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April 4th, 2009:

A Friday In Dallas

I mentioned that I met my mom in Dallas for a long weekend at the end of spring break. We were trying to escape the cold and snow of MN and CO for a few days. Alas, that did not happen. In fact, while we still had a great time, pretty much nothing we tried to do on that trip happened anywhere near as we thought it would. We decided to go without planning anything – just hang out, relax, enjoy each other’s company, and maybe see a few sights.

It all started Wednesday. I saw on the news that a huge storm was going to pummel Colorado starting around 7:00 a.m. Thursday morning – dumping up to 2 feet of snow with high winds and blizzard-like conditions. I called Hubby and he arranged for me to stay in a hotel near the airport Wednesday night so we wouldn’t have to try to drive up there in the weather. I also changed my flight to 7:00 a.m. so I could beat the storm. Hubby was supposed to get home around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday evening, and I’d head up to the airport. Hubby’s plane was delayed 3 hours! He walked in the door around 10:15 p.m. . . . at which time, I gave him a hug and a kiss, hopped into the car, and made the hour drive to the hotel. In bed by 11:30, but I had to get up at 5:00 to catch my flight! Good thing I got going early, too, because they ended up cancelling 500 flights out that day!

Anyhoo – finally met mom in Dallas and got the rental car . . . you read all about our wonderful adventure getting to the hotel. Since Friday was supposed to be the nicest day weather-wise, we decided to do a few outside things.

The plan . . . 20 minute drive to downtown, check out the 6th Floor Museum, which opened at 9:00 a.m., hang out at the grassy knoll for a while, take some pictures, walk around, head to Lee Harvey’s for lunch. Back to the hotel to relax and have a drink in the hot tub, then get ready for dinner at Lefty’s, a seafood place we found on the Internet.

What happened . . . 45 minutes of driving got us nowhere thanks to the wonderful directions from the Internet. We ended up driving to the tall hotel that has Reunion Tower so we could ask directions. Why did we choose that hotel? Because we could see the tower from everywhere and didn’t need stupid MapQuest to help us. Got directions to the grassy knoll, which was a whoppin’ 4 blocks away. It took us 15 MINUTES to get there. Lots of one-way roads and terrible signage make it difficult. We ended up driving right past it TWICE and ending up back on the highway because the 1st time we didn’t know where we were going, and the 2nd time I was looking for parking and forgot to turn (my bad). We finally ended up finding a parking lot that a crazy man waved us into. $2/hour . . . at least that’s what we thought! Turns out it was $2 every 20 minutes! We parked anyway – afraid to try to find somewhere else 😉 We walked to the grassy knoll, where a really nice man told us more than we ever cared to know about “that day” and took some pictures of us. We stared at the X in the road, said Ooooh Ahhhh, then walked across the street to the museum. We did not see the museum. It didn’t open until 10:00 that day! Stupid Internet. We decided we didn’t really care to see it and walked around a bit. Stopped at a bakery for a light snack while we waited for it to be close enough to lunch time so we could go to Lee Harvey’s. Mom and Hubby were there a few months ago when they both happened to be in Dallas – said it was awesome burgers and onion rings. We drove around looking for the place and missed the turn about 8 times – driving past the same cop car every time we missed it. We turned down an alley and AH HA – there was Lee Harvey’s! But the chain link fence was locked (yes, it’s enclosed by a chain link fence in the middle of a neighborhood of houses). We couldn’t see a sign to tell when it opened, so I called Hubby and he checked online. Opened at 3:00. Crap! Thwarted again.

In the 3 hours we’d been gone from the hotel, we had driven a gazillion miles, gotten lost a few times, had our picture taken by a big white X, and spent $6 on parking. No museum, no lunch.

We headed back to the hotel, stopping for a light lunch on the way – we were saving ourselves for seafood for dinner!!! At lunch, we decided to drive to Grapevine instead so I could show Mom the Great Wolf Lodge and we could ride the train to Fort Worth. The weather was holding up nicely – it was a bit chilly and overcast, but we figured why not. We stopped at the Great Wolf Lodge to take a look around and asked the concierge if he had any info. on this train ride we’d heard about. He gave us a brochure and directions . . . there was a train leaving at 1:00 – perfect! So we start our trek down main street to find the depot and what – or should I say who – do I see? Thomas the figgin’ Tank Engine. That’s right – it was A Day Out With Thomas at the depot that day! Now normally, I would have been happy and taken the kids – we’ve been a couple times here at home. But this day, I knew what it meant – that the train was not going to be taking us to Fort Worth. We parked and asked the lady inside about the train anyway – of course it was not running that day, at least not without Thomas and a hundred screaming kids. So we got some other info. on Forth Worth and decided we might drive there on Saturday. But for the rest of Friday, we decided to walk around Grapevine and see what we could see. It was nice walking around and chatting and looking in the shops . . . until it started to sprinkle. We decided to head back to the car. It started to drizzle a bit harder. I told mom to hang out under an overhang while I went to get the car . . . it started to rain, and rain, and rain – I was SOAKED before I got to the car! We laughed and giggled at our misfortune and headed back to the hotel . . . where, amazingly enough, it was not raining at all. So we figured we’d head to the pool and have a drink before dinner. We got all swimsuited up with drinks in hand only to find the door to the hot tub locked . . . closed due to weather. WTF?! It wasn’t raining – it hadn’t even rained there – it was totally dry! No lightning, etc. Whatever. We ended up playing dice and drinking in the lobby for a while.

It was almost time for our dinner reservation, so we cleaned up and headed out, directions in hand. We got VERY close to the restaurant a few times . . . but could not find it. According to the web site and to the man I talked to on the phone, Lefty’s is behind Jason’s Deli at 4201 Bent Line Road. So of course we went to Bent Line, turned on the 4200 block, and searched for Jason’s Deli. We turned around at the 4500 block to check again. Nothing. I finally called them to ask where they were. Apparently, in Dallas, the numbers mean nothing, kind of like the signs, because 4201 Bent Line Road is ACTUALLY on the 4100 block of Bent Line Road. I have no clue why I didn’t figure that out on my own 😉

But, we had dinner at a fabulous casual seafood restaurant that had WONDERFUL food! The lobster bisque was phenominal, the lobster and snapper were wonderful, the price was excellent, the service was wonderful, and the atmosphere was exactly what we were looking for. So even though the rest of the day didn’t turn out as planned, we ended up with a wonderful dinner at a restaurant nobody recommended to us . . . we found it on our own . . . and I’d tell anyone to go there. Back to the hotel to relax for the rest of the evening and get geared up for the cattle drive, rodeo, and BBQ in Forth Worth on Saturday!!! Yee Haw!

So ya – nothing went as we had planned, except the part where mom and I got to spend a day together talking and laughing and catching up without the kiddos around. But we still had a great time and it was alllll gooood :-)