The arboretum, aquarium, and zoo aren’t the only places we visited on our vacation.
My fiance, Brad
For our first evening in Dallas, we had a great dinner at TGI Friday’s. Neither of us had ever eaten at one of the chain’s many restaurants, so we thought we’d give it a try. The appetizers were delicious and the entrées were fantastic.
Where we live, there aren’t quite so many dining options. In my hometown, there sits one tiny café. Where I live now, there are certainly more choices, but nothing like what can be found in the big city.
After filling up on chicken strips, fries, a Jack Daniel’s burger and plenty of soda, we headed across the street to Ellen’s Southern Kitchen. We had a few drinks made by a very cool bartender, and finally, the night could begin. We had planned a ghost tour of the West End Historic District in Dallas, and our guide had arrived. We were the only tourists on that night’s rounds, so the tour was very relaxed and we were able to discuss the history of Dallas and the spooky stories in greater detail. We learned about the city’s beginnings and notable people. We walked the streets and visited buildings known to be inhabited by the paranormal.
We took photos, trying to capture the rare manifestation of a spirit, but we had no luck. It was fun, though! At least we were able to get a few photos of the city lights.
I was prepared for another history lesson on our trip, because before we hit the aquarium, we made our way to the Dallas Holocaust Museum.
We picked a great (but busy) day to visit the museum, because we were able to sit in on a presentation by a true Holocaust survivor. A large group of high school students was visiting the museum and were scheduled to hear a presentation by Max Glauben, and the museum staff was nice enough to allow us to sit in as well. Mr. Glauben’s story was moving and sad, but also inspirational.
In addition to hearing the speaker, we were able to view a private collection of Anne Frank’s family photos. Most people are familiar with Anne’s story, but it was a privilege to learn about the family’s life outside the Holocaust. It’s a sobering reminder that people are people, no matter what they believe or how they look.
The museum provides the opportunity for a self-guided tour, using handheld remotes with speakers that you can hold to your ear and hear information corresponding to the exhibits you view. All the exhibits at the Dallas Holocaust Museum are very powerful and emotionally taxing.
One case holds dozens of eyeglasses. It seems trivial, but these items were confiscated from Jews as they were being loaded into train cars like cattle to be directed to hard labor and death. Other cases hold bone fragments, gold teeth, and human ashes. Some exhibits include photos, letters, or articles of clothing. The museum was an amazing place to visit, and I’d gladly go again if given the chance.
Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take any photos. Regardless, it was a must-see for me, but I didn’t want the whole trip to be sad.
We went out for some fun one evening, with a visit to TopGolf, an expansive recreational area with amazing games and awesome scenery. We didn’t get to try all the attractions, but we stayed plenty busy playing a very inexpensive round of mini golf on three separate 18-hole courses.
Waterfalls, tunnels, hills and rivers can be found on this playing field, making it a fantastic place to relax and enjoy some time together.
Where I live, the entertainment options available mainly consist of bowling, a 3-screen movie theater, a few bars, and Walmart. Mini golf was a blast! We played at night, the course was lit and we had the place mostly to ourselves.
After all that excitement, it was hard not to work up an appetite. We tried Jack in the Box for the first time, another restaurant that just isn’t an option in our little corner of Northwest Oklahoma, and then grabbed some ice cream from the nearby convenience store.
TGI Friday’s and Jack in the Box were good, but we also had the chance to try Five Guys Burgers and Fries at Galleria Dallas.
We had heard of the restaurant’s sterling reputation, so we decided it was time to give it a taste. It was delicious!
We didn’t go to Galleria Dallas just for the food, though.
We roamed around the 4-level mall, checking out stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Hot Topic. The prices at Saks are laughable. I wouldn’t buy anything from there if I did live in the city!
Before we headed home from our vacation, we had one more item on our list. Galleria Dallas is built around a large ice skating rink. Neither of us had ever been ice skating before, so we knew we had to lace up while we had the chance. It certainly wasn’t easy the first time, and the skates were hurting my feet, but I can proudly say I didn’t fall. My fiancé did.
We skated for an hour or so and decided it was time to hit the road.
We stopped to eat at an IHOP, a familiar restaurant (but it’s not available where I live), filled up and headed home.
I really enjoyed my trip to the big city, with great food, interesting people and so much to see and do, but I definitely don’t belong there. It was nice to get back to the quieter, more slow-paced town of Alva.
After all, I’m a small town girl.