March 25, 2012: Pink Martini

Today is my birthday present day.  Dominica got me tickets to see one of my favourite bands, Pink Martini, play at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in downtown Dallas at the outdoor Annette Strauss Square venue.  We have never been there previously and are really looking forward to the concert.  We’ve had it on our calendars for some time.  This is the first concert that we have seen in a long time.  Probably the first since we saw Allison Kraus play in Rochester.  That was a very long time ago.

We spent the morning working on some light cleaning and a lot of vacation planning.  We had some soul searching discussions about what exactly we are attempting to accomplish and did some hard thinking about where we will realistically be willing to consider living.  Based on that, we have eliminated Bolzano, Italy and Innsbruck, Austria from this trip and will be using the time to instead go to Munich, Germany where we will be spending several days getting to know Bavaria.  We are very close to having a set schedule for our trip now.  There are fewer and fewer days left floating around and most of that float is within a single country.

We did some cleaning today as Dominica’s cousin Ashley and her kids are coming over to babysit this evening while we go out.  So that took an hour or two.  And we had to get ready to go.  Really, between a little cleaning, getting ourselves ready to go out and discussing our travel plans the day was completely eaten up.

Ashley came over before five.  At a little after six, Dominica and I drove to the train station, parked and grabbed the train heading to downtown Dallas.  We are loving that we have figured out this whole train thing.  It is really making living in Carrollton that much better.  It has opened up downtown Dallas to us and makes us feel a lot more like we live in a city like we are used to rather than being completely isolated out in suburbia.  I can see why Plano is such a popular place to live with the train line running up there as well.

The ride downtown was nice and easy.  Very relaxing.  This was Dominica’s first time getting to take the train without having the kids in a stroller so it was a lot more comfortable than what she has done in the past.

We arrived downtown with plenty of time to walk from the Pearl Street Station to the AT&T Performing Arts Center.  That was a trivial walk, maybe two blocks.  We got in, got our tickets printed and got our seats.  I ended up getting really good seats without knowing the venue so that was very fortunate.  It is an open air venue and appears to have been sold out with a ton of people using the lawn seats.

The weather was perfect tonight for a concert in north Texas.  Warm but not hot.  Early spring in Texas is wonderful.  This was an ideal night for an outdoor jazz concert – really could not have been nicer.  Annette Strass Square is really nice for this type of event.

Pink Martini came out and put on a great show.  We had a really good time.  They really know how to put on a live show, extremely entertaining.

After the show we walked back to the Pearl Street Station but we looked at the schedule and knew that we had some time before the train would come so we decided to hoof it all of the way through downtown to the final station in the opposite direction, to West End.  It is surprising just how small downtown Dallas is.  I’d say that the entire length of downtown is not much longer than the length of Wall Street alone in Manhattan.  A short jaunt in NYC would allow you to encircle Dallas more than once.

We got to West End long before the train was going to come so we hit the McDonald’s there, which is absolutely disgusting, and grabbed a quick bite for Dominica for dinner and some sodas to enjoy while we waited for the train.

An uneventful train ride home.  We were back by a little after ten.  A very nice birthday present evening.  We are hoping to get to go see the Gypsy Kings at the same venue pretty soon.

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