Once a year I am selected to go on a trip for work to a customer event. In the past I’ve been sent to the San Diego area because my sister lives there, but this year that was not an option. Instead I was sent to Dallas, Texas. Fortunately, two of my close work friends were also going to the event, so we decided to stay an extra day to check out a bit of the city.
(March 21 2013) Day 1. Flying out from Boston, Landing in Dallas.
By the time we got there we were starving, so we checked into our hotel and (almost literally) ran to the nearest restaurant to eat lunch. We stayed at the Hilton Anatole, which is by far the largest hotel I’ve ever been to. It is massive and basically has its own mall and several restaurants. There were at least half a dozen conferences that I saw going on simultaneously in addition to our own.
After we were finally fed, we met up with Laura and the other employees to set up the event space for the next day. After it was set, we ended up taking a quick nap and then eating dinner at same restaurant Kim and I had gone to for lunch. But I didn’t mind; it was tasty and convenient. Unfortunately, I was feeling overtired and still motion sick from the plane ride and cab ride, so after dinner I immediately went to bed and was asleep by 9 p.m.
(March 22 2013) Day 2. Dallas.
The next day was mainly comprised of the work event, which was a success. Between the time change, being in bed so early, and having a 7 a.m. meeting, I was up at 5:30 a.m. After that, I was on event duty until all of the guests were gone and the rooms were cleaned. After some sushi, we headed over to the Crowne Plaza Downtown Dallas.
We checked into the new hotel around 6 p.m. We were all hungry, so we went out to eat dinner shortly after. However, despite trying to make a reservation (which the restaurant didn’t take), everything was super crowded and had over an hour wait. We ended up putting our name down at Wild Salsa and then went across the street to a steak house bar to get a drink while waiting for our table to be ready. Fortunately, dinner was delicious. I had chips and guacamole, pork tamale, and (multiple) margaritas.
Afterwards the three of us were exhausted from the long day, and since everything went so late it was almost 11 p.m. by the time we got back to our hotel room. We decided to go right to sleep and hoped to make the next day a full one in the city.
(March 23 2013) Day 3. Dallas.
We began the day by getting brunch at Ellen’s Southern Kitchen. I had poached eggs with spinach, tomatoes, bacon, and spiced grits with a cappuccino and mimosa. It was fantastic. Once we were all full and satisfied we walked over to the Sixth Floor Museum, which was all about JFK and where he was shot from. There was a long line to get in, but the museum ended up being sobering as well as very informative and we ended up spending almost three hours looking at pictures, listening to our guide, and watching videos about the life and assassination of the President.
We were pretty tired after the museum, but next we wanted to walk to Deep Ellum. We were hoping to pass a cafe – or at least a Starbucks – along the way, but did not. After finally reaching Deep Ellum and still not seeing much open, we asked for advice inside a furniture shop. Luckily the owner was nice and told us to go a block over to Cafe Brazil for coffee, and also recommended a place to get BBQ for dinner afterwards.
The coffee refreshed us enough to walk the next few blocks to Baker’s Rib, where we each ordered a pulled pork sandwich with mac and cheese and potato salad. We also split a fried chocolate pie for dessert. It was all super delicious, and we were happy to have successfully found Mexican and barbecue while in Texas. We were a little disappointed that we didn’t see any many galleries as we wanted to in Deep Ellum, and that the brewery was already closed to tours. But at least we saw some street art along the walk and ate a delicious meal.
After dinner we were too tired to walk the almost two miles back downtown, so we instead took the train. Once we got to our hotel we rested in our room watching television and chatting for a couple of hours before checking out the hotel bar, Thrive. It was a nice atmosphere to begin, but at 11 p.m. it became a full-out dance club, which we were neither appropriately dressed nor in the mood for. So instead we made a quick trip to the nearby CVS for candy and water and then watched some of the Cooking channel until we fell asleep around 1 a.m.
(March 24 2013) Day 4. Flying out from Dallas, Heading Home.
Our flight the next day was around 1 p.m., so we really just checked out of the airport and hailed a cab to the airport. The trip was very short – we really only had one full day to explore the city – but it was still fun. I’m glad we got to visit the museum, and eat delicious southern food. As my first trip to Texas, I hope to go back someday. Perhaps to Austin or Fort Worth. But who knows, perhaps work will bring me to Dallas again!