Destination: Dallas

This past weekend I traveled to Dallas, Texas for the BeautyKind Unites: A Concert for Causes benefit in the AT&T Stadium. I won tickets to this event though a contest on Instagram a few weeks ago and I was so excited for a weekend getaway! My friend from school, Andrew, and I packed up on Friday morning and drove 10 hours to Irving, TX where we would be staying with a friend’s family. The drive took basically our whole day, but it didn’t matter, because whatever time we had left, we were too exhausted to do anything anyway. We watched the second half of the crazy intense Florida-Wisconsin basketball game and then headed to bed.

The next day we woke up pretty early, as we didn’t want to waste any of the time we had to explore the city. The second we stepped outside, I knew it was going to be a good day. The weather was absolutely incredible. Being students in Alabama, we are used to nice spring weather, but this was beyond my wildest dreams. It was a perfect 59 degrees; chilly in the shade but perfect in the sun.

While packing the night before, I picked out the perfect exploring-the-city outfit. I’m going to include a photo because I didn’t really take any pics of me the day of, but you can picture what I looked like here… 🙂

IMG_3633So we left the apartment around 10 and decided to start at a SUPER cute coffee place in Uptown called Sip | Stir. Andrew and I each ordered a super fancy latte and used our phones to research and plan out the rest of our day.

IMG_3695IMG_3696After breakfast, we drove to Deep Ellum, a very artsy part of the city recommended by a friend. This area was SO COOL! It’s covered in painted walls, both murals and abstract, dotted with restaurants, bars, bakeries and coffee shops, and filled with music playing from different places. No matter which street we turned down, there were rows and rows of different things to explore, which was perfect for tourists like us.

IMG_0591 We went into a cute store called Jade and Clover, which is somewhat “famous” in the area, because they grow plants and flowers in the store, which is so cool! They also had a pop up shop that day from a girl who has her own hand-painted bags and jewelry company. The store itself had so many cute and fun trinkets, it was a blast to just look around, knowing we weren’t going to buy anything.

IMG_3723After making sure we had all the photos we wanted and deciding on our next location, we got back in the car and headed back Uptown. (Scroll to bottom for slideshow of all Deep Ellum pics!) For lunch, we had chosen the Katy Trail Ice House, an outside restaurant and beer garden settled next to a walking trail in the city of Dallas. It was SO crowded, because incredible weather and a Saturday afternoon make for a perfect combination. There were what seemed to be a million people, a thousand dogs, and three billion ice cold beers covering all of the benches and tables in the courtyard. Country music blared through the speakers, and as Andrew and I headed into the “inside” part of the restaurant, we somehow, someway found a table! Our waitress, Destiny, was so sweet. I ordered a pineapple cider and a grilled cheese (that comes with pickles on it, because, Texas) and Andrew ordered a beer/liquor mix and a chicken salad sandwich. True to the name of the restaurant, our drinks really did come ice cold. In fact, my glass still had an ice cube stuck to the bottom of it!

FullSizeRender-1After lunch, we knew it was time to start heading toward home. We made a quick drive through Highland Park to gawk at and drool over all the nice houses, and then headed back to the apartment. The concert doors opened at 5 and we planned on getting there around 6. While I was curling my hair, I was scrolling through twitter and saw that one of the Demi fans I follow had tweeted that she was selling two floor seat tickets to the show. I quickly slid into her DM’s and got her to agree to a price that Andrew and I could afford. We knew we had to kick into high gear now, so after finishing my hair, I put on my sparkly black dress, black booties, and chunky earrings. I swiped on my “Kristen” shade Kylie Lip Kit, sprayed some “Be Sunnie” body mist on, grabbed my purse, and we were out the door.

IMG_3726We arrived at AT&T Stadium, sold our soul (payed $30) to park, and raced inside to meet Katelyn. We paid for our fancy new seats and headed to the floor. After walking five hundred million miles, we got to the field and I felt the excitement really start to kick in. BeautyKind representatives, American Heart Association employees, and a few DJs from Dallas’ number one pop radio station all came out on stage to kick the show off. They did some introductions and then brought out the first set. Starting out the show at 6:30 was a band called AJR. Andrew and I had never heard of them, but we were ~seriously impressed. Not like “We were pleasantly surprised, they were actually pretty good” impressed, but “We listened to their entire album on the way back to Alabama. Twice” impressed. After AJR, (look them up. do it.) there was a brief break and we started chatting to the woman next to us. She had driven to Dallas from Tennessee with her friend who works for American Heart Association. We learned a lot about the behind the scenes of this concert. It was really cool to talk to her.

Suddenly, The Band Perry was out on stage. Andrew and I were shocked, we didn’t recognize them at all! The band has completely changed their look. Goodbye cute little band that stole the hearts of CMA watchers seven years ago. Hello, new rockin’ and groovin’ Band Perry!!!! I was obsessed. Kimberly now sports jet black hair with bangs. Her brothers now rock man buns and flannel, a look that James Corden dubbed “a bizarre-o Willy Wonka” look. Nonetheless, the band’s performance was incredible. They even played a new song off their not-yet-released-album tilted My Bad Imagination, which is their first all-pop effort. It was called “Look At Me Now” and I can’t WAIT for it to come out so I can jam in the car, at the gym, and anywhere else because it’s a perfect song.

Next up was Cole Swindell. I had never seen him live but I knew I didn’t have to know that he was going to be good. I was right. Cole opened with his jam, I Hope You Get Lonely Tonight, followed by the song that really got his start, Chillin’ It. Then he knocked out a medley of a ton of country songs by other artists that he wrote, including Roller Coaster by Luke Bryan and This is How we Roll by Florida-Georgia Line. Next up after Cole was going to be Demi Lovato. (My idol/inspiration/Everything.) She was the whole reason I drove eighteen hours to go to this thing.

Now, I was “satisfied” with our seats but I really wanted to try to get closer to the gate against the pit and toward the center so I could see better. But then, a miracle happened. The woman in front of us, handed me her Pit Access wristband and walked us to the security guard at the entrance of the pit. She explained she was not going to go into the pit and that we had driven from Alabama and she asked him to give an extra wristband to Andrew. He did!!!! I was so grateful and so hype because I was about to be SO CLOSE to Demi.

IMG_3735Suddenly, driving and paying extra was all SO worth it. I couldn’t wait. We pushed our way through the huge crowd and got as close as we could. Andrew and I were making conversation with some cool people around us, but then the lights went off, music started and everything else faded away. Demi was flawless, as per usual. I could write about her and her performances for hours, so that’s pretty much all I’m going to say. Demi has such a special connection to her fans, I really can’t even explain it. So I’m not going to.

Lastly, the final act, Jake Owen, came out on stage. He had such a fun set, especially because the stage was covered in palm trees, he had trumpet players on stage, and he was running around everywhere barefoot!

 

Overall, I had such an incredible little weekend getaway. It was so nice to get away from school, not have to focus on work, and just have fun. I love getting dressed in real-people clothes (compared to the Alabama school uniform of Nike shorts and a t-shirt) and getting to explore new places. I hope you have enjoyed this post and that it has inspired maybe a new outfit or a destination for a two or three day escape! If you are going somewhere soon, let me know in the comments!! ❤

xoxo,

JM

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