One of our other reasons for wanting to come to Hope Spoken was because we knew Libby Ryder would be in attendance. Sar and I discovered Libby's blog Don't Waste Your Cancer back in 2010 and read it religiously. Libby started writing after diagnosis with cancer and chronicled her whole story. It was a story of hope and healing and vulnerability and community. Libby's husband worked for YL and her daughter Ava was adorable. We thought Libby was awesome and just knew we'd be friends with her if we ever met.
A couple years later I randomly met Libby's friend Jen at a Work Crew Training Weekend in KY. I actually told Jen she looked like a blogger I followed named Libby and I was surprised when she told me they were actually really great friends. This upcoming summer Sar and her husband Ben will be on YL assignment at Timber Wolf Lake with Libby and Justin.
Libby and Jen were both here at Hope Spoken with their best friends Cory and Rachel. We introduced ourselves on Friday night and all of our connections didn't come off as too stalkery or weird. We got to talk and hang out with these four through out the weekend and they're all just as sweet and awesome as we thought they would be.
We also befriended this funny duo, Rebecca and Katy. These 26 year old friends are from Texas and were incredibly outgoing and friendly. They gave us some ideas of where to explore in Dallas and Rebecca gave us the most awkward ice breaker questions ever, "What's your favorite sin? What's your second favorite religion?"
Who knows when we'll see all of these people again, but we all follow each other on Instagram now so you know the friendships are legit.
When Sar and I booked our flights months ago we thought it would be a brilliant idea to stay an extra day in TX. If we were flying all the way out here we ought to at least explore Dallas before heading back home to the Midwest. Unfortunately we failed to realize that the only thing close to our hotel would be a Denny's, the whole city is incredibly spread out and you have to take a taxi to get anywhere. We decided to make the best of our TX adventure and take a cab to an area called Uptown.
1. Based off of Rebecca's recommendation we ate pizza at Union Bear for lunch.
2. We found the free trolley and rode downtown.
3. We got off at Klyde Warren Park which was bursting with people. They had these cool carts full of books and newspapers and games just to borrow.
There was a playground swarming with children and a row of food trucks offering everything from sushi to snow cones.
We people watched everywhere but dog watching at the park was one of the most entertaining parts.
4. We visited the Dallas Museum of Art because it was free... and because art is cool. I think I need to get a pair of those heels for when I go back to school next week.
The "Creative Connections" part of the museum was easily the coolest spot. I got to make quilt patterns with felt pieces, kids were drawing their own art on clipboards, there were several displays where people added their own responses and a whole art exchange wall.
5. We accidentally road the trolley on it's entire loop and ended up pack at the park again.
6. These people were too awesome to not take a picture with them. I wish I could borrow their outfits for an opening campfire at Tecumseh or to a Young Life Club.
7. We got snacks at one of the food trucks, ice cream cookie sandwiches. Chocolate chocolate chip cookies with vanilla bean for Sar and oatmeal cookies with strawberry for me.
8. Back in Uptown the only store still open was the Gap and they happened to be having a 40% off everything sale. One of the most magical moments of the day, we both found a few things we just had to have at unbelievable prices.
9. We found a cool restaurant for dinner and sat out on the patio with our sandwiches, fries and Diet Coke. Perfect end to our exploring day.
10. Back at the hotel I got to watch Nashville and Sar blog stalked before we went to bed. We didn't know what we would do all day long but we think we filled it pretty well.