Dallas, part 1

I have no idea how long this little series will be, but it will definitely be more than one post. Thus, the Part 1.

Caleb & I made the trip to Dallas a couple of weeks ago with my sister, brother-in-law, and two nieces for the Girls Junior National Championship in volleyball. My oldest niece has been playing volleyball for quite a few years now, but this was her first year playing club. I had hoped to make a couple of other out of town tournaments, but things never came together, so I was excited to make it to the national championship.

We drove straight through from Colorado Springs to Dallas, which went fairly well. It was nice driving at night and I think I was actually less drowsy than during the day. We headed out around 7:30 p.m. and, other than getting stuck behind a semi on a two-lane highway in the middle of the night a bit northwest of Amarillo, made great time. We did stop every couple of hours, either to refuel or stretch our legs or use the restroom or all of the above.

Ironically, there's pretty much no pictorial evidence of this trip. My brother-in-law's a fairly focused guy and I didn't think he'd appreciate me stopping for pictures. Actually, I sneaked in a few iPhone shots - the kind where you just hold up the phone and shoot out the window with no idea what you'll get.

Pre-sunrise somewhere in Texas.

Beautiful sunrise {disrupted by the disgusting bug mess on my window}

Okay, one more. Just because. Even if the picture isn't that great, the sunrise really was.

When breakfast time rolled around that next morning, about 12 hours later, we finally stopped at the Armadillo Grill. They say things are big in Texas, well, the short stack of two pancakes that I ordered were HUGE. I shared with my sister and still couldn't finish one.

armadillo grill

Of course, driving in Dallas traffic - even on a Saturday morning - was loads of fun. Not. But by about 10:30 (9:30 our time), we made it to the Westin Galleria. Unfortunately, our rooms weren't ready since it was somewhat early. We were so tired, I think we could've probably slept on the benches in the hallway. But we didn't. We wandered around the Galleria mall since it's attached to the hotel.

susan head shotNaturally, our first order of business was to locate a restroom - in Nordstrom's - and take a picture with a silly head in the men's department. Then we just wandered aimlessly. Finally, around 12:30 or so, my sister and her family's room was ready to check in. Caleb's and my room, however, wasn't. So we brought our stuff up to their room anyway. Some opted for a nap. My nieces and I opted for a second wandering of the mall. Actually, we went and got hot soft pretzels. Yummy.

Palm trees in the mall. Of course.
mall tree

We were at last able to check into our room around 3:45 and since it later than it should've been and we had to wait so long, the hotel clerk was kind enough to give me free wi-fi in our room {sweet}. So we relaxed in our room, had dinner at a little Italian joint in the mall with the rest of the family, came back to our room and watched some Pixar goodness, and went to sleep. I had been awake for 38 hours. It was definitely time for some sleep. My brain was slightly melted and quite loopy.

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