City #2 (For those of you just tuning in, see my post On the Road to a Different Area Code and Finally back from my trip to Charlotte)

So… my trip to Dallas and Austin was not what you call the conventional “sight-seeing/let’s see what these cities have to offer” kind of trip. It was a 36-hour trip mainly consisting of early morning flights, a quick and desperate effort to eat lunch (which resulted in eating at Chipotle), tons of interviews for HSD, a 3 hour drive in a rental car with several detours and u-turns, a sketchy motel, more interviews, returning and renting the same exact car again (yea, don’t ask), more detours (GoogleMaps is my bf4lyfe), and more flights. Despite the grueling synopsis, here are some of the highlights and general observations of Texas:

-Dallas is flat. And from all the times I wished for flatter roads while running my pitiful 2-3 mile running routes in Richmond, I never knew such a flat city even existed. I’ll tell you this, if I move to Dallas, I’ll for sure up my runs to at least 4 miles.

-Southern Methodist University is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. Absolutely gorgeous. However, you can’t hang a single 8.5×11″ piece of paper with directions to your interview room because it’s against university policy. So, now SMU has been demoted to “just pretty.”

-If you’re contemplating whether you should rent a car to drive from Dallas to Austin (about 3 hours) or bite the bullet and pay for a flight…. bite the bullet. Because the price of a multi-city drop off and mileage on a rental car will bite YOU in the you-know-what. (insert the part where we had to return and then rent the exact same car again, in order to alleviate some of the stress on our wallets)

-The speed limit in Dallas is 75 mph. Which is awesome… in theory. Because when you make the lanes more narrow, and enclose the HOV lane with two Jersey walls, you instead white-knuckle the steering wheel, fear for your life, and slow down to a pitiful 65 mph.

-The restaurant we went to for dinner was hopping. It was as if Margaritaville came out with a Tex Mex special and moved to Dallas. (Go with me on this one) It had a main floor with a bar, then an outdoor patio with another, bigger bar, and then the whole upstairs was dedicated to the smoking section with…yea you guessed it.. another bar. Things really are bigger in Texas. Oh yea, the food was DANK.

-Austin is much prettier in my opinion. Much more scenic, and much more hilly.

-Abel’s on the Lake – great place to soak up a little of the Austin view and day-scene. And again with the multiple bars. One indoor and one outdoor. With 60+ beers on tap, you would think they were known for their beers, but when asked the question, the waitress said “our view.” And I have to admit, even though the beers were pretty tasty, the view was better. This picture doesn’t do it justice:

Even though the trip was pretty quick, and I was either working or deciphering GoogleMaps directions most of the time, I still have a major crush on Austin. I’m glad I got to make a trip out there and get a little taste of the fun, weird city. It definitely deserves a second visit.

Next stop, Las Vegas.