Dallas was a nice trip. We saw a bunch, ate some good food, bought a few things, and had more than one family nap. (I love family naps.) It was a relaxing, enjoyable trip, and I’ll try and get a few pictures up eventually. The funny thing is how people have reacted to our choice of destination. We’ve both had variations on the following conversation a few times.
“But… Dallas? Why?” “Why not?” “Oh, you must have friends down there?” “No.” “Is the weather great or something?” “Not really – I mean, there’s no snow, but it’s still hoodie weather.” “So what are you going to do for 10 days?” “The JFK stuff, for sure, and otherwise, we’ll find something to do. It’s a big city – there’s always something to see.” “You’re not making plans??” “Nah, we’ll wing it – I’m sure it will work out!”
And it totally did. I stand by the fact that you can find something to do for a week in just about every place, ever, if you make some effort. It’s certainly easier in a town with an aquarium, a zoo, a half dozen museums and a presidential assassination site, but there’s always something. (And the less there is that you need to see, the more naps you can have.)
As for the why Dallas and not somewhere else? Well, that one’s a little bit funnier, at least to me.
We had always planned to take a vacation right before my mat leave ends, but we held off on deciding where until the NHL strike resolved. It finally did, and my hockey-crazy husband put down Dallas and Miami as two options. I added New Orleans to the list on the ‘domestic’ side, and Jamaica and Cuba on the tropical side. We decided against Cuba due to the fact that everyone we talk to complains about the food, and after getting sick on our last resort trip, we weren’t eager to go through that again. New Orleans fell off because the timing in regards to Mardi Gras wasn’t good – not that I wouldn’t like to see it, but not so much with an 11 month baby and trying to get a hotel at the last minute. The only logical way for us to get to Miami is through Dallas, and added 4 hours to a flight day with a baby, which would have liveable but not awesome. So the toss up became random city wander in Dallas versus a resort trip to Jamaica. And we’d just done a resort trip, so Dallas it was!
Plus, and this is actually no small consideration, Dallas allowed us to get THREE pins on our giant map of the world that hangs in our dining room. It’s 6 feet long. And we use colour coded pins to show where I’ve gone (white), David’s gone (blue), we’ve gone (red) and us plus J have gone (orange). It’s so nerdy, but I love it. LOVE IT. It also handily covers up a wall that the previous owners did some form of crappy finish on, so a giant map takes away from the faux-finish, which is a nice bonus. But really, I just love looking at maps, and looking at all the places I’ve been, and getting a daily reminder of how much I like my life. Which is a pretty good return on a $50 piece of paper!
It’s fun to look at, too. When we have parties, you’ll always find someone looking at the map, often comparing stories with someone else. It’s a good conversation piece.
It’s also fun to look at where we’ve been. I’ve got furthest north (Fort Nelson in northern BC), furthest east (Oman) and furthest south (Costa Rica) covered. David wins the west with Hawaii. The Yucatan has three pins of three different colours all clustered together – a white one for the trip to Cozumel with my parents in high school, an orange one for our trip to Cancun last year, and a red one for Chitzen Itza, which we did without J. I totally win the Pacific North West, due to road trips years ago, and David dominates Europe, due to a post-university 3 month trip. Interestingly, there are only 3 pins for places we’ve both been but separately: Orlando, Toronto and London.
I won’t lie to you – some of our vacations, like Dallas, are influenced by the empty spaces in the map. Sure, we have to want to see them, but filling in that blank southern expanse of America was a consideration on our trip. It certainly is why we took a day trip to Waco. I mean, that and the Dr Pepper museum, of course. Because you on vacation – why not drive 4 hours round trip to check out a museum, a mammoth burial site and get a pin for the wall? (Oh, yeah, we’re fun to travel with. It’s a good thing that we both enjoy this kind of ridiculousness.)
Man, I love going on vacations. I know I’ve said this a bunch of times, but I really, really do. And I am so pleased that we’ve managed to integrate J in to our vacation-life as smoothly as we have. That’s one of my biggest fears about parenthood, proven wrong.