Sunday, August 9, 2015

Summer Vacation: Dallas Edition

This year for vacation, we decided not to travel several states away.  Our usual vacation bunch was busy, and our baby sister was pining away for us in Dallas so that seemed to be the place to go.  We headed out fairly early on a Wednesday morning.  Someone was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.


We stopped in Ellenger to try to Kolaches at the Czeck Stop.  They were pretty good, but I think Praseks has them beat.  Then our next stop wasn't until Waco where we visited Magnolia Market.  We are all fans of Fixer-Upper, so it was  nice pit-stop.
We didn't stop again until we reached Fort Worth.  It was half price admission to the zoo, so we decided to finish out our day there.  I am so glad that we decided to do that in the late afternoon because it was HOT.  It was so hot that we were giving Lincoln water from our water bottle and putting dip-n-dots on the back of his neck to cool him down.  I really don't think that we could have made it an entire day so the 2.5 hours that we had were perfect.

You know these guys are always down for the zoo.


Emmy and Lincoln sure do like spending time with Papa and Nana.




We made sure we got in a picture with our babies though.  Did I mention that I carried him around in the MOBY since the stroller was under a bunch of stuff.  My shirt was dripping with sweat by the time we left.  This is not hyperbole.  I could have wrung out my shirt and collected moisture...not that I would have since that's gross, bur the possibility was there all the same.


As you can see from her pink cheeks, this cool chick was pretty warm too.


You know us.  We had to stop and take advantage of the photo op.


By the time we left the zoo, we were hot, dehydrated, and starving because we didn't eat lunch on the way.  We flew to the hotel to meet Kari and Andrew, drop off our stuff, and head out to dinner.

I got on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives and we found a place in Fort Worth that had AMAZING hamburgers.  It was called Chop House Burgers, and it was like a piece of heaven floated down and landed on my plate.



The next day, we planned a trip to a water park called Hawaiian Falls.  After trying to function in the sweltering heat at the zoo, we knew we needed a day of water and relaxation.  This place was perfect!  We rented a cabana, and it was money well spent.  The cabana came with free drinks all day--that a waiter delivered to you!  He also came by and took our food orders, and since we were in a cabana, the food was discounted.  What I am trying to say is that I will never want to go to a water park and just sit my stuff on a picnic bench again--especially not with little kids.  I am completely spoiled now.


Emmy loved everything about the park, and she would not have left the water all day if someone would have stayed in with her.  She is my water baby.  Lincoln did pretty well and napped in and out of the water, but we took lots of cabana breaks.  It was nice to have the shade and a place to relax.



While we were in the wave pool, she said, "Mommy take my picture.  I'm floating!"  And Below is a picture of the cutest lifeguard you'll ever meet.


Nana and Papa rode this slide when the line was down.  Mom said she thought they were going to fly off the other side.

Our group had a pretty nice day, and we will totally go back when we come to visit Kari during the summer.


The next day, our itinerary consisted of exploring downtown Dallas.  Dad got on Groupon and found a deal for an electric car tour.  This is code for a little man driving us around in a souped up golf cart that looks like a Bentley.  Before our tour, we went to Hard Rock Cafe for lunch.  It was not too crowded so Emmy got on stage for a picture.


Our tour guide was great.  He knew all kinds of little stories and weird facts about the buildings that made it so interesting.  The only downside was that since it was on open-air car, there wasn't air conditioning.  Lincoln and I ended up on the side that was not as shaded, and I got a little worried about his temperature a few times.  I took baby wipes and kept cooling him down on his temples, neck, and under his arms.  I gave him a few sips of my water too, and he was fine.


We asked our guide to stop and let me a take picture with the Dallas BIG statue.  I didn't think everyone else was interested, but THEY WERE.  Too funny.


I was really interested in the history of the Kennedy cenotaph (I know our tour guide taught me that word.  It means open tomb).   It's such a unique and large structure just kind of deposited in the middle of the downtown area.  If you didn't know all of the history and relevance, it would seem very surreal.  I made Emmy and Lincoln stand there so I would have something to use as scale.


These two weren't upset when it was time to head back to the hotel and cool down.  In fact, they may have been excited about it.



Some of us slept really well that night.


Then we were on our last day of sightseeing, and we were headed to the Stockyards.  We ate at Riscky's, and it was pretty good.



We went all super tourist and let Emmy take a picture on the steer.  It's little things like this that she really remembers about our vacations. Nana decided that she couldn't take a picture on the steer without a Cowgirl hat, so she got one of those as well.  She also convinced her Papa to let her take a spin on the play horse that they had.



We always have fun when we go somewhere with these two.


While we were waiting on the train, a little band started playing country music by the train station.  Kari and Andrew decided that they would put on a little show for the people waiting.  It was cute.


I was soooo glad that we paid more and sprang for the air-conditioned seats on the train.  It felt like we were in some other time period going on a different kind of vacation.  Until the staff came by and started taking souvenir photos.  ;)

We stayed one more night before we headed back home.  It was a super fun trip, and I know that we will be back to explore more in the coming years since Kari will be moving there.  Watch out Dallas; we'll be back!

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