This past week, I had the pleasure of spending a whirlwind of less than 30 hours in Dallas, Texas! Like most of my vacations, it was full of surprises and fun for all! After a 5 hour delay and two passengers from our flight went missing, we were off to the state where everything is BIGGER!
In true ME fashion, once we reached our hotel and so close to our comfy beds for the night, we got stuck in the elevator for several minutes, after trying to figure out where the rooftop pool was. It was the 9th floor, not the 22nd, in case you’re ever staying at the Crowne Plaza – Downtown. After our elevator fiasco, we passed out during a Naked and Afraid Marathon, catching some zzz’s before the big day ahead!
Waking up on the 17th floor was beautiful and we couldn’t wait to start adventuring after we woke up naturally, without alarms! Our first stop was food, obviously, we visited Ellen’s Southern Kitchen. I am always a bit nervous when visiting new places, about sticking with diet but the staff was more than accommodating to me needs. Had delicious pancakes with the most ripe and flavorful mixed berries and some black coffee to keep me going!
We practically ran to our first official stop of the day, the Dallas World Aquarium! Being a Vegan, in this community, I do get mixed responses about my visiting aquariums and sometimes zoos. I personally will not visit a zoo or aquarium that I find to be disrespectful to or mistreating their animals. Sanctuaries are ideal for visiting animals, to truly give back, but I understand, that’t always accessible or possible for many of us. This aquarium had fantastic reviews and you could tell just being inside and speaking with staff, how much they take pride in the animals, their work and establishment. The animals had minimal caging but it was more than safe enough for the animals and patrons. I practically touched a sloth that was snoozing in a tree with a nearby employee that was answering curious visitors questions. This aquarium was massive and so much more than an aquarium. My favorite part, as you will learn as I blog more, was the shark tank. I cried. I generally do whenever I get to see sharks or octopus up close. It was beautiful walking under a dome watching them feed. There was also an outdoor area where penguins had a cool hangout and waterfall. The individual aquariums for several islands was so gorgeous and I can’t speak more highly about this attraction.
After some tears and a ton of fun, it was on to see an important part of history. Visiting the Sixth Floor Museum – Dealy Plaza was an incredible experience. If you’re unfamiliar, it is the building from which JFK was assassinated from. The museum was done so tastefully and really was so much more than either myself or friend had expected. It was interactive, there were so many pieces of history and videos to watch about JFK and that terrible time in American history. There was the original area, on the 6th floor, blocked off and staged from where the shooter was. We also walked over to the Grassy Knoll and stood on the spot where JFK was fatally shot. It was an emotional and insightful part of our trip.
My friend and I love walking and I personally think that it was a great way to see the city! After taking a short break back at the hotel, we walked over to Pioneer Plaza to see the amazing cattle and cowboy sculptures! It really was a sight and such a cool place to see, right in the middle of the city in the gorgeous park. We noticed there were several places like this around the Downtown area. All these little patches of thriving greenery right in the middle of the city, it was refreshing! Since it was vacation, we had to go have a few drinks before watching the sunset at Reunion Tower.
When I go on vacation, I have one rule I almost always follow, local only! So, we visited the local watering hole, Gators for some rooftop drinks. The weather was beautiful and the staff was so sweet and accommodating. Big mistake on my part, I was so caught up in enjoying vacation, I had forgotten to eat all day, besides my delicious morning ‘cakes! Needless to say, after walking 10 miles in less that 8 hours, than having adult refreshments, I had a minor struggle on the way to Reunion Tower. Thankfully, my friend ran to the gift shop and ordered me a giant water and ginger chips (smart cookie! Ginger is great for upset stomachs) and after a few minutes, I was ready to see the sunset in Dallas!
The city of Dallas is so eclectic and full of beautiful sites and the most amazing compilation of old and new, with sprinkles of art and nature everywhere! As the sun set, we got to take it all in with those 360 degree views, atop the Tower, it was stunning. Similar to the Space Needle in Seattle, it gave you these breathtaking views of the city and inside, interactive learning stations. Despite the few bumps in the road we had, it was all worth it when we were up in that tower, looking over that city. We ended the night at delicious Mexican restaurant, RJ’s on their patio before making it to our hotel, before midnight and cuddling up to watch Paranormal Activity 4.
Traveling is so important to me and I am always thankful for the trips I get to take, no matter how long or short they be! Even though our trip was shortened by a day and I drank too much, I made memories with a dear friend and had an absolute blast! I met wonderful people, saw new things and learned so much, which is why I love traveling. It an experience that I truly hope people take in their lifetime, no matter where it may be. Life is short, the world is beautiful and you are here to experience it! Love life, live it.