IN DALLAS DURING HURRICANE HARVEY

I did a quick jaunt over to Dallas this weekend and didn't realize that Hurricane Harvey would be wreaking havoc just a few hours away. Luckily, the only signs of the hurricane we saw came from 30 minutes of heavy rain during Sunday afternoon. Other than that, I think the heavy clouds above actually helped shield us from what would have been scorching heat from the sun.

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During our stay at the Adolphus in Downtown Dallas, we didn't really see that many people in the city. I've heard from some locals that most of the people in Dallas live on the outskirts and not in the downtown area itself. So if you walk around, it will feel a little bit deserted. However, our hotel was awesome! So you may never want to leave the hotel! It really isn't that big of a hotel, but it felt very comfortable to stay there. The gym was pristine and the weight machines looked very new. The pool was pretty small, but it didn't seem like it was ever busy. The rooms are the real stars at this hotel though! This hotel may be the first I've stayed in where a standard guest room would be spacious enough that it has two king beds in it. Yes, two king beds! And...with a sectional couch! With all this furniture, there was still so much more room to walk around. I paid a little under $200/night for this stay, so the price you pay for what you get is an incredible deal. I could talk about how great this hotel is all day, but I should get to the other highlights of my trip!

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So it really helped that all the museums on the List were right by each other. Because of this, I was able to see all the museums by the late afternoon. My first stop was the Dallas Museum of Art in the Bishop Arts District. To be honest, I wasn't super impressed by the museum as a whole. But I think you should go for specific exhibits, such as the Coco Chanel home exhibit, Exhibit on Africa, Creative Connections interactive exhibit, and the Cocktails Exhibit. 

After lunch at Meso Maya (get the Carne Asada, it is so juicy and flavorful), we headed over to the Nasher Sculpture Center. This exhibit, unfortunately, charges a $10 admission fee. I enjoyed my time and experience at this place, but there just wasn't enough artwork and sculptures to justify paying the admission fee when all the other museums on the List were free. But if you want some great Instagram photos out of the experience, this place will do you justice.

The last official museum on the List was the Crow Collection. If I had to rank the 3 museums I saw, this would be at the bottom of the list. And although it had some great Asian Art pieces, it fell a bit flat in terms of 'wow' factor. I couldn't find anything that really stood out and caught my interest. But it's right across from the Nasher Sculpture Center, so might as well go in if you're already there since admission is free (donations are suggested).

The other two architectural structures to visit were the Meyerson Symphony Center and AT&T Performing Arts Center. One of the AT&T Performing Arts Center's building was pretty cool architecturally (there are 2 I believe), while the Meyerson Symphony Center was just a non-stand out concert hall building. Unless you have time to go see a show at one of these buildings, there really was no point going to this area. Fortunately it was only a few blocks from the museums we were at, so it didn't take up too much of our time.

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If staying at Adolphus was the best thing off the List, I would choose Sunday brunch at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek to be a close second. I fully enjoyed my time at this hotel restaurant (aka Mansion Restaurant) for a few reasons. One, the brunch Tasting Menu we had was really delicious. Executive chef Tom Parlo did a great job cooking up the 3 courses (Brussel Sprouts to start, Angus Beef Tenderloin as the entree, and churros for dessert), and I loved when he personally came out to introduce himself and asked how our food was. Second, there's great bread. I love bread. So when they have 5 different choices to choose from and you can request as much as you'd like, I'm in heaven. Third, the restaurant is small but very beautiful. The decor inside is stunning, and the adjacent bar room is just as elegant.

On a side note, one museum that was not on the List but that you should go to was the Sixth Floor Museum. It's located right by the grassy knoll where JFK was shot, and the exhibit inside is quite chilling. I got goosebumps going through the audio tour (included with admission price) and watching all the pictures and videos of the tragic incident that day.

Overall, I really enjoyed spending my time in Dallas. Thank you Dallas (especially its people) for being so nice to us during our visit!

SO MANY MUSEUMS IN ONE DAY, BUT i DID IT!

I must say, I was a bit skeptical of trying to accomplish the task of seeing all these museums in one short weekend. But I did it! Would I say it was the best experience in my life? No. But I did feel more cultured and aware of art afterwards. I felt sophisticated, even if it was for only a day or two.

Out of the 3 museums recommended on the list, I would say the Museum of Fine Arts Houston stood out the most. There was a lot to see and it kept my attention for a good amount of time. The art was colorful and varied compared to the rest of Houston's museum offerings. They also have special exhibits available for an additional cost, so it felt like that they update their exhibits often enough to entice repeat visitors to come back.

The Menil Collection would be my second pick since there wasn't as much artwork or exhibits as MFAH. But there was a sophistication to the art gallery that MFAH did not have, where MFAH felt more like a cookie cutter museum. The museum is also oddly placed in a residential neighborhood, so there's nothing around except people's homes.

The last "museum" I visited that weekend was the Orange Show, or part of, which was mostly known for the Beer Can House. The Orange Show consists of four standalone exhibits that are spread apart from each other. The Beer Can House, which is the exhibit I visited, is basically an exhibit of someone's house that contains household items that are made from beer cans and beer bottles. You should think of it as an old quirky man finding interesting ways of using old goods (ie. beer cans, glass bottles) as construction materials for things around the house (ie. curtains, tiles, wind chimes). There's also a $5 admission fee that comes with viewing the inside of the house, which to be honest, isn't really worth it. I would recommend just taking pictures of the house exterior and roaming the backyard for a little bit before heading out.

Sorry Houston, overall, the places on your list were just okay.