Dallas, it sounded like a good idea....
kat and I had a short visit to dallas in november. kat kept saying "I wish the kids were here to enjoy this too". I was a bit more "are you kidding me? I don't think this is for kids, it's best enjoyed with adults (at meddlesome moth), I think they're happy at home". but, we gave it a shot anyhow.
I had mentioned how much I used to enjoy window shopping at stanley korshack at the crescent court... kat asked that I take her this trip.
I knew there would be a charge to park in their underground garage, the rate was posted. what we did not know is that they were closed on monday 12-26, the day after christmas (when every other store in dallas is open and packed with customers). so we walked around the fountain, got back in the vehicle and was prepared to pay my $1.50 for thirty minutes (the posted rate).
I was surprised when the machine said I owed $5, real surprised. so much so that I turned the engine off and pressed the help button on the machine. the security guy explained that $5 was the weekend rate. I explained that MONDAY is not the weekend. he was unimpressed with my knowledge and countered with "today is a HOLIDAY SIR! holiday rate is the same as weekend rate, but I'll open the gate for you". I hadn't prepared our trip to the nice pretty store to result in debate, but I had grown impatient. "had I known you were having a HOLIDAY today, I would not have ENTERED your parking garage, there is no need for me to visit a store that is closed and I don't see why anybody should have to pay MORE for your HOLIDAY". it went back and forth like this a few times until there was silence, and the gate opened. the kids asked "dada? are you angry?"
and that is how it went. things were MUCH better at the highland park village. easy free parking and all the stores were open.
our last trip to dallas had us loving der scharfe maxx cheese from scardello's, can’t find it in austin. we found ourselves outside molto formaggio at highland park village and checked to see if they had some. they were amused by our request, said der scharfe maxx had been rejected by their customers as being "too strong". we were laughed at the ides of DSM being too strong, this seemed to be a challenge to them. samples of several cheeses were promptly issued.
we loved the challerhocker (32.95 per lb) and got a big chunk of it. they drafted #1 son to be a temporary employee, without employee discount benefits. also enjoyed were Grayson and Mont des Cats (both 29.95 per lb)
#2 son started to throw a fit. his mood was swiftly corrected by a scoop of free jellybelly beans by the shop owner. they have made long term customers of us!
I used to work in men's retail fashion, at norhthpark mall. 1987, I wore designer clothes and I took designer.... ah never mind. it's a nice mall with nice stores and I thought maybe, just maybe there was a slim chance I could find a new jacket on sale. my thrift store purchased armani jacket has finally failed. barney's is a beautiful store with beautiful items and I found a sales associate with her lovely head of purple hair and we found some beautiful jackets marked 50% off. at that price there were still about a thousand dollars, or about 10x my jacket budget. we moved on.
we found some beautiful dresses at neiman marcus, kat could have filled them nicely. but when #2 son ran straight into the dress display, only to find there was a shelf corner behind the pretty $2,000 dress... a bruised face he did receive.
all the regular stores were PACKED. often thirty people waiting in line just to purchase. and #2 son was not cooperating... this was not fun. I asked kat and the kids if there was ANYTHING they wanted to shop for, anything they wanted or any store. they wanted nothing. I should be thankful, but it made the whole being at the mall thing sort of silly. so we looked at the art.
Jonathan Borofsky (American, born 1942)
Five Hammering Men, 1982
northpark center has a fantastic modern art collection including several works by andy warhol and frank stella.
the anatole has 1606 guest rooms. I'll bet no more than 20 were occupied the day after christmas. we took the opportunity to explore the huge spaces by ourself.
the anatole also hosts a large private art collection, over 1,000 pieces with an emphasis on asian art. the hand painted plate above is one of ten that have survived the firing process.
what? roll down the stairs? sure, nobody else is here. go for it. they rolled all over that hotel.
two huge atrium allowed for some running, rolling and relaxing.
I had read up on the hotel restaurants and such. I figured the family would like Media bar+grill and their interactive bar. but it wasn't that impressive, my iphone is more impressive. an ipad is MUCH more impressive. it took 30 mins to come out of sleep mode. and when it did wake up, it didn't recognize my touch. #2 son had the best response, it followed his touch. just more proof that I'm a hollow soul-less shell of a man. thanks ibar.
you can see the kids were excited to be there. I'd asked them what they want to eat and the answer I got was "enchiladas" (not on their menu). I let the two older kids each order something. they got brussel sprout salad and an organic green leaf salad; good for them.
the service, food and beer were all excellent (fennel meat balls above were really good). I was quickly worn down by dealing with uncooperative kids. #2 son threw a fit because they didn't give any crayons. I asked the hostess to find us some, she did, and then he threw them. #1 son was laying down or putting his napkin over his head... I was about to explode. had to take #2 son outside for a talk.
their attitudes changed when the dessert came. should have ordered that first!
two sections of the berlin wall at the anatole.
a portrait of mao and a plaque that noted that it was part of history and the anatole does not support mao or his communist party cohorts.
we searched for something to interest the kids, dallas world aquarium.
there must have been something of interest over my shoulder. but #1 son's attention span did quickly dissolve. about fifteen minutes into the $85 aquarium trip, he started to indicate every exit. "is this the end? it says exit, can we exit now?" and so on he went.
shark tube under the water.
shark tank from above, you can see the people walking through the tube.
the flamingos had the correct color balance and composition.
A FEW BEFORE CHRISTMAS PICS:
kat's dome cake was a HUGE success. congratulations to my wife for a baking success!
went to our best local korean bbq place, cook it ourself, we did. requested the lettuce leaves too! better than last time, but not the best korean bbq we've had. but the best option in austin we've found.
we visited the twin sisters winery more than two years ago. cellared these two bottles and finally opened them up for a tasting. the reserve bottle was my favorite, very oaky, not bad!when #2 son saw this video after the special effect was added, he ran over to the wall sections and pointed to the ceiling, “there is a CAR! UP THERE!” he was convinced it had been real.