Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Back in Dallas

Sunday morning we headed back to Dallas where we met our friends, Jenni & Tyrone.  Sunday night we decided to explore some Dallas nightlife and catch the Cowboys game.  The football game didn't end like Nick had hoped but we did have a blast and discovered the coolest bar.  The Katie Trail- it has great indoor outdoor space with fire pits and the best part- they had blankets to help keep us warm.  We would highly recommend this bar.
Jenni and I enjoying the night
Monday morning we went on a tour of Cowboy's Stadium.  The next best thing to actually going to a game.  I must say that place was pretty amazing.  Here are some of the highlights:

After our Cowboy's Stadium adventure we had a lazy afternoon watching the Tulsa University Bowl game before our big NYE.  Our night started with drinks at the top of the Reunion Tower (http://www.reuniontower.com/)- the big ball in the sky.  After drinks we headed to Big D NYE, a time square esque event outside the American Airlines Center.

We had some yummy food truck food and listened to good music until midnight when this happened:

It was a great low key night spent with good friends- can't think of a better way to ring in the new year.

New year's day we packed up, said goodbye to Jenni and Tyrone and headed to The Sixth Floor Museum, the museum that chronicles the assassination of JFK- you didn't think we would pass up on an opportunity for a little more history before we headed out of town.

We didn't get to do everything we had hoped to do while in Texas but all in all it was a great trip with a good balance between hanging out with some amazing friends and experiencing some of the great things Texas has to offer.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Going Through the Big D...and We Do Mean Dallas (and Austin)

Our original post Christmas plan was to head back to St. Louis the day after Christmas. That would put us home late in the day with just enough time to re-pack, get a little sleep and be up early Thursday to catch our flight to Texas.  That didn't quite go as planned.  With an impending snow storm hitting Indiana early Wednesday morning we were worried we might get stuck in Ohio so we decided to leave late in the day on Christmas.  We ended up getting home around midnight which gave us a good 24 hours plus to un-pack, do laundry, and get ready for Texas.  We felt rested and ready to go.  Then we got to the airport and it was busier than I have ever seen it.  We ended up waiting in line for over an hour to get through security and missed our flight- not a great way to start a vacation-trust me!  Luckily we got the last two seats on the next flight out of St. Louis to Dallas and landed in Dallas only a few hours behind schedule.  After that little hiccup luckily the rest of our trip was a blast.

Our first stop was the Fort Worth Stockyards (http://www.fortworthstockyards.org/).  The stockyards is the old part of town where the livestock industry did business turned tourist trap.  Even though it was oozing with tourist traps (think cheap t-shirt and shot glass kinda stores, and old time photo kinda places) we had a great time wondering around and checking out the sites.  That night we enjoyed some music and dancing at Billy Bob's Texas: The World's Largest Honky Tonk.

Cute vintage train that runs through the Stockyards 
Daily long horn cattle drive

World's Largest Belt Buckle at Billy Bob's
The next morning we headed to Austin.  We had nowhere we had to be until the rehearsal dinner latter that night so we decided to stop at the Lydon Baines Johnson Presidential Museum on our way into town.  You know we can't pass up a good presidential museum!  As always I learned lots of interesting things and the obligatory picture with Mr. President:

After the museum we decided it was time for some good Texas BBQ.  My aunt, Hildy, who used to live in Austin recommended we check out The Salt Lick (http://www.saltlickbbq.com/).  Not only was the food out of this world we also got to drive a little ways into the Texas country and it was beautiful.  The food was so good we couldn't resist a picture. If you were ever in Austin this is well worth the drive.

That evening we had another amazing meal and a great time celebrating Sara and Will's last night before their wedding and somehow I ended up with zero pictures from that evening.

The next morning we woke up and headed out early to hit up some more Austin sights.  We started the morning at the Texas State Museum and then headed to the Texas State Capitol.

Nick and the Star at the Museum
At the capitol with the dome
Nick and Governor George Bush
After our educational adventure we met our friend Katie for lunch and wondered around town before it was time to get ready for the big wedding.   It was a beautiful wedding and we had a great time celebrating Will and Sara!

We had a great time in Austin celebrating the newlyweds and the next day it was back to Dallas, but this post is getting a little long so I will share that fun in another post.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Murphy's Law kind of Christmas

**Sorry I know it is almost mid-January and I'm just now getting around to posting about Christmas, but I'm still not sure I have recuperated fully from our holiday which I think you will understand after reading the next few posts

You know those days when nothing seems to go like you planned?  Well that was pretty much how our Christmas went. We had great, grand plans for this Christmas.  It was going to be busy and probably stressful, but we had a plan and it was going to be great!  And then....life happened.  I will spare you the gory, gross (and I mean gross) details but needless to say it was not a picturesque, perfect Christmas.  That all being said, however, I do think we were reminded of one very valuable lesson this year- Christmas is less about the where and the what and more about the who.  Regardless of all the things that went wrong we were blessed to be surrounded by wonderful family and in the end that is what was important.  Here are some pictures (from my brand new fancy pants camera that Nick gave me) Mostly just pictures of cute kids- I promise the grossness what not caught on camera:

Christmas with the McGeehons:

Christmas with the Leaders/Kingmas:

Somehow I missed pictures of Emily opening presents probably something to do with 15 people opening presents = chaos.

After Christmas was our big trip to Texas for Sara & Will's wedding and some adventures.  I am hoping to have a post about that early next week.