I'd never been to Texas before—surprising, considering my series is set there, right? But that was a happy accident, that the Comets became a whole unto its own. While I researched locations and vocabulary online, I knew that I needed to experience it in person so my books could be as authentic as possible. I'd thought many times about going, but it never seemed like the time was right.
So when my cousin was getting married outside of Dallas, I knew that the universe was telling me to go!
I bought my plane ticket, booked an Airbnb, and started planning. Of course I had to go see a Stars game! Then I did my research to see what Texas and the south had to offer.
One of the very first things I knew I needed to do was to hit the Texas School Book Depository, the Sixth Floor Museum, Elm Street, Dealey Plaza, and the grassy knoll: in other words, all the places related to JFK's assassination. I'm not really a history buff, but these particular places were must see on my Dallas bucket list.
|X's mark the fatal shots|
|Dealey Plaza and Book Depository|
|Where the Zapruder film was shot|
|Book Depository plaque|
|Inscription and map|
Next up was the Geo Deck on Reunion Tower. The Tower itself is a fun, funky building, but the 360-degree view of Dallas was just as fun. Even better, you could go outside and feel the wind in your hair—and boy, was it windy!
|Dallas behind me|
I walked around downtown, seeing some of the sights I'd looked at on Google Maps when setting scenes in my series. I stopped by the Dallas World Aquarium before heading toward the day's big feature, the Stars against the Maple Leafs at American Airlines Center.
|Third Rail Lofts|
|Penguins at the Aquarium|
|The American Airlines Center|
The following day, Saturday, was my cousin's wedding, so I strolled the nearby Bishop Arts District before glamming it up for the evening.
On my last full day in the city, I hit some favorites I'd made along my trip as well as checking out Trinity Groves, the Historic West End, and the Dallas Holocaust Museum (on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
I couldn't talk about Texas without talking about the food. This is where America gets its stereotype about huge portions. Even though the food was so good, I could hardly finish my meals. From chicken fried steak at Jonathon's Diner (with Kate Willoughby), pancakes as big as my head at Cafe Brazil, the best pizza at Neo Olivella's (with Stephanie Kay and Samantha Wayland; recommendation from Aven Ellis), the best steak I've ever eaten from Kenny's Wood Fired Grill, hummingbird cake from the Cake Bar, and even the cookies baked for me by my wonderful Airbnb hostess, Jill—I was in heaven from meal one to my last sandwich before boarding the plane for home.
So much of what I was able to experience is going to make it into the next book, Dump and Chase, as well as books to come. In fact, Ben's house is going to be in the Bishop Arts District, where my Airbnb was located. I have perfect settings for the upcoming Christmas novella I have planned for the end of 2018, and a great plot brewing for book #6—all because of the experiences I had those five days in Dallas.
I wish I could add more pictures, but I think I'm about to make Blogger explode with everything I've uploaded!
Once I got home, I hit the ground running. I had a freelance project to finish up, taxes to start, and I still haven't even finished unpacking!
I wish you all had a great a January as I've had. Happy reading!