I needed a vacation. I’ve been needing one for quite sometime, but it took a bit of time, planning, impromptu not planning, and selfishness to make it happen.
I went to Dallas for a few days, with the nervous approval of my husband, left my daughter with my mother; where I ate, drank, and was merry. And got a tattoo.
The tattoo occurred toward the end, but was the plan from the beginning.
It went a bit like this…
We didn’t book a hotel. It’s Dallas. It was Tuesday. We thought we’d find one. And we did. About ten hotels later. Note to self, book a hotel no matter how silly your destination. I truly never believed this until this trip. I very much enjoyed the fact that in the last ten years, if I wanted a hotel and was somewhere, I just arrived and walked in. Then again, I haven’t gotten out much in the last ten years.
Post Hotel Finding: My old college chums and my best friend since high school all crashed into one group and found ourselves at Goodfriend, a bar and grill with amazing fried pickles and ghost ranch, on the first evening. There I discovered what I shall now always call fancy whiskey, although it’s actually a Classic Whiskey Sour. This is not your Chili’s or dive bar Whiskey with sweet and sour – this involves egg whites and shaking and frothy latte like smoothness and basically heaven in a cup of whiskey. This is also where we discovered that there was whiskey in the water. Not literally, we just found it very easy to become happily plastered there. Props to Matt, the owner, who is amazing. And to the bartender who got me hooked on those Classic Whiskey Sours.
Moving on… The Double Wide. Yes, that is the name of a bar. Complete with toilet bowls serving as planters that provide extra seating. I laughed, I cried, I was in a ridiculous bar with an appropriately fitting name, and strange men trying to talk to my friends who handled them much better than I would. My response would have been “Go AWAY.” But my friends are way more classy than I am and found themselves saying, “It’s been nice talking to you, but you’re crashing girls night.”
Wednesday, we got pedicures and ate Mexican food. Margaritas, bookstores (The Lucky Dog), lots of coffee, a Ton’s Mongolian Grill Reunion dinner at 7:30 with even more college chums. More bars – Bowen House (way overpriced but I got some more whiskey in) and The Ginger Man (fun beer). It was good to see old friends.
Thursday morning involved Cultivar Coffee and the most delicious vanilla latte I ever had. There was a little hole in the wall taco joint across from it on Peavy called El Ranchito. If I lived in that neighborhood, that’s where all my money would be going… to $1.50 homemade breakfast tacos.
And finally, some shopping, lunch and coffee, another bar visit (The Libertine) where I refrained because I was about to get inked, I found myself at Death and Glory Tattoo. Where a very personable guy named Cole Alexander Davis was able to put Jane Austen’s words and handwriting on my arm forever.
“I am half agony, half hope.”
It was a shockingly cozy experience. My last tattoo happened in a place that felt very clinical to me. The guy was nice, but I don’t remember his name. Here, I realized why people find the practice so addicting. It’s like finding a bar you love, or a coffeehouse you can’t live without. It’s not just about the finished product, or the drinks being made properly, it is very much about ambiance and whether or not you have managed to find a place that seems like home away from home. They have a delightful front porch and a cat that lurked but didn’t touch me. I could have stayed there for hours after, but we had more drinking to do.
One of the guys there said that people tend to tell them their whole life story. They know everyone’s business because they are sort of treated like bartenders and shrinks. I can see that. I was too awkward to take advantage of that ambiance, but I definitely loved it.
My lovely JJ got a tattoo with me. It is also a literary reference to a poem that was read at her wedding. “And then this moment…” This is us, back at Goodfriend, being incandescently happy.
Friday… we had more tacos and Cultivar. We visited the Black Forest Cafe and the Flagship Half Price Books. We drove the many miles home, mostly listening to oldies.
Thanks for my trip, Danielle. I know it was stressful, but it was also lovely.