Cover photo for Matt Mayo

Dallas, Little Rock / Oct '23 Update

Matt Mayo
Trip Dates: September 6 - October 9, 2023
Travel route this past month (Bella Vista, AR - Dallas, TX - Little Rock, AR - Eureka Springs, AR

After leaving Bella Vista last month I ended up heading to Dallas, Texas staying at 3 Airbnb's for 3 weeks to check out what it was like.  My journey began in the northwestern part of the metro area in Garland, Texas. I stayed at this Airbnb, located in an older home. It had a private entrance located in the back of the home and a spot in the driveway to park my car. It was designed like a suite with its own bathroom. It was a little different from my previous bnb's, which were normally connected to the main house and have some shared space. This spot was isolated and it felt more like an efficient studio apartment. I also never met the host in person, but he was very communicative via messaging and other than a few mosquitos that got into the space, it worked well for what I needed.

It was triple digits upon my arrival, and after getting a little too much sun the month prior, I decided to focus on some indoor activities until the temps cooled down. After my stay in Garland, I checked into this Airbnb  in Carrolton, Texas, which was a room rental in a modern ranch style home in a suburb just north of Dallas. There I chatted with the host Nathaniel, who was a civil engineer and enjoyed a hybrid schedule. I had brought my Nintendo Switch for entertainment during the times where I was escaping the heat and taking a break from outings. Nathaniel also played on his Switch while I was there, which was nice to hang around another gamer.

Up to this point there was a ton of driving. Dallas as a city and metro area is a lot of driving. It felt like a bigger Phoenix, Arizona. An outing would often take 30 minutes or more 1 way. My next spot and final spot was in the downtown area, where I stayed at this Airbnb. It was a room in a 2 bed 2 bath apartment with a private bath and shared spaces including the entrance. This spot was really convenient due to location and because I was able to park my car in the parking structure and leave it there for the majority of my stay. Here I met the host, Stephen, lively guy, who often joined me for coffee at Ellen's West End location across the street. It was a nice diner where I enjoyed bottomless coffee, oatmeal, and a side of scrambled eggs in the mornings.

I went to quite a few coffee shops in and around Dallas. I also could not leave Texas without some decent barbecue and I found a spot called One90 Smoked Meats. It was a little counter shop, with excellent brisket. The kind that jiggles and melts in your mouth at an affordable price.

The highlight of Dallas was visiting the 6th Floor Museum that memorialized the assassination of JFK. This event cast a shadow on the city of Dallas to the rest of the nation. I also made a less memorable stop at the Dallas World Aquarium, which was setup more like a jungle themed zoo.
Eiland Coffee in Richardson had this amazing breakfast egg sandwich.
Brisket and Brisket Mac from One90 Smoked Meats
Downtown Dallas

Downtown Dallas at Night from the Airbnb
6th Street Museum. The window where Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK
Dallas Aquarium - more like a jungle.

Another highlight during my visit in Texas was this Buc-ees! It's the biggest gas station and convenience store that I have ever seen. Something I had seen on YouTube and wanted to check out. This unplanned stop was a welcome diversion on the way back to Arkansas.
Buc-ees in Royse City, TX
After leaving Dallas I made a one night stop in Little, Rock Arkansas. The highlight of the trip was stopping by Central High School. Known as the most beautiful high school for its time featuring gothic architecture. When I was a kid learning about the segregation and desegregation in the US, I didn't recall the local context and depth that you can learn by going to the adjacent National Park Service Visitor Center. The building continues to serve as a high school so you cannot enter it, so I observed it from the outside. During that visit I realized I was in the south. The line that separated the North from the South during the civil war separated Missouri and Arkansas. Two states that I have started to become intimately familiar.
Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas

My final stop was in Eureka Springs. A small mountain town in Arkansas known for its various hot springs. It reminded me of Hot Springs, Arkansas which I visited a month before. Just smaller.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas