Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Exploring Dallas

Texas is one of those places that seems like a dream, it's shown on tv and movies as wild, fun and hot. But I finally got the opportunity to go there myself. My friend Sarah was doing some work in California this summer and we wanted to take a trip together for Labour Day Weekend- the closest the US gets to a bank holiday. We eventually settled on Dallas as it's between both coasts and our wonderful friend Jessica lives there too. We both arrived at around 3pm on Saturday afternoon and headed straight to our hotel to check in. We stayed at the Downtown Dallas Crowne Plaza Hotel and I've already written a full review. It was a fantastic hotel in a great location.



We chilled in the hotel for a bit as we waited for it to get a bit cooler (Texas heat is no joke) before heading out for dinner. I'd found a place called Twisted Root on Trip Advisor that advertised great burgers and a relaxed atmosphere which was just what we were looking for. I opted for a build your own burger and got a bacon cheeseburger with peanut butter. It was absolutely delicious! The restaurant had a really cool vibe. When you ordered you'd get a card with a celebrity on it and when your order was ready they'd call out the celebrity name and make a few jokes etc. It was fun. I wish I was 21 because this is the sort of place I could see myself getting dinner at then stopping for a few drinks.




We went for a walk through that area towards a doughnut shop. The area was full of lots of bars and restaurants with a lot of live music so it was a really bustling area. Again, I'd have loved to do more if I was over 21! We stopped at Glazed Donut Works and picked up some doughnuts to take back to the hotel. We went for a swim on our hotel's rooftop pool which was amazing, devoured our doughnuts and headed to bed.


After a great night's sleep, it was time to relax in the pool for the morning. Luckily, it was in the shade in the morning so I didn't have to worry about getting sunburnt. Then it was time for showers before we headed out for the day. We had a quick walk through the downtown area and stopped for brunch. I didn't take photos and I can't remember the name of the place either! We had a classic American breakfast with rosemary potatoes, toast, bacon and we swapped out eggs for some fruit. This was when we met our friend Jessica and headed off to our first tourist attraction. We'd booked tickets for the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.




Because we were early for our time slot we walked around Dealey Plaza to pass the time. For those of you who don't know, JFK was assassinated in Dallas at Dealey Plaza, the area has been turned into an attraction in itself almost with crosses painted on the road to show where the shots hit and conspiracy theorists on every corner talking to anyone who will listen. It felt a bit odd to be going to see such a place but it also contains a lot of interesting history.





The museum was good if a little overcrowded. With the use of an audioguide, you're told the story of JFK's rise to President and his career, ending with his assassination. It was really sad at times but it helped me understand the situation a lot. Seeing as I was travelling with two history graduates, my American history was not up to scratch and this museum really helped bring me up to speed. After the museum, we went to Reunion Tower. It's your classic city observatory but with a rotating restaurant and cafe too. The restaurant was super expensive but the cafe had good prices so we had a drink and some snacks and sat and watched the world go by. The views of the city were amazing and it was also really interesting to see the highways that lead out of the city. So different to anything you'd see in the UK. We also got one of those posey attraction photos but it was free to email to ourselves so here it is in all it's Texan glory.





We didn't really get up to much for the rest of the evening. We stopped for some tex mex, loaded up on guacamole and got a semi-early night after a busy day. The heat really took it out of me. In the morning, it was time to check out of the hotel as we were staying at Jessica's house for our final night. We went to a place called Whisk Crepes Cafe for breakfast. There was a wait for a table but it was totally worth it. Nutella, banana and strawberries inside a crepe is just the most amazing combo isn't it?


We'd asked Jessica to take us to the most Texas place ever and she definitely delivered. We took a trip to the Southfork Ranch - the set of the TV show Dallas. We toured the grounds on the back on a tractor before getting a guided tour of the house. I've not seen too much of the show but it was still an awesome experience and felt so different to the city scenes we had seen so far.







That evening we went out for dinner with Jessica's family at a local restaurant that offered up traditional Southern food. American 'biscuits' are similar to scones but with less rise and are served with butter and honey. They were absoutely delicious and I'm drooling just thinking about it too. The next morning we just relaxed by Jessica's pool as we had to be at the airport around lunchtime. We stopped at In N Out burger on the way to the airport which I was very excited to try after hearing so much about it. Honestly, I thought it was a little disappointing and definitely not worth the hype but I'm glad I got to try it.



We had the most amazing long weekend in Dallas. I still can't quite believe that I'm getting to scratch Texas off map scratch-off map. I don't think I'll stay away for very long...

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