Saturday, May 14, 2011

An Easter Lunch In Dallas

It was Easter morning in Dallas, and the original intention was to go to a Unitarian-Universalist church there and catch an Easter service.

But circumstances conspired against us.

I did not have much sleep in that I was awoken by loud voices and door banging in the middle of the night. And just when I was thinking of calling the cops to register a noise complaint, Ariana said, "Mom, that was the cops making all that noise."

Apparently there must have been some action going down at the Mesquite Inn, for there were 8 cops there, banging on the second floor doors and shining their spot lights upstairs.

Ariana did not have an easy night either. Deion accidentally gave her a "flat tire," causing a painful blister to break on her foot. The pain kept her up all night. Finally at 5:00 AM, she woke me up and asked if we could go somewhere where she could get ointment, pain killers, and band-aids.

We did an early morning, pre-dawn trek to Wally World, and got the necessary items to give Ariana some relief.

Then, while we were up, we decided to go to IHOP for some brekkie and mother-daughter bonding time.

After that, we were wide-eyed and bushy tailed. We got back to the motel, I took a shower to get ready for church. And as I stepped out of the shower, Ariana had the experience that I have lately been having after a very busy day at work. In other words, she hit a wall of sheer exhaustion.

I could relate. And while I did want to go to church, I had no objection in going back to bed.

We slept until late morning. After getting dressed, we went to pick up Deion and go to the NorthPark Mall. (Ariana was just dying to get a pair of designer sunglasses that she saw at Ilori the day before.)

Well bugger! The stores were all closed. Well, duh! It was Easter.

However, the restaurants were all open. And we were hungry.

We finally settled on Cibus, mainly because they served carpaccio, a delicacy of an appetizer that Ariana adores and has not had in about 9 years.

I ordered the grilled shrimp and grilled Italian veggies on a bed of arugula. Yum!

Here's the carpaccio beef that Ariana has been waiting to enjoy after 9 years.

(I didn't include a pic of Deion's lunch. Frankly, most people know what a pepperoni pizza looks like. LOL)

Ariana and Deion. (Oooh! Lookie there! You can see Deion's pepperoni pizza in the corner!)

Ariana and Deion getting funny with each other.

Ariana and me sitting in one of the big patio chairs at Cibus.

With bellies nicely satisfied and Easter dinner at Deion's house still hours away, we had some time to kill.

Next stop: the Dallas World Aquarium!

The Dallas Arboretum

Whereas the Traders Village was overwhelming, The Dallas Arboretum was uplifting. The day may have been hazy and overcast in places, but that did not diminish the beauty of the place.

This stone slab fountain marked the entrance to the Dallas Arboretum.

Just like in Lubbock, grackles have made a home for themselves in Dallas.

Beautiful plants, both potted and planted, defined the grace of this place.

There were dedicated gardens all throughout the Arboretum.

One garden featured lots of foxglove.

Lots of foxglove . . .

. . . everywhere.

There was a garden dedicated to Beatrix Potter.

The many flowering huts looked like they could have come out of a fairy tale, or more appropriately, a Peter Rabbit tale.

Each one was different . . .

. . . in both its size . . .

. . . and the flowers that were used.

Some huts even featured fanciful creatures, like this mossy bear,

or this family of bunnies.

Carpets of flowers delighted the eyes,

while a Celtic harpist delighted the ears.

Shortly past the Celtic harp, we came upon this HUGE - Texas size - mossy statue of Peter Rabbit.

This tree-arched walkway looked like it came out of a story book.

A random planter of poppies by a bench.

Another patch of foxglove.

In another part of the Arboretum was this rustic rose trellis.

Trellis detail.

More trellis detail.

Couldn't resist taking a pic of this fellow.

Iron work detail.

At around this point, I realized that the air smelled so fresh and sweet. This was the first time I smelled something like that since moving to Texas, especially since Lubbock is very dry and dusty.

Overlooking a formal garden.

Very formal shrubs.

It was amazing to see how vast and varied the Arboretum was.

A decorative some wall.

A formal garden walkway.

Still in the formal garden.

A close-up of the fountain and sculpture in the formal garden.

Another view of the formal garden.

Leaving the formal garden, we approach a water garden.

Monet's favorites.

Waterlily close up.

This part of the garden looks almost autumnal with the red leaves on the trees.

Any self-respecting garden must include some koi.

The fish do add color and movement to the water garden.

A random stonework structure.

Close-up detail of the random stonework structure.

And more detail.

Another random stonework structure. This one looks like the bottom of a chimney.

Ground cover peeking through the stone walkway.

A picture frame archway by a formal pool.

Close-up of a statue overlooking the formal pool.

These trumpeters overlook the Poetry Garden.

The Poetry Garden reminded me of the courtyard inside the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum in Boston. Both are classical romantic spots.

Detail of the young wood nymph statue.

This wood nymph has the whole garden to herself.

Notice the knot work pattern in the hedges.

I was intrigued by this smooth, barkless tree.

This is part of the Xeriscape Garden. I think xeriscaping is a great idea. Beautiful gardens can be created by using drought-resistant plants, like agaves and yuccas.

Past the Xeriscape Garden was this lush waterway.

That same waterway, looking from the other side of the walk bridge.

Another view of the lush waterway.

Here's a smooth wisteria vine.

A Southern Magnolia beginning to bloom.

An open Southern Magnolia blossom.

And a magnolia blossom already past its prime and going to seed.

This fellow hung out at the outdoor cafe that we were sitting at.

Looking for handouts?

At this point, after spending a good part of the afternoon at the Arboretum, we were tired. The rest of the day was for chillaxing with friends.