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.  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…

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.

Coffee: A
The coffee 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.

Service: A
The waitress was friendly, comical and refilled out beverages.  I have no complaints.

Food: A
Oddfellows has a small menu.  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?

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

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?
I enjoyed Oddfellows, and if I lived locally, I would be back.  In fact, I would be back a lot.  I don’t have any complaints.

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

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


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



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:


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


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


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 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?

After College Changes…

I feel semi productive that I was able to write both posts and schedule them back to back.  I always get frustrated with cliff hangers on blogs that last for 2-3 weeks.  I know patience is a virtue but it is a virtue I am not blessed with.  My lack of patience is actually important with this post though.

Here is part 1 of my college growth.

My final semester of college I spent interning full time at a health office in Oswego.  Then I was hired there. (Spending close to another year in Upstate, NY).  Long story short I fully enjoyed my job at Oswego.  It had everything I learned from community health courses, great coworkers, it was what I wanted to be doing, close to Syracuse, Rochester..ect.  I made a lot of friends there.  I hated the cold and weather but that had nothing to do with my job.  There was obviously one large part of my life missing from Oswego and that was my long term boyfriend.  I would be lying if I didn’t say that was 95% I moved.

At the Walk to Save Lives Fall 2012

At the Walk to Save Lives Fall 2012

Until roughly May of 2013, I thought I had my life completely figured out.  After making the executive decision not to stay in Oswego I moved home with my parents for the summer while Tim finished up most of pilot training.

I planned to spend the summer either interning at a health center or working.  I ended up working two jobs to save money to move to Texas (neither having to do with my community health major in college!).  Last summer I felt as though my college career was again a waste.  I was working jobs I probably could have done without a college degree.  They were just that…jobs to pay bills.  I knew once the summer was over I would be moving down to Texas and finding a job similar to Oswego.

So I thought anyways.

Sadly the area I moved in Texas didn’t have those jobs available and I certainly didn’t know what I wanted if those weren’t options.  The closest community college was 2.5 hours away and it’s obvious I don’t even like five minutes of driving.

Oh texas...little did I know I would be here 6 weeks

Oh texas…little did I know I would be here 6 weeks

I knew two things about my community health degree and possible job choices.  I didn’t want to work in a hospital and I didn’t want to work with babies.

Past that I had absolutely no idea and it stressed me out.  (In fact it still stresses me out).  Here I am a year out of college and I couldn’t tell you my exact dream job.   Since my stay in Texas was short lived (6 weeks) it wasn’t feasible for me to find a temporary job let alone a full time job.  (Thank you working all summer).

While I lived in Texas I began to think about my future and my thoughts about pursuing a job when I moved to NJ.  What did I want to do?  Apply to a college and work on campus like Oswego?  Work at the Red Cross?  Work at a nursing home?  I had no idea…all of those jobs interested me.

Since this previous summer I have grown even more.  This past summer though I still worked, I had no idea what I wanted to do the rest of my life.  It worried me.  It frightened me.  It still frightens me.  Do I have to make an executive decision of my career choice right at this very moment?  No.  I have to find a job that I currently enjoy doing and pays bills.

It seems we are asked the “what do you want to be when you grow up” question since we can talk.  I’ve gone from marine biologist to zoologist, teacher to community health worker.  How do we ever know exactly what we are destined to do?  I have thought a lot about the definition of successful and happy.  What makes you successful?  Having a job from the major you chose in college?  Making enough money to pay the bills?  Being happy?

My personal opinion is that being successful comes from doing something you enjoy, not stressed and being financially stable.  Whether that takes you in a completely different route from where you originally started then it does.

Might as well be happy right?

Might as well be happy right?  Look a community health center that probably has a job I would like. I guess I’ll just stop the marathon now.

I wish college had prepared me for that.  I wish someone in college had said there is a chance even after four years of classes you won’t know what you want to do.  You still won’t have it figured out when we hand you (mail you) your diploma.  You will never have all the answers in your life. Do not stress about it and you will find the answer eventually.  

Spoiler: Incase you wondered now (and I owe a post about Jersey) but I am happier right now then I have ever have been.

Question for you: How do you define being successful? 

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? 

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