Weekend in Dallas with Caitlin’s Mom & 3 Dogs

31 Mar

allofthedogsZack and I both forgot that a holiday was upon us this past weekend*, but because our beloved Chicago Bulls were playing the Dallas Mavericks and my mom lives just outside of the big city, we felt it’d be a great excuse for a long weekend of family and relaxation. My mom’s family got bigger since we last visited her — instead of just her and my stepdad Scott, they now have two “little ones” in the form of Browndogg and Cinnamon, their sister Airedale terriers.

*Texas Relays weekend! Oh, right. Easter. We bought these basketball tickets in like November, so we didn’t really consider anything except ‘Is this during SXSW?’ 


Zack and I enjoyed our three-plus hour drive up to the big D on Friday morning, stopping (finally!) at the famous Czech Stop for “breakfast” kolaches (Czech stop vine).

Zack ended up going to town, snagging a box of 6 amazing cheesy garlic biscuits to share with me, a pulled pork kolache, and a dessert-type strawberry cream cheese kolache (I saved that one for Saturday night.) I just went straight for a plain cream cheese and a lemon cream cheese, warmed to melty, mouth-watering perfection. I can see why this stop is so popular, and even though the line was long, it moved comparatively quickly and gave us a chance to let Scoobs stretch his legs.*

*This was easily the longest drive we’d ever taken Scooby on and he handled it like a champ, alternating between sticking his wet nose out of each backseat window and hopping up front to hang with us.

When we got up to my mom’s neighborhood, we detoured to a nearby park so that Cinnamon and Browndogg could meet Scooby and then “bring him home” (aka walk home with him and Zack while I drove my car). Everyone got along fairly well from the start, although Browndogg was pretty much nervous around everyone. Cinnamon was immediately excited about having a new friend, but things got a bit out of hand when Scooby actually took her up on her request to play and started chasing her. She snapped at him, feeling afraid for herself, so my mom squirted her with a bit of water* as a corrective measure and all was well again.

*We’re totally getting a spray bottle for Scooby. He really reacted to it and it’s way easier than tugging on his collar when he’s misbehaving.


I have to say, throughout the weekend I was incredibly impressed with how polite Scooby was. He really acted like a different dog, letting the girls feistily fight among themselves while he took the high road. When they got snippy, he just tilted his head up so he wouldn’t make eye contact. He was extra cuddly all weekend, too, which was an added bonus for us. My favorite was Scooby slowly learning how to use the doggy door. Just as I predicted, he didn’t learn how to go through on his own until right before we left. He was a great house-guest.

Vine of Scooby chasing the puppies around the backyard with Zack narrating.

The first night we spitballed grand schemes of a zoo or bowling trip*, but ultimately took it easy, having a late lunch, doing some laundry, watching some TV and playing Sequence, Zack and my new favorite card-meets-board game. I cleaned up that night, winning 2/3 games (Zack won the other one). We watched some Daily Show, and then played some Wii Monopoly**, which Zack thoroughly destroyed all of us on.

*We kept driving by this place called “Shenaniganz” that has glow in the dark bowling, go kartz, a lazer maze, lazer tag and black light mini golf! Next time we have to go. Anything with that many z’s is guaranteed fun. 

**I was being kind of a jackass during the game, telling everyone they were playing poorly by only building one house on their properties and berating anyone who wouldn’t trade with me. Sorry about that. Monopoly brings out the worst in my family. I’m a third generation bad sport at Monopoly.


The next day was the Bulls game, which you can read about here. My mom says that when Zack and I left for the game, Scooby camped out by the front door, sadly waiting for us and fearing we may have left him forever. She says she took him back to our guest room to show him that all of our stuff was still there and we were just gone for an errand, and that cheered him up and she says he was ready to play with the girls after that. He still gave us the warmest reception we’d ever had* when we got back, jumping all over us and was clearly relieved that we were home.

*Said in Buddy Valastro from “Cake Boss” voice.


We headed out to dinner at that point with my mom, Scott, and Scott’s mother Rita*, and made a quick stop at Rita’s new lot just up the road from where my mom lives. She’s building a house there that will be ready in October, so we got to see the location and the model home that is an approximation of what hers is going to be like. I will admit, I was looking around for white chocolate macadamia nut cookies like they used to have at the model house when my family was building our place in San Antonio. No dice**. However, I’m excited for my grandma to get new digs. She’s been through a lot of tough change over the past year. She lost her husband, my grandpa Bill, just about a year ago, as well as three beloved dogs. Now, she’s going to be closer to my mom and Scott, as well as some small-town action, but she’ll still have woods in the back of her house to remind her of her country living.

*Speaking of ‘Ritas, see above.

**We did get latte flavored hard candy though.


We chowed down at Johnny Carino’s and I saved plenty of room* for an amazing turtle cheesecake** to make up for my lack of cookies earlier. Then it was back home and time for some Sequence with my mom and Zack. We each won a round, and then played a tie-breaker that my mom dominated. It was only right that the hostess with the mostest take home the ultimate crown for the weekend.

*She super did. She only ordered the bottomless salad and soup, had light salad dressing on one serving of salad and didn’t touch the soup since it had bacon bits on top.

**Unpopular opinion alert: I think this turtle cheesecake was even more amazing, bite for bite, than the ice cream cake I got Caitlin for her birthday last weekend. It was so rich and delectable, it should be illegal. P.S. how gorgeous does Caitlin look in this dress?! You are the sweetest. But when it comes to dessert, nothing is ever better than DQ ice cream cake.

On Sunday morning, the Easter bunny dropped off chocolate bunnies for Zack and me*, which, even at the age of 26, I thoroughly enjoyed. I had already gorged myself on Easter candy Thursday night while we sat through a heartbreaking IU basketball game at our friends Riley and Bennett’s house. But, as they say, you can never have too much Easter candy.

*I don’t know how the Easter Bunny made it. The weather was insane Sunday morning. I was half awake when I took this vine of the hail after hours of lightning.

My mom, Zack, Scott and I all shared goofy inside-jokey laughs throughout the weekend. We giggled as the pups did silly things, and as we did sillier things. I took a nice evening stroll with my mom and the dogs, and we talked about the future and my career and how I’m slowly learning to live with the risk of mistakes. Zack and I belly-laughed at our dance moves and bent-neck giraffes, and I left feeling recharged and ready to tackle this week.

Then, after Caitlin’s mom and Scott loaded us up with goodies (They couldn’t have been more generous all weekend!) we drove home with the skies clear, the iPod on shuffle and Scooby asleep in the backseat. Such a fun weekend. Thanks for having us, Cathy and Scott (and Browndogg and Cinnamon!)


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