Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bumpy Reentry

By: Jessica Azar
This trip to Dallas was absolutely amazing, and was much needed by the High Roller and myself to spend time as a couple and relax. In recent years (since we started having kids, we have usually not ventured far from the hotel when we got to go on a trip like this... Just getting away from the demands of work and constantly caring for children and taking it easy was a fantastic way to spend a weekend... But this time we decided to go adventuring, and it made for a seriously enjoyable, fun-packed weekend.

As soon as we landed, we rented a car and headed to Southfork Ranch in Parker, TX, which is the setting and filming location of the classic TV show Dallas. I've loved and watched the show since I was a kid, and the High Roller has watched all of the new series episodes, so we were very excited to be going there. On our way to SF we stopped off at a random exit and found a locally owned Mexican restaurant for lunch and it was fantastic. It was called Pollo Salsa, and they were grilling large amounts of chicken on an open grill that could be seen from the ordering/dining area, and it smelled wonderful. I ate the Crispy Chicken tacos,  and the aforementioned chicken was delicious in the freshly made crispy corn taco shells. We left there for Southfork, full and happy. Southfork was gorgeous... Over 300 green acres with horses and longhorns everywhere. We got to tour the Ewing mansion, as well as the famous patio balcony and swimming pool, which always makes me think of the scene where JR was shot, which led to the "Who shot JR" cliffhanger. 

It was both surreal and exciting seeing the locations that were so familiar from a show I've watched since I was a child, and nostalgic, too. I can still picture my Dad's foot keeping time with the Dallas theme music from when I would watch it with them. We were excited to see that current episodes of Dallas were being filmed on location while we were there! The stars' acting trailers were on site, and we could see them dashing in and out of white vans to be taken to the filming sites. Before heading to our hotel, we also saw the memorial site they had created for JR and his parents. Very, very cool experience.

Our hotel (at which the High Roller's employers so graciously provided our lodging) was huge, luxurious and very swanky... The Hilton Anatole. After checking in, we went to the room and the very tired High Roller passed out. I went to the spa and had a fabulous pedicure... So fabulous, in fact, that I fell asleep during the foot massage. That evening we had supper at the fine dining steakhouse on the 27th floor of the hotel with another couple who were also there for the Presidents Club awards ceremony. Much verra fine single malt scotch was drank, excellent steaks were eaten and we all had a fantastic time telling stories and socializing. I love meeting new friends.

We got up the next morning, after sleeping like the dead in an amazingly comfortable bed, had breakfast and headed to Dealey Plaza. We went to the 6th Floor Museum at the Texas school book Depository where Lee Harvey Oswald famous fired shots at JFK. The museum had amazing displays and memorabilia relating to JFK and the assassination. It also presented evidence for various conspiracy theories surrounding the murder, which were fascinating... We both love conspiracy theories so this was right up our alley. Afterwards we went to the infamous Grassy Knoll and saw the X's that have been placed on the street where JFK was hit by the bullets while riding in the motorcade. I'm a history nerd, and getting to visit places like this is exhilarating for me. We then headed to the Reunion Tower for a fantastic view of downtown Dallas... It's the big Ball in the sky of Dallas' skyline. The GeoDeck observatory allowed us to take in the sights of downtown Dallas, and they had a very helpful interactive, touchscreen to help visitors locate certain landmarks below. We searched and found a landmark restaurant that sounded great to try... Sonny Hutchinson's BBQ. they seriously had some of the best BBQ I've ever eaten... and the beef brisket was so tender it was falling apart. we ate way too much and headed back to the hotel.

I had intended to go for a run... but I was so full that I passed out in our room next to the High Roller. We got up in time to get cleaned up for the President's Club awards dinner and set out for the Verandah Club where it was located. I'm so proud of my husband for achieving the honor of being one of the top producing salesmen in his nation-wide, top of the industry company. It's an awesome feeling to see him honored for his hard work, intelligence and salesmanship, as well as his service to customers along with the others in his company on the same level. Our dinner table company was fantastic.. very entertaining people who all had great stories to tell about their lives at home. It's always invigorating to me to be around people who are at the top of their professional game... the competition among them exists, but they are all social and cordial just the same.

Now, as I sit on my flight home typing this, I prepare for re-entry.... I don't mean our plane landing... I mean re-entry into the world of being a full-time Mom, instead of a wife and best friend on a luxurious vacation. The time we spent away together was much needed and so much fun... and it always reminds me of how lucky I am to be married to someone that I enjoy so completely. I want to do everything I can to strengthen and foster a supportive, loving relationship. Stepping back into the managing of the Herd gives me an intense feeling of palpable responsibility... it can be a heavy yoke at times, leaving me weary, as the endless questions and demands for my attention consume my senses... but it's one I wouldn't trade, because with the heft of responsibility comes the flood of hugs and kisses and excitement that we are home at last. And hopefully their first question wont be "what did you bring us?!"....  Now excuse me as I switch my party-ready wife only hat for the hardworking Wife and Mama one...