Rosie and I are perfect companions. We both need to be walked. I always want to get my steps in for my FitBit obsession. And Rosie likes to get her puppy activity on. So, Richard took us to White Rock Lake. Although he had been here before, it was unexplored terrain for Rosie and me.
White Rock Lake is a man-made lake. It is encircled by 9 miles of walking-running-biking-roller blading paths. The lake is gorgeous. And the weather is like a Midwestern crisp Fall day. (Since my arrival, the weather in Dallas has been cool and overcast. My recent travel-faux-pas-trend is not to be ready for inclement weather. I only brought one sweater to Dallas and 50SPF sunblock. I’ve worn one item constantly and the other not at all.)
The thing about Dallas is everyone is friendly. EVERYONE! The Dallas-ites are lovely folks. A morning stroll around a lake is a throw-back to gentler times. There is a continual chorus of ‘good morning‘ and ‘hello.‘ And when we came across a person walking a dog or dogs, the chorus was amplified by barking and Rich apologizing with a ‘she just wants to play.’ Rich feels the need to justify Rosie’s zestful greeting. I’m definitely becoming more sensitive to the pit bull haters. Rosie would never bite anyone. Her weapon of choice is excessive saliva.
The lake path is connected by these bridges that look like solid fortresses of concrete and steel. They, in fact, have an unsettling wobble. The movement is disconcerting. Rosie noticed. I noticed. Both of us felt apprehensive but Rich only carried one of us across the bridges.
The lake walk is delightful. On one side are piers with fishermen, long prairie grass lined waterfront, and the authentic naturalness of a manmade sanctuary. I even finally saw horses! On the other side of the road, gorgeous houses are perched on the hillside. Mansions? Do we use that descriptor anymore? There was this stunning, brand spanking new, mid-century tri-level of wood, glass and metal next to a traditional large colonial home. There was a rambling home that could best be described as Spanish- influenced-Flintstones. The homes were marveling! The Dallas wealth was apparent! I could almost hear the pre-construction discussions.
JOE DALLAS: …and I’d like the master bedroom to look out over the lake.
JOHN DEVELOPER: There isn’t a lake.
JOE DALLAS: Well, let’s make one.
JOHN DEVELOPER: Ummm, okay but it’s going to cost you.
Good on Dallas! The wealthy get their lake houses. And the general public enjoys the benefits of a lake. And of course, there is a dog park! Dallas loves her dogs. The dog park is being renovated to ensure the city’s furry residents have the latest in pet posh.
We didn’t walk the entire 9 mile path but we did significant walking before brunch. Spoiler alert: I ended the day with a FitBit record, 24,504 steps.
We dropped Rosie at home. We picked up Bobby G. And we headed to Fernando’s for brunch. Fernando’s is in another niche neighborhood. It’s strip mall-esque but that doesn’t really do it justice. Some of the Dallas strip malls are high end shoppes. Not shops, shoppes… it’s that fancy! I had a wonderful southwestern feast of tortillas, eggs, and peppers. Delicious!
After brunch, we decided to pick up Rex, Bob’s black labrador and head for Katy’s Trail. Right?! I have my own trail in Dallas. It actually is the Missouri-Kansas-Texas rail line. The old train track route is now this quirky but cool pathway. We landed at the Ice House on Katy Trail. (I got a t-shirt). It’s this expansive indoor-outdoor beer garden. Dogs are welcome! The place is a picnic-table-booze-drinking-commune. So cool! Dale and Antonio joined us for an afternoon sip plus, Caty (also a Chicago transplant) and Austin (a Texan). Katy’s Icebox is a perfect respite on the Katy Trail. The indoor-outdoor bars boast plenty of libations. Rich and I chose the beer-rita, a frozen margarita with an upside down mini beer to cut the sweetness. Ideal! I ordered a second drink but was unable to complete or even get more than a start. Texas boasts Texas-size things! They are huge. I surrendered after a couple of sips of the Paloma margarita… too sweet, too boozy, too much! I relinquished it.
Instead, I opted to take the Katy Trail towards home. The Katy Trail affectionally called KT is this marveling tree-shrub-lined tranquility pathway. It’s a story above street level and has this weird oasis-within-the-city vibe. We walked towards the General Lee Park exit, a new exit that had its ribbon-cutting two hours prior to us gracing its walkway. We are that cutting edge.
Later, I vegged watching a little TV while Rich and Rosie had their evening constitutional. When they returned, Rich changed partners. He and I walked to his favorite Thai restaurant, Si Lom. Rich is known in the strip mall eatery as ‘no fish sauce Rich.‘ We met up with the Chicago contingency, Bobby G and Dale, plus Antonio for my delightful farewell dinner. The conversation and dinner was tasty and thought-provoking morsels. The service was impeccable. And here’s a regular Dallas‘ courtesy: they split the check…by person. Your check is exactly what you ate and drank. Who does that? As a server, I know it’s a computer possibility but it’s a few extra steps. But frankly, it’s wonderful for those eating or drinking less than their companions.
Richard and I walked home in the misty Dallas night for a mystic ending to Dallas Day 2.