Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 6: Dallas

I feel I have sufficiently recovered from the events of last night to write about it.  Extreme disappointment is not the emotion of the evening, more like outrage! 

Let's start with the good stuff of yesterday...
We slept in until late and I had a couple cups of coffee with mom.  Once we extracted ourselves from the couch to shower and get ready, we went and grabbed lunch.  Drew always talks about this sandwich shop he likes and so it was time to give it a try.  We went over to Firehouse Subs.  As the name might lead you to believe, it was started by firemen and serves really large portioned sandwiches.  Drew got the Italian and I had the Chicken Salad.  I think I would go for the Italian next time.  It was a good way to get the day going. 
We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing around the house, gearing up for the Mavericks game. 
This was the first time we have ever been to see a "home game" for the Mavs.  The energy in the building and the fact that our cheers for our team were not met with jeers were the things we were looking forward to the most.  The American Airlines Arena is new since my days in Dallas and is much superior to the Reunion Arena of my youth.  We were like to two little kids, all smiles and contentment, just being in the building.  The game was truly a great game.  The problem was the officiating.  It was obscene.  I haven't seen it's like since the '06 finals vs. the Heat.   The highlights of the game, as you may already know, were: Dirk coliding with Landry and coming away to realize he had some of Landry's teeth in his elbow.  Landry earned a trip to the hospital.   An almost brawl between Kidd and Anderson directly in front of our seats and the Mavs bench.  This resulted in a phantom technical on Carlisle, the coach of the Mavs.  Then there were the "conferences" (at least 3, by my count) between the refs that lasted anywhere from 3 to 8 minutes each, resulting in ridiculous calls.  We were, as I said, outraged.  The Mavs lost in OT, but at least we can say we were there the night Dirk got 2 teeth in his elbow, and the only time Dampier has ever been ejected from a game.  These are the things for the history books, folks! 

the AA Center from the outside

the building on its feet at the end of regulation

Oh, and we ate at the game, of course.  I got all excited because I discovered they had Fletcher's corny dogs (just like at the State Fair of Texas) at one of the concessions.  We decided that sounded really good and immediately ordered up a couple to split.  Well, I guess someday I will make it back to the State Fair, because these did not even come close.  I think they had been made some time before we ordered and had been sitting under a heat lamp for some time.  We also had nachos and popcorn.  One thing on the frugal side that I appreciated was the value deals they had for families and couples.  It can be quite expensive to get to a game and then eat.  While the food was no means cheap, it did help that they had deals (including bottomless popcorn and sodas). 

Overall, we enjoyed our time at the game, sad to have lost, but apparently, that's how it goes.
After the game, I told Drew I really wanted a taco (this is a RARE occurance), so he drove through Taco Bueno to grab a taco.  When we drove away from the window, we had a platter with two tacos, cheese dip, rice and beans, and a bean burrito.  So this is what late night snack means. 

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 5: OK City to Flower Mound, TX

With the night we had on Wednesday, we slept in and got started late.  I got a free cup of coffee at the hotel before we set out to go to the Oklahoma City Memorial.  The Memorial is such a respectful, peaceful place.  It is really a shame there is not something for the 9/11 victims in NYC.  There is a museum we will have to go to the next time we are in town.   Here are some pictures:

Since the temperature was in the thrirties, we did not stay long at the memorial and headed out to TEXAS!  We stopped along the way to eat lunch at On the Border.  Yes, it is a chain, but it is really good and consistent.  Drew had cheese and onion enchiladas and a beef taco.  I had the chicken tortilla soup. 

We also stopped along the way and got Sonic drinks. 

We arrived at Mom's house around 3:30 and spent some time visiting.  Then we headed down to Main Street in Grapevine for dinner.  If I have a hometown, I would consider Grapevine my hometown (I lived there from 1st grade to 6th this day, the longest I have lived anywhere). It was great to see Main Street.  They have it all decorated for Christmas and have Christmas music playing over a sound system installed all the way up and down the street.  We reminisced over days of Christmas parades and such as we walked to a "new" restaraunt.  Tolbert's was started by one of the founders of the Teriligua Chili Cookoff.  It is a spot where they have live music most nights of the week while they serve lunch and dinner.  Mom got the catfish dinner, I got Arturo's Grilled Cheese and Drew got a cup of Red (real beans) and Buffalo wings.  The food was great and the atmosphere lively.  Drew wants to come again to have the Five Alarm Chili next time.  Here are the pics:

Day 4: OK City

We woke up in Oklahoma City ready for a day we have been looking forward to for some time.  Drew's cousin, Dustin, has great connections in the City and got us tickets for the Dallas Mavericks game vs. the OK City Thunder.  These were not just tickets, but floor seats.  Needlesss to say, we were beyond excited!

We got ready and went to a late breakfast at a hole-in-the-wall spot called the Classen Grill.  It was a small breakfast spot where the art on the walls is for sale and rotates as it sells.  The menu had all sorts of interesting options.  I went for the Biscuit Debris - southern style biscuits with ham and sausage on top, smothered in gravy, with hashbrowns on the side.  Not at all healthy and portioned to serve at least 3, but wonderful!!  Loved the gravy, just the right flavor.  I ordered coffee and we also got a carafe of their freshly squeezed orange juice.  They have an old fashioned juicer.   Drew was not feeling very adventurous - he got bacon and eggs.  I recommend this restaurant heartily.  No pictures (forgot the small camera).

After breakfast we went to the Oklahoma City Art Museum.  They have an exibit of Chihuly glass that is breathtaking! Here are a few samples.

my favorite!
Next stop: lunch.  We were going to stop at a Taco stand but it was so busy that people were eating outside in the 30 degree weather.  Next time.  So we went to a Chinese-Vietnamese-French restaurant.  Despite, my reservations on the range of foods, it turned out to be pretty good.  Drew got the Kung Pao chicken and I got some sort of beef - very good.  As was the pattern on this trip, we ordered way too much food.  I think I have gained some weight - ahhh!

We spent the rest of the afternoon tracking down the guy with the tickets from the game.  I will spare the details, but we ended up in a bar somewhere in OK City called Cock of the Walk.  We loved the atmosphere of this dive bar.  We would have liked it more if it wasn't so smoky.  It is one of those places where the bartender knows your "drink" and the patrons have their "seat".  On the end of the bar a couple of guys were playing video trivia and I started playing.  I won the first round, but tanked the second one.  Lots of fun.  We wish there was something like this in the desert.  We found ourselves saying this most of the day!

Tickets in hand, we went back to the hotel to get ready for the game.  Words cannot express how happy we were to get to our seats and realize how close we were.  I realized at half time that my cheeks hurt from so much smiling!  It was great.  They have a room behind the seats for the people with floor seats where they have an open buffet with FREE food.  I have always enjoyed FREE!  The food was great and we were ready for the game.  Here are some of our pictures:




feet on the Floor - the Floor!!

Great day in OK!  Oh, and the Mavs won!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday, December 15: OK City

I forgot to bring in my journal from the car, so this entry is all from my memory - this is not a good thing normally.
We got started this morning, ate a quick bite at the hotel (they had my favorite oatmeal!), and rushed to the car because it was a frigid 23 degrees in Amarillo. The wind was blowing like crazy and I was reminded of the Flatlanders song - "The Wind's Gonna Blow You Away." I now understand what they were talking about.
After much cajoling from me, we set out for Palo Duro Canyon State park. Drew was not so excited, but I had heard good things and was somewhat adamant that we visit. We were driving along and looking at the flat land on the horizon and wondering where and when we were going to start seeing something interesting. What unfolded before us as we approached the front gate of the park and started down the drive is something words cannot express. Thus, I have pictures (which, I am sure, do not do the beauty of this place justice): the pictures are attached to another post.  Needless to say, Drew was happy we made the trip.  We are even thinking about renting a cabin in the canyon park sometime in the future.
Post nature experience, we headed back into Amarillo and had Rudy's BBQ for lunch.  This is not to be missed along the way.  It is a chain restaurant, but each place we have visited, the food is exceptional.  We especially love thier beef brisket.  There was something new on the menu and so I asked about it.  It was Green Chili Stew.  The girl behind the counter said, "Oh, it is just the normal stew.  It has brisket in it, but it also has green chilis."  I know she must think brisket is a normal ingredient in stew, but it is certainly not in Southern California.  Then she uttered the words I long to hear, "You can try some if you would like."  OH, yes, I am not one to turn down a sample.  I was not disappointed.  Also new to the taste buds this time were the turkey and pork loin.  We ate WAY too much food, here are the pics:

We got on the road and made only one stop along the way: Braums: Peppermint and Cookies and Cream Ice Cream - the thing I crave in California.  I suggested a "freeze out" but Drew was not game.  I know I will convince him someday.
We made it to Oklahoma City and checked into the hotel around 6 PM and we made plans to meet Drew's cousin Dustin.  He picked us up around 6:30 and he was a wonderful host.  I could not believe Drew agreed to go to a sushi restaurant!  I know!  The sushi was out of this world good!  We ordered way too much again, but got to try lots of great new flavors!  We then drove around OK City a little bit and then stopped by a Tequilla bar so Drew could try some new tequillas.  I know nothing about this, but he is happy we stopped by.

Photos of Palo Duro Canyon

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday, December 14

We got started this morning after a free breakfast at the hotel.  The town of Wilcox, AZ has a sign that says apples and a cider mill, but a noticible lack of apple trees.  Not sure where they are getting the apples to sell and press, but next time we go through, I would love to stop by the cider mill (I LOVE apple cider!).

We stopped for lunch at Chick-fil-A in Las Cruces, NM. We love when we can get our hands on some great chicken nuggets and chicken strips. We very much enjoyed this. Love the lemonade!
I took some pictures in New Mexico of some beautiful landscapes, but they are on the other camera's card and so, you will just have to wait - the pictures were just outside of Arey Derry.  Cool name, at least.
If you know your New Mexico geography, you noticed, that Arey Derry is north of Las Cruces.  Yes, defying logic, we drove north for most of the day and turned back east at Albuquerque.  When you are on a mission, you are on a mission. 
We stopped for dinner in Santa Rosa, New Mexico to check out a spot recommended by both my dad and my uncle.  They are known for searching out great Mexican food and sharing their insights with others.  We were not disappointed.  The place (Joseph's)  is just off old Route 66 and has been serving customers since 1952.  The food was fabulous.  And for those of you who have lived in California too long, it had FLAVOR!  It was a little on the spicy side.  We will stop here again and try the other items on the menu we found appealing.  Here's the evidence:
Drew's meal: Beef Taco, Beef Tamale, Cheese Enchilads, the "extras"

my meal: Blue Corn Cheese Enchildadas with the "extras"

Joseph's (it was in the low 40's outside...ahhh)

Having finished dinner we set out not knowing exactly where we were going to stop.  I guess the temptation of sleeping under the Texas sky was too much for us and we ended up in Amarillo.  It is good to be home. 

Check back tomorrow for pictures from "the snow"! 

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday, December 13th - Wilcox, AZ

Everything in the last few weeks has led to this day.  The day we leave to go to Texas for Christmas for the first time as a married couple.  We are beyond excited!  So, instead of regretting the lack of updates on this blog for a while, I shall let you in on our little travelogue.

Road Trip Log, Day 1:

Got started a little late despite waking up an hour before my husband to get "everything" done.  Will that ever happen?
Left town to "Goodbye to You" on the radio, how appropriate. 

Drew said "our God watches out for us on all the small things"  - what a way to begin a road trip - in praise of the one who watches over it!
11:54 - discussion of the definition of the word supplant - pretty sure I was right on that one, not that it matters.

2:28 - Victor Hugo located - Chandler, AZ - success!
6:37 - Wilcox, AZ - to bed early and at it again tomorrow.

Those of you wanting to know what we ate...junk!  My stomach is not happy with me for my recent dining choices.   Will be attempting to improve this during this trip.  Pictures and reveiws of food fit to discuss in the future days.