Direct to Dallas

– my very aptly named playlist – blared loudly from my car speakers as I made the 4 hour journey to my new home. 310 miles in 240 minutes…it seems too short an amount of time to enact so colossal a change in my life. But yes, it’s true – as of 2 days ago, I am officially a resident of Dallas, Texas! During this upcoming year off, I’ll be living with my fabulous sister, writing (hopefully a lot), working (the bare minimum), traveling (I know! Haven’t I had my fill yet?), and generally creating a ruckus. My parents, I’m sure, are absolutely thrilled. No, really, I know how extremely blessed I am to be able to take a year off, and I intend to make full use of it.

As excited as I am, though, these past couple of days have been a little…scary. Not, like, monster under the bed scary, but rather, the type of anxiety that accompanies a significant relocation. Though my blog might paint me rather as a jet-setter (actually, that’s just what I’m hoping for), the truth of the matter is that I am a homebody at heart. And I’ve – however reluctantly – allowed Houston to become my second home over the past 4 years. As I hung out with friends in Houston this past week, visiting my favorite places in town, I had the thought that it would never be this way again. Taking 59 South to Yes KTV in Chinatown, going down Shepherd to Yogurtland and Torchy’s, or driving to an afternoon of pampering at my favorite nail salon in Rice Village…how long will it take me to love a city like I do Houston? Will I ever make friends like I had at Rice, or, the million dollar question: will I make any friends at all?

The truth is, though, that things changed long before my move to Dallas. It’s not really a matter of moving, but rather, of moving on. Even if I stayed in Houston, it would be as a graduate of Rice, someone who sighs wistfully driving by Wiess (TFW!), but then goes on to my grownup (ugh) life. And so, I’ve decided that my fear will not block other, happier emotions from surging through: excitement, anticipation, and wonder as I explore a new city. That being said, I’m extremely happy that I was able to spend my last few days in Houston chatting with friends and, of course, eating boatloads of food. I’ll most definitely be back to visit!

For your viewing pleasure now, a few of my favorite Houston desserts, and some new highlights from Dallas!

I had the opportunity to go to Tiny Boxwood’s with the wonderful lady who directs the stellar nonprofit organization The Women’s Resource of Greater Houston. Tiny Boxwood’s is a restaurant in Houston with outdoor seating looking out on an absolutely gorgeous garden. They’re well known for their mint lemonade (which we both tried), as well as their:

Chocolate Chip Cookies! These babies are gooood. They’re baked fresh throughout the day, and they run out fast! In fact, there was only 1 more cookie left when we ordered them to go. Instead of wrestling for it, we decided to wait a few minutes for another cookie.

So totally worth it:

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The next day during my 5 day long stay in Houston, my sister took me to experience “real” kolaches. Ever since I was introduced to my first kolache in Houston, I’ve thought of them a variation on pigs-in-a-blanket. However, in a kolache, the pig seems to be very chilly, so the blanket completely covers the pig. In fact, though, after my thorough (Wikipedia) research, I’ve found that kolaches originally were filled with fruit!

In the case of the Kolache Bakery, which we visited, the kolache is a puffy pillow of dough with fruit filling.

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Blueberry filling – fresh out of the oven! Oh man, this was so good. The dough was still warm, with a fresh berry filling.

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But, if possible, the cream cheese filled one was even better:

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During my Houston stay, I also had a chance to catchup with my roommate of 4 (yep, count ’em, FOUR) years, Liz! We decided to go caking at a previously unexplored bakery – Acadian Bakery. This bakery generally makes special occasion cakes, but also has slices to order. We both tried the Brownie Chocolate Mousse, consisting of brownie slices separated by chocolate mousse filling. The brownie was nice and moist, and the mousse filling very light.

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And now for some Dallas good eats!

To celebrate Father’s Day, we went out to Omi’s, the site of foodgasmic Korean BBQ Buffet.

We ate this. All of it. Seriously:

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Later on (btw, does this happen in other families? Or is it only mine that can eat platters of Korean BBQ plus side dishes and then find it necessary to go out for dessert?), we tried yumilicious, a popular frozen yogurt place in Dallas. I’m pretty sure I’ll be spending a lot of time here.

They have avocado frozen yogurt! It didn’t actually taste all that avocado-y, but I liked it. Probably because I like all types of frozen yogurt and avocado.

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The pomegranate raspberry sorbet was also quite tart .

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And lastly, udon noodles from…San Francisco Airport!

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Yes, as I type, I’m actually on my way to Hong Kong for my grandfather’s funeral. I’m glad that I have the chance to go back and pay my respects. I am a little worried about the 14 hour flight, though. Wish me luck!

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