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Oddfellows (Dallas, Tx)

Oddfellows (Dallas, Tx)

It wouldn’t be a vacation without going to a new Diner right?

The rest of my Dallas trip is here and the Dallas Half Marathon Race Recap (1:23.44) here.

While in Dallas, my husband and I decided to go to Oddfellows (Dallas).  It’s one of the gray area restaurants that same may consider it a diner while others may consider it a cafe.  Life is rarely black and white anyways…Oddfellows is located in the Bishop Arts District and serves Dallas and Fort Worth.

Oddfellows (Dallas) Atmosphere: A
The outside o Oddfellows is neat and clean.  It’s painted bright yellow, and they have an outdoor patio with seating as well.

The inside is all wooden seats, and it’s centered around a giant bar which serves coffee too.  The giant silver espresso machine is almost like the centerpiece of the restaurant.

Oddfellows (Dallas) Coffee: A
The coffee at Oddfellow itself is home brewed.  You can order any sort of fancy espresso, latte or anything else coffee-related.  They would probably do a decent business as just a coffee shop. img_2257-1

I ordered my staple coffee with whipped cream.  The whipped cream is homemade, and it was great.  Not surprisingly, Oddfellows has some of the best coffee I’ve had to date.  If I lived locally,
it would become a staple for me.

Oddfellows (Dallas) Service: A
The waitress at Oddfellows (Dallas) was friendly, comical and refilled out beverages.  I have no complaints.

Oddfellows (Dallas) Food: A
The Oddfellowsmenu is small.  They serve their entire menu all day which was great.  We got there around brunch, and I had no idea what I wanted.  Breakfast? Lunch? Oddfellows has a few fun options like fried green tomatoes and fried chicken.

The Pork Belly Benedict caught my interest.  I enjoy pork belly, and it seemed like a unique choice I hadn’t had before.  It came with homefries and on a bed of arugula.  The pork belly was delicious, and the poached eggs made a great combination.  It also had a small kick with siracha sauce.  I enjoyed the cubed homefries as well. The portion size was a little smaller than usual diners, but it was fresh.

oddfellows Dallas Texas

Oddfellows (Dallas) Cost: $
For the pork belly and coffee, the cost was $15. It’s one of the cheaper diner meals I’ve had.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back to Oddfellows (Dallas)?
I enjoyed Oddfellows (Dallas), and if I lived locally, I would be back.  In fact, I would be back to Oddfellows a lot.  I don’t have any complaints.

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Service: A
Food A
Cost: $10-15
Overall: A

You can see all of the diner reviews here. 

Questions for you:
Do you like pork belly?
Where is the best coffee you’ve had?

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Vacationing to Dallas

Vacationing to Dallas

Last week I went to Dallas, Texas.  The race was less than 90 minutes, but we did plenty of other things that weren’t racing too. Together with my husband as well as my inlaws, we discovered several fun and exciting things to do.

So first, Why Dallas?

The December time frame (weather wise) is a typically good in Texas.  As long-term readers know, I lived in Texas for a while. Although last week was much colder than anticipated New Jersey received it’s first snowfall, so it’s hard to complain.

Second, both my husband and I like BMWs.  He drives a 1980s BMW, while I drive a 3 series.  Since this is BMWs first title-US race, it seemed like an awesome idea to run.  The weather, timing, and title sponsor all suited us!

So with that, we arrived the Friday before the race.  Here are some of the things we did and ate.  All of which I would recommend.

We stayed in the Magnolia hotel which was beautiful and close to the race start.  We didn’t mean to find a hotel within walking distance but lady luck was on our side (this has never happened and probably never will again).

magnolia hotel view

Some of my Favorite Food:

Whiskey Cake at the Whiskey Cake

I heard this was one of the best cakes in all of Texas! It’s a rich cake made with Whiskey.  The cake itself did not disappoint and the homemade whipped cream on top was perfect. If you’re looking for a nice place to hang out, grab a drink or meal Whiskey Cake is delicious.

whiskey cake plano

 

Campisi:

If you are ever in Dallas for a race or just like Italian, Campisi is great.  They were initially opened in 1946.  For a business to still be here, means they are doing something right.  It was exactly what I wanted before a race.

What we Did:

Expo:

The BMW Dallas Marathon expo was a lot of fun.  There were plenty of activities to do including test driving an I3.  Of course, I wish they let you test drive an I8 but apparently they don’t put 100k+ cars out for testing.  I don’t get into real “fancy” cars but this would be my dream car if I had one..

BMW i8 half marathon dallas

My father in law, myself and Tim all signed the runner wall and got a nice photo next to it.

signing bmw dallas wall

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And we wouldn’t be there without my mother in law, Greta, so we needed a photo with her too. bmw dallas half marathon

Museums

I hadn’t thought about it, but I didn’t realize JFK had been assassinated in Dallas.  We walked though the Sixth Floor Museum which was a great (but lengthy) museum.  They give you a headset, and you feel like you are there.

Hiking:

hiking dallas texas

As most people know, my husband and I do enjoy our fair share of hikes.  We found a short Mountain Bike area to hike around.  All of a sudden, we found ourselves surrounded by various bike pieces and road signs in trees.  It was the most random and bizarre part of the trip.

hiking dallas texas

And of course, plenty of relaxation!  The problem with going to a destination race is you want to explore and “do everything, ” but before the race, you need to rest your legs and after a race you just want to nap.  We had a great time doing a little bit of everything.

Dallas is a fun city, nd I would love to go back sometime.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to Dallas?

What is something fun to do in your hometown?

Chapter 23.5: Texas

Today I leave again to go back to the East Coast.  I know it has shocked a lot of people (including myself) that I am moving so quickly (a month and a half of being in Texas).   I truly had a great time here even though it was for such a short time.  The military lifestyle is truly unpredictable and I knew that there was a chance I’d be moving back to the East coast relatively soon after moving here.  Not a month and a half, but relatively soon (I was thinking more like 5-6 months later).  I also knew there was a chance I was staying out here for four years or moving elsewhere. My heart right now is on the East Coast and as I said a while back, NJ will be a great fit for me.

I learned more in this month of being in Texas about myself then several of the semesters in college.

  1. You can’t sweat the small stuff.  Look at the bigger picture and while you might not be 100%satisfied right now…you will be.  Don’t worry about it.  For me, not having a job was and still is frustrating.  I know I will have a job that I love again soon.
  2. You can’t schedule every life event.  I tried to do that and it failed.  My move dates, plan dates, where I would move changed 6 times over the course of the month.  I hate not being able to give people direct answers of when I can hang out or if I can make stops to see them, yet right now I don’t have those answers.  Believe me it’s as obnoxious for me as probably you.   I wrote about being a planner like it was my job a while back and right now I’m spontaneous like it’s my job.
  3. Celebrate no routine.  This may be the only time for a while I have no routine.  Embrace it.
  4. Living with someone else…you must learn to adapt and change.  This could be the hardest for me and throughout the month.  With Tim not getting back until around 6-7, that is when we would generally eat dinner.  Maybe he wants to do something else.  I could have planned something all day and it doesn’t work out.  You have to learn to compromise.

Despite all this moving I am 100% happier than I have ever been in my life.  There will never be a point in my life with zero stress but this is coming pretty close.  I am 100% happy with my 2013, despite 4 moves and despite that I’m heading into another 1700 mile drive.

Prey for Lorraine and I.

Some random pictures and highlights from my (brief) Texas adventures:

My first photo of Texas

My first photo of Texas

I did win this growler at a half marathon and it goes down for best race prize ever

I did win this growler at a half marathon and it goes down for best race prize ever

Meeting and hanging out with Stephanie with so much fun.  I will truly miss you!

Meeting and hanging out with Stephanie with so much fun. I will truly miss you!

The night we found out we were Jersey bound

The night we found out we were Jersey bound

Tim's graduation and his parents, sister and baby coming to visit.

Tim’s graduation and his parents, sister and baby coming to visit.

Living 2 miles from Mexico

Living 2 miles from Mexico

Medium rare steak all the time.  I will miss cheap steak in Texas.

Medium rare steak all the time. I will miss cheap steak in Texas.

Sun rises and sun sets are to die for here.

Sun rises and sun sets are to die for here.

 

So that’s it in a nutshell.  I’m happy, I’m moving and I can’t wait to start another new chapter of my life.  One of the shorter chapters of my autobiography I guess I’ll title it Chapter 23.5…Texas.  Straight and to the point.   I’m 23 this about my half birthday and I spent some time in Texas.

Question for you:

How do you eat your steak?

Medium rare and mooing for me.

Prettiest sunset/sunrise ever? 

 

A Short Stay in Texas

When you pick up and move somewhere without any plan or job it’s a big risk. Before moving to Texas, I had been a mix of excitement and nervousness the entire summer.  While working two jobs I pretended to pack and get ready to move down.  Now that I am a little over a week living in Texas I know I made the right choice.  Though maybe I’m still in the “honeymoon” of moving stage but so far so good.  Though my stay in Texas will only be a honeymoon period.

My biggest worry all summer about moving down was not being able to afford things.  I’m not working right now at all.   I am also not dependent on my parents.

Since I have a better idea of how long I’ll be down here now I can start to look for a job that will keep me occupied.   After assimilating into Texas on Friday I realized that it was not in the cards for me to stay.  Tim found out last Friday which plane he would be flying and where we would be going next.  I knew driving down here that there was a very high possibility we would probably not stay.  I also wanted to be there for  the night he found out.

That being said I will be moving again to just outside of Trenton, NJ.

My best guess is we will be moving in early 2014.  If it’s before 2014 I can successfully say I’ll have lived in four different states this year (read: I’ll have moved four times this year).   I’m rather excited for NJ because it’s exactly where I wanted to go as well as I can finally start looking for a full time job again.  Where we will be living will be less then 2 hours from New York City, an hour from Philadelphia, three from his parents and five from VA Beach.

My thoughts on job hunting now:

Though I don’t have a job right at this very second I will have one sometime soon.  I worked my butt off this summer so that I would be able to support myself while I look for a job for a few months.  That obviously won’t hold me for life…. Like training for a race, I need to constantly remind myself of all these factors so that I don’t get too upset and stressed right now looking around.   As easy as it is for me to type that out, I can assure you I still stressed about finding a job.   I have applied to a few places so hopefully I hear back soon but knowing my luck I will hear back the week before I move.

Thoughts about funemployment:

Yes being unemployed seems like a great gig and I’ve had countless people say they are jealous, please don’t be.  I would prefer to work.  It is highly unlikely that I will find something temporary in my field down in boondocks, Texas (in the middle of fall) but it doesn’t mean I can’t try.  If I cannot locate anything I’ll be looking for something remotely interesting to produce some sort of income for the next few months.  There is a diner down the road that I am sure they could use pancake chefs or coffee brewers.   Once we move to NJ (for four years) I’ll be able to finally settle down and get a full time job again.  That much I’m excited for.

If anything the last year has taught me to be extremely flexible as I have the possibility to live in four locations (and states) in a year.

Questions for you:

How many times have you moved?

Does anyone have any connection to NJ? 

Travel Musings Part 2

Happy Friday the 13th.  I actually graduated high school on Friday the 13th and I think I turned out well.  I was born Thursday, July 12th and my superstitious father did not want a Friday the 13th baby.

Part 1 of my adventures is here.

Day 3: Auburn, Alabama to Jennings, Louisiana

This was easily the hardest day of travel.  I had nothing to look forward to except sitting in a car in solitude for an entire day.   The rest of the drive was starting to take its toll on me.  It reminded me of the third lap of a mile race…you just want it to be over.

After waking up and running on the Auburn Campus, dad and I headed down for breakfast.  The eggs in Alabama were more of cheddar cheese with a side of eggs.  It was 5 parts cheddar, 2 parts ham and 1 part egg.  It was also delicious.

eggs

The coffee was hard to come by in Alabama and the first gas station (at 8:30 am) did not have any.  I knew this might be the start of an exhausting day.  The gas station did have a wide selection of beer ready to be purchased though.

After getting coffee around 11 we continued on the drive.  We weren’t making awful time but we weren’t making that great of time either.  Around 1pm, we found ourselves starving so we got off the high way. only to find there are no restaurants on the side of the road.  By this point I was hot, tired, thirsty and hungry.  Those four combined probably made me the most miserable person to be around and it may be good I was in the car by myself.  We finally just stopped at some bbq joint because the parking lot was really crowded.  (It must be good if it’s crowded right?)

We got back on the road around 2 and continued our driving.  I don’t remember if I had mentioned that a few days before we left we determined my AC in the car does not work properly.  It just blows around hot air.  This meant the entire drive I was roasting in my car.

So that made day 3 pretty miserable since the deep south is hot.

Insert about 5 hours of hot, mindless driving miles.

Tame the afro

Tame the afro

Around dinner time we were just going by Baton Rouge.  Perfect dad and I thought. There would be plenty of places to stop and eat and we wouldn’t be struggling to find somewhere.  Then when I led the way I put us in the wrong lane.  We ended up going over the Mississippi river and past Baton Rouge.

If you have ever crossed the Mississippi then you know the next exit is 20 miles away because you go over a Bayou with alligators and god knows what else down there.  Similar to our lunch experience I spent the next 20 minutes being annoyed at myself.  We finally stopped at the first exit and located a nice Cracker Barrel.   Dad casually mentioned: Oh did you see those 10 foot alligators on the side of the road?

By that point we decided to drive another 30 minutes and stay in Jennings.  We had thought we might get to Texas that night but neither of us wanted to prolong the day 3 drive from hell.  Thank goodness for foursquare which was able to map me to a hotel.

So with that dad and I went to bed right when we got to the hotel so we could get to bed and start a new day.

Day 4: Jennings to San Antonio, Texas

Jennings was no different and we woke up with another morning run.  I have complained about heat and humidity but Louisiana really takes the cake.  Props to any runners that run the summer throughout that state and I don’t think I’ve ever sweat that much in my life.

After the longest and coldest shower of my life, dad and I headed down to breakfast.  The eggs at this hotel were cheesy scrambled eggs with ham.  As I went back up for seconds I noticed the lady adding something to the eggs.  She was literally adding sticks of butter.  She stopped me and said “Hold on honey I am going to make this taste better than any hotel breakfast you have ever had”.  I told her they already tasted better then Upstate NY eggs and that prompted her to tell me about her family living in New York City.  After about 15 minutes of conversation and a new best friend I ate some buttered eggs which too her credit were the best eggs of the journey.

Butter my eggs

Butter my eggs

After breakfast, taming my afro and stopping at a gas station and casino trucker combo we headed off for San Antonio.  It wasn’t more then 90 minutes that we finally reached Texas.

My final destination! 

Just kidding, I still had 400 miles but we were in Texas.  When they say everything is bigger in Texas…they aren’t lying.

metexas

After begging dad to take some photos of these life moments, he said “don’t you want that bear…your instagram friends won’t know you made it without him.”  Good play dad.

499

Since I was riding my “I’m in Texas high,” the next couple of hours went by rather quickly and I found myself ready for lunch around noon.  Dad and I stopped at Which Which in Dallas, which (ha) is the coolest sandwich place I’ve ever been.  I recommend it.

After lunch we got on the open roads towards San Antonio and the speed limit went up to 70.  I noticed a policeman sitting on the side of the road and as soon as I drove by I said “Aw shoot”.  For some odd reason I had a sneaking suspicion he was radaring (which he was).  How am I going to explain this one?  Sir, I was following that uhaul and we were going the speed limit.  I wasn’t tailgating, texting or anything.  I was rapping Nicki Minaj though.

About a minute after I pass him I see his lights go off and him speeding up.  My heart literally plummeted.  Then out of great relief (to me at least) he went over to left lane and pulled the guy next to me over.  I have never been more relieved in my life.  I don’t exactly have the best driving record and don’t need another ticket. After taking a minute to calm down, I realized dad and I were only going 65 so I don’t know why I was worried to begin with.

The next couple hours went by without any sort of excitement.  We stopped at a rest area with nature trails (apparently “jogging trails” are common at rest stops in Texas).  Dad and I mused for a while and continued to San Antonio.

508

Upon arriving (and getting lost for a while) we made it to the hotel.  The only good luck I seemed to have on this trip was that Tim was flying through San Antonio and was able to meet us. It was extremely lucky that his flight led him through there. He even ended up staying (all coincidence) in the same hotel as us.  It was the most random, weird but obviously good occurrence of the trip.

513

He really wanted to take as many photos with me as possible to update his facebook. After relaxing for the evening and getting food for the half marathon we headed to bed.  Not before getting “14 karot cake” for dessert because my best races come from eating a massive amount of sugar prior.

karotcake

You can read about the half marathon here. Cliff notes version: hottest most humid race of my life but still fun.

Questions for you:

Do you have a good driving record?

No and I hate driving.  (I can’t even beat around the bush with that one)

Favorite way to eat eggs?

Besides the sticks of butter I do enjoy omelets.  I really like eggs in general so there isn’t a way (I don’t think) that I don’t like them.

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