As I seem to have gained the upper hand in recovering from the lovely head cold given to me just in time for the New Year by the one and only Lone Star state (score -1 for Airborne!), I wanted to take the time - finally! - to kick off this blog. I'm hoping it will become a way to keep in touch with friends and family around the country over the next year: Expect stories, reviews, opinions, drawings, comics, proposed new Warriors logos... any happenings on life out West. Your comments and thoughts will always be appreciated.
To get things rolling, I offer this brief piece of advice: When staying the night in Texas, always get the rental car.
On December 29th I flew into Dallas-Fort Worth Airport for two-day stay at the Marriott Las Colinas in Irving. I was in town to attend Jon and Angelique's wedding on the 30th, which was terrific - those two are an amazing couple and put on a great party. I enjoyed my very first Mashed Potato Martini - make that my first two - and even got to be an usher, albeit one who hardly knew his way around a church:
LEAD MUSICIAN: "Pssst... Hey, could you do me a favor and signal to us when they're done with Communion?"
ME: "Sure... Remind me, though: How will I know when they're done with Communion?"
The 29th, however, was begging for a little pregame Texas drama. While friends' flights were turned back by a gathering mass of unseasonable thunderstorms and tornadoes, the daring crew of American Airlines 1443 stepped on the gas and found a break in the clouds, miraculously getting me on the ground and off to my hotel by cab early afternoon. Renting a car hadn't occurred to me, since I expected to be around a number of people attending the same event and neglected to account for the sheer sprawl of Dallas. Unfortunately, I found myself alone for the evening in a Marriott that offered no food in house or in the immediate vicinity. By 8pm I was starving. Eyes darting between my room window and the Weather Channel's incessant Tornado Watch, I saw a lull in the storm and made a dash to a quiet patch of restaurants a half-mile or so down the road.
Halfway there, the storm kicks right back into full gear.
My pocket umbrella was snapped by the wind and I was drenched, surrounded by tornadoes and ravenously hungry. And then Texas offered up its finest cuisine:
"Japanese Restaurant" - This just doesn't seem very... Japanese. I mean, at least name it something cultural. Pass.
"Subway" - Would have sufficed, but closed due to inclement weather.
"Italian Cafe" - 'Ethnic' food options not promising... Pass.
"Texas Bar & Grill" - Sure, what the hell... but I take one step in and realize they allow smoking in bars in Texas, and this place wreaked. Being a health-conscious Californian, it was back to 'Italian Cafe'.
The worst Chicken Parmesan I've ever had put away, I trudged back to the hotel in the rain. Feeling a sniffle coming on, only one thought was on my mind: When staying the night in Texas, always get the rental car.