Hello! I hope everyone’s had a lovey week/weekend. My week is just starting back up today, now that I’m well enough to be out of bed for more than two or three hours at a time. Last weekend, we took a family trip to Dallas and had a great time. It was Baby Elizabeth’s first out of town trip.
For a three hour drive, she did really well. We brought along Frozen to keep her occupied, and she only got fussy for the last 10 to 15 minutes because it was bedtime. There will be a post about short distance traveling with a baby and what all we packed at the end of this week. This trip was a good test run for our trip to Disney World next month; that will be a 14 hour drive. Here are a few highlights from our trip….
North Texas Teen Book Festival:
The reason we decided to go to Dallas this weekend was to go to the North Texas Teen Book Festival in Irving. Like I mentioned here, I found out about the festival after a status I wrote on Facebook when I had finished Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. We decided to go, and I tried to read as many books as I could by the authors who were going to be there. I read Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter, The Selection by Kiera Cass (who later was not able to attend NTTBF 2016), Legend and Young Elites by Marie Lu, A Tyranny of Petticoats edited by Jessica Sportswood, If I Stay by Gayle Foreman, Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry, The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessan, and Tracked by Jenny Martin (which I have not finished yet). Nine and a half books in almost two months is pretty good, if I do say so myself.
We sat in on four panels. The first was “Angels and Demons,” a panel of supernatural reads with battles between good and evil. The author we were here for was D. J. MacHale. He was the only author that my husband was really interested in seeing because he is a fan of the Pendragon series. After listening to him speak, I have added it to my Goodreads list. The next panel was the one I was most looking forward to because it was on my favorite type of ya fiction, “Dystopian Dynasty,” with Victoria Aveyard, Jonathan Maberry, and Jenny Martin among others. My favorite part of this panel was the question, “Do you think you could survive your own dystopia?” Alex London, author of Proxy which contains a dystopian society divided by class, said that he could definitely survive, if he was one of the rich people. The third panel we did was, “Cause this is Thriller, Thriller night,” which had Gwenda Bond, whom I’d love to read more of, and Ally Carter. Ally talked about her newest series, Embassy Row (goodreads link) which sounds really interesting. The final panel I went to was a discussion on book blogs, so hopefully my book reviews will be a little better and more structured from here on.
This was the first big event I have done with baby Elizabeth, and I think it went pretty well. Other than having a hard time finding a changing table (they were not in the women’s restrooms, only in the family restroom which was hidden by the service stars on the third floor), the only problems I had was her occasionally getting fussy during a panel (which would luckily happen during the Q&A at the end and all I had to do was quietly slip out the back). This was also our first time nursing in public and that went good too. No one was affronted (not that it would have mattered to me), and another nursing mommy even complimented me on how discrete I was.
Outside of town in Ennis, there was a drive in theater. We saw The Jungle Book and Zootopia. They were both amazing films. My favorite parts of The Jungle Book were the bare necessities song and the elephants. And Zootopia? That was one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. I was a little surprised at how good it was. My favorite part was probably the tundra scene when the wolves are talking about “the howl.” This will probably be a movie we buy and watch (several) times with the baby. I really wish that drive in theaters were still popular because that was a really fun experience. We don’t have one in our area, so I think this might be something that I check for every time we take a trip now.
Fort Worth Botanical Garden and Zoo:
I was really excited to go to the Botanical Gardens in Fort Worth, specifically the rose gardens. I really like to go on walks and read really great things about this garden over the one in Dallas. Once we got there, we worked our way around looking at different trees and plants. On our way to the rose gardens we saw something that made me really disappointed. Two trees’ trucks were wrapped in about seven feet of burlap, not to protect them from the elements but from people. Peaking from the top of the burlap, you could see where people had carved things all over the trees. I can’t believe people would be that disrespectful to carve all over two trees in a public garden (okay I can believe it because sometimes people are the worst). Once we got to where the rose gardens were, I noticed lots of construction and signs posted. It turns out, all their roses got sick and died! But even though the roses were gone, the park was still very beautiful. My favorite thing we saw there is pictured above. There was a sign that said “Chameleon Plant Lizard’s Tale Family” with a green lizard chilling on top of it, almost blending into the background.
We love going to the zoo on our family trips. We went to the Dallas Zoo in January of last year, so this time we decided to go to the one in Fort Worth. It was packed! We had a good time looking at all the animals and dodging the bees. Cody’s favorite animals were the monkeys. They even had a baby ape named Gus. My favorite animal was the elephants. They were really cute and we got to see the smallest one swim. If the hippos would have gotten out of their little pond, they would have been my favorite, but they were napping (maybe). We say that this was Elizabeth’s first trip to the zoo, but she wasn’t really interested in any of it. We held her up a few times to see things, and when we were looking at the baby ape we were up against a glass part that was big enough for her to see while still in the stroller. Still, I think she had a good time. When talking about our trip at work Tuesday afternoon, my boss suggested we go to the Memphis Zoo for our next weekend trip because they have pandas!
Whenever we go out of town, the only rule we have food-wise, is that we can only eat at places we don’t have at home. (The drive there didn’t count because I was desperate for an Angry Whopper from Burger King).
So Saturday morning when we woke up, we were going to eat at the hotel since they provide breakfast. When we went down to the lobby, we saw the line of high schoolers and kept walking towards the doors. Apparently there was some sort of competition in town as well as the book convention so there were tons of people there. Like the line went all the way from the bar, across the room to the help desk. So we drove off to The Corner Bakery for breakfast. The food was pretty good there. We both got pancakes and eggs with bacon for me and sausage for Cody. For dinner that night, I either wanted Indian or Mediterranean food. We went to a local Indian restaurant. We had never had Indian food together, so I thought that would be fun. We had Jerk Chicken Samosas, chicken tikka masala with rice, and a Jerk Chicken Naan-wich. It was amazing! I definitely see more Indian food in our future.
On Sunday we were able to eat breakfast in the hotel, then went to the gardens and the zoo. After that we went to get sushi. We’ve got a great local place for sushi, but when we go to big cities, we always try to find an all you can eat sushi place so we can try different types. The best one we’ve been to was in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was Tokyo House. If you are a sushi fan and are there, you must go. It is super fresh and phenomenal.
After all that weekend fun, I started feeling a little sick on the ride home. By the time we reached the house, I felt terrible! I got food poisoning from the sushi place we went to. Luckily, it was just me who got sick, so my husband was able to take care of me all day Monday while I stayed home from work. I hate being sick after a vacation because I always think that the boss won’t believe me. I was actually sick, I didn’t need a recovery day or wasn’t extending the vacation, I promise.
So how was you weekend? Did you do anything exciting or do you have any plans for this week/weekend? Share them in the comments and have a great week!