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OUR 5 DAYS IN DALLAS


Our final stop on our US trip.

Three months and five states later, the time has come to say goodbye to the USA (for now). There have been so many highlights from our time in this country, right up to the end in Dallas. To wrap up country #4 and our week in Texas, we started with a road trip, stepped into the old west, had one last Texas BBQ and explored every district of the city we could in 5 days.



DAY ONE


Houston to Dallas in 1 day.

We had originally planned to catch a Greyhound bus to get from Houston to Dallas. However, we were so eager to see Texas outside of the cities, we ended up renting a car for two days. In torrential rain, we caught a bus to the William P Hobby airport, where we picked up our minivan and hit the road with a mission to see as much as we could between Houston and Dallas.


The torrential rain was not a great start to the road trip. For a while we questioned if it was safe to be on the road, considering we could barely see the car in front of us. We reached our first stop 50 minutes into the trip. We had initially thought this would be a quick pit stop but decided it may be best to stay a little longer and wait out the weather. Thankfully, Buc-ee’s is a great place to pass the time. We started by browsing through all the clothing, the homewares and the souvenirs. We came very close to purchasing matching onesies, so to stop ourselves we moved onto the food and walked away with brisket burgers, sodas, and sugar-coated pecan snacks for the road.


We drove 2 hours, from Buc-ee’s to the town of Waco. Thankfully, as we neared our next destination, the weather began to improve, and by the time we made it to Waco, the rain had completely stopped. Perfect timing as we jumped out of the car to explore the beautiful Magnolia Markets and Silos. We wandered the grounds, checked out the boutiques, browsed through the market and walked away with a small homewares gift, four desserts from the bakery and coffee. A very successful pit stop.


From Waco, we drove east, to Cooper Farms. We filled up the car with petrol, then bought the one thing we had come here to try – the peach ice cream. As if the 4 desserts from Magnolia weren’t enough, the serving was the largest and heaviest single ice cream we have ever had, and just as delicious as we had hoped.


We arrived in Corsicana as the sun was beginning to set. We drove through the streets and explored the beautiful buildings, bronze statues and fairy lights down the Historic District. We had a few food places marked to try, but by this point in the day, we truly couldn’t fit any more in. So instead, we continued north, arriving at our Airbnb in Dallas at 8 pm.




DAY TWO


Stepping into the old west.

Although we had made it to Dallas, we decided to keep the car for one more day so we could make the 45-minute trip out to Fort Worth. We stopped by a café called Ascension Coffee, before jumping on the highway, bound for the Fort Worth Stockyards. We arrived earlier than planned, and to much colder weather than we had expected. We briskly walked through the town to the main street, East Exchange Avenue. We decided to escape the cold by popping into the shops, wishing we could afford a pair of boots or a cowboy hat, but they were way out of our price range. At 11:30 am we joined the crowds on the street to watch the famous longhorn cattle drive.


Being in a western town, we decided we had to have Texas BBQ for lunch. We sat in the courtyard of Risky’s Barbeque, for our last Texas BBQ on this trip. The courtyard was supposed to be heated, but the cold wind was creeping in from every crack in the pergola. We were shivering by the end of lunch, so we made our way across to the Livestock Exchange building to check out the Stockyards Museum.


Jumping back in the car, we cranked up the heat for our drive back to Dallas, where we would spend the afternoon exploring a few different suburbs around town. Our first stop was the Bishop Arts District, where we did some more window shopping, and then on to Deep Ellum and the CBD. We drove through Fair Park which felt like a ghost town and finally stopped by Crumbl Cookie. We bought a box of 4, including classic peanut butter, classic pink sugar, lemon cupcake and milk chocolate chip, and they all lived up to expectations.



DAY THREE


Back to public transport and lots of walking.

After two days, it was time to say goodbye to our minivan. Before heading to the rental agency at the Dallas Love Airport, we stopped by La La Land Kind Cafe. The moment we stepped into the café our day got brighter. We will say the coffee was not our favourite, but that was made up for with the yellow, motivational packaging and the delicious ham and cheese croissant.


After dropping off the car we jumped on the train into the city. We walked from the station to Dealey Plaza, the Dallas County Administration Building and the Grassy Knoll. If you don’t know, this was the location where former President JFK was assassinated in 1963. Clark didn’t know much about this event, but Bec had learnt about that day and the surrounding conspiracies at school, so although the site doesn’t have a lot to see, it was interesting to be somewhere you had once talked so much about. From this site, we walked past the beautiful Old Red Museum and stopped at the JFK Memorial Plaza.


We walked a few blocks into town to find the giant eyeball we had driven by the day before. Yes, you read that correctly, a giant eyeball. The eyeball is on private property, but you can easily admire the weird and wacky art installation from the fences. It was getting close to lunchtime, so we walked from the eyeball over to the Dallas Farmers Market. As it was a weekday, the outdoor market stalls were not operating, but the indoor food hall had plenty of options. We ended up choosing Italian, feasting on cheesy focaccia bread, fettuccine alfredo and chicken Mediterranean salad.


We felt so full after lunch, we thought it would be a good idea to continue walking for the afternoon. We walked from the markets to Uptown, all the way up McKinney Avenue, did some window shopping at the West Village and stopped by Wholefoods to grab food for dinner on the way back to our Airbnb.



DAY FOUR


It started as a walk but ended as a long, boozy evening.

We had one last café on our list to try in Dallas. So that is where we started our fourth morning, a short walk away from our Airbnb, at LDU Coffee To Go. The moment we walked in we knew we were going to love it. The atmosphere was friendly and laid back, the sandwiches were very tasty and the coffee was amazing. We went to order a second coffee when we realised why we naturally loved this place. It’s an Australian café. Our first hint was the slang on the menu, followed by some books in the waiting area, and finally, we spotted the jar of Vegemite on the shelf.


After a great start to the morning, we continued our day with a walk along the Katy Trail. Halfway, we stopped for lunch and a drink at the Katy Trail Icehouse. It was early afternoon, the sun was shining and the courtyard was buzzing with people. By the time we left, the fairy lights sparkled in the night sky, the courtyard was completely full, and we had tried multiple items and drinks on the menu.



DAY FIVE


A slow final day in the US.

After an unexpectedly big night, we spent our last morning in Dallas slowly rolling out of bed. We went back to LDU Coffee for the second morning in a row and then changed into activewear and decided to spend our final day just wandering through the streets of Dallas. We walked the full distance of the Katy Trail (not stopping at the Katy Trail Icehouse this time), then wandered a few blocks in the Harwood District, State Thomas and Uptown. We came home to pack for a very, very long travel day ahead, and for our final night, we enjoyed a delicious Vietnamese dinner at Pho Crimson.



WHERE WE STAYED


This private room with a private bathroom in Dallas was exactly as described, comfortable and taken care of by very lovely hosts. The room, despite being in their home, felt completely private and very homey. We loved the location as it was in a quiet suburb but still within walking distance of supermarkets, restaurants, cafes and the Katy Trail.



OUR NEXT STOP


After a long travel day, including 3 planes with 3 different airlines, we will be arriving in country #6. We visited this country back in March of 2020, right before the world turned upside down. We loved every second of that trip and are very excited to be heading back to New Zealand.



OUR GOOGLE MAPS


When planning our travel destinations, we pin our bucket list of sites to see and recommended places to eat and drink on Google Maps. We are then never lost for ideas when travelling, and can easily share these lists for our friends and family to use as well.




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