Dallas

Heading Home from Dallas

June 18 2012

Woke up feeling awful. Of course I would get sick on the morning we need to leave for the airport. We eventually were able to check out and get on a train. Then we took the two shuttle buses to the airport. There was a giant wishbone at the airport, which was cool and sort of random. We went to the airport lounge for American Airlines. The lounge was big and had some light snacks. There were free computers to use as well. Since we were so early my mom had some snacks and used a computer to check her email. I parked myself on a coach and spent the time on the phone with the doctor. We eventually boarded the plane only to find out our plane would be delayed for more than an hour due to the emergency landing shoot not working. Lovely. I was so happy when we landed and were finally home.

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Reliving JFK’s Assassination

June 17 2012

We went across the street from Union Station and had breakfast at Cindi’s. I had read so much about this place. I was so excited to go here. It seemed like it was going to be a copy of a great NYC diner. It wound up being far from it. It looked like a run down bagel joint. My mom and I each got a bagel. I had mine toasted with butter and my mom had hers toasted with jelly. They burnt her bagel even though she told them not to. They couldn’t even give her another of the same bagel flavor because they didn’t have any left. I got another bagel to go.

We then went to the Old Red Museum. If you go before 12pm on Sundays tickets are cheaper. I honestly didn’t know what to expect with this museum and really only bought tickets to see the inside of an interesting building. It turned out to be a great museum! It covers an entire floor and a piece of the 1st floor. It is broken down by time period and there is just so much to see. Each room has a video and there is even a room for children to engage in the exhibits. There are artifacts from JFK’s assassination, from the time of slavery, the time of segregation, from Dallas the TV show, and so much more. I loved looking at everything and took a ton of pictures. Definitely worth the visit!

After the Old Red Museum we visited the Grassy Knoll. My mom and I both had chills. How many times had we watched JFK get shot and Jackie climb on the back of that car. I had recently spent a two whole class periods with my students on this so the images were very vivid. It was unsettling to be there and to see the x’s on the ground that marked the shots. There were a lot of tourists taking pictures, the most I had seen since we arrived.

Next we moved inside to the Sixth Floor Museum. We paid the admission fee and picked up our audio tour which is included in the price. The museum consists of a lot of photos and signs. There are also a handful of videos. No pictures were allowed on the 6th floor. There really wasn’t a lot of artifacts to look at so I spent time reading signs. They have the corner where the shots were taken covered in plexi glass. The museum was packed, which I wasn’t too happy about. I felt like people were on me the whole time. You have the opportunity to go to the 7th floor, but no one really did. You have access to the windows right above the ones Oswald used. So you can have his view. Very freaky. You are allowed to take pictures on the 7th floor so I took pictures of his view. After that, we went to the gift shop in the museum which was very expensive. I just bought postcards and used their press a penny machines. We used the bathroom facilities and crossed the street to the 2nd 6th floor museum gift shop. We bought a cookie at the gift shop and ate it there. The gift shop had pretty much the same stuff as the other one at the same prices. Why have two?

It started to rain. We found a wild west store called the Wild Wild West Store. I bought a t-shirt for Paris and some more postcards. They had a lot of souvenirs, but they were all really expensive. So far everything in Dallas was expensive and I couldn’t figure out why. We then crossed the street and went to the JFK Memorial. We took some pictures and left. Since there is nowhere to eat by our hotel we went back to Hoffbrau’s. I ordered mashed potatoes and bread. I wasn’t too hungry. My mom and I were sad to leave Hoffbrau’s. The staff thought it was funny how addicted we were.

We went back to Wild Bill’s Western and used our 2nd Dallas belt buckle coupon and we got my dad a shirt. We found a cookie place called Tiff’s and picked up some cookies to take back to the hotel. We were bored and didn’t feel like going back to the hotel yet so we decided to walk to Pioneer Plaza. The walk was a bit scary since it was desolate, but we managed. There was another family at the plaza and we all took pictures with the cattle.

We walked back to the hotel and decided to use the free internet in the lobby. My mom left me to ask one of the ladies in the hotel how to connect to the internet when two guys started to harass me. I was alone with a lot of bags and it was clear they wanted to steal one. I freaked out and yelled for help. Eventually people came and helped me and threw the guys out of the hotel. The security in this hotel sucks. The neighborhood is bad, the tunnel is super creepy, and they allow strangers to bother guests. So never coming back here!

After that ordeal we went back to the room to pack.

Categories: Dallas, Family Vacation, Food, History, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Heading to the Lone Star State

June 15 2012

My mom and I were finally heading to Dallas. We were originally supposed to go in March, but there were tornado warnings. We used our American Airlines miles to get free flights.

We landed in Dallas and took a shuttle to a parking lot where we picked up another shuttle. That shuttle took us a train. We bought tickets for the train, which came about 15 minutes later. The train reminded me of Amtrak trains. The train had free wifi, which was plus and it allowed me to check my work email. The train left us off a little over a block away from our hotel (the Hyatt). We had to go downstairs and take a tunnel into the hotel basement. The tunnel was a little creepy. We had heard a lot of bad reviews about this hotel and we knew that the pool and gym were going to be closed while we were going to be there. The Hyatt upgraded us to a suite.

The suite had a living room with a dining room, two bathrooms, a mini fridge, and double beds. We didn’t have a view, but that’s what we wanted because the rooms with a view faced the train station and were noisy. Our lack of a view meant that we would have a quiet room.

We walked through the tunnel again (which was long, deserted, and still creepy) and went to a block away from the Old Red Museum to catch a bus to the Swiss Ave. Historical District. The bus was kind of grimy and definitely worse than the ones in NYC. The bus left us in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere. We had no idea where to go. Thank goodness I had a cell with a map. We were actually only two blocks from the start of Swiss Ave.

We started to shed our layers and protect ourselves from the sun. The sun was shining directly on us and it was very hot. I took out my ipod and a pair of headphones for my mom and I to share. I had downloaded an audio tour of the homes onto my ipod. You can get the audio here, but you’ll need to do some tweaking to get it on your ipod. I organized it so we did one of the side the street and then turned around and did the other side of the street.The houses are beautiful and each one has an interesting history. We even saw the house where they filmed the pilot episode of Dallas (my mom is in a picture with it below). It’s a mile from one end to the other. So we walked two miles total. We were soaked and dehydrated by the time we were done. We walked to Gaston Ave and went into the gas station. I went looking for a bathroom, but didn’t see one. We bought some ice cold water and went to the bus stop.

We took the bus to the Mozzarella Company, which I had heard about on a TV show. Unfortunately, it was not what I thought it would be. There was nothing to see. I got postcards and left. We were then supposed to go to Pepe and Mito’s which was on Diners, Drive-in’s, and Dive’s, which was across the street from Mozzarella Company. However, we were just not in the mood for Mexican food. We decided to head back to our neighborhood. We waited for the bus and waited and waited. The bus stop was outside of a cupcake place, so my mom decided to go in and get some while we waited for the bus. The bus wound up coming 1 hour later.

We got off the bus and decided to go to the restaurant I had picked for the next night, which was Hoffbrau’s. The restaurant was by our hotel and got great reviews. I ordered a side of mashed potatoes with gravy and a side of mac n cheese. They were both so good!!!!! My mom got the Hoffbrau’s chips. They were also very good. Pictures of what we ate is below. The staff was nice, the food was very good, the water was cold, and the bathroom was clean so we were super happy with our choice. We walked around the neighborhood, which wasn’t that good. We went to cvs and picked up some sweets and souvenirs. We also went to Wild Bill’s Western. I bought a bunch of postcards and a bracelet. I had a coupon for a free belt buckle for every $10 spent. So we got to use that. I tried on a bunch of shoes and hats. We had a lot of fun just looking around the store. We took the scary tunnel back to our hotel and stayed in for the rest of the night.

They knew I was coming. lol

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Gun Fight Ahead

July 16 2012

My mom brought up some breakfast which I ate quickly while getting dressed. Our first stop was going to be the Dallas Heritage Village. We would need to take a bus there and then walk. However, the neighborhood looked deserted on Google maps. The hotel was nice enough to offer to drive us to the village. On our drive we passed Pioneer Plaza, which consisted of statues of a cattle drive. We also passed the Dallas Farmer’s Market. We made note of its location so we could go back.

When we arrived we purchased tickets in the gift shop and then I picked up a postcard. The lady gave us a map and informed us that shortly there would a gun show with the actors. We took our seats for the show and were thoroughly entertained. We went into each house and shop. It was like going back in time. I was pleased that my mom was enjoying herself as well. The village is a great historical spot for people of all ages. A lot of people brought their kids and they were having a good time. Nothing was repetitive. In most of the houses we just roamed around since there wasn’t an official tour. However, a docent in one of our final houses (the Sullivan House) closed the house to the public (temporarily) and gave us a private tour. My favorite house was the Blum House. I also enjoyed seeing the Doctor’s office despite the fact all the instruments were scary looking. Thank goodness for modern medicine. We stayed to see the second gun show and surprisingly it was different than the first. I purposely had us go on a Saturday because I had read about these shows and the fact they docents in some of the houses. Additionally, there were animals and the blacksmith was in his shop working. We used the restrooms and walked a couple blocks to the Farmer’s Market.

We saw the Farmer’s Market on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and thought we would check it out. We went the outdoor portion first where there were tons of vendors selling fruits and vegetables. Many of the vendors were giving out free samples. I didn’t have any, but my mom tried a few. She seemed to enjoy them. Next we went inside and saw the long line for the Pecan Lodge (where Guy visited). We walked around for a bit and bought some sweets. We sat and watched everyone stuffing their faces with BBQ. Everything looked and smelled amazing. We used the restroom and went outside to wait for the bus. We waited for 15 minutes and no bus. It was hot and there wasn’t a place to sit by the bus stop so we decided to walk.

I had read about a mall so my mom and I were going to head there. I figured it is nice and cool after a couple hours out in the sun. I also figured we would eat dinner in the mall. The “mall” was called Plaza of the Americas and it was anything but a mall. It was the bottom levels of a hotel. There was  an ice skating rink. There was a very very small food court that was closed but looked gross anyways. There were probably less than 10 stores and they were all closed. Not one of them looked good. So we decided to leave and see the Holocaust Museum. We boarded a train and realized we were the only suckers who bought tickets. Everyone just got on. The people at the stop we got out at looked kind of scary. I guess we weren’t in the best neighborhood. The museum wasn’t very obvious (bad signage), but we eventually found it.

The admission was pretty steep considering the museum consisted of only 3 rooms (I didn’t know that at the time). There was a holocaust survivor there to talk about the book he wrote and to sign it. We walked around and saw that most of the items in the museum were actually donated by him. There was a recreation of one of the cattle cars that took the Jews to the camps. There was a very moving video at the end that had very informative signs.

We were very hungry at this point and decided to get dinner. We walked to TGI Friday’s and read the menu, but nothing appealed to us. We went into a candy store that was super expensive and left. Back to Hoffbrau’s. This time my mom ordered a bacon grilled chicken honey mustard sandwich with chips. I ordered mac n cheese and mashed potatoes with gravy again. They served us the best hot fresh bread ever! It was just so darn good!!! My mom’s sandwich looked and smelled incredible. She loved it and said it was one of the best things she ever ate. I ate her bread which tasted like honey mustard and the grill (but in a good way). We took the chips back to the room and munched on them later. What a great dinner!

On her way back to the hotel (through the scary tunnel) we had a crazy lady follow us in. She was cursing at us and threatening us. We walked fast and tried not to pay attention to her. My mom had the plastic knife from the restaurant in her hand just in case. There are no cameras in the tunnel so it is so dangerous. We reported the incident to the hotel. We went back to our room and called it a night.

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Postcards from Dallas

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Dallas

I was teaching a 1960’s elective and decided I wanted to visit Dallas. My mom and I had never been. We were mainly going for the Grassy Knoll and the 6th Floor Museum. Upon doing more research I learned about the Old Red Courthouse, Swiss Ave. Historical District, Heritage Village, and the farmer’s market. We were originally going to go during the first weekend of March to celebrate me finishing my masters. However, Mother Nature had other plans. There were tornado warnings so we canceled at the last minute and rescheduled for the middle of June. To view our trip plan please click the link below. I will start posting my day to day journal for Dallas this weekend.

Our trip plan

My postcards from Dallas

Tripadvisor reviews:

Sixth Floor Museum

Old Red Museum

Cindi’s

Hyatt Regency

Hoffbrau’s

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