Remember back last September when I came out of the closet about my internet friends that I met in Columbus, Ohio?
Well, today I’m back with the sequel!
This latest trip was planned for Dallas, even though NONE of the girls on my board actually live in Dallas. Yeah, that was a big mistake. Dallas might possibly be one of the least tourist-friendly places I’ve ever visited. We were clueless the entire weekend about what to do and how to get around town. Even the concierge at our hotel gave us a perplexed look when we asked him for Things To Do recommendations. Plus we had to make three separate trips into DFW airport to pick up arriving friends. I could live the rest of my life without ever having to see that airport again and be happy.
Why Dallas then? you ask. My friends Angela and Allison chose Dallas because Britney Spears is in concert there tonight, and they are two of the biggest Brit fans ever. So they are going to see her together. I imagine that as I type this sentence they are screaming and crying and going ballistic over seeing her on stage for the first time. I hope they are having the time of their lives!
So here’s the weekend recap. You are going to think I’m crazy, but bear with me.
My girl Natalie lives near New Orleans. Natalie is deathly afraid of flying. She refers to airplanes as “fiery tubes of death.” She won’t go willingly on an airplane for pretty much any reason, so she planned to drive to Dallas. It’s approximately an eight hour drive on a good day. When I was planning my trip a few months back, I looked at the flight schedules and realized I could fly to New Orleans cheaper and drive into Dallas with Natalie to keep her company on the trip. Eight hours to talk and laugh and sing and hang out with Natalie? SURE! I was all for it!
So that was my plan. Sounds crazy to the rest of the world, but to us it was a great adventure!
Friday morning I flew to New Orleans and my girl’s weekend officially began. Aside from Nat and me, there were five of us attending. Aly from Orlando, Allison from Minneapolis, Emily from Baltimore, and I was super stoked to be meeting two girls for the first time ever– Angela from Arkansas and Kent aka Peach from Atlanta. In case you didn’t click on the story of the previous get-together, I met all these girls on the Nest, and we formed our own private members-only board about 18 months ago. I’ve been chatting with these girls for years, so it was so exciting to finally meet them in person.
Natalie picked me up from the NOLA airport Friday morning at about 9:30 am. She had The Original Dawn on a Stick from our Columbus trip with her, lipstick kisses and all!
I was so excited to see that Steph let DOAS out of her basement for a conjugal visit.
She also had a bunch of mini-DOAS for each of us. So I stuck her in the dashboard to be our navigator along with Matilda, Nat’s Garmin GPS. We trusted them to get us where we were supposed to go.
We hit the road, tearing down the highway like a modern day Bonnie and Clyde, laughing and chatting it up the whole way.
A few hours into the trip we were getting hungry. Natalie spotted a Mr. Gatti’s pizza and nearly squealed tires making a U-turn into the place because we haven’t seen one in years.
We took DOAS to the salad bar and ate pizza. I thought DOAS was looking a little too skinny so I made sure she got an extra bite or two.
While we ate lunch we watched the weather channel on the big screen tv. HUGE storms were rolling across the whole Southeast from Dallas to Birmingham, with thunderstorm warnings and tornado watches and all that good stuff. Very scary looking. But we pressed on, determined to make it to Dallas by 7:00 to pick up everyone at the airport.
We hopped back on the interstate and followed the directions that Matilda told us to take. I had looked at a map before we left and it seemed simple enough. I-10 East to LaFayette, I-49 North to Shreveport, I-20 West to Dallas. Easy breezy.
Somewhere across the Texas line we realized that Matilda had guided us past LaFayette and we missed our turn on I-49 North. We were WAY off track, like hours away from the nearest interstate. Because we had been Chatty McChatterson we had been oblivious to the fact that Matilda had made us exit the interstate and was directing us through little two lane back roads behind the slowest drivers in all of east Texas, which that made Natalie look like this:
We finally stopped at a gas station and asked how to get to Dallas. I swear to yall the lady told us to drive 45 miles and take a left.
So we drove 45 miles and took a left. And I saw a lot more of this:
We drove smack dab through the middle of nowhere, Texas. For hours and hours. Texas is a big place, yall. We stopped at a redlight in front of this old store that advertised cigs and milk and bread and sodas and snacks so Natalie smoked her pretend cig as we headed on westward as we laughed and talked and sang some more.
We drove about another two hours and finally hit an interstate just north of Houston in Huntsville, Texas.
Houston, as it turns out, is NOT the most direct route to Dallas from New Orleans. Go figure. Matilda nearly got tossed out the window when we saw this sign. By that point it was 5:00 pm and we were still THREE hours away from Dallas.
In retrospect I think it was a good thing that we got off track like we did. As we were heading north on the interstate the sky was crystal clear blue as far as we could see to the west of us and angry black and grey clouds as far as we could see to the east of us, which is where we should have been driving if we had stayed on course. We only got about ten minutes of drizzly rain on our whole trip but it would have been MUCH worse if we stuck to our intended route. So I really believe that God used Matilda to re-direct us and help us dodge that bullet. And I honestly didn’t mind getting a few more hours of quality time with Natalie!
After hours of being on the road, we finally saw the Dallas skyline and I felt like Dorothy seeing the Emerald City for the first time.
And that was when the texts and phone calls started coming in from Kent and Aly that their flights were going to be delayed by hours and hours because of the storms. And then Kent’s flight got cancelled completely, so she said she wouldn’t be coming til 10 am on Saturday morning. Aly was scheduled to arrive at 12:50 am. Angela was driving down from Arkansas and was planning to pick up Emily at Dallas Love Field since she was flying Southwest.
Then we got a text from Emily that said this:
“So whores, I made friends with 2 older men on my first flight. Well while the geeky one was telling me about Dallas, a spit droplet from his mouth spewed into my eyeball. WTF?? Am I gonna get a disease???”
I read that out loud to Natalie and I nearly peed my pants from laughing so hard at the words “spit droplet”. Thankfully I held it together and didn’t soak Natalie’s car seats with any droplets of my own.
We arrived in Dallas and made it through downtown without a hitch. Getting into DFW was another story, though. After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, we maneuvered our way into The Most Confusing Airport In The Universe to pick up Allison. By this point it was around 8:00 pm, and this was the pitiful welcoming committee that she got when she got off her plane:
We were both about to fall out from the day of traveling. Even DOAS was looking kinda sleepy. I was so tired and frazzled that I forgot to take any pics of Allison arriving at the airport! Luckily Natalie got a good shot of us with DOAS!
We finally met up with Emily and Angela at the hotel and got checked into our rooms. It was my first time meeting Angela so that was really cool! We instantly clicked, and I was very happy about that. Emily was not wearing an eyepatch, so that was a good sign that the spit droplets hadn’t blinded her for life.
We all went to find something to eat before Aly arrived, and we got lost in downtown Dallas because we had no idea where we were going and Matilda was not much help. At that point we made a proclamation that our future GTG’s will be in a more tourist friendly city because Dallas was NOT at all. We finally found a Chili’s to eat and drink while we waited on Aly to arrive in the middle of the night.
Here are Allison and Ang and Dawn hanging out in our booth.
After midnight we had to make another trip into DFW to pick up Aly. It was craziness, so again, no photos of that event. In fact I don’t have many photos of this weekend at all! We came back to the hotel and Natalie and I crashed because we were just done. Sooooo tired.
Saturday am we got up to go get Kent at the airport. On the way out of the lobby we met Gibson, the world’s tallest dog. He was so sweet and cute with seven women fawning all over him.
I think Em wanted to ride him.
After making three trips in and out of DFW, Natalie turned the car keys over to me and I drove the rest of the weekend.
Oh, I forgot to mention the temperature and the wind.
It was about 35 degrees, and the wind was HOWLING. Like blowing so hard all of our hair was standing on straight up off our heads. Like hurricane force winds.
It was CRAZY. None of us brought warm enough clothes so we were all freezing. We stopped at a mall on the way back and bought some jackets at Old Navy. And Aly and I stopped by the sunglasses kiosk and took a picture wearing Kanye sunglasses.
After the mall, we decided to stop and buy some snacks at a supermarket, which may have been the biggest mistake of the whole trip. We got back to the hotel so everyone could get showered and dressed and ready to go because they all just rolled out of the bed and went to get Kent. While we were all getting ready we snacked on a bunch of the food that we bought, including some discount strawberries that smelled like a fart when Aly opened the container. I took a bite of one and it tasted funky to me so I didn’t eat anymore. They were just not sweet at all and totally not worth the effort to chew so I moved on to different foods. Allison, Aly and Emily ate some of the fart strawberries though.
Once we all got dressed we found out that Angela, Peach, Allison and I were all wearing the exact same style of jeans from Lane Bryant. So we took a pic of our bootyliciousness. We were like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Lane Bryant Pants.
Before we headed out to dinner we got some awesome keychains from Peach! Of course I have no photos of the event, but they are SUPA cute!! I love mine! I did get a great photo of us together at Uncle Julio’s where we went to eat dinner:
I also clicked instantly with Peachypoo on this trip, and I’m so happy to meet her in person finally! She is like home to me. Very much my kind of people.
Unfortunately right after this photo was taken the fart strawberries started a revolution in my bowels and I had to go to the bathroom three times during our dinner. I tried to be discreet about it, but there was no doubt that something had torn my stomach UP.
At the time I didn’t realize it was the strawberries, but one by one throughout the night everyone who ate the strawberries got sick. Here they are looking beautiful before The Illness struck:
Unfortunately Aly got sick when we got back to the hotel, so much that she had to go lay down for the rest of the night. We were all so sad that she missed our pajama party.
Here is one of the last photos that I have of her that night. Bless her heart.
We went to happy hour at the hotel and that resulted in completely PRICELESS moments such as these:
Man aren’t her eyelashes amazing? They are so thick she puts off a breeze from them everytime she blinks.
And look at how cute we are. Love it.
There was a bungle in the jungle.
And then we took the best picture of the entire trip:
After we left happy hour we headed to the room for a pajama party and game night. We played Cranium and then we laughed until we cried over Kent’s interpretation of the word “Shuttlecock”.
Then we started playing Truth or Dare and you can imagine how well that went. I have some photos of that event but I think all these girls would like to keep their jobs so I won’t be splaying them all over the internet.
It was such a great night, and I’m so glad we stayed in and hung out at the hotel instead of trying to go navigate Dallas in the dark again.
The next morning we got up and had breakfast then headed out to the outlet mall to shop before I had to leave. We visited the Coach outlet and they scored themselves some way overpriced purses while Nat and I went shopping for baby clothes. Here is all of the loot in the back of Nat’s car.
Then we went to choir practice.
And then it was time for me to leave for the airport so we snapped a few final photos.
On the way to the airport we called my sweet Dustykins and passed her around the car. Here is what she would have seen if she had actually been in the car with us instead of just on the phone.
As I was talking to her she broke down crying, which made me cry. Then Allison started crying in the back seat, and we were all a hot mess. I decided that drivin’ and cryin’ was not a good combo with seven people in the car and four wrecks on the interstate between the outlet mall and the airport, so I had to get off the call with her and concentrate.
When I got to the airport I felt like I was leaving way too soon. It wasn’t nearly enough time, but I was looking forward to getting home and seeing Garrett. We said our goodbyes and I headed to my gate to wait on my plane. I called J while I was waiting, and his first question was, “Did you get any special deliveries while you were there?”
I said “No, should I have?” and that’s when I found out that he had sent us a gift basket to the hotel lobby but I never got it. The worst part of it was I had seen it sitting at the front desk when we arrived on Friday. I remember thinking, Oh, how sweet, someone got a gift basket! And come to find out it was for ME! That made me break down crying in the airport so hard that people were staring at me. I was crying because I couldn’t believe how sweet it was of J to do that for us and also how sad I was that I didn’t get to enjoy it. Thankfully since the other girls were all staying a few days after me they were able to claim the basket.
Ahhhh, I’ll start crying again just looking it.
It was such a whirlwind trip with so many setbacks like weather and anal leakage and undeliverable gift baskets and spit droplets, but against all odds, we had a great time together.
I love all these girls so much, and I’m hoping for many more sequels to these trips in the future.