Well, we're back from Dallas. It was a great weekend! The weather was wonderful (I didn't mind the humidity... Steph, not so much), the food was great, the rodeo was a blast and the concert was amazing. And, if you're wondering, the title comes from Steph's blog posting about things that we heard or said this weekend that would make perfect blog titles. There were many; we forgot a lot of them.
A few things we learned.
1. NEVER, and I repeat NEVER visit to the Dallas/Fort Worth area without getting a GPS. Thank you random Budget guy! When Steph asked him how hard it was to navigate Dallas area streets, he answered "We can rent you a GPS system for $10 a day." Money well spent. We named it Susie.
1A. The roads are weird. Even after extensive study of an aerial map, we still wouldn't have gotten it. Susie was our new best friend.
1B. The roads are highly condusive to motion sickness. We bounced. A lot. Not a great experience after the unhappiness that is eating raw broccoli salad on a plane followed by a rough descent and landing.
2. Never eat raw broccoli salad on an airplane no matter how good of an idea you think that box lunch you got at SuperTarget so you didn't have to spend $8 on an airport sandwich seems to be. The broccoli will come back to haunt you. Over and over and over.
3. Remember... Dallas is in the Bible belt. Dallas on a Sunday afternoon is boring. Everything is closed, no people.
4. Any aquarium that only charges $4 to get in probably sucks.
5. Wearing earplugs at a rock concert does not make you a wuss. It makes you capable of hearing the next day. lol. (I learned my lesson after Muse and brought some. Everyone else was jealous.)
There are probably more lessons that we learned, but that works for now :)
So Saturday, we checked in to our hotel in Irvine and started planning. We decided to do Fort Worth that afternoon and hit the rodeo at the Stockyards that evening. So much fun! First on the list, however, we ended up near the TCU campus because Steph found out, courtesy of Susie, that there were Potbellies sandwich shops in the Dallas area. The broccoli was still bugging me, so I skipped a sandwich, but I have to say, their cookies are AMAZING!!! I could really have done without finding that out.
Next, we wandered around Sundance Square in Fort Worth and then went over to the Stockyards. It was so old west looking! I'm not sure how much is historical and how much it tourist trap, but it was all fun. Steph wanted to stop at the old-west saloon looking biker bars on the way in. We turned down the street and there was a whole string of them with a long line of Harleys out front. Too funny.
We wandered the Stockyards, popping our heads into little stores (I got a saddle Christmas ornament for my collection) and then we went to Riscky's for some Texas BBQ dinner. Of course, neither of us had BBQ. lol. But I had a nice Angus burger!
After dinner we went to the rodeo. That was so much fun. I'd never been to one before but I really enjoyed it. Although I have to admit, during the calf roping, I was cheering for the calves. I hated seeing them get thrown around and tied up like that. But the bronc and bull riding were amazing.
First up, we enjoyed our complimentary breakfast at the hotel. You have to love a state that has so much pride they make their own Texas shaped Belgian waffle makers.
Next, we thought we'd go to Dallas. Allow me to refer you to "things we learned" #3. Dallas is boring on Sunday. The Farmer's Market was a real one and not one of those touristy ones. Having no need for loads of produce in our hotel room, we moved on. Fountain Square would have been lovely if the fountains had been turned on. Heh. So we decided to go to the aquarium. This brings us to "Things we learned" #4. Granted... we figured it couldn't be that great for $4, so we weren't too disappointed. We were able to find great amusement in standing in front of the alligator and trying to figure out if he was alive or stuffed. He never moved! Finally, on our second round of standing in front of him looking for signs of life, I saw him blink.
The aquarium was on the grounds with the Dallas State Fair Park which was, surprisingly enough, closed. But! There was a beautiful walking area with a floating sculpture and lots of turtles. We spent some time walking, exploring and enjoying such beautiful weather in November.
By this time we were pretty hungry. We wanted TexMex for sure. We were in Texas, right? Must do. First try was a texmex place called Mattitos that had won Best of Dallas 4 times or something. When we finally found it and realized that it was PACKED for brunch and that there were lots of Porsches and other expensive cars going to the valet, we decided to make another pick. El Fenix, one of the original texmex restaurants... closed. Greek food! Closed. So we figured at this point we should just get out of Dallas. We went back near our hotel and found heaven: Mi Cocina. Delicious! We had chicken flautitas, enchiladas, tamales and lots of other tasty food that could still be sitting in take-out containers in the fridge of our hotel room for all I know.
As we were driving out of the parking lot after lunch, Steph looked up and this is approximately what I heard: "Oh. my. Goodness. That's the Holy Grail of Food! Quiet! It may run away!" There in front of us, housed in one building, were Potbellies and Chipotle. I thought Steph was going to faint. So, is it any surprise that after a little resting up at the hotel, we went back to Potbellies for dinner before going to the concert? lol. I had my first sandwich there and I have to admit, it's pretty good stuff! But the cookies are better.
So. Finally. The point of the whole weekend, The Concert. Four amazing bands, two amazing seats. We were 13 rows back from the pit, dead center. All four were amazing - they all do such a great live show. I could go on and on about them and the songs they played and when members of different bands came on with other groups to jam (like when the guys from Seether and 3 Days Grace came on and did the a cover of the Deftones "Change" while Ben from Breaking Benjamin was down in the pit throwing out water bottles... so sweet.) and all that kind of thing, but this post is already way too long. So, I leave you with pictures.
Red (only played 4 songs, but they were much better live than we expected. Love their stuff and love that people in the crowd who weren't familiar with them were going out to buy their CD between sets.)
Seether - I've heard a lot of their music on the radio but didn't really know them well. I now need all their albums. They were, as Stephanie had already told me they would be, absolutely amazing live.
Breaking Benjamin - the main reason they were there. Long gone are the days when we saw them in little clubs in DC while they were nearly apologetic for being on stage and having us cheer for them. Ben has become a rock star. But the show was still awesome.
Three Days Grace - another band I knew and liked from the radio, and I now need to get their albums. They were great!
It was awesome. Worth even having to fly back to Salt Lake via Atlanta yesterday (hey... for a free ticket, like I should be complaining! lol). :D
Happy Birthday Stephanie! The rest of the pictures are here.