North America,  Travel,  United States of America

Christmas in Dallas

The distance between Rodeway Inn University/Downtown to the Mega Bus station was about 2.4km away, 30 minutes walk. While walking towards our destination, we stopped by Snarf’s Sandwich and bought our lunch.

The Mega Bus Station wasn’t ‘mega’; it was crowded inside especially when they start calling out the passenger to the counter for check-in. It was pretty congested, making it hard to go to the toilet which was situated next to the counter. The only good thing was when we arrived there, the TV screen was showing the premier leagues game. It was great to be able to watch Manchester United versus Cardiff while waiting for our bus to depart at 12:30 noon.

MegaBus Station

Aunt Lona booked the bus tickets, and it was a double decker (it was mega :D). We chose to sit on the top floor. There’s a toilet on the lower level, power outlet on every seat, and wifi. But to use the wifi, we need to download the Megabus RIDE apps which we didn’t know about the rules, and therefore we didn’t get to use it.

The journey to Dallas was about 3 hours 43 minutes. When we arrived at the mega bus station in downtown Dallas, aunt Lona was already waiting for us. Although I’ve chatted with aunt Lona on facebook, it was my first time seeing her face to face, and I felt shy. But aunt Lona was chatty, and I felt at ease. She drove us to her daughter’s house in Van Hook Drive, about 30 minutes drive from downtown Dallas.

We stayed five nights in Zach and Michelle’s. It was lovely to be able to meet them; they were so warm and welcoming. But I still felt terrible for making Cole sleep in Trevor’s while we occupied his room. Besides four of them in the massive house with a swimming pool, there’s also two four-legged cutie pie named Harley and Willie.

Willie

Harley is a grey Cockapoo, and Willie is a brown Labradoodle. They both have a different personality. Willie loves attention, and always has a ball on his mouth, not for playing fetch though, but it stays on his mouth for ages. On our last day, he had his towel and dragged it around; He’s a funny dog.

Harley, on the other hand, is the quiet one and always give way to Willie. Whenever I stroked Harley or put him on my lap, Willie will always come and demanded attention too. During Christmas day, Michelle gave Harley a treat, and he took it to his kennel and holed in there guarding it against Willie for hours, not even dared to leave the post for piss or lunch. If it weren’t because of Zach, Michelle and Mike’s effort baiting him with bacon to steal his precious Christmas present, he would have stayed in there forever.

Ten50 BBQ

On our first night in Dallas, we went to Ten50 BBQ for dinner and met Zach’s parents, Eugene and Rita. Aunt Lona was also there, and it was a lovely gathering. There were plenty of craft beers to choose from, and food choices were great too. The meat I had was tender and delicious.

The food pricing:

Meats Prices by 1/2 LB, Chicken by 1/2 Bird
Smoked Meats
$12 – Beef Rib (Limited availability average wt @1.25lb)
$11 – Primes Brisket
$9 – St. Louis Pork Ribs / Pulled Pork / Turkey / Chicken 1/2 Bird
$8.50 – Sausage (House or Jalapeno Cheddar) / Torpedoes (Chicken or Brisket)

Sandwiches & More
$9 – Brisked (Chopped or Sliced) / Pulled Pork
$9.50 – Filthy Rich Potato (Brisket or Pork)
$3 – Baked Potato / Corn

Ice Hockey Match at American Airlines Arena

The next day in the afternoon, aunt Lona dropped by and gave us additional presents aside from the match tickets, she also gave us NHL Dallas Stars apparel which we wore it in the evening for the match! Oh and also Christmas present from Mum and Dad – Carol and Mike. Thank you so much!

Three and a half hour before the match start, we took a grab to uptown, stopping by at Klyde Warren Park, hung out while waiting for aunt Lona to pick up Cole & Trevor. They didn’t go to the match; they stayed at aunt Lona’s.

Before going to the ice hockey game, we filled our tummy at the Happiest Hour. The place was beautiful with its decoration. Colourful ballons and Christmas ornaments hung on the ceiling as well as a big Christmas tree near the entrance. It was also crowded with people like us, who’re getting dinner before the game.

It was my first experience watching Ice Hockey Game. I never ice skated before and watching them glided effortlessly on the ice rink while trying to a scored goal was mesmerising. The puck was so small, I couldn’t catch up with its movement, I have no idea how they did it, and it was amazing.

The game lasted for two hours, and during the second break time we abandoned our seats and moved to the lounge. The beer price in the arena was around $12. We went home shortly after the game which finished at 9 pm. But getting a cab from the arena without using grab service was a bit pricy, they charged double the price.

Lover’s Egg Roll

During Christmas Eve, Mike and I went out for lunch at Lover’s Egg Roll – Asian restaurant. I ordered Noodle and Mike had Red Curry. The taste was alright, and it was a huge portion.

Christmas Eve Gathering

At night, there were about 25 peoples who came for dinner including Zach’s parents, family members, friends as well as Michelle’s parents, and it’s my first time meeting Bryan. Each family brought their dishes, and we ended up with plenty of food to see us through the night.

The game that we played that night was the Left Right game, and the gift for swapping was a $10 scratch lottery ticket. Mike and I only bought one entry, and we got back our money plus an extra $10 from the winning card. It was our lucky day!

Christmas Day Dinner

During Christmas day, it was raining the whole day. We didn’t go anywhere but stayed at home. At night, we have a simple family dinner, just the seven of us.

Han Mi Ri

The next afternoon, Zach drove Mike to the King Spa, it’s a Korean sauna. He’s been waiting for the moment to go to Jimjilbang since the day we left Korea. It’s about $20 to use the sauna, and back in Korea, it was about 15,000KRW ($14).

Zach and I met him at the sauna once he finished, and we went to Han Mi Ri. The restaurant was in the same area, just about 2 minutes drive. The food served in hot plates was with super authentic taste, the only difference was unlike the typical restaurant in Korea, this one was self-service – Take your meal from the counter and return it to the tray cart after you’ve finished.

Manny’s Uptown

On our last night, we went out for dinner at Manny’s Uptown, it’s a Tex-Mex restaurant, and it’s only about 2.4km away from the house. It was my second time eating Texas Mexican food and compared to the Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia back in San Antonio, the decoration in this restaurant was simple, service was a bit slow, but the food was still great. As usual, the portion was huge, and I was struggling to finish it!

The next day, it was time to move on to our next destination, Mexico, to explore and try out the authentic Mexican food. It was sad to leave this lovely family, that’s including Willie and Harley. Thank you so much for your hospitality: Aunt Lona, Zach, Michelle, Trevor and Cole! Not forgetting Bryan, Rita and Eugene, it was nice meeting with you guys, and we hope to see you guys again in the future.

Travel Date: 22nd ~ 27th December 2018

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