My best friend and Godmother to my son just wrapped up her visit with us in Dallas but while she was here my blogging went to the wayside. We had such a wonderful time while she was here. Luckily Auntie Michelle loves to explore each new city she is in and is always up for anything. With the new addition of baby J, a lot of our exploring this time around had to be kid friendly but I feel like we did a pretty good job and J had a blast.
The first Saturday she was here we ventured out to the Dallas Zoo. If you have never been to the Zoo with a child before here are my parent friend tips:
1. Get there the minute it opens! This for us was right in the middle of what would be Jameson’s nap but luckily he zonked out in the stroller on the way to the car so he had a short 20 minute power nap that didn’t effect his mood. When we arrived there were only about ten cars in the parking lot and we didn’t have to wait at all to get our tickets and start our trek through the park. When we wrapped up around noon it was a nightmare with the amount of people trying to find parking and getting tickets.
2. Bring your own food! I brought snacks for Jameson and his sippy cup but neglected to bring anything for Jim, Auntie Michelle and myself which meant we paid a good $30 for some chicken fingers and french fries. Since they didn’t check our bags and I didn’t see any signs about outside food and drink I will definitely pack snacks and water for the adults next time.
3. If you bring your own food, make sure you still stop at the Zoo cafes. While we ate our lunch, Jameson was able to look out the big scenic window to see the lions. It was quite a show and definitely a view you will miss if you bypass the cafes. Sneaky Zoo..
4. Stroller Vs. Carrier? Depending on the age of your child this may vary. We decided to bring our jogger and the Baby Bjorn and would just see what J preferred. He was over the stroller pretty quickly so we threw him into the Baby Bjorn and strapped him to dad. Jameson is 7 months old and loved being able to see everything facing forward. Obviously as he gets older we would use the stroller a lot more.
Bishop Arts District
We decided to take a drive down to the Bishops Art District to walk around. Once again we left right around Jameson’s nap time so he slept for most of this trip. We started off at Oddfellows for breakfast. I went to this place a few weeks ago through my mommy group and absolutely loved it so I knew this is where I wanted to start off our day. Breakfast was delicious and I am always wowed when my latte foam has a heart design.
What I love most about this place other than the great food and coffee is the service. My first visit we had a large group of mommies and babies taking over the patio and the gentleman serving us was extremely patient with us and had no problem running back and forth to our table to take new orders are more moms joined us. This time on a much smaller scale we still had great service! I highly recommend.
A fun note about this place is during the week most of the shops open at 11….which would have been helpful to know and I definitely should have looked that up before we left. No worries, Jameson was awake at this point and was enjoying his stroller stroll so we decided to window shop. After a while we found ourselves at Emporium Pies. Again my mommy group introduced me to this little gem and since my BFF is a lover of the sweets like myself, I knew she wouldn’t mind making a stop. Let me tell you something, before I was introduced to this place the words “I am not a pie person” have definitely come out of my mouth. It’s just not normally my choice for a dessert item. Forget that now! This place as a buttery flaky pie that is filled with Nutella! Hazelnut, chocolaty, ruin my diet, kind of goodness. They have a few regular pies and then some that they rotate in and out. I highly recommend this place.
If you have ever ventured into the downtown/uptown area of Dallas than you have seen the trolley’s that travel around. This is a fantastic gem of this city. These bad boys are free to travel on and they just ask for a donation if you have it of any amount. Each trolley car runs about 15 minutes apart of the weekdays so they are easy to catch. What I love about the trolleys is that each one has a story about where they came from, what year they started running and how they came to be apart of the trolley service in Dallas. We rode on Rosie on the way downtown and then the Green Dragon on the way back. I think Jameson enjoyed it although he refused to smile and held on tightly to me the entire time….so maybe he didn’t enjoy it much. Here are my Trolley Mommy Tips:
1. Rosie Vs….every other trolley. So Rosie looks amazing, she has beautiful red velvet seats and she literally takes you back to the 1920’s when you step on for a ride. However, Rosie is the nosiest of the trolley cars and very rocky. Because we took the ride on a beautiful day, all of the windows on Rosie were down…way down…like so far down one crazy bump would have sent me and Jameson out of the window. This may explain why he was hanging onto me for dear life. The Green Dragon was a delight to travel on. She was a lot smoother and a little bigger and the windows did not go down as far. From what I have seen, most of the trolleys are like the Green Dragon but even with my issues with Rosie she still in my favorite!
2. Stroller? Yes. Bringing a stroller on here was so easy. The conductor came down and took it from me and put it in the back and then got it out for us once we got off. I was nervous that I wouldn’t have enough room on the Trolley to store it but this wasn’t a problem at all. We did use our small umbrella stroller instead of our large jogger so folding and storing was a lot easier.
3. Kid Fun. Jameson is only 7 months so he did not get to enjoy this but I have to say that the conductors do a great job of letting the kids have fun on the trolley. The conductor on the Green Dragon allowed one little girl to come up and blow the whistle on her way out and our conductor on Rosie had a full blown conversation with the 5 year old seated behind him the entire way downtown telling her about the trolleys. They really seem to enjoy what they do which makes the ride fun for kids (and adults! I had a great time.)
4. Free. This service is free but bring some change or a dollar if you have it to make a contribution. This day in age to have a transportation service run for free is a rarity so I like the idea of giving money when we can to keep it going!
Head to their website for additional information on schedules and get the story behind the trolleys: M-Line Trolley
This was another Dallas secret shared with me by the mommy group and I knew that Auntie Michelle would want to see it before she left. Basically looks like an open backyard to a barn with a bar and rotating food trucks. Some of the tables are picnic table style and others are an upside down trashcan with crate boxes as seats! Everything is a hodgepodge and I love it. Bringing a kid however is tricky so here are my thoughts:
1. Not stroller friendly. Definitely kid friendly but the ground is rough and hard to get a stroller through so I would carry your little one if you can and leave that stroller in the car.
2. Dog Friendly. Now, as you know, we have Coop, our beautiful American Bull Dog that we love to take places. However, unless it’s an off the leash dog park he is always close to us and on the leash. I will say that this place doesn’t seem to have many rules on that and a lot of dogs roam free while their owners are kicking back with a margarita. As a dog owner, this bugs me a lot. An unknown dog went right up to a woman and her stroller and peered inside. Appropriately enough she was startled and blocked the dog from her baby, two minutes later the owner came up to apologize. While everything seemed to be okay I have issues with lax dog owners. Watch your dog! So if you have crawlers, or walkers than I would definitely keep and eye out for that! Jameson was perfectly happy jumping up and down on my lap so this wasn’t a problem for us.
3. Rotating Trailers. What is great and not so great is that the trucks rotate so you don’t always go and see the same food. It’s great because you get to try something new but not so great if you are really craving one of your favorites! My suggestion is to check out their schedule before you go!
All in all we had a wonderful time exploring our city and I think we found some great places to go with Jameson that he seemed to enjoy but weren’t entirely kid focused!