Dallas Texas

Running in a Rain Cloud

Sunday morning I slept in til 8am and then got up to go for a run. I love running in new places. The change of scenery is energizing and it’s a fun way to sight-see. Some of my favorite runs have been in other places–Vegas, Tucson…

Remember how I said we left Portland, rainy and cold and arrived in Dallas in the middle of their first storm in 6 months?Ironic, yes. I wanted to lay in bed and relax a bit but I checked the weather app and it said the rain was going to start at 9am and last most of the day. It was now or NEVER. I got up and headed outside. I started out easy and ran down the quiet neighborhood street. I wanted to beat the coming rain.

The road was rolling and soft (easy on my knees). I ran a mile down to the main street in 10 minutes. It felt soooo good to run that fast! I am getting closer and closer to my pre-injury pace (about 9’5 mile).

It was fairly cool for Texas but still pretty warm out. It was also very humid. It felt like I was running through a cloud ready to dump on me at any second. Despite the humidity I did okay.ย I ran by some impressive houses and only stopped to walk a few times.

I ran through a small dog park with a duck pond. There were bridges crossing gullies where water probably was during stormy weather.

I stayed close to home for awhile until I got a feel for the neighborhood layout. Then I ventured further out.ย There were rolling hills which gave me a good workout.

I ran down a hill and stopped to see a historical marker–an old cemetery from the 1800’s. It was nestled in between a few new houses. Michael’s stepmom later told me that the area was supposedly built on old Indian burial grounds. Yikes! Poltergeist, anyone??

I headed back up the hill toward home because I started to feel some raindrops. I didn’t want to be too far away during a downpour. I made it back to the house just before the rain started.

Look at me!!! Almost 5 MILES BABY!!!! And I wasn’t sore at all. I had no pain, no aches, no weird twinges in my knees or legs or ankles. Nothing. It was amazing. I’ve come to the conclusion that I always run better on vacation. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Run Stats:
Time: 1:03
Calories Burned: 560
Distance: 4.75 miles!

I’m happy with my run! I had no body aches and being able to do almost 5 miles felt GREAT!!

Back at the house I stretched (sort of), showered and we all ate breakfast before heading out for the day. Michael’s stepmom made a Quiche Lorraine and cheesy grits! I’d never had cheesy grits before. I loved them. They were so tasty. It reminded me a lot of polenta. She promised to send me the recipe. I want to try to recreate the grits.

I ate a bunch of fruit too (and a freshly bakedย biscuit). It was basically brunch since it was pretty late in the morning and we’d be skipping lunch in favor of sight-seeing. It was a high calorie meal but I knew I wouldn’t be eating til dinner time, so I did not care.

QUESTION: Do you ever run on vacation? Have you ever had cheesy grits?

Filled With Irony

If I told you that Michael and I liked Texas so much we went back the weekend after our trip to Austin, would you buy it? Well, we did go back to Texas. This time, Dallas. It wasn’t ideal–Texas two weekends in a row. But Michael’s family had an event that we’d planned on going to all year long. Then my cousin got engaged and set the date for her wedding in Austin. We kept hoping the dates would lineย up perfectly so we could make one trip to Texas.

Well it didn’t line up that way. Neither of us wanted to spend 12 days in Texas in order to save airfare and we couldn’t take that much time off work. Two trips it is!

We flew from Portland on Saturday morning and arrived in Dallas after lunch. It’s funny. I’ve NEVER been to Texas in my entire life and then I go twice in one month. ๐Ÿ˜› Laugh away. We arrived in Dallas in time to unpack and relax a bit at his dad’s house before changing for dinner.

It wasn’t just a normal dinner, it was also the 90th birthday of Michael’s cousin. It was a pleasure to meet her! She was aย feistyย firecracker of a woman. She was so interesting too. She lost her first husband when she was 23 years old–he was killed in Japan by a suicide bomber. What an amazing story.

Did I also mention that it was stormy and rainy when we arrived in Dallas? We LEFT the rain in Oregon, hoping for sunny skies and warm weather. Instead it was stormy: pouring rain, lightning! Apparently it was the first rain they’d had in six months! Figures.

For dinner we went to Michael’s cousin’s favorite Mexican restaurant — Joe T. Garcias. What a crazy place. It was at least a whole city block big–with four huge parking lots for the restaurant. The place was humongous. Words cannot describe how big. The waitress guided us through a massive banquet room–which was completely full–outside through a large patio into another massive building. (When we left after our dinner the place had a line a mile long, outside into the rain to get in!)

The other funny thing about Joe T. Garcias restaurant is that there are only two entrees: fajitas or enchiladas. That’s it. There’s no menu. You can’t order anything else there. It’s also served family style. They brought nachos to the table for everyone to share (I had one) and then the entrees came out with tacos for everyone to share.

I got the cheese enchiladas (they were small, thankfully) and the beans, rice and guacamole were all served “family style.” Michael got the beef fajitas. I had a few bites.

It was such a fun and unique experience! I’ve never been to a place like that. The food was pretty good, too. The only complaint: it was INSANELY loud there. It was hard to talk to everyone. So after the musicians sang happy birthday to the birthday girl, we headed out.

We went to a nearby fancy hotel that had a nice, quiet bar where we could all talk and actually hear each other. We went to the Whiskey & Rye in the OMNI Hotel.

It was a cute place, dimly lit. Everyone on the bar was glued to the football on the TV. That’s something that’s very common in Texas. Sports, sports, sports. If they aren’t watching sports, they’re talking about sports. If there isn’t a game on, they’ll talk about old games, or ones coming up–including plans to travel to the stadiums. I’m not a sports fan. This pride and fervor that they all seem to have is very foreign to me.

We had a nice time chatting. I had one glass of red wine with dinner and one at the hotel bar. It was funny, when we were at the restaurant I asked for a wine list and the waiter looked at me like I was a weirdo. It was either red or white. ๐Ÿ˜› Another difference between Oregon and Texas!

We headed home to Michael’s dad’s house in the pouring rain. It was literally like Portland’s rain–big, constant raindrops. Everyone thanked us for bringing the rain with us. Hmmm not exactly what I wanted! I wanted sunshine! I changed into my PJs and melted into the bed. I was asleep immediately and didn’t wake up once the entire night. That bed was heavenly.

QUESTION: Have you ever been to a restaurant like that that only had a few things to order? Have you ever had back-to-back trips?