Texas Trip #3 - Family and Friends - Dallas

With the HOW and WHY, and the JOURNEY covered - it's time for the good stuff... Family and Friends!

With the GPS acclimated, and no real idea where we were going - we told the GPS that we wanted to go to my sister in law's new house - and it was immediately telling us where to go, and how to get there.

"Technically" we did have an idea where we were going.  My sister in law provided me detailed directions on how to get to her house from DFW - but in the chaos of getting ready (printing out Ticket confirmations, Hotel reservations, Car Rental receipts, and other various bits of information we felt we would need) I forgot to print those directions.  Since I knew I was going to need it for other parts of the trip we brought our GPS with us so I was not too worried about it.

We headed off.  We watched the GPS as we got closer and closer.  We also watched as the surrounding neighborhoods slowly started to "degrade" - until we were driving through an area of town that caused me to wonder a bit about the area that my sister in law was living in.  But as we followed the GPS, we passed through that neighborhood, and into my SIL's.  Later, I was reminded about that email.  The email that says DO NOT follow your GPS here from DFW.  Use “this route” (detailed instructions)  instead.

IMG_0476 The area she lives in is VERY nice - it is definitely an area of "transition" - million dollar homes next to some much older and much less cared for homes.  There are also some much older and well cared for homes.  My sister in law lives in one such home.  It was built in the 1920's, but looks very nice right next door to a newer "million dollar" home!  The house is set up with an completely isolated apartment upstairs complete with it's own entrances and balcony.  Inside is beautiful hardwood flooring, a fireplace and newly remodeled kitchen.

We arrived, were welcomed inside, and given the full tour.  The full tour culminated in a delightful home cooked pot roast dinner.  After dinner we spent the remainder of the evening visiting, and getting caught up!  We also made arrangements to meet with my Brother in Law (NY resident who happened to be in Dallas on business) the next day.

The next morning SIL had to work, so the Mother of Five and I were left to our own.  We went for a morning walk - (put on about three miles).  I came home SOAKED with sweat.  I have never had a simple (and fairly flat) walk cause me to sweat so much.  We cleaned up, made ourselves presentable, and contacted my Brother in Law's parents for lunch plans.

We met at a Jason's Deli.  I've never been to a Jason's Deli before, and I was pleasantly surprised!

Personally, I am a fan of Salad Bars (the bigger and more selections, the better).  The Mother of Five ordered the Salad Bar, and I ordered a Chicago Club (Made with Herb foccacia with smoked turkey breast, bacon, provolone, smoked red pepper-cilantro aioli, organic spinach, and roma tomatoes.).  We then split the salad, and shared the sandwich (which we often do).

My BIL's Parents did the same thing only with the Ruben Sandwich (Made with hot corned beef, swiss, sauerkraut, russian dressing, grilled on rye.)).  Both sandwiches were ample and delicious, and the salad bar was wonderful for a "deli".  We even joked with a older couple seated in a booth nearby (who also ordered the Ruben) that the sandwich was bigger than grand motherly lady eating it!

Over the next couple of hours we visited, and caught up on our respective families.  We spent quite a while with them, and had a WONDERFUL time.  It was a truly delightful afternoon, and as an added bonus, having heard about my "antiquated" upgrade into the world of mobile computing, these very kind and generous people (who were ridding themselves of one of THEIR older laptop computers (which was still noticeably better than the one I picked up)) gifted us the laptop instead!!!

After lunch, the Mother of Five and I (upon suggestion of my BIL's parents) drove to the nearby, and brand new Cowboys Stadium, which just so happens to be down the street from the Rangers Stadium!  We did not stop in, but got a look from the outside.

07-22-10_1444 07-22-10_1446

We did a little shopping before heading back to my SIL's place.  The plan was that SIL wanted to take us out for dinner.  My BIL (not related) was having a dinner for his employees - and that we would try to meet up for desert / drinks afterwards.  We got back to the house, cleaned up, and headed out to dinner.

SIL took us out for Italian.  She had a specific place in mind.  She took us to Taverna by Lombardi.  Wow!  I mean WOW!!

I had the Paglia e Fieno (made with Green & White Tagliolini pasta tossed with Chicken, Wild Mushrooms, Truffle Oil & Cream Sauce), while SIL had the Fiocchi al Gorgonzola e Pera (made with Gorgonzola & Pear filled Pasta with Walnuts, Arugula & Dolce Latte Cream Sauce), and theMother of Five had the Homemade Porcini Lasagna (made with Bolognese Sauce, Bechamel & Parmesan Cheese)

I can not say enough about this meal.  The Paglia e Fineo was AMAZING.  A perfect blend of pasta, sauce, chicken and (drooling just thinking about them) mushrooms!

After dinner the three of us split two deserts...  We had the Budino di Cioccolato (with Zabaglione Sauce), and the Chef’s Special - Taverna Tiramisu.  I have seen Tiramisu made (thanks to Buddy the Cake Boss) and honestly, I was intrigued by it's creation.  I was not disappointed whatsoever.  It was simply amazing!!  We boxed up our leftovers (man, was I looking forward to those leftovers the next day) and headed out.

(A little foreshadowing there FOF?))

After dinner, SIL took us for a drive around White Rock Lake before we made it home.  Once home, we left a message for my BIL, and waited for him to call us back.

By the time he was done with his party and called us back it was getting pretty late (10pm).  SIL had to work again in the morning, so she called it a night while the Mother of Five and I made arraignments to meet BIL at a Dave & Busters.  We arrived, and as soon as we walked in the door we heard "last call" being made over the intercom.  We called BIL back, and made alternate arrangements to meet up at one of the best late night hang outs ever... Denny's!! 

<<Retching noise>>  Oops.  Sorry folks.  I just threw up in my mouth a little there….

There we sat, drinking sodas (neither of us were hungry – especially after that Paglia e Fieno I had earlier, and will be enjoying again later tomo… 

…Wait… 
Did I bring the leftovers back into the house, or did I leave them in SIL’s car??  Dang. I can’t remember.

We visited with my BIL at Denny’s until 2am.  By the time we said our goodbyes and parted ways we were both beyond exhausted!  Not only were we exhausted, but we had some pretty exciting plans on deck for the next day – and they would require us to be up pretty early. 

For as excited as I was for the next day’s events, sleep came easy. 

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