it was probably a little cruel of me to book such an early flight, but i have a thing about only flying non-stop (if it’s possible), so i elected the 7:55 a.m. direct journey from SAN to DAL on southwest friday morning and promised S a really big cup of coffee when we arrived at charles lindbergh.
friday morning went off without a hitch. we loaded up the truck with our carry-ons and braved the first signs of the highly anticipated arrival of the pineapple express before finding the laurel parking garage where we had planned to leave the car during our time away. the shuttle dropped us off in front of the southwest gate and despite the lengthy queue through security, we passed through relatively quickly. with a few minutes to spare, i treated S to an einstein bagel and grabbed an iced coffee and protein bar for myself. we posed for a shoe selfie, got some sustenance in our system, and before too long, were boarding the plane.
our flight was (relatively) quick and painless. i dove into the first 100+ pages of amy poehler’s yes please, S listened to a podcast and we were treated to a beverage service and complimentary peanuts and lorna doones. i love southwest.
we landed at dallas love field and picked up the shuttle that would take us to our weekend ride. in an effort to save money, we had opted for a compact when making the reservation. we just didn’t realize how compact our car would turn out to be. turns out, not everything is bigger in texas.
let’s just say S’s knees and our chevy sonic’s steering wheel were quite friendly with each other by the end of the trip. what a champ.
knowing we’d be heading to the lonestar state, i had emailed my friend R months in advance for some restaurant/activity recommendations. a dallas resident herself, she came back with a comprehensive list of her favorite spots. she even went as far as to break them down into meal categories (breakfast/brunch, lunch, drinks, dinner) and provide links to the eateries themselves. so per her glowing review, we headed toward her top pick –velvet taco for some made-from-scratch taco creations. S ordered the #3 (crisp tikka chicken) and the #11 (grilled flank steak), whereas i opted for two servings of the #6 (falalfel). we were in taco heaven. with full bellies (and full hearts), we employed google maps (what on earth would we do without phone navigation?) to make our way to our hotel, hoping they would allow us to check in early.
thanks to the fine people at orbitz, who had offered a crazy good deal (packaged with our rental car), we had booked our two-night stay at the hilton anatole. while it wasn’t exactly in the heart of the city, it was well within a short distance drive of all of our points of interest. and it was GORGEOUS. this is a shot of the suspended art piece that’s located in the lobby.
we checked in easily and headed to our room on the 11th floor. we unpacked a bit and rested for a few hours before heading out to explore the northpark dallas mall. for those familiar with southern california, think a southern south coast plaza. so basically i was in heaven. and S earned his title of boyfriend of the year, following me into the likes of anthropologie, ann taylor, gap, j.crew, madewell, and patiently waiting as i tried on outfits i most definitely didn’t need. after a close call in ann taylor (that fringe skirt was pretty awesome), i managed to avoid assisting the retail economy for another day and we headed off to another one of R’s recommendations –mi cocina for some tex mex-inspired mexican food. exhausted from our early morning call-time, we headed back to the hotel after dinner and fell asleep soon thereafter.
we woke up saturday morning ready for coffee and a big breakfast to kick-start our day. so we headed toward the heart of the city and to cbd provisions, located adjacent to the gorgeous joule hotel. we sipped fresh french-press coffee and munched on our generous portions -an egg breakfast plate for him, steel cut oats and a side of bacon for me.
it being such a perfectly sunny and crisp winter day, we decided to walk off breakfast with a trip to the dallas farmer’s market. despite not having a need for any fresh produce or specialty soaps, it was fun to take in the cornucopia colors each vendor boasted at their respective kiosk -piles of shiny apples and avocados i swear as big as my head!
and in moment of pure rebellion, after seeing the adorable red tractor at the front gate of the market, i hopped on just long enough for S to steal a photo. one for the memory books, y’all.
with a few hours left to kill before the whole pre-wedding beautifying process began, S and i decided to get our culture on at the dallas museum of art. it also helped that admission is FREE! but even aside from the desirable cost of entry, we truly did enjoy perusing four-floors worth of artwork from various genres, time periods, and countries. it took me back to my days of museum-hopping in spain during my summer abroad in college, and further back, to mrs. farrington’s art classes during freshman and sophomore year of high school.
after our museum visit, we headed back to the hotel to relax, shower, and get ready for the wedding. one of us also curled their hair (i think you can guess who). i’m not gonna lie, we cleaned up real nice like, y’all. see for yourselves.
we hit the road en route to springtown, a small town northwest of dallas, where the wedding was being held. despite giving us ample amount of time to navigate the 62-mile drive, we arrived to oak knoll ranch a few minutes tardy. luckily we were able to sneak (as fast as you can “sneak” in 4″ heels on gravel) in the back and take in the rest of the beautiful ceremony which included the bride’s epic vow to her husband that with “clear eyes, full hearts, and God, they [couldn’t] lose.” i may or may not have fist pumped in the air at that moment. afterward, the guests filed into the reception area -a festively decorated rustic red barn and spent the remainder of the evening dining on catered BBQ, reconnecting with old friends, posing in the photo booth, and of course, congratulating the newly betrothed. R and J looked so in love and i was so happy S and i had made the journey to witness their union. i was also so happy S got the opportunity to meet a few more of my closest friends. p.s. he’s the best wedding date ever.
we eventually said our goodbyes and drove back into town, knowing we had another early morning ahead of us. we made sure to fill up the rental with a full tank before retiring to our room, repacking our suitcases, and setting our alarm for our dawn departure.
what happened next is a story i’m saving for another post (t0 come later this week)…
going into the weekend, i hadn’t the slightest doubt that S and i would enjoy our time traveling together. we work well as a team in every other aspect of our lives, i had to believe that would translate once we were temporarily transported to a new locale. but you really never know how things are going to go, and how the two of you will respond to the inevitable unaccounted for variables that are involved with traveling as a pair until you experience it firsthand. but after a weekend of google map mishaps and verging hanger (hunger + anger), i can say in full confidence that S is the best travel buddy i could ever ask for.
so happy trails, dallas. thanks for a memorable weekend.
clear eyes, full hearts,
S & S
visit my instagram account to view additional photos from our travels