A couple of weeks ago, Bart had training for work up in Dallas. Training in a different (but not too far) city means two things: a free hotel room and reimbursement for car mileage.

Obviously, Ella and I went along.

Happily, some dear friends from Boston moved to Dallas this summer, so we went straight to their house on Sunday afternoon (we left Austin directly from church and Ella slept for the first two hours of the drive and then was very pleasant for the last ninety minutes of the trip). We had a terrific dinner and Ella fell all over herself, playing with new toys.

We stayed at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Dallas and it was very nice. The big selling feature for me was the closet that was just wide enough to fit the portable crib inside (truly, if it’d been one inch narrower, the crib wouldn’t have opened). It was a lifesaver to stick Ella in bed, crank up the sound machine, and close the door at night and for her naps. Let me tell you, I prayed for a closet like that the whole way up to Dallas, miserably imaging five days of trying make my baby sleep in the bathroom and wondering how I would deal with having no access to said bathroom for 12 hours a night, beginning at seven in the evening.

Closet aside, the Fairmont was very lovely, and you would have thought the staff had never seen a baby before. By the end of the week, nearly every bellhop and concierge knew Ella’s name, were pulling out bubbles and other little toys when she came by, and would stop to talk to her. One man, the second morning we were there, rushed by and the stopped and said, “Yesterday afternoon, the entire executive board wouldn’t stop talking about how cute your baby is. It took up the first five minutes of our meeting.” Oh, Fairmont. You’ve made me a fan for life.

While Bart was in training all day, Ella and I enjoyed getting to know Dallas a little better. We visited the Arboretum ($1 days in August! Probably because it was so hot – we fortunately went on a day where it’d rained for a bit in the morning, so it was reasonably cool).

We checked out the children’s section of the Dallas Public Library which is very very nice.


The Fountain Place next door to our hotel provided endless entertainment and shade.

We had picnics on the floor of our hotel room (you may notice that someone didn’t want to wait until I was done taking a picture of my nicely arranged tray).

There was some brain-rotting with TV (hardly. Ella mainly just LOVED playing in the pillows and throwing the remote on the ground. Happily, she had no idea what the remote was really meant for).

And the three of us went out for dinner every night.

There was also swimming, lots of elevator rides, picking up rocks on the garden level, and petting the stone turtle in the lobby. Really, what more could you ask for in a vacation?

It was a fun week and nice of Bart’s job to pay nearly the entire thing (minus seventy five cents to park at the library). And now I’ve seen more than the freeway in Dallas.

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  • Reply Merrick September 13, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    That library looks awesome!

  • Reply lifeofadoctorswife September 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Sounds like such a nice little vacation! Love the pictures – your little one is so active! (And cute as always.)

  • Reply Saskia September 13, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    wow, she's getting so big! And as cute as ever.

  • Reply Creole Wisdom September 13, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    I'm so glad you had a nice time! That big chalk board at the library is neat 🙂 And Ella is a doll, so I can understand the fawning.

  • Reply Lisa September 13, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    She's so adorable. I love the ruffled bottom in the library photo. We just debated putting LE to sleep in the bathroom, fortunately, we have two bathrooms.

  • Reply Chrissie September 13, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Ella is seriously adorable. No wonder the staff loved her! Also, she's getting so big!

  • Reply Rhiannon September 13, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    I have actually stayed at the Fairmont in Dallas! It was delightful and my room was gigantic.

  • Reply RA September 13, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Ooh, funnn! I loved Fountain Place when I went to Dallas for work a couple of years ago.

    Did you get to see any of the JFK assassination stuff? Morbid, but fascinating.

  • Reply Jenny September 13, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Fun, fun. The fountain looks like a child's dream. And I'm all for eating out on vacation.

  • Reply Packrat September 13, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Glad you had a great time. Of course everyone thought Miss Ella was cute. 🙂 Oh, and Ella will grow up to tell everyone that you made her sleep in the closet. LOL

    Just think, if you home school you will always be free to travel with Bart.

  • Reply ellen September 13, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    By any chance was it my cousin that you saw in Dallas?!?

  • Reply heidikins September 13, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Yay! I love this!


  • Reply Mia September 14, 2011 at 2:22 am

    I just moved to Dallas… I'm loving how much there is to do! So glad you enjoyed yourselves! Any restaurant recommendations?

  • Reply Tiffany September 14, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    That library looks like so much fun!

    Happy birthday, by the way! =)

  • Reply Heather September 14, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    It's so funny to see how similar our lives are. I remember doing trips like this with Rick – T & I could tag along because hotel and food were paid for. The absolute best moment of our trip to Yosemite was discovering the pack and play could just barely open in the closet! Glad you had a ball in Dallas.

    And more importantly, happy birthday to a wonderful woman!

  • Reply Noelle September 14, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Looks like an awesome trip! I love the picnic platter idea 🙂

    Have a very very happy birthday!

  • Reply Jenni September 14, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Happy Birthday!! My hubby's was yesterday, so we're in birthday mode at our house too! Love that you got to visit Dallas–we moved here 4 years ago and are still finding new places to go. The Arboretum is my current favorite.

  • Reply Saskia September 14, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Happy birthday! (I'm following Kayla's instructions here 😉

  • Reply myblackfriendsays September 14, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Happy birthday, Janssen! What a good friend you must be to have someone sing your praises like that (:

  • Reply allie September 15, 2011 at 1:05 am

    Looks like a fun trip! Your daughter is adorable, I can see how she developed a fan club while on vacation 🙂 Hope you've had a great birthday!

  • Reply Packrat September 15, 2011 at 1:28 am

    Happy birthday! Hope you are having a wonderful day.

  • Reply Kate September 15, 2011 at 3:44 am

    I'm still getting to know this Bloggy world and all the lovelies in it, but I gathered from a little bird named Kayla that it is your birthday. You demonstrate such positivity and zest for life, I hope today you had nothing but smiles and joy in you day of celebration! All best for your birthday!

  • Reply Domestic Artisan September 15, 2011 at 5:31 am

    Happy birthday! Hope it's great : ) Kayla sent me : )

  • Reply Michelle September 30, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    There is just too much cuteness for words in this post! Looks like everyone (most especially Ella) had a great trip.

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