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Dallas, Texas: August 31 to September 3, 2017

The first weekend of September, which was barely a day after Harvey left Texas, my roommate, Lydia, and I traveled to Dallas. We drove through the remainder of the hurricane as it passed over Louisiana, which worried us the day before and the morning of, but it turned out to be winds (we were buffeted on the road a bit, but we’d both driven through conditions like that before) and heavy rain. We spent about a half hour driving thirty with our hazards on while crazies in large trucks passed us driving seventy and spewing water on us, but when the rain cleared, we were in Texas and it was a beautiful day.

We went to Dallas because Lydia was in a wedding We left the day she was supposed to be there for the rehearsal. From where we live in Jackson, MS, it’s six and a half hours. We missed the rehearsal for three reasons: we left later than we’d planned, weather, and traffic when we hit the greater Dallas area around five.

Since we’d missed the rehearsal and even the dinner was over by the time we were within half an hour of the site, we went straight to the apartment we’d rented on Airbnb. It was the first time either of us used the site, but it was great. Located in an apartment complex in Frisco, the place was well maintained, and our host sent updates on the happenings in the area because of all the hurricane refugees and the consequential shortages, aka gas. We filled up outside the city and didn’t have any issues.

Thanks for posing, Lydia. We appreciate your dedication to my craft. And you look marvelous, darling.

The apartment was sparsely furnished, but since we had plans not to be holed up, it wasn’t an issue. It wouldn’t have been an issue even if we had been because we are resourceful and not picky.

So after we got settled in, we realized we were hungry. Very hungry. Those Pringles on the counter are ours, but they don’t satisfy, they merely put off.

We spent something like twenty to forty minutes looking through the local restaurants before we decided on one called Rock & Brews.

Admittedly, not the greatest picture, but by the time I remembered, we were finished and it was dark, and we were both tired and ready for some much needed sleep. Aesthetically speaking, though, I really like this photo. I’m not sure why. There’s just something about it. I think it’s the lighting and the framing of the shot.

We wanted to sit outside, but because the weather had cleared and the sun was setting beautifully, there was no room. However (and again because of the wonderful weather),  all of the doors were open. This restaurant had large glass doors that slid open when the weather permitted, and so the live music outside (I apologize for not having a picture) played throughout the restaurant, indoors and outdoor because they were essentially the same thing. The tables were not the same, however. The outside tables were mostly bar height and glass. Those tables that weren’t bar height were low and had couch seating no matter the size. But again, we sat inside do to lack of seating, but with the doors open, we still had the benefit of the breeze and the live music. The inside tables were normal and wooden. As you can see.

Lydia and I are horrible about deciding what we want, but we do have some go-tos whenever we try a new restaurant. Pretzel with cheese is one. On the menu, this is titled the Giant Soft Authentic Bavarian Pretzel. It comes with Spicy-Sweet Mustard (which has horseradish in it that neither of us was expecting), and we added the Bier Cheese. I was more than happy to pay the extra for the cheese to counteract the spice of the mustard, but maybe others feel differently. It was delicious, though.

We waited to order drinks until after we’d had our appetizer, and Lydia ordered a beer while I ordered two different drinks (not at the same time). The above is called Good Vibrations, which is made with Sugar Island Spiced Rum, Dark Rum (I’m a rum gal), Orange Curacao, Pineapple and Lime Juice, and Orgeat. I don’t like maraschino cherries, but lucky for me, Lydia does. The below is the Ginny Hendrix which has New Amsterdam Gin, St. Germaine, Lemon Juice, Blueberry, Thyme, and Simple Syrup. I liked the Good Vibes better than the Hendrix. I don’t like when drinks are too fruity. Slightly fruity is okay, but the alcohol needs to offset the sweetness a bit. I need to taste it (the alcohol). The Ginny Hendrix was just too sweet for what I normally want.

Lydia got a beer. The Black Butte Porter. I tried some, and it was good. For the sandwich, Lydia ordered the Backstage Burger. It’s a standard burger with tomato, onion, pickles, iceberg lettuce with a Brioche bun and is also available as a gluten free option. For those who are wondering, there are plenty of gluten free options on the menu. I’m not sure how strict they are about cross contamination, but because of the number of items available, it should be a decent bet to say it’s a safe restaurant.

I also got a burger. Mine was standard as well, but with the caveat of having caramelized onions and Thousand Island dressing. I didn’t try Lydia’s, but mine was good. I couldn’t tell you if that’s because it truly was or if we were just that hungry. Could be either, but I’ll say both.

As I said, we were both tired by the time we left, and as the day was filled with driving and driving and driving and rain and decisions and general forethought, that was the end of day one.

Day two was the day of the wedding, and we made it to the venue before everyone else because of a miscommunication about time. Luckily we were told a time too early instead of too late.

The back road we got lost on. It was beautiful, and it just took us in a circle, so I’d say it was worth it.

I just love this picture. The way the road is in motion, but some of the trees aren’t. That and the color contrast is great.

But we made it with plenty of time for Lydia to get done up. And the other bridesmaids. Lydia was one of the first because nobody wanted to volunteer, but it all worked out and the other girls were chill and helpful and nice. Especially since I was just kind of there hanging out.

The wedding party took forever with the photos after the ceremony, though. So I had some Rosé and the smaller glass is a pineapple lemonade drink that was wonderful. Everyone drank it all day and they eventually ran out because people were choosing that over the cucumber lime infused water that was also delicious.

I apologize for not having any more photos of the wedding, but I was distracted.

The next day was humid. We had planned on going to downtown Dallas, but between the gas shortage and the heat, we opted to sleep in. We did get out and see some things, though.

For lunch, we went to a coffee shop in the area called Global Peace Factory.

I really slacked on photos and information here, so I apologize in advance. For example, I only photographed what I ordered, and not what Lydia did because they look the same. I also failed because the barista did some latte art, and I put the lid on before I remembered the photo, so you can’t see it. I bought a latte, though,

Irish Creme. Mmm.

They have plenty of delicious looking treats, but we did ourselves a disservice and didn’t buy any.

We got the same sandwich. I confess to not remembering the name of the sandwich, but I think it was something like “Tomato Basil with Ham” or some such. I thought I had a photo of the menu. Which I probably deleted in favor of another photo. Fail.

I like the dent in the wall and the mismatched chairs.

This bird was the first of its kind that I’d seen. Lydia claims they’re starlings, and I have no reason not to believe her. But they’re gross, and I thought they were funny things that had let the city get the better of them. (Considering they’re trash birds, I guess that is the case.) I was taking so many pictures because I was amused that the barista came over and was watching me and the bird with a look like “What is going on?”

No worries, barista. Just me taking pictures of the sad, strange little bird.

After that, we went to a sculpture garden in the middle of an industrial park.

I couldn’t pass up the picture of these two intersecting ways. People think they’re so funny.

Before we saw the sculptures, we walked around the park (in the humidity, gross) and followed the path by the water.

Once we crossed the river, we came to the sculptures.

This sculpture was actually three or four roses on the side of a small hill, but I couldn’t get a picture with all of them unless I crossed the street and took a shot from farther than I wanted.

From far away, I thought someone had put a sculpture of a dragon in the middle of the park, but it turned out to be just a giant horned toad, no big deal.

This one was an instant favorite. I mean, look at it! All the cubes are contained by the rings, and the rings are arranged in a way that makes the sculpture stable, but also implies a certain amount of movement–I can’t be the only one who wants to push and pull the rings like an accordion.

I can’t walk through any form of art display without thinking about the process the artist went through. How much time did they put into this? What made them want to create that? Using the above sculpture, why did they position it just so? I would have chosen a different arrangement. The sculpture here intrigues me. The title is Blue Stroke, but beside the obvious, why? Maybe I caught the wrong angle. Which is wrong, because if there were a wrong angle, it wouldn’t be 3D art.

Fun fact: this sculpture is as old as I am.

These birds have been fighting over that stone for years. I can’t tell if the one is trying to give the stone away or if it’s gloating.

Regardless, those were some of the sculptures Lydia and I saw on our trip to the sculpture garden.

We went to an Italian restaurant later that night, but I’m not even going to explain that one because it was just meh. All of the food was okay, and none of it was great. I didn’t even finish my entrée, which says something because I usually eat everything. We did have a late lunch, though, so maybe that’s it.

We left the next morning, and it took us less time to travel because time and weather were both on our side.

All in all, we stayed mostly in Frisco and didn’t go downtown Dallas like we’d hoped, but we had a good time, and I would definitely return.

  * * * * *

I am currently developing my travel writing, so if you have any comments or tips, feel free to comment .

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You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram @allfortheboes.

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