Destination: Dallas, Texas
Date: June 2013
Writing about Dallas in one blog post is like trying to stuff a Big Hunk candy bar in my mouth all at once, it just doesn’t work. Bailey had asked me to take her up to visit a sweet friend she has had since the fourth grade. How could I say no? Going to visit her buddy “S” and “S’s” wonderful family was just as much as a vacation for me as it was for Bailey.
After a seven hour drive we made it to Dallas. Yes the drive should have been closer to five hours but there was so much construction going on between San Antonio and Dallas that everything north of Killeen was stop and go. We spent more time on the access roads trying to bypass long stretches of construction and back ups and made relatively good time on those, but still only maxed out at about 45 mph.
While in Dallas, “S’s” family hosted Bailey and I in their lovely home in the University Park neighborhood just outside of downtown Dallas. This neighborhood is the place to go if relocating to Dallas. It is filled with the American dream homes lined up perfectly with manicured lawns, umbrellas of trees lining the streets and American flags waving on the houses. It is a scene from a movie set.
We were lucky enough to encounter two great Dallas hot spots while we visited. One was Mustang Donuts located in University Park, just across the street from Southern Methodist University aka SMU. Recently a Dallas magazine bestowed upon Mustangs the coveted title as the best donut dive in Dallas.
Upon arrival it wasn’t flashy and felt like any other donut store, but the donuts were delicious. I had the creme filled glazed donut that was very good and filled to the brim with the white creamy deliciousness. I enjoyed every bite. I have since read that the blueberry cake donut is a customer favorite, and though I didn’t have a chance to taste it for myself I can only imagine how good it must have been. It was a fun place to visit during our short trip to Dallas and I love any local joint that has a sense of community and belonging. I could tell Mustang Donuts is a well loved landmark near the SMU campus.
The other gem we had a chance to visit was right next store to Mustangs called Cotton Island. Full of trendy clothing that can make any girls heart race they also had shoes, jewelry, wristlets and basically anything to make any Dallas girl look ready for a night on the town. Bailey was excited about getting these roll-on bracelets that benefit a charity in Nepal. Though I have never seen these bracelets before, Bailey was assured by her buddy “S” that these were a latest style and craze in the area.
Established in 1983 by the Feinstein family, Cotton Island is another staple of the “Park Cities” community. It also is where Lauren Scruggs of “Still Lolo” once worked. Lauren is known for her popular fashion blog, blogbylolo.com and her recent book “Still Lolo” that talks about her near fatal accident of walking into a spinning propeller after going to look at Christmas lights in December 2011. In her accident she lost her left eye and hand. Her story really touched me when I first saw it on the Today show not long after her accident and over the past two years as they have kept up on her progress. The most impressive part of Lauren’s story is her faith in Christ and how she is overcoming this terrible trial. I was touched to know that this fashion blogger was once a employee of Cotton Island where they proudly sell her book.
Another reason I really enjoyed this shopping experience because my friend “A” was such good friends with the girls that work there now. It is so rare to see such great customer service and I was impressed that this local shop and their employees took time to get to know their customers and anchored themselves even deeper into the hearts of those in the community. I could tell after leaving the shop with “A” that she will continue to shop at Cotton Island because it is a quality shop with excellent service. So hard to find these days!
These two great encounters are just the tip of the iceberg of the fun to be had in Dallas but our time was short and we felt like it had been time well spent. What a great community and I’m excited for my next trip to the Big D!
Safe and Happy Travels!!