BBQ, Boating, Skeet Shooting, Tacos & Fried Choc. Chip Cookies = Dallas, TX
The title of this blog post basically summarizes my visit to Dallas, Texas. Never having ever visited the heartland of America, it seemed like the perfect place to visit for none other than, Fourth of July. I booked this trip so extremely last minute (we’re talking one day before - and on miles of course!) so it was kind of a spontaneous, big deal (#4oJWeekend and #4oJ was all over my Instagram photos). My good friend Pooja is interning there for the summer, and since she currently is my only connection to Texas, my window of opportunity to visit was confined to Summer 2013.
My Fourth of July outfit. I like to think the red/white/blue was subtle but there.
After booking Tuesday morning, I flew out Wednesday afternoon and our first stop was to get tacos. NYC gets a lot of things right, but Mexican food is sub-par to say the least.
Hence, tacos and tex-mex was necessary. We went to Velvet Taco and it definitely lived up to the taco hype. The food was so good we had to get the corn and red velvet cake as well. I should have reminded myself to eat light the week before, because after this meal I knew the weekend would result in many more indulgent meals.
Yummy Velvet Taco!
The next day was Fourth of July! Pooja has a cousin in Dallas, so we drove out of the city for a family BBQ. This BBQ was a feast - think Thanksgiving like. I ate three different kinds of meats: chicken, sausage and ribs (all delicious), macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, asparagus, chips and salsa, bread, pie, beer… and probably more food I just can’t remember!
If I celebrated Fourth of July with this kind of BBQ every year, it would definitely rival my love for Thanksgiving - especially with the warm summer weather! Pooja’s family was so hospital and great. We almost even got convinced to get tattoos (4oJ tradition for some people at the BBQ), but thankfully decided against it before driving home.
Plates and plates of food. Also - how Texans drink beer - with Cowboy koozies!
Friday was more low-key with no set plans. Pooja sadly had to work so I lounged by the pool, watched 90’s TV sitcoms, walked around Dallas, talked to some locals (people in Texas are super friendly) about football (go Cowboys!) and just hung out - this was definitely my “relax-its-a-vacation” day. We later met up with some of Pooja’s friends for dinner at Gloria’s and out to Concrete Cowboy.
Poolside lounging! My toes match the pool!
Tasty Margarita’s at Gloria’s - Mango / Strawberry mix!
On Saturday we did one of my favorite activities - boating! I grew up in Seattle, on the natural lakes in Washington, so I love being in and near the water. In Texas though, they have man-made lakes. They are HUGE. It was so much fun-in-the-sun (literally). We tanned, sort-of learned how to water ski and spent the day with some of the nicest people ever.
Me, Natalie and Pooja on the boat!
Just floatin’ around! Natalie, Sid & Matt
We later went home to shower and nap (Pooja made cheesecake while I napped). Dinner was at Social House and we started the night at Kung Fu ending with Prime Bar.
This was the one night we really went out. People in Dallas are pretty attractive, but also really nice and approachable. Among ordering a bunch of drinks, we also played foose-ball, life-size Jenga and took pictures in the photo booth at Kung Fu before dancing at Prime Bar.
Photobooth at Kung Fu! Pooja, Natalie and I taking some super-unflattering photos…
Sunday - my last and final day before flying out was spent skeet shooting on Elm Fork Range. I’m not scared of many things, but guns scare me. The thought of so much power to destruct something being put into the hands of someone really scares me. But if I was going to go skeet shooting, Texas was probably the best place to do it. I was instantly nervous hearing the shots when we got out of the car. Luckily, we were with friends who live and have grown up in Texas, calming my nerves.
Skeet shooting in Texas!
They taught us the basics of shooting (rules, how to hold the gun, how to aim, etc.) and I was ever so grateful to have them show us (instead of Pooja and I - aka newbies, going on our own!) what to do. I felt more comfortable being on the range after a couple tries and discovered that It’s definitely a lot harder than it looks. The gun is heavy and it’s a bit of a work-out — at least for your upper body and core! Regardless, I managed to actually shoot a few skeet!
Torchy’s Tacos! So much delicious food!!
We ended the morning with lunch at Torchy’s Tacos filled with tacos, queso, and chocolate chip fried cookies. People from church trickled into Torchy’s as Pooja and I headed to the airport (with a quick stop at the mall). All in all, I had a great time and made some great new friends. The two things I took away from Dallas was that the food and people were amazing - people are so friendly and willing to make new friends and if it weren’t for Pooja and her friends I wouldn’t have had such a great time!