of the same area and no success, we decided to move on towards Fort Phantom Hill which are the ruins of an old 1850s fort in Abilene. There are only a few posts and buildings still standing but it is utterly beautiful. The visitors kiosk consists of a map containing a self guided tour. The site gives the impression of having been left to run wild (in a good way). There is a field of vibrantly coloured and beautiful wildflowers as far as the eye can see. Few cars pass by and there is a peaceful serenity about the site that allows you to look out over the flat landscape and imagine how it used to be back then.
Definitely, definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. A word of caution though, if you are wearing sandals be careful of the large amounts of fire ants and their nests. Hubby had sandals on and had to be really careful. Luckily I was wearing walking shoes and was able to pick a path for us both.
Lunch was at Donell’s Diner which was okay. I had a chicken sandwich which was tasty but unfortunately the chicken didn’t fill the sandwich and it was a bit chewy. The onion rings were spectacular! I was expecting small ones but these babies were huge!!
We stayed in The Best Western in Sweetwater. The rooms themselves were very nice, reception staff were friendly and helpful, however the outside pool was nasty. It overlooked the car park so when you got in and out you were in full view of everyone. Not great but that in itself I could live with. The pool needed a good clean though. I understand that outdoor pools get dirty but this was full of leaves and dead insects. It really did need a good clean. Hubby and I weren’t in there long before we abandoned it as a bad job!!
On a positive note, the receptionist recommended a local restaurant, Skeet’s Texas Grill, for dinner. I was pleasantly surprised. Having decided that we weren’t going to have starter, our server asked us if we would like any fried pickles. I have never had them before and it sounded interesting so hubby and I decided to share a portion. They were delicious. The batter was light and crispy and the pickle was like a sliced gherkin if I were to describe it in terms of what we get in the UK. I’m not usually a gherkin lover but this was delicious.
Main course consisted of a 12oz marinated rib eye at our server’s suggestion. I don’t usually listen to those kind of suggestions but I couldn’t resist the way he described it! I have never eaten a steak that big in my life but somehow I managed it tonight. The marinade was a gorgeous brown sugar marinade and it really added to the flavour of the steak. Hubby and I asked for the steak blue and if I were being picky I’d say that it came out more rare than blue but I can’t complain at all.
No plans for dessert either but I couldn’t resist the deep fried cheesecake, although I did share with hubby. It tastes so much better than it sounds. They are crunchy on the outside and have glorious cheesecake filling on the inside! I really, really enjoyed dinner tonight. Every last gluttonous mouthful! I’d definitely recommend Skeet’s if you come across it.