Monday, April 11, 2011


I currently serve on a board of reference at my alma mater, which basically means that I run the school now and all questions regarding academics/ fundraising/ staff concerns should be directed to me.  It also means that my husband I flew out for a board meeting held in Dallas, Texas this past weekend.  Which means, of course, that it's time to update my puke map. 

Why Holly is the Most Funnest Person to Travel With

Is it because she is the person most prone to motion sickness in the world?  Is it because she likes to try and sneak her virulent pepper spray through security?  Is it because, while in Cape Cod with two girlfriends, she inadvertenly threw her Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme into reverse while going 60 MPH?  (In her defense, she momentarily forgot she was not driving a stick.)  Is it because she has a habit of leaving her purse behind on various restaurant benches and sales counters throughout the country?  Is it because, if she is not suffering from motion sickness, she has somehow contracted a vicious strain of bacteria that renders her completely incapacitated?  Nay!  It is because she likes to arrive at the airport 45 minutes before boarding a plane only to announce that she has left her identification at home, in a coat pocket lying somewhere on the upstairs carpet.  Because how else would her husband find an excuse to drive 90 MPH down 490 or squeal his tires while turning on exit ramps?  (Don't be jealous.  If you want, I'll take a trip with you, too.)

Holly Does Visits Dallas!

Dallas is a land of flat, brown landscape and excellent Mexican food.  It is a sprawling metropolis.  I prefer my cities more compact, like New York or Toronto, but everything is bigger in Texas.  The city and its extending suburbs spread for miles and miles, bridging the gap between Dallas and Fort Worth. 

Texas is the libertarian's dream state.  Here's the difference between Texas and New York in a nutshell:  in the bathroom of our hotel room, there were no signs that pleaded with us to hang up our towels in order to conserve energy.  I have no doubt that if we had hung up our towels, they would have been washed anyway.  We kept the maids out of our room so that we could fling our towels wherever we pleased, thereby conserving energy and taking the opportunity to be messy at the same time.  (We are eco-conscious libertarians.)

Our gracious and benevolent hosts took 15 of us all around town, where we proceeded to eat our way through Dallas.  In fact, at this moment, I can think of little else but greasy, buttery, southern-style rolls and this most wonderful invention called "fried guacamole."  Just when you think guacamole can't get any better. 

There are Pictures!  (Or- Highlights of Dallas)

Somewhere behind that sign a man invented Dr. Pepper.  God bless that man.

White Rock Lake.  The big oil moguls build their houses along the waterfront, which was the original freshwater source for the city of Dallas.  Now they all drink Evian.

We ate here at the Dixie House. 

A drive-by shot of a Frank Lloyd Wright House on historic Swiss Avenue. 

Dallas is the 9th largest city in the states, and the third largest in Texas after Houston and San Antonio.

Another Swiss Avenue home.

Downtown Dallas.


Right in downtown Dallas is this little cabin, which belonged to one of Dallas's very first settlers.

So, I was there when JFK was shot.

It happened this past Saturday, and it was terrifying. 

But I got over it and snapped a pic of this church.
If Dallas is Xanadu, then Jerry Jones is Kubla Khan

(I wonder what Jerry Jones' last words will be?)

The Cowboys Stadium, I hear, can be seen from Mars.  It is a colossal architectural pheneomenon- a structure supported by two massive steel arches longer than the Empire State Building would be if it were placed on its side. 

Since I hail from western New York, I feel nothing but contempt for the Dallas Cowboys.  I'm not even really into football; this contempt seems to be a deeply rooted intrinsic feeling I was born with.

(Buffalo Bills fans might want to opt NOT to take the Dallas Cowboys stadium tour, because it certainly compounds the feeling that Ralph Wilson Stadium is... shabby.) 

Still, it was a wonder to behold.  On the private tour, we were privy to the locker rooms, the private suites, the press rooms, the tippy-top of the stadium, and of course, the field. 

Pictures- not edited at all because I lack the time and energy:

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree

11,200 square-foot LCD television- largest in the world.  As large as four long buses parked from end to end.

The top of the dome, which does open.

These tiles were purchased because they have specks of cowboy blue in them. 

View from the newspaper and magazine press room.

Most of the light fixtures are shaped as footballs.

Modern art commissioned by Jones.  This is called "Line of Play."  Tony Romo has allegedly tried to steal it twice. 

We had an enthusuastic tour guide.  John is trying to be soooo happy about this place.

View of the Rangers stadium from top of the dome.

Even the drains are in the shape of stars.

Cowgirls locker room.  If you ever want to see a bunch of respectable, grown men open their mouths yet remain mute, take them here. 

The wood for the Cowboys lockers was imported from Africa. 

On the field.

Still mustering up that enthusiasm.

Cotton Bowl Exhibition

It was a whirlwind of a weekend.  I was blessed to make several new friends, and I already miss them very much. 

Flying with John is such an experience, because he is the world's friendliest flier.  He has a policy of immediately introducing himself to the stranger sitting next to him.  When flying solo, I  turn on my headphones immediately and immerse myself in a book, only speaking to my neighbors to inform them that my puking up lunch is imminent, and they better move their butts fast if they don't want regurgitated airport food on their laps.  Thanks to John, on the way to Dallas, we conversed with a med student about to start his residency- a neurologist who listened with interest about Ella's ADP.  On the way back, I got into a heated discussion with an English professor about Shakespeare authorship; we made up, and I almost had him willing to pen my masters thesis.  Because we had established a sort of relationship, he was definitely less ruffled when I went to barf somewhere over Lake Michigan. 

As much as I occasionally long to get away and enjoy peace and solitude, after about twelve hours, I miss my little ones desperately.  I begin to stalk little kids in hotels which concerns not only the kids, but their parents and my fellow companions.  I start to hear the pitter-patter of little feet when there are no little feet around.  It's all very depressing.   There's nothing like burying your face in your kids' hair after a few days apart, and kissing their soft cheeks right before they drift off to sleep. 

Home again for a while- still feeling "off."  Will refrain from complaining about the utter inhumanity of air travel, from being forced to take naked pictures to being stuck in a tube where they dare to charge you $39 for five extra inches of legroom.  Even worse- viewing the same episode of "The Big Bang Theory" four different times. 


Glad to be home with the kids, my unsettled stomach, and my identification, which is currently safely located within my purse, just in case anyone should wonder where my "papers" are. 

And it's warm here!  These were the thoughts going through my head this morning:  SPRING!  SPRING!  SPRING!  WIND!  SPRING!  (Same thoughts, I think, as Kiah the Wonder Dog.)  

Happy spring!


Anonymous said...

Holly, as a new Dallas resident (2 years) I am a great lover of this post! Thanks for sharing your perspective on my ridiculously large and conservative (but not with resources) city! Jacie (Hickinbotham) Edelstein, RWC alum ;)

Holly said...

Glad you enjoyed it :) The people there were inordinately friendly. And the food...

Elizabeth said...

I love love loved this post. It made me want to travel alone with the hubs and play tourist. I too am a puker when flying and have spent entire flights in the loo (which isn't good cos now just the smell of airplane toilets makes me puke)and my advice is to get on as many Asian flights as possible cos the hosties are so nice about the puke. There was a hostie on the Singapore - Phuket flight last year that almost held my hand during the puke!!!

Is it wrong to say that some of the forefathers of the Dallas Cowboys were also probably imported from Africa?

PS what is fried Guac?

Holly said...

We usually fly Jet Blue- I think- where the flight attendant was really kind about my puking proclivities. They also have tvs at every seat and don't charge to check your luggage. I'm not a fan of US Airlines! Unsympathetic flight attendants and egregious extra charges.

Fried guac is a peeled avocado stuffed with sour cream and pico de gallo and then fried to perfection. It was served with tortilla chips, but I ate mine with a fork. I recommend.