My first trip was to visit my beloved in Dallas a few weeks ago! As I mentioned before, I rode the Heartland Flyer down there and loved it! It was efficient, economical, and comfortable...definitely a great way to travel! There were a few delays due to some flood damage, but the trip only took about 5 hours (basically as long as it would have taken to drive). When I made it to the train station, I was greeted by Thomas, who came bearing a sign...what a guy!
After he picked me up, we ate lunch at a FTW legend, Joe T. Garcia's, which was much-needed after my extra long train trip! We spent the next few days going on other fun adventures in the Metroplex, including, but not limited to: attending his cousin's Little League game, visiting his former work (a Mini Cooper dealership), smoking a brisket (for dinner with his mom's aunt & uncle), and a few other awesome things. Okay, that sounds vague, but we were able to visit the Dallas Arboretum, thanks to his aunt and uncle's PR firm who does all of the publicity for it (and who graciously gave us admission passes). I LOVED the arboretum! It was a beautiful oasis in the midst of the crazy city. We only made it to about half of the property because it was hot and humid, and we were utterly exhausted. In visiting that half, we also took a tour of the park's centerpiece, the DeGolyer house. It was beautifully ornate! I love admiring fancy houses, and it's A/C was a welcome relief from the oppressive humidity, so I was in heaven! A few highlights...
The dining room...I feel like the picture doesn't fully convey its expansiveness!!
Mr. DeGolyer's famed library...it holds at least 85,000 books! WOW!
Another fun part of the Dallas trip was going on an outing with Thomas's parents and sister to a nice dinner. We ate at a Moroccan restaurant, which was something I never imagined I'd actually do! It was delightfully different, and I couldn't help but feel quite cultured by eating there! After dinner, we walked over to a nearby area that overlooks the Trinity Groves Bridge (I think that's what it's called, I'm still not really sure!) It was a beautiful view of the Dallas night skyline! I have a picture with Thomas, but alas, it's on his phone :( I do, however have a picture of the bridge itself!
I'm obsessed with the panorama setting on my phone camera!
Not long after that, we bid Dallas adieu and came back to Oklahoma! On our way back, we stopped in OKC for fuel and food and happened upon Tucker's Onion Burgers. Oh my gosh, those were AWESOME! It reminded so much of eating Pak-A-Sak burgers from my childhood! We loved it, and will definitely go back when we're in town!
The next day, I was able to pick up my new glasses from the optical office!!! Here they are, in all of their glory!
So far, they're everything I've hoped they would be and more! It is wonderful to be able to fully see out of my glasses now that I have larger frames with an updated lens prescription! :) Hooray!!!
Later that week, we harvested our wheat...both fields of it! It took about 3 days total to finish up, perks of having a small operation. Thomas got a crash course in driving the tractor with the grain cart, so he was a huge help in making things run smoothly. It was his first harvest ever, and there's a decent chance I was more excited about that than he was...what can I say, it was awesome to see him embrace it so well! (I told you he fit in well with my family!) He got to ride in the combine and the wheat truck also for a few loads, but reported that he'd rather fly a plane than operate the combine, because it seemed too intimidating! (Fun Fact: He actually did fly his friend's dad's plane for 5 minutes a few years ago, so that is a well-founded statement!)
In the midst of harvest, I happened to leave town, which is usually unheard of/frowned upon, BUT it was to attend the Imagine Dragons concert with Rebecca, which we couldn't have known would coincide with harvest, so not too big of a deal. It was a quick trip, basically there and back. We drove up on the day of the concert and had some much-needed catching up time! It was great to talk to Rebecca in person, since I've only texted and Skyped her for the past semester!!! We learned that the drive to Omaha is not a particularly exciting one, because it mostly consists of the Kansas turnpike, which is chock-full of pastures and cattle. Another fun fact we learned was that Oklahoma PikePasses work on the Kansas Turnpike!!! (They also work with the North Texas Turnpike! This alone is enough to almost convince me to get one, except I'm still not sure how much I would actually utilize it if I had one...I digress.) That saved us $9 of tolls, so we were excited! Another aside is that I like how Kansas runs their turnpike system. Instead of having toll booths every few miles, you are able to get a ticket once you enter, then pay the allotted amount once you exit, much simpler than Oklahoma or Texas's systems, in my opinion! We made it to Omaha without much trouble and found a fun brewery restaurant near the concert venue for supper! The concert itself was great, minus the opening acts, who were more techno-y than I really care for...I may or may not have fallen asleep twice during the second opening act. I wanted to get excited, but let's be honest, techno is a no-go for me! I loved Imagine Dragons's show! I didn't realize how much of their new stuff I wasn't familiar with, but that just made me even more excited when they played their big hits! I about cried from joy when they played "On Top of the World", my favorite song by them! That song alone made it all worthwhile!!! The next day, we trucked back to Oklahoma...a very quick turnaround with lots of road time, but still a fun trip!
Us after the concert!
Another fun thing that happened while in Dallas was that Thomas brought me to the "dark side" and convinced me to buy a pair of Chacos. People are pretty one-sided about Chacos, most of whom find them to be hideous and pointless. What won me over was the fact that they have a sturdy sole and that my cousin who recently had foot surgery said that those were the only sandals her orthopedic surgeon would allow her to wear post-surgery because of their excellent foot/arch support. What can I say, I'm practical...I'm also unconventional and bought the men's style instead of the women's because I hated the way the extra toe strap felt on my foot, not to mention that I wanted a wider footbed and thicker sole.
Obviously you know which foot is mine (or I hope you do!) ;)
I legitimately LOVE these shoes!
Some random thoughts/things of interest:
A couple of weekends ago, everyone made an excursion to Canton Lake. It was a great, relaxing weekend getaway! Now, we're all preparing for our Fourth of July weekend plans to visit my old stomping grounds at the lake in Stillwater!
Last week, I took Wyatt and Andy to the summer program at our church called Totus Tuus. It was incredibly awesome! We thought it would basically be Catholic VBS, but it was so much more! The boys learned so, so, so much last week and were excited about going every single morning! It was easily one of the better things I've done as an aunt, as it supplied me with lots of great time with them to help them grow in their faith. We had lots of great discussions about God, prayer, Jesus, Mimi, evolution (you read that correctly), and so many other things, like how the story of the Three Bears would have been different had Goldilocks been a boy or if she had an older brother, named "Brodilocks". If you have the opportunity to send your children/grandchildren/nieces/nephews/etc. to Totus Tuus, you SO should! It was awesome!
I think I'll cut it off here, and do my best to keep up a little better among all of my summertime adventures! Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!!! :)