The day the 2014 UCLA football schedule was set in stone, my mom called me with a little bit of excitement. “Did you see which game is on my birthday weekend? Let’s go!” Our previous mother-daughter UCLA football trip had been to Notre Dame, so it just seemed fitting that our next trip would involve the shrine to football known as “AT&T Stadium” … and off to Dallas we went!
While we stayed in downtown Dallas (which… was not as big as it was in my memory of the TV-intro theme song) we decided to make the most of the trip with some tourist fun as well as spending Saturday at the game!
After driving our Fiat 500-L from the airport to the Dallas Fairmont (btw… don’t even THINK about buying that vehicle… ever), we had lunch at Twisted Root Burger Co. in Deep Ellum thanks to the great suggestion from Brooke. Then we checked in, unpacked, and then headed to the Dallas Museum of Art for their late night Thursday hours.
It amazes me how much more I like museums at night… perhaps because there’s usually music and lots of other people? Either way, it was a great museum that was steps away from our hotel and free!
On Friday, we drove about 35 minutes over to Fort Worth and visited the stockyards and downtown.
We watched the morning longhorn cattle drive through the streets near the stockyards. I see them at the State Fair each year, but to see them just meandering through the streets is definitely fun, and they truly are just beautiful animals.
And… I made my mom hop on a longhorn for, what is by far, the best $5 tourist-trap photo-op I’ve ever experienced! You might be able to see the fear in her eyes… but if it wasn’t her birthday that day, I’m not quite sure this photo would have happened!
That afternoon, due to the rain, we headed indoors again but this time to the George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum. In addition to the archives and library, they also had an Oscar de la Renta exhibit filled with fashions worn by the first ladies and many celebrities as well. Afterwards, on the advice of my good friend Meagan (who went to SMU), we indulged in some frozen custard at Wild About Harrys.
And then it was FINALLY gameday! We spent our Saturday morning with a cup of coffee as we wandered down to the “grassy knoll” and then grabbed an Uber ride to the Dallas Zoo… as the rain had spoiled our plans to visit the Fort Worth Zoo the day before. We strolled around the entire zoo and got in our exercise, before heading back to the hotel to get dressed in blue and drive on out to Arlington.
And then… there was the whole reason we came. The UCLA v. Texas football game!
I can now say, without a doubt, that AT&T stadium is a true shrine to football. It’s beautiful inside and out, and everything about it was wonderful. We parked with ease just steps away from the stadium (for $45), dealt with all the bag searching and ticket scanning as you enter the perimeter of the stadium so you just walked in/out of the building as you wanted, and enjoyed the Bruin Bash tailgate right out the western entrance!
But… things might also just look really nice when you end up winning the game! (That said… I still adore Notre Dame and we lost that game in spectacular fashion)
We chose to wait out the parking lot traffic by enjoying the pop-up nightclub outside the stadium with a few thousand other UCLA fans who were doing the same thing. Then we braved the 1am traffic back to the hotel, only run into new friends that we had just made from the game in the lobby of the hotel along with old friends from around the block of my childhood home. And when I flipped through Facebook and Instagram that night to see how many other people I hadn’t run into, it was another opportunity to realize just how fun it is to be Bruin.
And the weekend was all thanks to my crazy mom, who has become, for better or worse, about 1000x the UCLA fan I’ll ever be. Happy birthday mom!