I wouldn’t ever choose to travel to Dallas.  I don’t have anything against the Big D.  It just never landed on my must see travel destinations.  So when an award ceremony beckoned me there earlier this month I wasn’t surprised when initially greeted with exactly what I expected – heat, smog, cowboy hats, JFK memorabilia and more heat.

What I didn’t expect was the lack of crowds when walking from the Omni, past Ferris Plaza to the Grassy Knoll and book depository. Having traveled to other large cities, it was strange to not see a single soul until reaching the historical sites.  Even there the area was crowdless, clean and friendly.

My husband and I enjoyed the tour at the 6th Floor Museum and taking in the sites of the Historic West End.  I even purchased a cowboy hat at Wild Bill’s.  While I shopped for the perfect hat with Michelle (she was beyond friendly and helpful) my husband enjoyed a cold beer.  Very impressive!

Also impressive was a classy neighborhood north of the West End – West Village.  This uptown neighborhood is easily reached via the convenient and free McKinney Avenue Trolley.  Here you find shops, restaurants and best of all Cork Wine Bar, where patrons can sample tastes from over 45 different wines.

Around the corner from Cork is probably the best pizza joint in the Big D.  Grimaldi’s serves what many Texans refer to as New York style pizza (the secret recipe even claims to include New York chemically created water), but the coal-fired, paper thin crust takes me closer to Italy. If you go, I highly recommend trying a margherita style pizza and one with the amaze”meat”balls meatballs.  So insanely good.

My growling stomach and I will stop there.  After all most do not visit Dallas for the pizza, which is why I must touch on the southwest cuisine. Taco Diner – don’t let the name fool ya – serves up some of the best Mexican food you can find with a casual, fun flare.  Nearby you can find gelato and take in unique film experience.  Do not skip this neighborhood when visiting the Big D!