Dallas!

Two of our very best friends from New York (Elena and Steve) travel to Dallas for work frequently. From the beginning of our trip we had hoped that our schedules would align to meet up with either of them when we were there.  Little did we know, we would be lucky enough that they would BOTH be there at the very same time.

We arrived in Dallas on Sunday 12/1. Our first night was spent with Dr. Ward. Dr. Ward is a friend of Michelle’s old co-worker/friend, Janie. Dr. Ward’s best friend from college is Brown, Janie’s husband. Got all that? Ok, good. We arrived after dinner time and Dr. Ward was excitedly awaiting our arrival (or so we like to think). Our planning was all a bit last minute and we are so grateful to Dr. Ward for having us. Dr. Ward’s house deserves a blog post, or a magazine cover, all in and of itself. He bought the house about 10 years ago and has spent years renovating and personalizing it. Cate was really intrigued by all the pieces of art and nicknacks Dr. Ward has collected over the years from his travels, all on display. Really really cool to meet fellow travelers who have the same passion of collecting and gathering items from their travels for their homes. We had a fantastic time talking to Dr. Ward, learning more about his years in Texas, about his travels and his decision to become a doctor later in life. He is such an inspiration to us, reinforcing once again, that you can do anything on your own time and schedule. You don’t need to follow a pattern, follow the noise. Dr. Ward is also a musician (he and Brown played in a band together in college) and lucky for us he has the most gorgeous piano in his living room. We had a blast sitting around his piano listening to him play as we all sang along to some of our favorite songs.

Check out these awesome videos:

Dr. Ward, thank you so much for welcoming us, all so last minute, and so graciously. We loved our time with you and look forward to seeing you again soon. And, thank you for the most cozy comfortable scrubs. We have been wearing them on the road!

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We spent our Monday and Tuesday exploring Dallas and all its different neighborhoods. Monday’s lunch was one for the record books. If you find yourself in Dallas, head to Oddfellows on W. 7th Street. They proclaim to have the best coffee in all of Dallas. While we didn’t try all of the coffee in all of Dallas, we have had a lot of coffee on this trip. Oddfellows coffee is no joke. It took everything we had not to want to go there every day. Cate had the most delicious fried green tomato BLT and tomato soup and Michelle opted for her favorite huevos rancheros. We can see why there is a line around the block for a table on the weekends. Great little find.

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Also, we did some “window shopping” (we swear we didn’t buy anything!) and popped into the Free People store to find the cutest little idea ever. This is a wish tree. Everyone that comes into the store writes their wish on a small decorative piece of paper and gets to place it on the tree in the store. We just absolutely loved this idea. This is something you can do in your own homes or offices, etc. A great idea for a holiday party too – to have all your guests write their wishes. We spent almost an hour gazing at the tree and reading everyones wishes. Here were some of our favorites:photo copy 3photo copy 6           photo copy 5photo copy 2    photo 1 copy   photo copy 4photo 3    photo 2 copy   photo 1photo 2          photo copy 7

Monday and Tuesday night were spent at Cate’s friend Alyson and her family’s house. Cate and Alyson have known each other for almost three years, but it had been about 2 since they had last seen each other. Alyson decided we had to hit one of her favorite spots for dinner Monday night, Mi Cocina. Now listen, we love mexican food. If there is one cuisine we have eaten the most on this trip, it would probably be mexican. Mi Cocina was hands down one of the best mexican meals we have had. And, let’s not even get started on those Mambo Margarita’s. Mi Cocina is in Highland Park Village. If you are near there, go. Or, if you aren’t, get on a plane and go. You will thank us later.

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They aren’t kidding when they say that everything is bigger in Dallas. Everything including people’s display of Christmas cheer and lighting displays. Alyson took us on a driving tour of all the Clark Griswold’s of Dallas. We could not believe our eyes. I say this with the most sincerity I can find, some of these houses put Clark W. Griswold to shame. We couldn’t believe our eyes! We were in awe. Not just lights (colored and clear), but life size reindeer hauling Santa in his sleigh in front yards, life sized snowmen all over the lawns, Christmas carols that play and when they do, the lights twinkle in unison. We wish we had our better camera with us and had video taped some of these works of art.

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Alyson had planned on taking us down to McKinney Blvd. for dinner. Although Elena and Steve were town Tuesday night, the plan was to all go out to dinner Wednesday night. Or, so we thought. Turns out Elena was having dinner at the restaurant directly next to where Alyson was planning to take us.

We decided to change our plans and walk in to surprise Elena and her co-worker Andrew. So wish we had a photo of Elena’s face when we walked in. Steve joined us shortly after for some drinks and snacks.

Another great find, Nickle & Rye. They have only been up about 4 months but this is a restaurant/bar that will be around for a good while. It has everything you could possibly want in an establishment: beautifully decorated, delicious food with healthy options, unbelievable cocktail and wine list, huge TVs for the avid sports fan and just the perfect touch of class to make you feel as if you aren’t at some average sports bar. Love this place. Tony, you have done a genius job with the place. We look forward to coming back again soon.

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It’s amazing how months can go by, life continues on, and yet, when you are reunited with your friends, you pick up exactly where you left off. We had the most amazing night catching up with Elena and Steve, telling decade old jokes that are still funny after all these years, eating and drinking the night away.

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Oh, and Andrew. We had never met Andrew before this trip, but had heard about him and his amazing wife from Elena. Andrew, what can we say, you rock! We had so much fun with you, laughing and learning. You jumped right in to laugh at our jokes and throw one back in our face. You got us all, it was as if you have been part of our crazy wild ride of this friendship all these years. We cannot wait to hang with you again soon. This time, let’s just leave the chili cheese fries out it. Ok?

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Alyson, we absolutely loved our time with you and were craving more of you and your gorgeous family when we left. We shared life conversations, we shared delicious food, Christmas decorating and you embraced us with love. You are one incredible mama and we are in awe and inspired by all that you are and all that you do. More fun times again soon!

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