Travel – Dallas/Austin, Texas

Dallas, Texas – Everything is bigger in Texas! A statement I found to be actually true. From the food servings, to homes, and more! Texas is a huge state and there are so many cities to explore. For this trip, I was able to visit both Dallas and Austin to see what they had to offer…

Travel Tips

  • Fly into Love Field instead of DFW. If you’re going to Dallas it’s actually a lot closer to fly into Love Field airport than DFW.
  • Rent a car since a lot of things are fairly spread out. It’ll be easy and cheaper to get around. Note that traffic can get bad during the day and freeways can get confusing.
  • If driving isn’t for you there are buses you can take and even the free M-Line that takes you from downtown to uptown.
  • Prepare for either heat or rain depending on what month you’re going.

Places to Visit as a Tourist

  • Sixth Floor Museum (John F. Kennedy) – Famous museum that takes you through the historical event that took place in this city.
  • Dallas Museum of Art – Large museum with many different exhibits. Check their event calendar as some nights are open late with different events.
  • Uptown, Dallas – Lots of shopping, food, and nightlife.
  • Bishop Arts District – Smalls shops, lots of murals, and really good pie shop in this area.
  • Deep Ellum – Neighborhood for late-night drinks, eats, and music. Lots of bars and dinner spots.
  • Reunion Tower – Observation deck giving you a view of the city.
  • Spa Castle – Pay an entry fee and treat yourself to a day at the huge Korean spa.

The Food

You can’t go to Texas without having BBQ!

  • Ferris Wheelers Backyard & BBQ – Great taste of Texas BBQ without the crazy lines! There is also a backyard area that is well decorated with an outdoor bar. Come take a picture at the “Welcome to Texas” sign also!
  • Pie Emporium – Small pie shop in Bishop Arts District that has some of the best pie in the city.
  • Pecan Lodge – Rated as one of the best BBQ spots in Dallas. The lines here are ridiculously long so I didn’t get to try it myself but according to reviews this is worth it!
  • The Rustic – Great brunch here. Huge portions, lots of variety, and great taste!
  • Farmers Market, Dallas – Lots of small shops within the farmers market as well as various restaurant stalls you can try.
  • Whataburger – The locals love this as their go-to burger joint. Coming from California this is the equivalent of their In n Out? You can find these all over the place.

Mat Surfing

  • Tip for “Mat Surfing” is to always call or contact the school ahead of time to see if you are even allowed to take a drop-in class or come by for an open mat session.

No trip is complete without some training. After indulging in BBQ, the huge breakfasts, and desserts it was time for me to roll if off. For this trip, I visited the Marcelo Garcia affiliate in Dallas, TX. The school is located at 4219 Bryan St, Dallas, TX 75204. On the side of the building you can find a couple parking spots if not you can park on the street.

Academy Entrance

The school is run and owned by Rob Ables. A 3rd degree black belt under Marcelo Garcia. Before arriving, I contacted him through the academy’s page on Facebook about dropping in to train. Once I arrived, I signed a waiver and then went off to change in the changing room setup at the back of the academy.

Professor Rob Ables

We started off by stretching out on our own then did a few rolls to get the blood flowing. The focus of the class was shoulder locks and chokes. Professor Ables demonstrated a few techniques and even one technique that wasn’t considered “IBJJF legal”. The class was no-gi which isn’t my specialty since I always work in a gi but I definitely picked up a lot of good tricks I brought back home to Cali.

Juan and Eddie

The class for the day since it was early wasn’t too large. I got to train with Eddie and Juan, two really talented guys with great technique and power. After a few rounds, I thanked Professor Ables for having me and I connected with him and some of the students of social media.

*Bonus* Austin, TX!!!

As a side trip, I also traveled to Austin, TX since it’s now considered an up and coming city in Texas. The city has a similar vibe to Los Angeles or other big cities. You can’t really tell that you’re in Texas since Austin is a mix of so many different cultures. I didn’t get to spend too many days there but below are a list of a few places worth checking out:

  • Check out the State Capitol
  • Visit the campus of the University of Texas at Austin
  • Go take some pictures at Graffiti Park
  • Spend a Friday or Saturday night at the bars on 6th Street
  • Photo Ops at all the different art spots in Austin such as the “I Love You So Much” wall
  • Eat at Black’s BBQ where it’s cafeteria style
  • Grab a cupcake from Hey Cupcake!
  • Halcyon for drinks, coffee, or in-door s’mores
  • Visit the original Whole Foods market
  • Find yourself in music shops combined with juice bars
  • Go two-stepping at The White Horse


S’Mores Indoors
Art from one of Austin’s Exhibits
Cowboy Boots for Days
Texas BBQ!!!
Graffiti Park
Bishop Arts District
Two-Stepping at White Horse
Brunch at The Rustic
Tourist Selfie with Horses
Welcome to Austin
Healing the Body
Spa Day in Dallas
Totally Worth a Visit to Spa Castle
Buckee’s Huge Gas Station
Pie Emporium
Getting Around Town
Famous Eyeball of Dallas
Smoothies and Vinyl
Ferris Wheeler Backyard & BBQ
Texas Tea
Dallas Love Field


Overall a very fun place to visit. I have to admit at first I was expecting just square dancing, BBQ, and cowboys but that’s only a small part of it. Texas definitely has a lot to offer! The culture is unique and diverse at the same time. Definitely will visit again but maybe Houston or San Antonio next time.

Dallas, Texas – February 2018

– BJJBug

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