Visit Dallas Part 2 – Dealey Plaza and JFK

Day 2 was spent taking it all of the JFK sites in Dallas. The experience was very surreal, and of course started with me flying into Love Field, which is where Kennedy started out that day. It seems really strange to have this be something that you’re “looking forward” to. But, being able to visit all of the John F. Kennedy exhibits was something that I didn’t know would ever happen in my life. I am so glad that it was something I can now check off my list. And if you ever think you would have the opportunity to go, DO IT!

visit my Visit Dallas Part 1 for Downtown Dallas Basics





Dealey Plaza is a really beautiful place, and it is such a shame that it is associated with something so awful in our history. The day was beautiful, probably not that unlike the day JFK was assassinated. I spent a lot of time sitting on the grassy knoll just thinking and taking it all in. 

Road the procession drove down, with Dealey Plaza in the background

Grassy Knoll


one of the things that really struck me the most about seeing this in person was how close it was to the grassy area. I mean, its close guys. These people saw everything. Every horrible detail and that alone was a lot to take in.


So, my take for all you conspiracy theorists….I’m very skeptical. I’ll leave it at that and save it for an upcoming “True Crime Tuesdays” podcast ep.


This museum guys….I wish I could have taken pictures, but it was truly amazing. The only thing that really matches up to it is the Martin Luther King, Jr. and Civil Right Museum we visited in Memphis, Tennessee. I cried a lot and it was especially moving. They did a phenomenal job.



















So, these candles were the candles that Jackie burnt exclusively in the White House. They are from Paris, her favorite place. And her signature scent for the White House was this green candle, which smells like Cypress. It was the one thing I bought for myself (except for the books – see Downtown Dallas post). I’m not sure why but it was just something that I wanted. Smells are such a big deal for me, and are so closely tied to ALL memories. Something about having that same smell in my house makes me happy.


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Visit Dallas Part 1 – Downtown Dallas

While in Dallas, even for a concert when tourism isn’t quite at the top of the list, I wanted to explore as much as I could.  I was so excited to check Dallas off my ‘Major Texas Cities’ Bucket List. Dallas is the third largest city in Texas, behind San Antonio and Houston (Read my Houston Travel Posts here), the fictional home of the Ewing family, and the location of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. And while many might say that the skyline isn’t quite as captivating as the Houston skyline (although I’m sure all my Dallas readers will strongly protest), the Dallas skyline is pretty neat to look at as well. Downtown has its share of unique and historic buildings, which makes an architecture geek like myself quite happy.

Let’s kick off this three-part series with some basics for when you are in the City of Dallas!


Where to eat?

First, you have to go to In and Out, especially if you haven’t been to one. Texans may argue that places like Whataburger are better, but if aren’t planning on making it to the East Coast anytime soon I would recommend it.  My kids, who have now spent most of their lives not in California (shutter) and are more officially East Coasters, compare it to Five Guys. And I’m sure there is somewhere out there who is thinking, “no way!! Five Guys is so much better!!” Well, we respectfully disagree!! If you’ve never had it before, some parts of Texas are about as far west as they come so give it a try. Having not had it in about two years, and being a California Girl. I hadn’t had it in over a year, and this California girl was missing it desperately. So, in case you are headed to Dallas and flying into Love Field, you can take a quick Uber into the city of Dallas and roll right through In and Out. Which I did on my way into the city, and before I headed home too. Call me crazy!



We were in the city for a conference, staying right downtown. We were looking for a comfortable place where we could get some good food, good drinks and a relaxing atmosphere. We chose Press Box Grill for both of our free nights and it was a great place. The fact that it’s in an old historic building (The Wilson Building) and you can catch all the sports you want on one 112inch or 16 other flat screens makes it a great choice for dinner or a drink. Their patio seating in when the weather is warmer is also dog-friendly. The service was fast, the food was good, and the bartender can make a mean mojito! Definitely a “must-see” Dallas spot!


Where to Get your Coffee

Whenever I visit a new city, I always try to hunt down a coffee joint that is local (sorry Starbucks).  I happened upon this place while I was just walking around the city, taking in the sites. It was so yummy!! And I was kind of a fan of the guitar wall. Located in another really cool old building, The Magnolia Hotel, is The Flying Horse Cafe. That building was the tallest west of the Mississippi when it was built, and had the landmark of a Pegasus, the mythical Flying Horse, where the cafe chose to get its name. What I love about the Flying Horse is their commitment to sourcing locally as much as possible. Their coffee is also bought from small farms globally and roasted in small batches in California. They support the local economy and culture by showcasing local artists, creating a unique community within their little cafe. Lots of seating a great place to get some work done.


Make sure you check out Flying Horse Cafe next time you are in Dallas!

Add to your bucket list – see that cool building in the back? They were still in the middle of construction and were set to open soon. I was so bummed that I was going to miss out. It is a Commissary. Like a legit, at the bottom of a department store, 1940s commissary, where employees would get their lunch in those old movies. I about died and am still so bummed out that I didn’t get to try it. So, someone please go and eat there for me!!!

Best Used Book Store

You will literally spend all your money here, so bring another suitcase just for the books.

I did my research before I went and I knew I had to visit Lucky Dog Books. Guys!!! They did not disappoint and I spent a lovely morning perusing the book store. I was thankful for Uber that day because I walked away with a bag full of books. I’m so sad that they are so far away. Thank you Lucky Dog, for making this book lover so happy!

Exploring the City

Spending time walking through a city is always an important aspect of immersing yourself in your travels. I love to get out and stroll down the streets as if it were my own city, looking at the buildings and the different shops and getting a feel for it. I also happened to find myself walking down the same street where the police officers were killed in Dallas, and where the march and riots took place. That was a very surreal thing to realize. And it was lovely to see this sign up as a reminder to thank those that put their lives on the line for us every day.

Many of the older buildings were so beautiful. And the murals!!! Very cool. The culture of Downtown, the old buildings, and cool restaurants are something special to Dallas, and while most cities have all of those things Texas has a little something special.  The downtown area is definitely going through some revitalizing, but the flavor was there, and it is exciting to see all the new shops and restaurants that are opening soon. With an interesting mix of cultures, heritage, new and old, Dallas is working on creating a great place for tourists to come to. Visit the Historic West End and check out the Dallas County Courthouse, which looks like a castle. It was built in the late 1800s out of red sandstone and is now the home to the Old Red Museum, dedicated to local history. The West End is also the location of the JFK museum and Dealy Plaza.


This was one of the monuments and memorials to JFK, and a little sneakpeek of my post that will talk all about the JFK sites that I was able to visit. It was the most emotional part of my trip, and I am so glad that I got to experience it.

Until then, I’ll leave you with this crazy giant eye in the middle of the city. It doesn’t belong to anything in particular. There’s no restaurant, hotel or public park. It’s a strange, privately owned patch of grass with this giant eye in the middle of it.

Stay weird Dallas!!

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New Attractions Come to Baltimore’s Ripley’s Believe it or Not!!

If you’ve never been to a Ripley’s Believe it or Not you are definitely missing out. Mr. Air Force and I have been to several over the years, and across the country. They are some of the coolest museums to visit. We have a Ripley’s in our own backyard, and starting June 19th there are some special exhibits coming that will be the visit that much more cool. Coming soon are the legendary Ripley’s Fertility Statues, which will be on display as part of world tour. The statues will be available to look at and touch!


The statues were hand-carved by the Baule, who live on the Ivory Coast in West Africa and probably date back to the 1930s. In 1993 they made their debut in the Ripley’s Orlando headquarters. The legend started there when within months 13 staffers and office visitors became pregnant. The story sparked the curiosity of many and the Wall Street Journal picked it up in 1995. The statues became an international phenomenon, with women everywhere wanting to see and touch the statues. Now, I’m not sure if I believe in legend of the fertility statues; however, in one of my MOPS groups we had a fertility statute that made the rounds and we all swore by it!! Regardless of whether you believe the legend it’s pretty darn fun!

Ripley’s is making the statues available in the lobby during regular business hours {m-th 10-9pm, Fri 10-10pm and Sun 10-8pm}. There is NO CHARGE to see the statues, but you will need a ticket to tour the rest of the Odditorium.

Not gonna lie, but I think I’ll be giving the statues a rub – Don’t tell Mr. Air Force!!

As a special treat for Cammo Style Love readers I have a discount for you!
Come see over 15,000 sq feet of weird and crazy stuff! There’s a marvelous mirror maze and a 
4D movie theater as well! So buy two attractions and get the third one free by clicking here, and entering 
the code USFAM
*this post is part of a my partnership with UsFamilyGuide Mom Bloggers. I was compensated for my post, but I picked it
because I love Ripley’s!! My thoughts and opinions are my own, as always.

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5 Tips for Being a Tourist with Kids

 Let’s be honest…traveling with kids can be quite an experience, but more often then not when you are creating a family trip you do with children in mind.  Whether that be to Disneyland or another theme park, or maybe even a camping or beach trip, usually you have your children in mind and you are staying within that one location.  But what if you want to be a tourist?  Or maybe you have family coming into your town and you will be serving as their tour guide.  How do you do that with kids?  Walking around for hours staring at landmarks or going through museums might not be the ideal situation for children under a certain age.  For us, living in a location where people want to visit (and not just because of us) is pretty cool.  It not only gives us the opportunity to really SEE our city, but have our children experience it as well.  So how do we keep our kids busy and involved on our many tourist visits?

1. Keep them actively engaged!
If you happen to be visiting anything associated with the National Parks they have what is called The Junior Ranger program.  I remember going through the Junior Ranger Program and it can be lots of fun.  You can morph the program to fit your needs, ranging from tons of involvement from you, to self-guided for older kids.  The programs include simple booklets for kids to fill out and turn in for a patch or pin, or actual events run by park rangers.  If it’s a place your children have been before have them help you be the tour guide.  My oldest loves to tell people all about the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.  You’d be surprised at what they might be able to tell you.

acting out a scene for the Washington Times at Madame Tussauds, DC

2. Get them a camera
Pick up a disposable camera or let them use a phone or other point and shoot.  Yes, they do make disposable cameras still and my kids love them.  Have them take pictures from their own perspectives.  Bring them out once an hour or so if you know you are going to be out.  Its a great distraction for your kids and an opportunity to engage them in whats going on around them.

3. Pencil and Paper
This is one of my simplest tips and tricks for traveling with children.  We try to refrain from technology with them if possible.  It’s not a need, it’s a want.  This last week we were out in DC for at least five hours and not once did we take out technology for any of them.  At their antsiest times we pull out that pad of paper and pencil/pen and they are quite content.  We let them go to Michael’s/Target dollar bins and pick out their own little notebooks.  We take these with us everywhere, car trips, restaurants or any other time we might be waiting for a long time.

4. Snacks
This might seem like a no-brainer, but I’ll just include it.  When we are walking around for long periods of time we tend to snack a lot.  We often don’t eat regular meals when we are out like that, and we usually pack a lot.  Pack hearty foods like granola bars, but easy to eat foods like fruit snacks or go-gurts are good ideas as well.  I make use of the ziploc snack bags when we are on trips like this.  They are easy to hold and fit the perfect amount of food in them.  We also keep in mind hydration, bring more then you think you need and we always pack juice because I know that I tend to feel like I have low-blood sugar on trips like this.  A little juice goes a long way.

5. Just Have Fun
Surprisingly enough this can be hard for me.  Sometimes it can be overwhelming to travel with three kids and I let life pass me by freaking out with the kids over silly things.  You’re making memories, even though they might not be ones they will remember, they are memories none the less.  To see the looks of awe and wonder on my kids faces when they see really neat things, or when they really begin to understand what it is they are looking at is priceless!

inside the Washington Monument the Week it opened!  The best day
of my Seven Year Old’s life! 

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Rewing 365 – January 31st

WELCOME TO REWIND 365!  Today, a year ago, we were driving around DC for the first time, snapping pics, taking in the sights and sounds!  I loved every second of it.  It was that day that I realized how close we were to everything and how weird it felt when it hit me.  As were were driving into the city we had to drive by the Pentagon.  Its right there, like literally right next to the freeway.  At first we were like, “what is that?” and then when the realization hit us both we couldn’t believe it.  Everything feels so small to me still.  I don’t know if its because I”m an adult and not a kid, or its partially the fact that there are no tall buildings, and so many of the buildings have been there forever, when things were just smaller.  It really doesn’t feel like a city to me, it feels like a small town.  I know that is so weird, but its true.  It doesn’t feel as overwhelming and scary as I would have imagined.

Every Thursday come join us in ‘Rewind 365’!
It can be something you posted on your blog a year ago, a memory, a photo or even a video taken  a year ago!
This is what was going on with me a year ago:
So What Happened With You A Year Ago Today?Join in and “Rewind 365” days and tell us what you were up to A Year Ago Today!
It’s all simple:
1.Your hosts: Mommy Only Has Two Hands, and Rheanna from Cammo Style Love (We will read your posts) 2. Tweet3. Create a Post with a picture, a memory, or even a previous blog post from 1 year ago, make sure you include our button so we have more people joining every week. (You can put this in your side bar if you don’t want to put it in your post.

4. Link your post up on the linky below so we can all check it out. 5. And the most important thing:


Grab the code for your own post:get the InLinkz code

Washington Monument from afar
Part of the State Department
Center for Peace
The Kennedy Center
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