24Sep

Why I Love Dallas

The past month has seen more than its fair share of trauma and Dallas, Texas took center stage. We could all use some positivity in our day and a moment to remember Why Dallas Will Always Have My Heart.

This post is part of a broader campaign, an initiative by the Ozarka Brand Natural Spring Water that is asking individuals from across Texas to tell why the love where they love where they live. Having moved to Frisco now one year ago, Dallas still has my soul.

1. Dallas has the best skyline in the world.

Yes, I said it, Best skyline in the world. USA Today agrees here, I’m not the only one. There is just enough light to be beautiful, not enough to be annoying. Buildings have shapes, not just boring blocks. And in the last few years, even the oldest buildings have retrofitted their lights to LEDs that can change color. When cops were shot and killed, the city turned blue. When the Mary Kay convention comes to town, the world is all pink. SMU wins a major game, we go red and blue.

A photo posted by ✨Kris✨?? (@cp_2.0) on

2. Best Places to Clean up on Pokemon Go

For a a lovely day trip hunting down Pokemon, head to uptown. Don’t forget to bring a few water bottles, shameless Ozarka plug here, but seriously – it’s Texas, you need water. It might as well be bottled in Texas from 3 local springs, filtered by our own underground caves for some straight up Texas taste.

Next, park in the West Village parking lot which is free. Proceed to the nearest Starbucks, the safest waiting spot for the McKinney Area Trolley (also free). Jump on the trolley, which is old, filled with history and will be your host for the rest of this adventure. Make sure you have eggs ready to go in their incubators and plenty of free space in the back pack. Because the Trolley rolls at a slower pace, your eggs will work through their kilometers to hatch with no walking on your part. Its uptown & downtown, filled with art and historical markers AKA PokeStops that you will be able to pick up without ever getting off the trolley. And again, trolley goes slow enough you can pick them all up.

For a truly adventurous trip, hop of for local food trucks, the dog park, the kids splash park – All in One – at Klyde Warren Park. Or the Perot Museum. Or the Dallas Museum of Art. Or the Nasher Sculpture Museum. All loaded with Pokemon, people, culture and good times. And when you are done, hop right back on the trolley, make the loop, clean up again, and land at Starbucks to collect your car with hatched eggs, 100+ Pokemon and over 10,000 in Stardust.

The trolley is free, but be kind and add plenty to the tip jar to keep it that way.

3. The Oak Lawn Neighborhood

If you don’t already know, Dallas is a city of neighborhoods. Each one has a unique look, feel and vibe that collects the respective members of it’s tribe to the hearth. Oak Lawn is a place my LGBT friends can hang out and are free to be themselves without ridicule. It’s also a place I could invite friends, family, neighbors and strangers into my 4 story townhouse for FABULOUS dinner parties in the city. They understood my cheese tray. In Frisco, the only cheese that gets eaten outside my family, is the cheddar blocks.

We recently threw a large party for my youngest, Miss Bella, a Frozen Elsa & Anna themed party with a cheese tray. Big hit when I added the Black Garlic & Rosemary Sauce by the Jelly Queens (Also from Texas, but Austin :).

I had put out the Paqui Tortilla chips and queso by the Cookwell Company, but they got eaten so quickly I never got a picture! Because – again – Texas. We love all things even remotely Mexican food.

4. Katy Trail interlinks the city

This is the 2.2-mile trail of trees and brush tucked and hidden right in the middle of the urban jungle. I didn’t even recognize it for so long as I drove right under what looked like an abandoned train bridge daily. Here true athletics sprint right next to the gang of mom’s with strollers, the elderly taking a stroll and all the dogs. Did I mention the Katy Trail Ice House and other yummies parked off to the side? Pure awesome. It’s estimated that three thousand urbanites pound the pavement each day, most especially on the weekends. There are lots of hidden access points, but the best for strollers and parking is by far, Reverchon Park, with stair and ramp access. Again, bring that Ozarka…because Texas is hot.

5. The Dallas Arboretum

Recently, Dallas’s very own Arboretum was named Second Best Garden in the World. Did you catch that? Second best in THE WORLD by Architectural Digest. According to them, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is breathtaking a has honors next to acclaimed gardens like Versailles and Rio de Janeiro. 66 acres of floral paradise (with 30 Pokestops and gyms) and a separate section dedicated to children and learning. The family membership is the best value in Dallas and the most flexible by far. Pack up a wagon for a day trip with lots of water. Ozarka is great but seriously bring water, munchies, a camera, and a picnic basket filled with goodies.

6. The Burbs

As much as I love my city of Dallas, part of what makes Dallas great are it’s wonderfully diverse suburbs. For the most recent Forth of July, we were able to celebrate at the #1 Fireworks show in the country. How Washington DC hasn’t taken that title, I have no idea, but Kaboom Town in Addison steals the show consistently every year – must see. Grab a wagon filled with water, food, blankets and chairs and head out – you’ll appreciate being prepared and not having to schlepp everything around on your back.

A photo posted by Miss Jena (@missjenas) on

Addison isn’t the only treasure hiding in the burbs: great schools, wonderful companies. blue bonnet trails, little leagues, the Hot Air Balloon festival, Car Racetracks, Texas Ranger’s Baseball, Dallas Cowboys who actually reside in Arlington, Frisco Rough Riders…and so much more.

Something I learned about Ozarka that I never knew before being asked to participate in this #FromHereForHere campaign was that Ozarka Delivers! Just like Amazon Prime delivers to your doorstep, so does Ozarka with any and all of their products.

Local Products that were included in the Ozarka #FromHereForHere Texas Box:

Paqui Tortilla Chips:  “better-for-you” tortilla chips and tortillas. Paqui is an Aztec word that means “to be happy.” Paqui sells great tasting tortillas and tortilla chips that are crafted with unbleached, untreated flour, or by stone grinding corn and adding mouth-watering flavors using high-quality ingredients, such as fire-roasted jalapenos, fresh cilantro leaves, buttermilk, pumpkin and other spices and flavors.

Snow’s BBQ SauceTexas Monthly magazine named Snow’s BBQ as the best in Texas! Since that time, the entire staff at Snow’s BBQ has been doing everything possible to keep up with the demand and most important, maintain the quality. With complex Texas flavor, Snow’s Original BBQ Sauce is excellent on any cut of beef, chicken, or pork. It’s just as good as a dipping sauce as it is a marinade or brush-on sauce during the last minutes of grilling.

Yellowbird Sauce’s Habanero SaucesTotally natural, spicy pepper condiments. Made with ♥ in Austin, Tx. These are the most delicious, most versatile, most satisfying condiment that will ever hit your lips! Yellowbird Sauce goes great on tacos, burgers, wings, sushi, pasta, steak, fish, eggs, pizza, soup….anything you can think of!

The Jelly Queen’s Black Garlic Rosemary BBQ Sauce: An award-winning, Dallas and Austin-based artisan food company that makes gourmet jams, jellies, spices, sauces and more. Each product is handmade in small batches using organic and, whenever possible, locally grown Texas ingredients. The Jelly Queens was born out of a love for sustainable food, delicious flavors and words of encouragement.

Taste Elevated’s Sweet & Spicy Mustard Seeds: These little flavor-packed pearls are absolutely addicting. We cook them to make them just tender enough to burst in your mouth. Then we add a little sweet and a little heat. Add them to a charcuterie tray to surprise your guests, use as a condiment–any place you use mustard (you’ll love it on bbq sandwiches and hot dogs), pair with main dishes–terrific with meatloaf, use in homemade vinaigrettes!

Cookwell & Company’s Queso: This Queso con Salsa Escabeche is built around a flavorful blend of cheddar and blue cheeses combined with fire-roasted tomatoes, onions, diced jalapeños, and fresh-squeezed lime juice to create simply the best and authentic queso you can buy. Cookwell & Company is located in the heart of Austin, Texas. These guys wear boots to work and boast three grills and a smoker at their office.

Dallas is my home, What makes your city rock? Let us know in the comments below!

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Jena Apgar, Chief Digital Marketing Warfare Strategist

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