Whew, what didn’t we do in Texas? That might be an easier question to answer. That said, it would be a pretty lame blog post. So instead, I’m going to focus in on the highlights.
No Hernandez gathering (husband’s family) would be complete without a good restaurant, and they were kind enough to indulge us: Two vegetarian/vegans who haven’t been stateside in three years and have very particular ideas on what it means to be food : )
Of course we made repeat trips to my favorite restaurant: Salsa Limón. Simple with fresh, real ingredients, I could eat here just about every day. We were also introduced to another fun taco joint: Taco Heads. With three veggie options (yes I tried all three), the only disappointment was the margarita.
Despite our location, not every meal revolved around Mexican food and we had some amazing meals at Spicy Zest, a Sri Lankan restaurant where we ordered family style and not a single item tasted less than amazing; Spice where all our Thai curries were great; Rodeo Goat, not exactly a “healthy” choice, but damn did they have an amazing selection of veggie burgers; Spiral Diner, I can’t tell you how amazing it is as a vegetarian to look at a menu and know I can order anything on it; Kalachandji’s, probably our quirkiest meal, a vegetarian Indian buffet located inside a Hare Krishna temple.
I think our top two meals were eaten at Righteous: They have a seriously good veggie burger & pressed juices and V-Eats Modern Vegan: Think high-end vegan (I still dream about their smoked artichoke & “sausage” pizza).
But food is only one part of our DFW equation and we did find time to do a few other activities.
A favorite activity was candle pouring at The Candle Bar. Located in Deep Ellum, the process was relatively simple and pretty quick! Luckily, you get a gorgeous, wonderfully scented candle at the end of it. I had no problem picking my vessel, but I have to admit, it was difficult choosing just one scent, so many smelled so good! I couldn’t help myself, I purchased another candle before I left the shop (you get a 20% discount in the store if you participate in a candle pouring).
This is a great group activity and I was glad to experience it with Chandler and my mother-in-law, Lesia.
Another nearby “activity” we did together was track down all three Traveling Man statues.
Also located in Deep Ellum, these statues are easy to find and fun to look at! Created by Brad Oldham, these statues tell the “story” of the Traveling Man.
The story begins with the statue Awakening. A splash of gin was spilled on the roots of an elm tree that had grown above a buried locomotive and voila: Life.
Next you find Waiting on the Train. Much larger than the first, Traveling Man is now his full size, but here you find him reclining and playing a guitar.
It isn’t until the third statue, Walking Tall, that you see the Traveling Man in all his glory, strolling about 40 feet tall.
Another outdoor activity for us was a Rangers game at Globe Life Park. Knowing Texas can be brutally hot in the summer, we made sure to buy seats with access to the Capital One Club. The tickets may have cost more money, but let me tell you, it was WORTH IT.
We started the game with drinks in the air conditioned club room. By the time the game really got going, we were in our 3rd row seats, enjoying the best a baseball game has to offer: Bratwursts & nachos (vegan!), a fun atmosphere, and light-hearted conversation.
We went with Chandler’s aunt & uncle to thank them for hosting us our two weeks in Texas. I’m not a big sports watcher (i.e. ever), but the night was really fun, despite the loss to the Angels.
And sometimes, it was just too hot to be outside (Texas in July? Surprise, surprise) and so we made our way to a couple of museums.
We’d already been to the Kimbell Art Museum, but it’s still a fun stop if you’re in the neighborhood. We think the tagline should be “something for everyone,” because they have a piece by just about everyone: Bernini, Caravaggio, Cézanne, Lorrain, Michelangelo, Miró, Monet, Mondrian, Picasso, Rembrandt, Titian…well you get it.
We also went to the Crow Museum of Asian Art, a first for me. The museum started with an exhibit on Contemporary Japanese Ceramics and ended with Future Retrospective: Master Shen-Long. We loved both and just about everything in between, except a group of about 20 grade 7 students who tore through the first half of the museum and then were paused in the permanent collection and asked, quite loudly, to “reflect” on the museum and their “deep breaths” and any number of other things that made my concentration on the artwork difficult.
Below are pieces from each museum. First, Portrait of Heriberto Casany by Joan Miró at the Kimbell Art Museum and then some of Master Shen-Long’s work: Ocean-Assembly of Omniscient Dragon Tothagata & Inextinguishable Dragon Essence (ink and mixed media on canvas) at the Crow Museum of Asian Art.
Other honorable mentions from our trip: Seeing As You Like It at Shakespeare in the Park (Dallas), Les Misérables at the Bass Performance Hall, a pool day at the Ritz Carlton (my favorite billboard was by Heineken and it said “Cities with no beaches throw the best pool parties”), Stockyards Station (I really can’t recommend this one!), and then Wat Buddharatanaram & the Fort Worth Water Gardens, which I talked about in my last post.
It was a whirlwind of two weeks, and we had a great time. We got to reconnect with family and friends, some of whom we hadn’t seen in three years. And then, just like that, our time in Texas was over and we were off to DC to continue our #usasummer.