Browsing "Nice Folks"
Apr 8, 2013 -

A Day in Dallas With a Local Guide

Once again, I am super grateful to have a local guide!

Ms. Cinnamon has lived in Dallas all her life, so she took me on a tour of her city today, from seedy west Dallas to the Turtle Creek district with its huge mansions. There was really too much info for my memory to do justice to it!

Before heading to Dealey Plaza, we went for lunch at EatZi‘s, an upscale European-market type place where you can find just about anything you could want to eat or drink. She chose a few salads and I zeroed in on the sushi! This place was awesome! Tip: try all the samples so that you’ll be a little full and less tempted to try one of everything! 😀

I’ll write about our afternoon at Dealey Plaza in another post. Once I’d had my fill of that, we walked around downtown a little bit and checked out the new Perot Museum of Science of Nature, but we were too close to the end of the day, so we’ll go later this week.

We drove around some more after and finished our day off with dinner at the Highland Park Cafeteria, a Dallas institution serving homestyle cooking. I enjoyed my chicken and sides. The portions were ginormous and I have leftovers for tomorrow!

Dallas doesn’t feel like a giant metropolis. The only city I can think of that comes close to it is Chicago, another city of neighbourhoods with a compact downtown core. Only Dallas is about 1/10th the size! Dallas has a lot of green spaces (that wilt and brown in warm weather), does not allow pandhandlers, and has lots of arts and culture.

I was sad to say goodbye to palm trees in San Antonio, but lo and behold, and to Ms. Cinnamon’s surprise, we saw a few today!

Tomorrow, I will post about Dealey Plaza and the Texas School Book Depository.

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Apr 7, 2013 -

Kalachandji’s Vegetarian Restaurant, Dallas

Ms. Cinnamon suggested going to a favourite restaurant of her’s for dinner tonight, Kalachandji‘s, an Indian-inspired vegetarian buffet with international flavours. It is one of those places I think you need to know about to find as it is really not marked and is located inside a Hare Krishna house of worship.

I don’t much like Indian food, but the description of this place was so familiar I knew we absolutely had to go there. I just had a feeling about something, and that feeling was 100% bang on. Kalachandji’s is the Dallas answer to my favourite Ottawa restaurant, The Table.

The flavours were mostly familiar and tasted of ‘home’, and it was all just so hearty and wholesome and delicious. Here, the buffet is all you can eat for one low price. From the lemongrass tofu casserole to the cinnamon bread, the almond salad dressing to the pappadams, the tamarind tea to the mango-cashew halvah, and everything in between to sate all but the pickiest palate, Kalachandji’s is going to be a highlight of my winter.

The restaurant has an exterior courtyard that is just exquisite (you can see pictures on their site). It was the perfect place to sit and chat with Ms. Cinnamon for a couple of hours.

Local guides are awesome!

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Apr 7, 2013 -

San Antonio to Dallas

Leaving San Antonio this morning wasn’t difficult. I didn’t feel ‘settled’ there the way I did on the beach. It also helped that I was heading to another good spot.

I was up early since I ‘had so much to do’ since it was departure day. Let’s see… I made coffee and breakfast, tidied the kitchen, checked my email, put away the computer, secured the filing cabinet, and then all I had to do was back out the motorhome so I could put it in the right position for towing. And then I discovered I finally mastered hooking up my truck since I got it done in one shot. In other words, ‘I had so much to do’ it literally took 15 minutes to go from ‘okay, breakfast is done’ to ‘oh, it’s time to say my good-byes’!

I took my departure from my neighbours, then headed over to Croft and Norma’s. I just learned that they are still in San Antonio. Yes, these are the same people who told me that they would not have time to detour to San Antonio to see me, or even drive an hour from Laredo to meet me halfway. 😀 It was so good to be able to spend so much time with them. I was gifted with their 2012 Good Sam RV park directory, which means I can finally retire the 2006 directory the previous owners left in Miranda! 😀

From the RV park, it was just a couple of clicks to I-35. The Valero on the corner looked like a great place to get gas as it iss angled in such a way that you can drive straight through and get right on the highway. I wasn’t sure there was enough overhead clearance, so I had asked Croft for his opinion. He thought it looked fine. It was only as I was driving into the gas station this morning that I had asked Roof Ripper Randle to gauge a clearance height… 😉

But it was all good and I ran my card twice to get a complete fill. After that, I had about four hours of I-35 N ahead of me.

To my surprise, Austin traffic was as terrible as I had been warned it would be, and this was on a Sunday morning!!! I white knuckled through there and was happy to reach a fairly quiet stretch of highway after, if only for a short while.

I had unusual foresight last night to check rest areas on my route and there was one just before Salado, almost exactly halfway. It was the perfect place to take a lunch break.

Shortly thereafter, I-35 splits into I-35 EN and I-35WN. Not NE and NW, but EN and WN. WN goes to Fort Worth and EN goes to Dallas.

There was a rest area about 45 minutes from my destination, so I called my host, Ms. Cinnamon, to let her know I was incoming! I had told her I would be arriving between 3 and 7, most likely around 5PM. My ETA was about 3:30!

Thankfully, Ms. Cinnamon’s directions matched my GPS’ route, so I was able to focus on the road when I got into Dallas and not worry about routing myself. The drive through town would have been fine had there not been a big accident that required me to get over about three lanes of traffic and then immediately get back over them again. Drivers were mostly courteous, but for the final lane change before the accident, I was only able to get over because a cop forced the folks in the other lane to let me in.

I only had a very short distance to drive on normal city streets right at the end of my journey, so I got to Ms. Cinnamon’s feeling quite good and not too frazzled. Oh, I was tired, but this had been a very good day of urban driving.

She got me rehydrated (um, with water!), then we got Miranda parked. I technically have FHU (20A), although I can’t leave my sewer hooked up and I never leave my water hooked up  since I live off the fresh water tank. Dallas has no good RV parking opportunities, not even any conveniently located RV parks, so having Ms. Cinnamon as a blog reader is a real blessing!

Once I was squared away, I was shown a luxurious bathroom with fluffy towels and just about all the products I could want to have a decadent shower. I think I was under the hot water at least half an hour. 😀

With me refreshed, we headed out to dinner, the subject of my next post. After dinner, she showed me around the neighbourhood a little, including scenic White Rock Lake.

We’re going to Dealey Plaza together tomorrow. The rest of the week is up in the air. I could be here a couple of days or even a whole week. The weather is noticeably cooler here and I really am not eager to get any further north…

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