Dear Kid,

I am on my way to Dallas.

Dallas, Texas, that is. Turns out there are 5 or 6 (depending on which website you check) cities in other states with the name Dallas, not to mention a few counties, and at least one very important guiding eyes dog.

Dallas is the 9th largest city in the US. It was once part of Mexico, and then from 1836 to 1846 it was part of the sovereign country the Republic of Texas. Mostly it’s part of the state of sports (primarily football, but we’ll get to that), We Do Things Big Here, and weird stuff.

It is illegal to modify the weather in Dallas unless you warn residents via local newspaper. It is also illegal to fish using electric shock.

We’ll be flying in to the DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth) airport which is bigger than Manhattan Island and may or may not be home to the world’s largest parking lot. We will not be sprinting from the gate to the car rental and we will allow plenty of time to hike to the gate on our way home Friday.

German chocolate cake was invented by Sam German of Baker’s Chocolate Company. The recipe first appeared in the Dallas Morning Star in 1957. The cake is named after the inventor not the country.

Dallas was founded in 1839, by John Neely Bryan, a lawyer from Tennessee, who wandered into the area and decided to start a metropolis (20 streets).

At the State Fair of Texas (also known by me as the Fried State Fair) you can purchase fried beer, fried Coke, and fried Cadbury Creme Eggs. There is a 52 foot Big Tex statue at the entrance of the fair. Makes you want to buy a ticket right now, doesn’t it?

Dallas is known for oil, although there aren’t any oil wells in the city.

Dallas has a zoo which was founded in 1888 with two mountain lions and two deer. It’s a lot bigger now (both the city and the zoo).

According to Fortune magazine’s marketing research, more popcorn is consumed in Dallas-Fort Worth than anywhere else.

Dallas is known for invention and industry (in addition to oil). The frozen margarita machine was invented there (it was a repurposed soft ice cream machine), the integrated circuit computer chip was invented there (not frozen), and the ATM was invented there by someone who was tired of waiting in bank lines. Clearly, the modern world would not be possible without Dallas.

A piece of cake from President Wilson’s daughter’s wedding is built into the Woodrow Wilson High School’s cornerstone.

Where there is oil and margaritas, there is shopping, and Dallas has a lot (and by “a lot” I mean more places to shop per capita than anywhere else in the world). The first planned shopping center in America was developed in Dallas in 1931. At one end of the shopping scale, 7-Eleven was founded in Dallas; at the other end, Neiman Marcus opened there.

The Dallas Cowboys were originally known as the Dallas Steers. The name was quickly changed, however, when the team’s general manager decided he didn’t want a castrated mascot.

And sports. Texas sports. Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Hams (the original name of the professional baseball team), Dallas Stars (hockey), Texas Rangers, FC Dallas (soccer), and countless minor league/college/high school/club/misc teams. Lots and lots of sports. But mostly football.

And for the next few days, me.

Love, Mom