Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Amy does Dallas!

Seriously, I crack my own damn self up with that title.  Any who, Happy Fall Y'all and all things pumpkin to you!  Life is super fun and busy over in these parts, but I managed to take a few days out for myself recently!  A couple of my best friends and I hopped on a plane and headed to Dallas, Texas! 

Why Texas?  Well, the Texas State Fair has always been on my bucket list and the dates weren't going to work for school breaks to take the kids!  So my lady loves indulged me and off we went!

We were on our flight at literally the butt crack of dawn and landed at 8:30 a.m. Texas time!  We rented a car at the last minute since we knew we'd be all around town.  They gave us the fanciest Chevy Malibu ever . . . we affectionately nicknamed her "Boo," and she treated us right! 

The weather on Friday, Oct 10th was sunny and gorgeous so we made that our fair day!  We headed straight over after we arrived . . . nothing like starting your fried food binge at 9:30 a.m.

Our first stop was to see Big Tex because he seemed like the best place to start!  He "talked" to the crowd and gave a bit of a creepy message about germs.  Funny stuff . . . I can still hear his voice in my head.
I was a little freaked out because I forgot my sunscreen and darn if they didn't have free dispensers of 30 SPF!  Happy dance!  I would get a squirt and then walk away . . . for some reason I couldn't loiter.  And I just decided I do not like the word squirt. 

I was so super excited to finally be there I couldn't half stand it!  I tried to not be too ridiculous about the pictures.
Everything at the fair had to be purchased with these green tickets so after Big Tex, we headed to a coupon booth.  We each got $30 to kick off the festivities!  It was like play money after that!

We only road one ride, and it was the humongous Ferris Wheel! 
None of us are afraid of heights, which is a good thing considering it's the largest amusement park ride in the Western Hemisphere standing at 212 feet tall!  We had great views of Dallas and the Cotton Bowl Stadium at the top.  Now that the non-eating events were over, it was time to get our fried on . . . and we were not afraid!
Everything I'd read online said you must get a Fletcher's corndog.  I'm not even a huge corn dog fan, but damn, that thing was delicious.  Line it with some yellow mustard, and it was done after each of us had 2 bites.  See corndog happy and sad pictures below.  We may or may not have had another one later in the day.
The corndog was just the beginning . . . we made it a goal to try all the heartburn inducing delights we could find.  It should be noted that we shared each of these among the three of us and did not finish all of them. 
My personal favorite, besides the delicious Fletcher's corndog, was the fried butter, and they are the front and center picture.  Starting at the top right and moving clockwise we have 1. Fried Breakfast for Dinner (a tortilla spread with refried beans and filled with eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, hash browns and French toast wrapped and fried), 2. Fried Loaded Mashed Potatoes, 3. Fried Cookie Dough, 4. Fried Collard Greens, 5. Fried Grilled Cheese Sandwich, 6. Fried Meatloaf, 7. Frozen Margarita, 8. Fried Frozen Margarita, 9. Texas Biscuit Fries and 10. Fried Frito Pie!

Let's just say that this fried food frenzy is a one and done kind of life event.  We each purchased another round of tickets and by 2 p.m. we had totally grossed our own selves out with all the junk!  It was like we hit a wall and couldn't take any more. 

We headed to our hotel to check in and shower off the shame of the Fair.  We stayed at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Dallas.  It was supposed to be pretty swanky, but I wouldn't stay there again.  It was just ok. 

I read about the Beauty Bar in an online search of Girls' Weekend fun so we decided to check it out!  It's a bar made to look like retro hair salon from the 1960's. 
For $10 you can get a martini and a polish change . . . also known as martinis and manicures!  For $20, you could upgrade to 4 nails with hand-painted art.  We were still kind of stuffed from the fair so we headed over and while the wait was a bit long, it was totally worth it!  Miss Pattycake, the nail artist, was awesome!  She could paint just about anything, and it was so fun to sit and chat with her.  Check out our fabulous nails!  This would be a serious addiction if I lived in Dallas!
Guess which ones belong to me?
It was late and we were hungry again so we headed across the street to Louie's for some very tasty wood fired pizza!It was featured on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and was a great spot to grab a casual dinner!
On Saturday we woke up to some craptastic weather so we headed out for a delicious Thai brunch and some shopping.  Cindy was in the market for some cowboy boots so in our search for Wild Bill's Western Store, we ended up near Dealey Plaza, the site of JFK's shooting in 1963.  There is a museum on the 6th floor of what used to be the Texas School Book Depository, aptly named The Sixth Floor Museum.  This was where Lee Harvey Oswald worked and where he sat in the window to shoot JFK.  I highly recommend this tourist attraction . . . it was extremely well done and obviously very moving.  
The window arrow is where Oswald sat when he shot JFK and
the "X's" on the road are where JFK was when the first shot hit (top photo)
and then the second fatal shot (bottom photo).
So onto something more light hearted . . . cowboy boot shopping!  Check out how we made the "I" in "BIG" because big things are happening in Texas.
We had the best time in Will Bill's Western Store, mostly because of Lance, our amazing salesman!  He was so super helpful and offered us beers . . . nothing like a Shiner Bock to make shopping more fun and win our hearts!  There was a drunk Boomer Sooner fan that came in and made a scene with some naughty words . . . we were cracking on her after she left which lightened the mood for Lance and turned on the fun!  We could have stayed here for days but alas we had to go.  If you are ever in Dallas, go see Lance . . . he'll treat you right!
After wearing ourselves out flirting and shopping, we rested and then headed to Fort Worth to Billy Bob's, the largest Honkey Tonk in the world!  We enjoyed some great people watching and had fun at the indoor bull riding, but after a while the smoke got to us and we headed back to the hotel!

The next morning we had a yummy Tex Mex brunch and then headed to Southfork Ranch, of the TV show Dallas.  Can you hear the theme song playing in your head?  That's what I remember from Friday nights as a kid . . . going grocery shopping with my mom and then after dinner she was off duty and would go watch Dallas by herself!
While I would totally recommend this tour, it was actually all very underwhelming compared to the glitz and glam of the show . . . very 80's which was a fun throwback!  It was fun to hear the little tidbits about the show and it's stars.     I totally remember the hype around "Who shot JR?"
We were able to tour inside the home and around the grounds.  The most notable things were the small size of the pool, the Waterford crystal chandeliers in the dining room and the still intact scene of where they filmed JR actually dying in the new series . . . pretty cool!
And the final fun was seeing the huge old car they used back in the 80's for filming and the faux graveyard where JR is "buried."  
On our last day we headed to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum for a tour.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  A large portion of the museum was dedicated to the events and aftermath of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 . . . it was hard to see it again but so very moving. 
I liked the quote on the wall as you exited the museum . . . very inspiring.
And I couldn't resist a photo with the Bush Presidents!
Our last stop in Dallas was the flagship Neiman Marcus store. 
It was such a yucky, windy day . . . may as well shop.  In the end, we didn't get much other than the famous chocolate chip cookies . . . which came with their own little carrier!
The store was definitely in need of some updating . . . it felt like an episode of Mad Men with the décor.  Same goes for the café where we had lunch.  The service at lunch was great, but I don't have a burning desire to go there again!

We turned in Boo the rental car and got notice on the bus to the terminal that our flight was canceled.  We were automatically booked on an early flight for the next morning, but the check in lady was able to fix it.  While we were delayed, we made it safely back to Atlanta late Monday, October 13th. 

The big news while we were in Dallas was the Ebola crisis . . . the first nurse to contract the virus was hospitalize while we were there.  Areas close to us were front and center on the national news, and it turns out we were at the airport the same night the second nurse to contract Ebola was there.   

In summary, we had a great trip!  It was a welcome break from the day to day life, and we all got along famously!  I can't wait until next year!  Coincidentally, I'm leaving again to head to Virginia to enjoy a girls' weekend with my college best friends . . . I cannot wait! 

And you know those ridiculous things that make you laugh but are way too difficult to explain or just wouldn't be funny if you did?  We had several of those from Dallas and these are to trigger my giggles when I look back on the fun . . .

Drunk as a bat
Shut yo mouf, chile
Brown town
Mind blown
Where is my boo?
Dismissed
Do you want a Shiner Bock?  A shot of what?
Je ne sais quoi?  I know, but what did she say?

Hope you all are well . . . until next time!

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