Travel Tuesday: Blog Besties in Texas

September 11, 2018 Dallas, TX, USA

I met Aleshea my first year of blogging via a Cara Box exchange (any other old school bloggers here remember those?) and we became fast friends, from commenting on every blog post to frequently exchanging texts.

In 2016, she traveled from Dallas to Baltimore where we conquered 4 cities in 4 days. This year, it was my turn to return the favor (note: the area is huge, so while we again had 4 days, only 2 cities were covered!) with a trip to Texas!

Day 0: Land, eat, check in

My American Airlines flight to DFW was delayed 2 hours because the airline can't keep essential supplies in stock and had to hustle (yes, really). Instead of arriving in Dallas around 6 PM, I landed at 8 in a state of hangry. We grabbed some tacos and set a start time for the next day before I checked into my hotel and crashed for the night.

Day 1: Dallas

This was the one day we didn't have solid plans for, so we opted to sleep in before exploring parts of the city. While I always knew Texas was big, I didn't realize their definition of "city" was so different from that of east coast cities. We drove past many large suburbs, and went to an upscale shopping mall (and brunched), all of which were within proper city boundaries. Also, while I dealt with the 95 degree temps by wearing shorts like (what I thought was) a normal person, all the locals were wearing long pants. What's up with that? I felt like I had a big "tourist" sign on myself just for that!

Bishop cider co.

Finally, we made it to Bishop Arts, a cute up and coming neighborhood more closely resembling what I think of as a "city." We enjoyed exploring different shops before hopping on public transit to sneak a peak at the downtown area. I spotted a few famous landmarks including the location of JFK's assasination, before exploring the West End area and returning to Bishop Arts to meet up with another friend at Bishop Cider Co., a local hard cidery. We split a flight of eight ciders ranging from traditional apple to blood orange to bananas foster! My favorite was called "crack berry", and a six pack may or may not have found it's way into my luggage for the trip home.

Day 2: Austin

Just north of the city, we stopped at famed Round Rock Donuts on our way down before catching up with friends at Black's BBQ for a late lunch.

Round rock donuts

We then parted ways to experience one of the city's natural pools: Barton Springs at Zilker park! It's every bit as gorgeous as the photos, but way colder than I expected anything in Texas could be!

Barton springs pool

Barton springs pool

While we'd hoped to do more, time flew way too quickly and it was time for the 3+ hour drive back to Dallas. My next Texas trip will definitely be further south so I can explore more!

Day 3: Safari

I won't count this as another city since it was technically still in the DFW area. We headed to church service first thing in the morning before hopping on the road to find some local craft beers for Sean and check an item off of Aleshea's Travelin'  Texan list: Fossil Rim Wildlife Center.

giraffe feeding

Guests can pay to either drive their own vehicles through the park, or join a guided safari tour. We opted for the latter (thank goodness, the animals will absolutely walk in the middle of the street), and enjoyed 2 hours of feeding giraffes, emus, ostriches, deer, wildebeests, and more!

We'd worked up an appetite at this point and drove back to Dallas for some home cookin' at South Dallas cafe, where I readily admit the tea was much sweeter than I'd ever need.

Day 4: Dallas

The hot, sunny streak we'd had was interrupted by a rainy day, but we were determined to make the most of it. Before heading into town, we headed to Whataburger for breakfast (brunch? I got a burger and a chicken biscuit per Aleshea's recommendation) so I could see what the fuss was about.

Then we parked uptown and headed for the M street trolley to further explore the city. Between rainy spurts, we enjoyed Thanks-giving Square (we tried to visit the underground tunnels, but they were closed as was half the city. It was Labor Day and Dallas was a ghost town), the Dallas Farmer's Market, and the Deep Ellum neighborhood where I ate a slice of pizza the size of my head.

Finishing up with a quick visit through Aleshea's home neighborhood, it was already time to go back to the airport. While they say everything is bigger in Texas, Love Field airport is a significant exception - it's the tiniest airport I've ever seen. Even more surprising, the TSA agents actually do their job and manage to be friendly about it.

The time wasn't nearly enough, but hopefully we can keep up with this every-other-year momentum for some more travelin' fun!

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