Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dallas Weekend

Okay, so I'm approximately 7 days late on writing this post. It's not about last weekend. It's about the weekend before that. But I can post it anyway, right? Thanks.
So the weekend before this last weekend, my sweet sister Kristen had a performance in the Dallas area (she's a dance major). So Jeff and I went to see her dance. We made a sort of spur-of-the-moment decision to turn it into a mini-vacation and see some sights and stay in a fancy hotel, and we had a blast!

We drove up early Saturday morning. I had just got my new camera (a Canon Rebel T4i) in the mail, so I spent the drive up playing with it. This trip was my first time to use it (I hadn't even read the manual and stuff yet), so bear with me if the photos are a little weird! 

(one of my first DSLR photos!)

When we got to Dallas, we went to two quick must-see spots downtown. First up, Thanks-Giving Square! Thanks-Giving Square is basically a little tranquil setting in downtown Dallas that was designed to inspire the spirit of thanksgiving and be a place for meditation and reflection. I love how you can just walk around and see positive messages everywhere.

There's a little museum of Thanksgiving, which is full of presidential Thanksgiving proclamations and descriptions of how people give thanks around the world. 

The little chapel at Thanks-Giving Square has a beautiful spiral stained glass ceiling. There was a fancy photographer man with multiple cameras and a tripod trying to get photos of the ceiling, so we didn't stay long, but I did manage to get a few pretty shots! 

Such a pretty spot, right in the middle of a bunch of skyscrapers. Lovely!

The next must-see spot was Pioneer Plaza, home of lots and lots of bronze cows and a few cowboys on horses! Basically, it's a giant sculpture of a cattle drive, running straight through downtown.

Adjacent to Pioneer Plaza, there's an old cemetery where some prominent early Texans are buried. Is it weird that I think old cemeteries are super interesting?

After Pioneer Plaza, we stopped for lunch at In-n-Out Burger (why do we still not have them in Houston!?!?), and then we went to Kristen's dance show! 

After the show (which was wonderful, of course!), we took Kristen to Starbucks and met some of her dancer friends there. It always does my heart such good to spend a little time with my sister! 

Isn't my sister so pretty? I love her. 

My first red cup of the season!

Sisters! <3 br="br" nbsp="nbsp">

The Dancers

We had dinner Saturday night at Blue Mesa (one of my DFW area favorites) and ordered margaritas (since we were "on vacation." Ha!). Then we went to check into our hotel! Thanks to a travel deal through Jeff's company, we were able to stay at the super fancy Hilton Anatole for a reasonable price. Such fun! 

The Hitlon Anatole is like a hotel combined with an art gallery. With a little bit of history museum thrown in. The hotel itself is HUGE (with lots of restaurants and fancy sitting areas and such), and all around it are about 1000 pieces of art. And there's a sculpture garden. It's pretty awesome. 

Our room was pretty fancy too!

I loved these capiz light fixtures in the bathroom:

We spent quite a bit of time just wandering around the hotel and looking at everything. I took a ton of photos, but I'll just put a few of them here. 

The propeller from the Lusitania!!

Pieces of the Berlin Wall

On Sunday morning, we got up early, had a lovely buffet breakfast at one of the hotel's restaurants, and went to see the spot where John F. Kennedy was killed. Here's Dealy Plaza, where the car was driving when he was shot:

Here's the School Book Depository building where Lee Harvey Oswald was shooting from:

See the window to the right of the archy ones? That's where he was shooting from.

I guess a lot of people don't believe that Oswald did it! 

And here's the Grassy Knoll that always gets talked about by the conspiracy theorists:

It was super interesting and a bit surreal to stand in the spot where a President was assassinated and watch the traffic just going by like it's no big deal. The old School Book Depository building is now home to the Sixth Floor Museum, which is all about JFK's presidency, his assassination, and the aftermath regarding investigations, conspiracy theories, etc.

We went to the museum, which is really, really well-done (although they wouldn't let you take photos inside...). Everyone gets an audio tour that guides you through the sixth floor of the book depository, and you actually get to stand right next to where Lee Harvey Oswald was shooting and look out the window to Dealy Plaza. SO weird. 

The audio tour includes recordings from news footage and JFK's speeches and videos of the motorcade from when Kennedy died, and it was just really interesting. We could've stayed at the museum a lot longer, but we had to get to church, so we left to check out the JFK memorial.

Near the memorial there's a log cabin. It's a replica of the home of John Neely Bryan, the founder of Dallas. I thought it was so funny to see that old wooden cabin juxtaposed against all the fancy downtown buildings. It's weird to think about how different life has become in just a couple hundred years! 

Overall, it was a whirlwind of a trip, but we saw so many fun things AND we got to see my sweet sister, so it was a great couple of days! Plus, it was really nice to get one last mini-vacation in before the craziness of law school finals. Thanks for the memories, Dallas! 

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