As much as I enjoy anniversaries, milestones, choreographed dance, & argyle, I equally enjoy roots.
And I ain't talkin' 'bout no giant spruce.
Sam & I recently visited his hometown of Dallas, TX. After living the first 6 years of his life in the quiet northeast corner of the city, his family uprooted hundreds of miles to Urbana, IL. Since departing, he had not visited his home on Sweetwater in over 15 years.
When the trip was first proposed, I jumped at the opportunity to witnes his teary journey down Memory Lane. To see the street, the town, & the house that raised my man was something too sweet to pass up.
We stayed at the (obviously once) lavish Dallas Renaissance Hotel, a 30-story oval tower with rooftop pool. It was nice & all (poolside, Mr. Sun gave my billboard-of-a-forehead a feisty burn), but the decor & sensibility of the building passed back when Reagan was munching on jelly beans.
We rented a car to see the sights. A word to those under 25 who wish to rent a car: don't rent a car. Your wallet will be raped. Raped or not, our little 4-door got us where we needed to be.
One of the coolest parts of the trip was visiting the Sixth Floor Museum at the former Texas Schoolbook Depository. To look out the infamous window at the street where such a monumental moment in history occurred was almost too much to fully grasp. It still is.
Salty tears, assassinations, rental cars, & deep roots aside, the Prejudicial Perry in me feared Dallas would not have a welcoming hug awaitin' two gay Yankees, much less a gay nightlife worth exploring.
It's nice to be wrong.
Dallas has a fabulous neighborhood called Oak Lawn where all the gays go to play. 7 minutes in a cab later & we were in the heart of an eclectic & uber gay strip of bars, clubs, restaurants, shops, cafes, & condom salons.
Notable drinking holes include: J.R.'s, a bi-level meet-market with large outdoor balcony. Nice & open with $2 drink specials, but not counting the gay softball team, the boiz who frequent J.R.'s came off as snotty bitches with venom on their lips. Round-Up is Texas' premiere gay cowboy saloon. Country music blaring. Couples promenading on the dance floor. Men in flannel calling you, "Sweety." It was respectable Texas camp.
Out-of-body experience story, and go: when I first saw the m/m & f/f couples boot scootin' on the dance floor, I burst into tears. Sam asked what was wrong, but all I could muster out was a sobby story about living my early summers in Virginia & how familiar this bar looked. What made my tears happy were the gay-'n-proud couples dancing in this ultra-masculine atmosphere & breaking the stereotypical views of rough-n'-tumble cowboys. Beautiful. "We've cum so far, partner!"
Finally, Station 4 was the place to be. Hailed as the nation's 4th largest gay club, S4 boasted a larger-than-life floor with surrounding balcony, two side rooms with less-that-to-be-desired go-go dancers, & a lavish patio with another accompanying balcony. Mr. Sam, who had never been to a dance club in his life, shook his shirtless booty three nights in a row. Its exuberance & large crowds kept us coming back for more & brought out the flaming dance queen in each of us.
And we ate.
Sam instilled the mantra, "It's only money," into my brain just before we left Chicago. We did, saw, visited, &, again, ate, a lot on our trip. Conver$ely, we $pent a lot on this trip. But who cares? We both work & saved up enough to have fun. 'Cause when I'm dancing on, traveling with, & sleeping beside the kindest, funniest, & hottest man in Texas (or any state for that matter), no price can match how lucky he makes me feel.