Beautiful Day For A Wedding

This past weekend, one of Michael’s coworkers got married.  And it was incredibly beautiful.  We realized that it’s been a while since we have attended a wedding, as most of our friends are now parents, so this was a real treat to get all dressed up.20170813_163342.jpg

The venue was gorgeous.  It was The Room on Main in Dallas.  It just looked like a simple building on the outside, but when we got to the sixth floor and walked through the doors, the room was absolutely breathtaking.

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Incredibly high, cove ceilings with large, original windows overlooking the downtown area.

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The bride’s dress was a beautiful mermaid cut with a long train.  And the bridesmaids wore elegantly draped dresses.  This was the only picture I took of the wedding because I didn’t want to interfere with the photographers.  At one point, there were a lot of phones out, and it just made me think of all those articles written by wedding photographers, begging for people not to ruin those pictures.

Then, the curtains lifted to reveal the reception area, identical to the first side with windows all the way around.  At each table setting, there was this beautiful little note coming from the bride and groom.

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The food was delicious.  There was cake and dancing and laughter.  It was perfect.  And the view from the windows was spectacular.

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We were so blessed to be witnesses to this event.  We wish all the best to the bride and groom!

 

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The Dark Tower: A Review

I haven’t read this book series by Stephen King, and truthfully, when I walked into the theater, I had forgotten the series was by Stephen King.  I probably would have skipped it if I had known (I won’t even watch the IT trailer.  That thing scarred my childhood).  But I’m glad I didn’t.

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We went to the first showing at our favorite theater.  They were serving brunch and it was delicious.  It was also cheaper, as most first showings of the day usually are.  And it wasn’t that crowded either.

But the movie, itself, was phenomenal.  Talking to Michael afterward, we both agreed that if the Marvel and DC blockbusters didn’t play this summer, this would have easily been our favorite of the season.

The story follows this boy who is being haunted by these dreams of a dark tower, and a series of scenes that involve a man in black and a gunslinger.  Everyone thinks that they are just a reaction to trauma and loss in his own life.  But when the dreams become a reality, he goes on an adventure to another world in order to save his own.

It is not a scary movie, despite being based on a series of a very popular horror/thriller author.  To me, it was a straightforward, good vs bad adventure.  The plot was simple.  There were some graphic-ish scenes of violence, but not gory at all.  I’m thinking of one character who dies and you can see the hole on the forehead.  But no blood or guts.  The bad guy mostly killed by telling the person to stop breathing or by setting them on fire.  But you don’t see them on fire.

Idris Alba and Matthew McConaughey were amazing.  McConaughey wasn’t playing the kind of role I’m used to seeing from him, but he did really well.  It made me want to know more about the man in black, where he came from and why he was so bent on destroying the tower.  But perhaps that’s the point.  To get people to read the book series.

This was our last movie of the summer season, and I feel like we ended on a high note. On our way home in the car, we listed our favorites. It came in after Spider-man: Homecoming and Wonder Woman as a strong number three.  Definitely, a recommendation in the theaters or for a night at home.

Going to Downtown McKinney

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I’ve talked about Downtown McKinney before in my blog.  It’s probably my favorite place in the DFW area.  I like the food here, the people.  It’s just a great place all around.  It’s also a great place to take pictures, and just down the road, they have a wonderful farmer’s market.

But recently, I headed to this area to check out their home decor.

I went to several of the shops, and if I’m honest, a lot of them were repetitive.  And a lot of them were like walking through an Etsy shop, but like the same one over and over again.  Halloween decor was starting to show up on the shelves, and this pillow was in at least two, maybe three of the stores – for the same 12 dollar price.12915

Of course, I love the pillow and the reference, just disappointed about the lack of variety in a lot of these stores.  But I did find some stores that stood out from the rest.

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The Antique Company Mall felt a lot like a mercantile or a flea market where the sellers own booths to sell their stuff.  A lot of it didn’t really seem antique, more trendy antique, if that makes sense.

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I didn’t have as much time as I wanted to really search through this particular store, but I’m hopeful that you might find one of a kind finds buried somewhere in this place.  There was a first edition or signed books section in the very back, though none of the books really stood out to me, personally.  It was still a cool place to peruse.

Another store I enjoyed walking through was My Favorite Room.  The name of the store, again, pulled me in, but I enjoyed this store more than most of the ones I had visited that day.

It was gorgeous, with grays and creams outfitting most of the decor.  There were linens in the back and these sewing mannequins everywhere in various states of decorative disrepair.  The only downside, like a lot of these stores, was that it was way too expensive.  I suppose one of the reasons that everything is priced high-end is because the rent for these spaces is expensive as well.  But I was afraid to touch anything in this store.

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This sign pulled me into the store because I love a lot of European decors, especially French or Italian influence, and this store did not disappoint. There were a lot of big pieces but none of it seemed like the other stores.  There were survey maps of England in the back.  And the store smelled amazing (they sell the candles that you smell).  The downside is that the amount of stock seems limited and high priced, but there were a lot of great finds.  The only picture I took was of the French pots in the window because I plan to go back for a few of them to put on my herb garden on my windowsill.

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And I plan to go back soon, anyway, because as I was walking through the stores, I came across Eclair Bistro that has a jazz club inside!  I’ve never been to one, so I’m hoping to convince Michael to take me soon.

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Despite the overpriced items and the repetitive products, I still thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Downtown Mckinney.  Every store I walked into, I was greeted by the people who work there.  They really seem to have a passion for their stores and the things that they sell.  I hope to visit other downtown areas in DFW in the near future, but this is still one of my happy places!

We Escaped!

One fabulous thing we did this weekend was participating in an escape room puzzle game at Escape The Room in Dallas for a friend’s birthday.  For those of you familiar with this particular franchise, we did The Apartment.  It was so much fun.

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Of course, I can’t tell you anything about the game, itself.  I don’t want to spoil it for people because it is quite satisfying to get out before the sixty minutes are up, but I can tell you the basic rules.

You don’t need to use brute force to pry anything up.  Anything nailed down is supposed to be nailed down.  Nothing needs to be hotwired.  I thought that rule was hilarious.  I can’t imagine a number of people who have tried to hotwire a piece of electronics in the room.

Also, of course, no pictures inside the room.  Even the most innocent picture may unintentionally reveal something about the room.

Also, every now and then, the person who is watching in another room will send clues through the TVs or will play applause noises when we get close to figuring out a puzzle.  Paying attention to those cues really helped us.

My own advice is this.  Don’t overthink the puzzles.  It’s not like the impossible quizzes online.  These are pretty straightforward for the most part.

The one thing I will say about our specific experience was that one of the clues or puzzles wasn’t working right, and when we kept trying to solve it, the clue master finally came on the speakers and said that it wasn’t working.  And that it would be better to just focus on the next clue on the TV.  I feel like we might have had a better score if we didn’t have that hiccup, but we still got out before the end of time so I can’t really complain.

The staff was really awesome.  Our clue master was great.  One from our group accidentally hit the panic button that automatically ends the game, but he let us continue since he saw it was an accident.  I’m so glad we had such an understanding staff member looking out for us.

I want to do it again, as soon as possible.  We had another group with us, and it was so fun working together with them.  I would highly recommend the location in Dallas, but I’m sure they are all a lot of fun!

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A Brief Visit To Denton, TX

Michael had some business to do in Denton on Monday night this week, so he offered to take me with him.  We had heard that the downtown area had a few shops and restaurants that would be fun to experience, and it did not disappoint!  Of course, I got a little overwhelmed with everything, and we were on a time crunch, so I didn’t get as many pictures as I would have liked, but I will share my favorites.

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The courthouse was absolutely gorgeous.  Michael told me that the area was settled by Czechs, and I can definitely see the Eastern European influence in the architecture of their courthouse.

More Fun Comics and Games was probably my favorite store.  While their comic book collection wasn’t vast or exhaustive, they had an excellent selection.  And the people who worked there had a serious appreciation for graphic novels which was nice.  Their board game collection was also pretty good.  They had a lot of the games that we play with our friends.

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This was the inside of the Recycled Books Records CDs store that was in an old opera house.  It was a literal maze of books.  It wasn’t like the Half Price Books we have here in the DFW area. They didn’t have more recent books available for a discount.  It was just a collection of really old books.  If we had a day to spend, I would love to really dig into some of these shelves, but it’s not really worth a quick visit to me.

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Again, I forgot to take an outside picture of Atomic Candy, but this store was another fun one.  It had all sorts of candy, including a pizza that was all candy.  We almost got some dark chocolate treats, but we were headed to dinner so we decided not to get anything this time around.

I didn’t get any pictures of where we ate for dinner because we were eating with some of Michael’s friends who I didn’t know very well.  We ate at LSA Burger which was so good.  Since I can’t do dairy right now, we had the hummus for an appetizer, which I thought was excellent.  And I don’t usually like hummus.  I got the Waylon which is their regular burger, and it was so juicy.  Michael got the chicken tenders and fries.  I had some of the fries and they seemed a bit dry.

As we were leaving, they were setting up for some live music.  It seemed like a fun little place to hang out with friends.  They had both indoor and outdoor seating upstairs where we ate.  They also had indoor seating downstairs as well.

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I was very impressed by their souvenir shop.  There is a lot of history and culture packed into this little college town.  Michael’s friends described it as Austin but less pretentious.  I don’t know about that, but it did have a very environmental-friendly, dog-friendly, music-friendly, hipster-esque kind of vibe.  And for the summer on a Monday night, it was a pretty busy downtown area.

The only downside was that there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of antique shops or boutique shops available, which are my favorite stores to peruse.  There were a few, but some were closed and the ones that were open didn’t have a whole lot of variety.  I did get one leash hanger for the dogs.

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It was a quick trip, and I liked what I was able to see.  I definitely hope to go back some day, maybe during one of their festivals!

Do you visit small towns in your area?  What do you look for in a downtown/small town visit?

Trying Korean BBQ for the First Time

Something I’ve been wanting to try for a while now is Korean BBQ.  I know that it’s been a trendy thing to eat the last couple of years, and I’m sure I’m the last to jump on this train, but Michael and I decided to try it this past weekend.

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We wanted to play it safe (since I’ve been having stomach issues lately), so we found Burning Rice in Frisco which had high reviews.  I always thought that Korean BBQ was cooked right in front of you, but this place makes the food in the back and brings it out to you, either in a regular bowl or a stone bowl (which keeps the food piping hot).

It was pretty busy when we got there, at 6:30ish on a Saturday evening.  This helped cement our decision to eat there.

Michael got the Veggie Stirred Rice, the Pineapple Kalbi Steak, and all of the veggies and the egg on top.

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I got the brown rice with the Bulgogi and everything on top as well.

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I chose the stone bowl, and the food stayed really hot the entire time I was eating.  And it was enough for me to bring some home for leftovers!

Eventually, I want to try the kind of Korean BBQ that cooks right in front of you, but this was an excellent first experience with this kind of Asian inspired food.

Are you adventurous with your food choices?  

Weekend in Review

Not a lot happened this weekend.  My stomach issues have lessened quite a bit, but they are still ongoing.  At this point, I just need to avoid dairy and heavy food, which is like 75% of food here in Texas.  And if I do eat something I can’t eat right now, well, it’s better if I just stay at home.

We did manage to get out of the house a few times though!  First, we went to see Spiderman at the Moviehouse.

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They had a light greek yogurt brunch option (which is pretty much the only technical dairy I’ve been able to eat).  Really, the food is why I like to go there because every single thing I’ve ordered has been fresh and amazing.  I’ll talk about what I thought about the movie in tomorrow’s post.

And then last night, I went to a game night with friends at another movie theater, the Alamo.  It has a kind of bar in the theater.  I say kind of because it serves alcohol and pub-like food, but it’s family friendly with kids menus and the like.  And the TVs in the room play more than just sports.  Usually, it’s movies that are playing on TV or award shows when it’s that season.  But I just come for the games.

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These are not the usual games of clue and monopoly that I played growing up.  And games are broken up into different categories like resource building or deception games.  Sometimes, it’s a game from a TV or movie series like the one below, Battlestar Galactica.  Some games take a few hours to play, and some play 30 minutes. BSG takes a few hours to play.

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If you want to learn a new game and you like a certain game, there are people who will ask you what you like about the games you prefer playing to figure out what new games you would enjoy.  And then they teach that game to you.  They also take into account how long you want to play we well.

Well, last night, I actually got to teach a game.  It’s a game we brought, and one that is popular within our little gaming community.

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I mentioned this game in my April Favorites.  Last night, we have three completely new people looking for a game to play that didn’t take long to play, and so I taught them this one.  It plays up to four people, so I played fourth, but I lost horribly because I was so focused on teaching the game to them.  It was absolutely fun.  And it was cool to meet new people, too.  A chef, an illustrator, and a science teacher.  It was awesome.

But other than these two outings, I really did stay inside most of the weekend.  I’m hoping that I’m on the tail end of whatever this is.  I feel fine, otherwise, and I have a feeling this week is going to be super busy!

How was your weekend?