Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Our trip to the Lone Star State...

Well, baby, your daddy and I just returned from another away-from-home adventure to add to our summer book of memories. A trip to Dallas, Texas has been on our list of things to do since Beau’s two college roommates, Dallas and Heath, and Heath's wife, Nicole, moved there a few years ago. But, as you’ll learn someday, time slips by, things pile up, and it gets hard to squeeze in all the things we'd love to do in a 365-day calendar. This year was the year, however, so, just crossing into my final trimester, 28 weeks pregnant, we hopped on a airplane on Thursday to enjoy a long weekend of friends, food, and relaxation in the Lone Star State.

This is Emersen, Heath and Nicole’s baby girl. Although the saying may be that everything is bigger in Texas, Emersen does not fit the bill. She’s seven pounds of cute, and it was fun to cuddle with her throughout the weekend. Someday, we will go back to their house and the two of you will have lots of fun together. Beau thinks you two would make a great couple someday; however, your momma will have some words if you decide to move too far away.

This is Heath and Nicole. Your dad lived with Heath for four years during college, at the infamous ‘504’ apartment. He has many stories that involve his friend, 'Fid'; unfortunately, your ears can only hear about half of them. We arrived in Texas Thursday afternoon and Heath picked us up from the airport. We spent our first night relaxing at their beautiful home, while also gaining some practice and parenting advice from the newbies. I absorbed Nicole’s every move as she tended to her little one, and Beau treated Fid’s advice as gold. It turns out, Fid took some of Beau’s advice to heart as well over the weekend. Friday, while the girls got pedicures, the boys went to Lowes and purchased a Char Griller Smoker. Before the weekend was over, Fid had knocked out a rack of ribs, a turkey, and a brisket. Beau was so proud...

This is Dallas. I love this man. For some reason, I’ve always had a soft spot for him. Tall, sweet, and handsome, I always told Beau that Dallas would be the perfect candidate for a season of ‘The Bachelor.’ Now, two months from tying the knot to his fiancé, Teresa, in Hawaii, Dallas is definitely living the good life in Dallas.

After a Texas-style dinner of fried green beans, guacamole, and ribs at a perfectly country place called, Love and War in Texas, Dallas took us to his place to stay for the remainder of the weekend. It turns out, Dallas has mad game when it comes to being a tour guide. In his black Lexus, with a custom CD of old music he and Beau used to listen to in college, we sped through downtown, as Dallas pointed out completely random, wonderful facts about his city. He showed us Hotel Zaza, an exclusive hotel just purchased by Lady Gaga (simply because of the name), the largest set of freeway interchanges in the country, and the Dallas Aquarium, home to seven different species of penguins. We drove by the American Airlines Center, home of the Dallas Mavericks; The Loon, a favorite bar of Luke and Owen Wilson; and an exclusive bar that is visited by the richest men in the entire world. If there was a random fact about this city in Texas, our friend Dallas knew it. I asked Beau later if he thought Dallas researched all his Texas knowledge and he replied, “Dallas has always been a curious fool.”

This is the view from the rooftop of Dallas’ high-rise condo. Let’s just say, Beau and I had 'above-average' living arrangements during our stay in Texas. Dallas actually hired a crane to drop off his hot tub, grill, and field-turf lawn when he moved in! I only wish I could have sampled the Grey Goose or Tanqueray 10 martinis Dallas was whipping up for his guest of honor on the rooftop of his pad.

We had great hosts during our stay. While we toured the sites of the city on Saturday, Dallas continually asked how I was feeling, whether I was walking too much, and whether I was hungry. It turns out, he’s a pretty good personal photographer too!

We toured Elm Street, and I had goose bumps as I stood in the exact spot that JFK was shot. Dallas pointed out the window where Lee Harvey Oswald knelt, as well as the conspiracy theory of the potential second gunman. We sampled frozen yogurt from Yumilicious, probably the best soft serve yogurt I’ve ever had. And, we unveiled our childlike wonder at Medieval Times, donning our crowns and eating with our hands.

Beau relished the silverware-less dining experience, although he was disappointed that he couldn’t point his turkey leg at people in the crowd (the chicken legs were a little small). We clanked our mugs together, took pictures with the falconer, and cheered on our knight as if our lives depended on it.

When I started having back, pelvis, and tailbone achiness about a week before leaving for the Lone Star State, I was a little nervous about overdoing it during our stay. It turns out, this trip was exactly what my body needed. It was time to sleep in, laugh with good friends, and not feel obligated to clean my bathroom, switch the laundry, or mop the floor. It was a getaway to a new place, comforted by the laughs of old friends and old stories.

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