Now that our highs this week are in the sevenies, I can confidently say fall has arrived in Texas and I’m ready to bask in all it’s golden glory!  For the most part, our seasons are warm, hot, really effing hot, not as hot, chilly, and cold.  Some years it’s felt like summer turned into winter without warning.  Since Thanksgiving is nearly two weeks away, I’m reminding myself to slow down my pace and appreciate the little things in life, like going for a run on a beautiful day.  Here are some scenes from my neck of the woods taken from my lunchtime jaunt.

Happy fall y’all!

For a Southern city, Dallas has decent public transportation.  It’s not nearly as expansive as the systems of Chicago, San Francisco, or New York City, but it’s slowly growing (since its most recent expansion, we have seventy-two miles of light rail service) and it’s better than nothing!  As a resident who would like to see more of it, I should do more to support our Dallas Area Rapid Transit, aka “The DART”.

This weekend I stepped up my game and participated in my friend’s second annual DART Rail Pub Crawl.  Atendees purchased a $4 day pass and could join the fun at any one of the nine stops along the way.  I posted our agenda below in case any of my DFW-are friends want to recreate this epic pub crawl while supporting our public transportation infastructure.  (I like to consider it “crawling for a cause”!)  DARTing is a nice break from driving and the hassles that come with it (I’m talking about you, parallel parking!). 

My posse and I joined the group downtown at City Tavern.

Our fearless leader and event coordinator leads the crowd with a flag.

Here we are at the One Eyed Penguin.  The group continues to grow!

Waiting on the train.  Folks are starting to get silly and it looks like we lost a few!

We made it to the finish line!  What a day!

I hope this inspires you to take advantage of your city’s transportation options if it’s feasible, or make it into a challenge or fun event.  Major kuddos to my friend Meniza for planning this tradition!  My personal goal is to use the DART at least two more times before next year’s pub crawl.  Scavenger hunt, anyone? 

DART PUB CRAWL
Saturday, November 3, 2012ANYTIME —— DART GREEN LINE —– MOCKINGBIRD STATION TO DOWNTOWN CARROLLTON STATION

(Since the crawl ends at Mockingbird Station, you may want to park your vehicle at Mockingbird Station if you are a designated driver. Then jump on the DART and meet us at wherever we’re at based on the itinerary below.)  

11:15am – 12:15pm : Lunch at Sid’s Rainbow
Sid’s Rainbow
1107 South Broadway
Carrollton, TX 75006

12:34PM —– DART GREEN LINE —– DOWNTOWN CARROLLTON STATION TO BACHMAN STATION

12:50pm – 2:00pm : Club Schmitz
9661 Denton Drive,
Dallas, TX 75220

2:10PM —– DART GREEN LINE —– BACHMAN STATION TO WEST END STATION

2:29pm – 3:40pm : West End Pub
1801 N Lamar, #100
Dallas, TX 75202

3:49PM —– DART GREEN LINE —– WEST END STATION TO AKARD STATION

3:51pm – 5:10pm : City Tavern
1402 Main Street
Dallas, TX 75205

5:10pm – 6:25pm : One Eyed Penguin
1404 ½ Main Street
Dallas, TX 752026:38PM —– DART GREEN LINE —– AKARD STATION TO BAYLOR UNIVERSITY STATION

6:46pm – 8:30pm : Anvil Pub
2638 Elm Street
Dallas, TX 75226

8:46PM —– DART GREEN LINE —— BAYLOR UNIVERSITY STATION TO FAIR PARK STATION8:50pm – 9:45pm : Amsterdam Bar
831 Exposition Avenue
Dallas, TX 75226

9:50pm – 11:00pm : The Meridian Room
3611 Parry Avenue
Dallas, TX 75226

11:11PM —– DART GREEN LINE —– FAIR PARK STATION TO PEARL STATION

11:23PM —– DART BLUE LINE —– PEARL STATION TO MOCKINGBIRD STATION

11:30pm to whenever: Trinity Hall Pub
5321 E. Mockingbird Lane
Dallas, TX 75206

Pub crawl ends at Mockingbird Station.  Have your designated driver pick you up or cab it home!  Stay safe!

When I visited Barcelona, I squeezed in a quick trip to Mallorca, which is the largest of the Balearic Islands just south of continental Spain.

My friend and I flew into Palma and rented a car to tour the island.  Mallorca is famous for its beaches.  I was there too late in the season to enjoy them, but fortunately the mountain areas proved equally beautiful.

Mallorca is much more rural than Barcelona, so it was a nice relaxing break from the city!  I’d love to explore more parts of Spain someday!

On my first night in Johannesburg, I had dinner with my boyfriend and his co-worker, who lives in the US but travels to a different country almost weekly.  We were enthralled by his stories of world travel, and curiously we asked him what was his all-time favorite place.  With no hesitation he answered, “Barcelona.”  Spain.  Boom.  I could not agree more.  Although my view of the world is comparitavely limited, it’s my favorite as well, and since this conversation I’ve been reminiscing about my trip there in 2006. 

The photo above is the best way to describe my visit.  Pure joy.  I love Barca for the culture, food, people, location (beaches!), architecture, history…

There are so many beautiful and inspiring things to see.  Park Guell was my favorite, a failed early-1900s attempt at a Dr.-Seuss-like housing development with sweeping views of the city, designed by the infamous architect Antoni Gaudi. 

Another note-worthy monument designed by Gaudi- the Sagrada Familia.  Construction on this Roman Catholic church began in the early 1880s and is yet to be completed, although the target date is now 2026, the centennial of Gaudi’s passing. 

I can’t mention Barelona and leave out the food.  Tapas, sangria, paella, seafood, and cordials for dessert, all while dining al fresco.  It’s the perfect place to indulge.

Hasta luego, Barcelona!  Until we meet again!

Greetings from Johannesburg, South Africa!  It took almost two days, but I’m finally here and enjoying their winter weather in August.  On the way, I had a long layover in Frankfurt.  I’ve never been to Germany before, so I was excited to explore!  (Travel tip: If you’re traveling with carry-on bags and you don’t want to haul them around during a layover, some airports- like Frankfurt- offer bag drop service for a nominal fee.)

Frankfurt has an excellent public transportation system which I would have used if I was staying longer.  You can get on the S-Bahn at the airport and it will take you to the city center in minutes.  I hailed a taxi at the airport because I didn’t want to waste time potentailly getting lost.  My driver was very helpful and told me about the best ways to get around and what to see. 

 

My first stop was Romerberg square, one of the oldest sections of Frankfurt.  The plaza is lined with Roman bath ruins and gabled, gothic row houses. This historic square is home to the Frankfurt City Hall complex referred to as the Romer, which has historically been the site of the coronation of Holy Roman Emperors.

I continued my walking tour of Frankfurt through a couple of public parks, past the Alte Oper (the historic opera house), and down the street Ziel, however it was Sunday and almost all of the shops were closed.  I grabbed a quick bite and crossed the river Main to a neighborhood called Sachsenhausen, which is famous for its museums and old cider bars.

Most museums ask for a donation for entry.  I visited the the Museum fur Kommunikation and the Schirn Kunsthalle, the main art museum.  Afterwards I relaxed on the bank at the river Main, which was filled with people enjoying the lovely weather.

Before I knew it, I had to return to the airport.  I heartily enjoyed my day trip to Frankfurt!  Hopefully I’ll return with more than a few hours to spend!

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