Birthday road trip…Dallas 7.2007



FOUR WOMEN.........


July 27 - 31st, 2007


Mona and I have been planning, discussing and lying about this trip for the past couple of months. 

Sherri's birthday is July 29th and Jill's birthday is July 31st....this is an important part of this's

the reason for this very special road trip.

Mona, Sherri and I left KC on Saturday morning, heading south to Dallas Texas...where Jill lives.

We arrived about 5:30 pm at our hotel. 

Mona asked Sherri to go with her to choose some bottles of wine and about 5 seconds after they left, I started decorating the room.

Mona kept Sherri gone just long when they came back,

we surprised Sherri with a room that shouted "happy birthday and we're ready to party!"


she was very surprised!

so after that, the three of us sat down and toasted the beginnings to a wonderful trip.

Mona and Jill had been emailing each other over the past couple of weeks regarding this trip. 

Mona had told Jill she was coming to Dallas on a business trip, but would like to get together with her on Sunday and do some shopping.

We also included Greg, Jill's husband, in on the surprise.  So, following a glass of wine, Mona called Jill, left the message that she was in town

and invited Jill and Greg to stop by the hotel tonight.  Sherri and I would then jump out surprise Jill....that was Plan A.

But, the best laid plans,.,...well, it just works best to be flexible....Jill called and asked Mona to meet her at the Starbucks across the street from the hotel. 

So the three of us rushed over to Starbucks, ducking down in the back seat so we wouldn't be spotted by Jill and Greg, and at the same time, forming Plan B.

Sherri and I tucked ourselves in the women's bathroom.  In pure 007 style, Mona and I were connected by cell phone and had a code word set up to let us know when to

(finally) come out of the bathroom......and then it happened.....after a brief hug between Mona and Jill, Sherri and I appeared on the scene complete with "happy birthday"

and "surprise" banners and birthday horns!   It was sooooo great.....just perfect.  Jill was so surprised.


 And the night was just beginning.  We informed Jill that we had a hotel suite and were "kidnapping" her.  Then we headed to Plano....for another surprise.

I had found this German Biergarten on the internet that featured a German band, including an accordion (Sherri plays and has performed in theatre in the park with

her accordion).  So after we were seated, we told them it was her birthday and of her talents with this particular instrument.

The next thing we knew, they were playing Happy Birthday and everyone in the place was singing.  AND THEN IT GOT SO MUCH BETTER........

they invited Sherri to PLAY a tune with them......AND SHE DID!!!  We were all so impressed.  It was wild and she was great.


The beer was really great too.

After we left the German place, we headed back to the hotel.  Now being kidnapped, Jill didn't have any "overnight" stuff with her....

but Jill is known for packing light even when she has the opportunity.


We started the morning at a famous Dallas breakfast spot..."Ham and Eggs" ....look at the size of Sherri's was freakin' huge!

Then we headed off to one of our favorite places to shop "IKEA".  It's always so much fun to go there.  After about three hours of shopping, we went to eat lunch at

a really good Mexican restaurant "Mi Cocina"...mmm...we know where to go to eat good food.


Mona and Jill LOVE tea....this is a tea shop we were all visiting.

This was Jill's BIG present to herself for her's a super-cool "wallet" that will hold her passport and other documents as she travels the world

(let's just say that this purchase makes Sherri's, Mona's and my purchases seem like bargains!)

Mona was shopping for a new pair of sunglasses and really wanted all of our spite of our good taste...she has yet to find the right pair.

We swung by Jill's house to tour some new redecorating projects she's been working on and to say hi to her family;

Greg (the spouse), Max 19, and Jake, soon to be 17. (Zak, her oldest, was not at home).

The three "amigos" sang a wonderful rendition of "Happy Birthday" to was a hoot! 

So, since a couple of hours had past, we hit another restaurant....the Macaroni Grill.. 

We originally were only going for dessert...but changed our minds fairly quickly.  We ordered two types of Sangria Martinis...they were yummy.

After the drinks and some appetizers, we ordered dessert:  tiramisu, apple tart and complimentary chocolate cake. 

All were wonderful!

In true "Sunday night" style, the four of us went to Borders to look through books (we always need more).

So we called it a night.

Jill had decided to spend the night at her house in preparation for Jake, her youngest son's 17th birthday, which is tomorrow.

But she'll be back at the hotel with us on Monday night, so she went ahead and left all of her travel stuff.

Mona, Sherri and I headed back to the hotel.  Still looking for one last bit of entertainment, Sherri decided to use one of her birthday surprises..

a magic towel.  So as not to short-change you readers, I've included detailed photos of the fun.


 Step #1   unwrap from plastic;    Step #2  drop in water

(we were hoping for some type of fantastic explosion or something, but instead we got)....

 Step #3    this cute little wash cloth.

It was late, so we finally turned in.

It's been such a perfect trip....we have laughed so hard and so much!  And there's so much more to come........


The photo below is of Jill and Mona modeling their new purses....see they match....just different colors!  (They both have great taste)

 We started our day by shopping at Sam Moon, which is famous for their knock-off purses and jewelry.

We didn't do as much damage as in previous trips to Dallas, but it's always so much fun to go there and shop.

After I had been sooooo good and not purchased too much, but then one of the sales clerks grabbed me and put this "fake hair" in my hair.....

and I loved it!


and so I bought it!

We then went to lunch at Taco Cabana....a place we always eat at when we visit Dallas. (We all GO THERE because

Mona threatens to go and eat by herself if we don't go with her!)

We all then went to Barnes and Noble (we still need MORE books) and then went to a cute little

downtown shopping area in Grapevine.  Jill left us there and went to celebrate Jakes birthday and the three of us were on our own.

We decided it was time to buy Jill that very special, one of a kind, super unique and really cool birthday gift.

These were our choices......but then.....we had an accident.

Not pictured here was the wire whisk, complete with the stupid looking lady sitting on top of it. 

Mona had positioned it in between the graters for this very photo,

and the suicidal whisk jumped off the shelf and knocked her head off.  The three of us just looked around....nobody moved.....the paramedics didn't come to help.

So Mona, being the most ethical of the three of us, carried the dead-whisk around the store and was ready to do-the-right-thing and pay for it.

But first.....we all tried on Crocs...all the different styles and colors they had. 

Mona paid for the dead-but-now-perfect gift and a new pair of Crocs; Sherri got a pair too.  Then we continued down the street to do more shopping,

but hopefully no more breaking. As we already had the perfect gift for Jill, we didn't need another one...but they kept presenting themselves at every store.

We thought she might really like this super great funnel; but we didn't buy it for her.....we already had the decapitated whisk.

The three of us had bought new shoes...can you guess who's foot belongs to what shoes?

Sherri reading her new book, with her new mug and her new reading glasses...very relaxed!

What a fitting book for reading while traveling.


Mona bought a new funky bag for her computer...and shoes...and jewelry...and shawls.....purses......and a headless whisk.

Mona, Sherri and Jill and I bought shawls at Sam Moon (Sherri is modeling Mona's second shawl)

Sherri modeling her new crystal ankle bracelet and her bright pink toenails....she had time to give herself a pedicure this morning. 

Jill with all of her light.....some jewelry....two shawls...and a glass nail file

After our day of shopping, the three of us went back to the hotel and made snacks....and drinks.  Mona looks soooo happy in the kitchen....

Sherri and I are sooo happy NOT being in the kitchen.

Here was the great spread we enjoyed: French bread, peppered crackers, grapes, veggies, assorted nuts and dried fruits, olive oil and pepper,

lots of cheeses and lots of sangria.  yummmy!


 Mona is famous (to her family and friends anyway) for her game-playing.  She has an amazing assortment of games.

This was Sherri reading instructions to Mona for our new game "TYPO".

(photo on the right....Mona asking a question...but Sherri doesn't like to be interrupted.)


Here is Mona, after her third Sangria....modeling her shawl in a whole new fashion.

Doesn't she look wonderful and very happy?

Jill, hopping from one birthday party to another, I'm sure was maybe anticipating some cool gifts.....but's what she got....


This is a one-of-a-kind, elvis-style marker on velvet (well, it's not really even velvet) picture frame with all of us pictured in it...

(we know she won't EVER want to forget us; especially after THESE gifts!)

Jill had confided in us earlier that she really LOVES Mont Blanc pens....well we tried to find something similar

This bright pink one, although very FAT and we know she likes the skinny ones, is a

"MONTY BLANK".....we think she'll get used to it and come to love it just like her Mont Blanc pen

(see doesn't she look like she loves it?)

Then....came the best gift of all....the headless whisk.

She was sooo amazed...she didn't know quite what to say or how to respond to such a treasure.

Once the story was told, she was busting up laughing, just like the three of us have been doing ALL day....

it doesn't take a lot to entertain us (see the previous story about the magic wash cloth)

We had great intentions of celebrating Jill's birthday, with these goodies from a nearby French bakery....see....

don't they look great?

But since it's near seems like all any of us can do is to LOOK at the goodies (it may have something

to do with the fact we've been non stop eating for the past 72 hours, or we've been

marathon shopping for the past 72 hours, or our stomachs can't handle any more food because of the

amount of laughing we've been doing over the past 72 hours....

Now some of us have been working on this web site, and some of us are currently sitting here making fun of the ONE who is

doing ALL the work....we're all a little punchy...although I don't know why Jill is....she hasn't had anything to drink.

It must be her age.

As the clock ticks near midnight, it's almost Jill's birthday and we're all so glad to be here, together, with so much to be grateful for...

but most of all for our friendships.

Tomorrow is our last day in stay tuned for further adventures.



Today is Jill's birthday!  We all woke up with birthday wishes for her and a few more goodies


We decided to go shopping in the neighboring town of's one of those cute older towns with a town square and unique boutiques.

We stopped into a bath shop that makes custom lotions, scents, etc.  We all spent time smelling about a million different scents,

Mona and Sherri bought custom scented and colored lotions.

Jill chose this great little restaurant, tucked behind the main shopping area in McKinney--"Poppy's"


The decor outside and inside is really neat and the food was very, very good.

Mona and Sherri had an apricot chicken salad sandwich which they just raved over; Jill

 had ordered cobb salad; and I had crab nachos.

But the really amazing food was an appetizer Jill suggested we order..."tempura fried green beans"

WOW! Super food....mmmm...sooo good.

The final purchase of the day and trip, was bought by the birthday girl.  Since Mona, Sherri and I had already bought shoes,

Jill thought it would be near horrible if she broke tradition and didn't buy a pair of just so

happened she'd found this really fun pair earlier in the day, so she went back and bought them.

so ..... the tradition continues.....aren't they cute?

We ended our day about 3:30pm with hugs, smiles and good byes, and headed north in big Texas-style thunderstorm.

The trip up I-35 was uneventful and as we headed into Kansas, the sun was just setting.

We packed so much in to 4 days!  It could not have been more perfect

(unless my lottery ticket wins that I bought on the way back home). 

These women are so special to me....they keep me laughing until my sides ache, help me to see life from different points of view,

trust me enough to share their most inner thoughts and love me enough to listen to mine,

make me want to be a better woman but encourage me to be myself,

and we're all just devious enough to keep on planning surprise after surprise.

There are great things to come for this group....more of our friends will join us on a trip

to the Outer Banks, North Carolina in late September.

With more women come more laughs, more partying, more chatting and I'm sure a lot more eating;


so check back later....we'll all be down by the beach. 

PS:  It's Wednesday as I write this, and life always goes to back to normal after a trip. 

So this morning, as I was scrambling to hurry and get out of my car and into work, back to the rat race,

I spied something bright and colorful sticking out the side of my purse.....

it was the birthday horn I took everywhere with us and tooted all over Dallas for four days....

and I smiled once again at the memories.

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