Braille Monitor                                                 April 2012

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A Word from our Host Affiliate

by Kimberly Flores

Convention is just around the corner, and we in Texas want to make sure you can get to the airport as quickly and as affordably as possible. Then, if you choose to, we want to give you a wide array of choices to explore your surroundings and take in some of the variety that makes Texas unique. Please read on for airport shuttle discount information and a handful of tempting tours. The last three tours listed are fundraisers for the Travel and Tourism Division, so have a nice evening out and support a worthwhile cause as well. Our convention rate is available through July 7, but only a limited number of rooms are available, so, if you plan to stay a few extra days and sample some Texas food and fun, make your reservations quickly.

To reserve these great discounted airport transportation options and rates from either DFW or Love Field, use the following unique link designated for NFB reservations: <>.
DiscountGO Yellow Checker Shuttle is offering discount airport transportation (from either DFW or Love Field) for attendance at the National Federation of the Blind national convention. Several transportation options are available, including airport shuttle ride share web-tickets (Best Price Option No Fuel Surcharge Fee), $32 roundtrip online or $16 one way online. This is a shared ride service, which means that the driver has 25 minutes on airport property from the time the first passenger is picked up. Other passengers going to various locations may be in the van. Exclusive (private non-stop) van service for up to 10 passengers $85 each way. Save $35 one way or $70 roundtrip booked online. This shuttle leaves as soon as you or your party boards. Airport Lincoln Town Car Service web-tickets $75 each way. An online reservation qualifies you for discounts from your city of origin through our partner company, Go Airport Once the online reservation is made for your DFW transportation, the system will automatically make these discounts, if available.

Tour a Slice of Texas

Choose from one of the following three tours to have a uniquely Texas experience.

Dallas Highlights Tour

Join your tour guide, board your motorcoach. Off to enjoy the top sights and attractions of Dallas’ Downtown, Uptown, and Highland Park on this exciting city tour. Visit Dealey Plaza in the West End Historic District, birthplace of Dallas and site of the tragic JFK assassination. See the world famous Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, which is dedicated to the life, death, and legacy of President John F. Kennedy. Visit the Grassy Knoll where bystanders heard gunshots, and learn little-known details of that fateful day.

At the Old Red Courthouse hear about the colorful history of Dallas from the 1800s to present. Stop by John Neely Bryan’s cabin and the Kennedy Memorial. Visit spectacular Pioneer Plaza, a downtown public park, which commemorates a cattle drive of larger-than-life Texas longhorns and hear stories about Texas cowboys and western cattle drives.

Next enjoy an introduction to the Dallas Arts District, a rare jewel that is the centerpiece of our cultural life and home to some of the finest architecture in the world. Learn about the acclaimed, globally significant Nasher Sculpture Center and the serene beauty of the Crow Collection of Asian Art. See the stunning, state-of-the-art Winspear Opera House and the innovative design of the Wyly Theatre. Step inside the world-class Meyerson Symphony Center, home of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, to learn about its legendary sound and world renowned architect, I.M. Pei. Visit the historic Victorian Gothic jewel, the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of the Guadalupe, to see its exquisite European stained glass windows. Learn about the Belo Mansion’s ties to the infamous gangsters, Bonnie and Clyde.

Tour scenic Turtle Creek, learning about the Native Americans who once called this area home, to the exclusive enclave of Highland Park, passing by its beautiful mansions, parks, outdoor sculpture, and upscale shopping and dining in Highland Park Village. Finish your tour in the Victory Park neighborhood, home to Dallas' Mavs (NBA) and Dallas Stars (NHL) and filled with options for sophisticated dining, entertainment, and nightlife.

Scheduled Tour
Friday, July 6, 2012
9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
$45 per person
*Minimum 20 persons for tour to commence
Fort Worth Highlights Tour

Where the West begins. Indians. Cattle. Railroads. Oil. The History of Fort Worth reads like the history of the American West. Your tour guide will introduce you to downtown’s dazzling Sundance Square, a historically rich area, full of attractions and a beautiful setting for dining, theater, and exciting nightlife entertainment. Walk the Heritage Trail for fascinating western history. Hear tall tales about the Chisholm Trail and the famous outlaws, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. See the Fort Worth Water Gardens and the Bass Performance Hall, one of the world’s finest concert and performance halls. Learn about Hell’s Half Acre, where saloons, gambling parlors, shooting halls, and dance halls once flourished, and hear stories of the city’s colorful past. Visit the superb Sid Richardson Museum to enjoy western art by masters Russell and Remington. Stop by Hotel Texas, where President Kennedy spent his last night.

Then off to explore the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District, where the Old West comes to life. Enjoy a guided walk of the stockyards and learn about the historic attractions that speak to a bygone era when the town was a stop for the legendary cattle drives on the Chisholm Trail. Watch a team of cowhands drive a herd of Texas Longhorns along Exchange Avenue. Every detail of this cattle drive, from the saddles to the chaps, from the hats to the boots, is authentic.

Visit the Livestock Exchange, the Wall Street of the West. See Cowtown Coliseum, site of the world’s first indoor rodeo. Step inside the White Elephant Saloon--the interior was used in the filming of Walker Texas Ranger. Tour the historic Stockyards Hotel and experience an era when cattle and cotton were common currency and outlaws were folk heroes. Drop into Billy Bob’s Texas, the world’s largest honky tonk. Stop by the Bull Ring Saloon, the birthplace of Texas Hold’em, and see its interesting collection of Texas art. Try on cowboy boots at one of the many western stores or pick up a memento or gift from Stockyards Station--formerly sheep and hog barns, now home to many unique shops and restaurants.

Put on your cowboy boots and join us for a western-styled, thrilling evening at the Fort Worth Stockyards Championship Rodeo. Relax and settle into your seat in the historic Cowtown Coliseum, built in 1908 and the site of the world's first indoor rodeo.

Scheduled Tour
Friday July 6, 2012
3:00-10:30 p.m.
$65 per person (includes entrance to the Stockyards Rodeo)
*Minimum 20 persons for tour to commence
*Dinner on your own in the Fort Worth Historic Stockyards
Southfork Ranch Tour
The Legend Lives on

No visit to Dallas is complete without visiting the legendary Southfork Ranch. Tour the famed Southfork Ranch and Ewing Mansion and relive exciting moments from the series. Relax on a guided tram tour of the ranch grounds from the visitors’ center en route to the Ewing Mansion. You'll hear a history of the ranch and see Texas longhorns and American quarter horses. At the Ewing Mansion a tour guide will give a full guided tour of the mansion, including interesting tidbits about the years of filming and insight into the character of the Ewings. Learn about the exciting new TV series--Dallas, the Next Generation.

As you depart the mansion, feel free to stroll through the ranch grounds and stop and visit "Lincolns and Longhorns," displaying Jock Ewing's original 1978 Lincoln Continental. Relive some of the memorable moments from Dallas in the Dallas Legends exhibit. See the gun that shot J.R., Lucy's wedding dress, video clips from the series, interviews with the stars, and other memorabilia that will make you feel right at home with the most infamous Texans of them all, the Ewings.

Scheduled Tour
Friday, July 6, 2012
9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
$50 per person (includes entrance to Southfork Ranch)
*Minimum 20 persons for tour to commence
The following three tours are organized by the NFB Travel and Tourism Division, and a portion of the cost of the tickets will benefit the division.

Jersey Boys–Broadway Show at the
 AT&T Performing Arts Center

Jersey Boys is the Tony, Grammy, and Olivier Award-winning best musical about Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, the Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito, and Nick Massi. This is the story of how four blue-collar kids became one of the greatest successes in pop music history. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds, and sold 175 million records worldwide--all before they were thirty. Jersey Boys features their hit songs “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll,” “Oh What a Night,” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” “It will run for centuries!” proclaimed Time Magazine.

The Jersey Boys creative team comprises two-time Tony Award-winning director Des McAnuff, book writers Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, composer Bob Gaudio, lyricist Bob Crewe, and choreographer Sergio Trujillo. This is also a fundraiser for the Travel and Tourism Division of the NFB; $5 of the total price is being donated to the division.

One reason this show is of particular interest to some Federationists and as an extra treat is that the Frankie Valli role is being played by Travel and Tourism Division President Cheryl Echevarria’s cousin, Brad Weinstock. Mr. Weinstock has agreed to arrange a quick meet-and-greet with the cast of the show.

Scheduled Tour
Saturday, June 30, 2012
6:00-11:00 p.m.
$100 per person
*Minimum 20 persons for tour to commence
Medieval Times Dinner Show

Surrender to an age of bravery and honor and witness epic battles of steel and steed during our all-new show. From ringside seats discover a feast of the eyes and appetite with more action, more fun, and more excitement than ever before. As you thrill to a rousing live jousting tournament, marvel at awe-inspiring horsemanship and falconry, Medieval Times serves a four-course meal fit for royalty.

Convention attendees will also have an opportunity to meet with the ensemble for photo ops, as well as the chance to pet the horses and touch the armor.

A vegetarian meal is available upon request; let Cheryl know of your preference when booking. The standard menu includes tomato bisque soup, focaccia bread with olive oil and herbs, large BBQ spare ribs, oven-roasted chicken, herb-basted potato split into two quarters, braided apple strudel, and large beverage servings and coffee. Meals are eaten with bare hands here; no need for silverware in this authentic Medieval experience.

Scheduled Tour
Friday, July 6, 2012
7:00–10:00 p.m. Dinner begins at 8:00 p.m.
$50 per person
$5 of the $50 will be donated to the Travel and Tourism Division
No bus will be needed; this event is 2 blocks away from the Hilton Anatole
We will meet in the lobby at 7:00 p.m.
*Minimum 20 persons for tour to commence
Six Flags Over Texas

Six Flags Over Texas is more than a first-class family theme park. It’s the Thrill Capital of Texas. With over 100 rides and attractions, Six Flags Over Texas is the place to be. With incredible rides like Titan and Mr. Freeze, Superman and Batman: The Ride, you’ll find more to scream about than in any other park around. So if you’re looking for pure thrills, go big--go Six Flags!

Scheduled Tour
Friday, July 6, 2012
3:00–9:00 p.m.
$65 per person (includes entrance, bus, tickets to the park, food on your own)
$5 per ticket will go to the Travel and Tourism Division
*Minimum 25 persons for tour to commence

Tour Registration Form:

Name: _________________________________________________________
Address: _________________________________________________________
City, State, Zip: _________________________________________________________
Phone: (H)___________________ (Cell) ___________________ (Fax) ___________________

Tour 1. Dallas Highlights Tour              July 6                                   $ 45        $__________
Tour 2. Fort Worth Highlights Tour       July 6                                   $ 65        $__________
Tour 3. Southfork Ranch Tour                July 6                                   $ 50        $__________
Tour 4. Jersey Boys                               June 30                                $ 100      $__________
Tour 5. Medieval Times Dinner Show   July 6                                   $ 50        $__________
Tour 6. Six Flags Over Texas                July 6                                   $ 65        $__________
Prices include taxes and fees, bus service, and tips when food is included.

                                                                                                Total for Tours $__________

Payments, deposits, and headcounts must be submitted no later than May 15, 2012.
Final payments are due June 10, 2012.

Make checks payable and remit payment to:
Echevarria Travel
10 Aljan Drive
Brentwood, NY 11717
Attention: Cheryl Echevarria

Questions or to register by phone: (631) 456-5394 or (866) 580-5574
email: <[email protected]>


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