Day: December 31, 2014

Jenna Does Dallas

It had been a really bad day, and after some discussion, my credit card balance was suddenly $460 higher and I was arranging transportation to New Haven Tweed Airport.  I was given the opportunity to visit Dallas, and get out of New England for a while, and so I jumped.  Queen of Impulse Travel, I tell you.

When I think of US cities I want to travel to for a fun weekend, Dallas doesn’t immediately jump to the top of my list.  In fact, Austin is actually up there, but otherwise it’s generally places like New York and Chicago.  Despite this, I figured why not, I’d not been, and I had someone there willing to let me stay and show me around.  Nothing to lose!

Tweed Airport is….small.  Really small.  Sure, security is easier, but when you play passenger roulette and you end up next to a propeller and smelling fumes the whole ride to Philly….it might be worth the 45 minutes to go to north to the big airport and not worry.

2014-12-19I have to say, the little prop planes really freak me out.  They’re so dependent on weight and weather, and you can feel every little thing that happens – give me a giant 747 any day.  Luckily the flight was just over an hour, so I had barely managed to get through a handful of songs on my playlist before we had to prepare for landing.

After deplaning, I ended up with quite a bit of time to kill.  A few hours, actually.  I was a little hungry, and a lot thirsty, and so I figured if I was going to be getting food poisoning from anywhere, it might as well be from airport sushi.  (The roll was 100% cooked, I drank more than enough alcohol to kill anything in it anyway, and I did not get sick.)IMG_20141219_142154183_HDRI’d gotten lucky with my seating assignments – window and exit row – the whole way down.  I also won passenger roulette, and had no one next to me on either leg.  Of course that didn’t mean it was a super pleasant flight – on the first leg I felt like I was getting a contact high from the fumes and a bit airsick from the turbulence, and on the second leg the lady next to me decided the empty seat between us was going to be hers, so I was still sort of smushed.  But being able to stretch my legs was nice.  Sometimes you catch a break, and sometimes you catch a really great sunset over the tarmac.

IMG_20141219_163511675_HDRSomething something something, rotation of the earth, slower, something something, flight takes longer.  I think the actual flight from Philly was around 3 or 4 hours.  It was going to be pitch black by the time I got to Dallas, but while we were at cruising altitude, I got to see some really interesting blues.  Unfortunately my phone can only capture so much.

IMG_20141219_170627437Because this vacation was sort of an impulsive getaway to clear my head and regroup, there wasn’t anything planned.  I spent most of the weekend relaxing and running errands.  I got to see some of downtown (a limited amount, though), and we drove around a bit.  The roads are horrific.  I can’t imagine how my poor suspension would feel.  But, I am astounded at how much cheaper things are in Texas.  Everything seems less expensive.  Especially gas.

IMG_20141231_075809While there weren’t many plans, there was one thing that had to be done:  fix my computer.  Luckily for me, I am surrounded by handy people that like to try to fix things.  For the last year or so, I’ve had to dangle the charger off the side of a table and create tension in order for the port and pins to line up to form a good connection.  It has to be the port, we decided.  Taking it as an excuse to order parts and new fun tools, the trade off was fixing the computer for a batch of my famous biscotti.  After taking the whole thing apart and realizing we were still down one tool, and after running out to get it, installation was a success!  But that did not do much good, as the problem seemed to be coming from my charger.  Sigh.  It’s always something.

IMG_20141221_132131892While most of the time was spent doing not much of anything, there was one thing I absolutely had to do:  Texas BBQ – I couldn’t really go there and look at myself in the mirror if I passed up that opportunity.  A short drive to Deep Ellum brought me to Pecan Lodge.  It’s a pretty cool place with a really decent bar, but I wasn’t horribly hungry, and the place closes at 3pm on Sundays.  Despite the vast menu of things to choose from, half a pound of burnt ends and some sausage were the ultimate decision.  They were really delicious, and while I couldn’t eat a lot, had I been hungrier or able to eat more, it could have turned into an expensive meal.  I think up here, in New England, I’m used to Kentucky-style BBQ, and Texas is very different.

Monday morning brought my first experience using Uber.  It’s….interesting.  I realize it’s a decent car service to have, but with all the recent horror stories, I might be apprehensive to use it by myself.  Of course, it was a super nice car with a super nice driver, and I also wasn’t alone, so I wasn’t terribly worried, but I might not use it if I could help it.

As the sun rose over Dallas, I said goodbye to the city.  It was such an impromptu visit, there wasn’t a lot of time to arrange events, and many people were gone for the holidays.  I don’t think it will be my last trip there, and there’s still much to explore.  I found it a bit surprising, but I am very much looking forward to the next time I’m in Texas.