Oh my word, today’s post is pulling at my heartstrings! Three things in particular always make me homesick for Texas: Friday Night Lights reruns, bright orange sunsets (Texans, y’all know the kind!), and the thought of really good tacos. When the adorable Rachel and James sent us their five favorite date ideas, we couldn’t resist sending them off on a taco tour date for Southern Newlywed. This low-key date idea looks like so much fun, and even if you don’t live in a place surrounded by mouth-watering Tex Mex, it’s easily adaptable to whatever delicacy your home is famous for. Might I suggest a barbecue tour for my fellow North Carolina residents?
Thank you so much to Rachel and James for sharing with us, and to the talented Heather Hawkins for capturing this fun date!
By day: James is a Clinical Specialist with an emphasis on pacemakers and defibrillators, and I am the Director of Project Development for the Touch a Life Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides long-term rehabilitative care for children rescued out of slavery in West Africa and Southeast Asia.
How they met: We met in 2011 through a mutual friend who introduced us while James was in Dallas (where I lived) for a conference. At the time, James lived in Tallahassee, but we clicked immediately–on that first day, someone actually asked us if we were engaged. As he headed home the evening after we met, he told his friend that he was going to marry me–and he was right! After a few months of exchanged phone calls and a couple more visits to Dallas, we made our relationship official on July 1, 2011. James moved to Dallas a few months later–as a native Texan, he couldn’t have been more thrilled about the move. We got engaged in May 2013, and married the following April.
Their wedding: We got married on April 13 at Le San Michele, a beautiful outdoor venue located just outside of Austin. After our sweet ceremony in the gardens, our guests mingled amongst the beautiful plants and drank margaritas during cocktail hour. The reception was filled with family-style dining, champagne toasts, a surprise musical performance by the groom and his groomsmen, tons of freshly baked pies (blueberry, peach, and Heath toffee pecan, oh my!), and the most memorable dance party ever. It was the perfect day, and I often find myself reliving every single moment of it!
Rachel and James’ top five favorite date ideas:
1. Taco tours: We love tacos–like, a whole lot. Luckily, there is no shortage of taco joints in Dallas, so we’ve made it a commitment to try out all of the note-worthy spots in the area (we even keep a record of notes because we love tacos a little too much). We especially enjoy dog-friendly spots so we can bring Callie along. Some of our favorite places are Good 2 Go Taco, Velvet Taco, Rusty Taco, Torchy’s Tacos, and Taco Joint.
2. Picnics at the park: This is, hands down, one of our favorite ways to spend an evening together. We’ve celebrated everything from anniversaries and Valentine’s Days to job promotions and random Tuesday nights with a delicious meal (sometimes home-cooked, sometimes from our favorite Mexican restaurant), good wine, a blanket, our puppy, and each other while overlooking the water at White Rock Lake Park. Since we love this tradition so much, James actually planned his proposal to me accordingly and set up a table for two, incredible food, and string lights on one of our favorite docks. It was perfect!
3. Attending concerts: My husband plays a variety of instruments (and shares a name with an iconic musician) so he loves going to concerts. We like all different kinds of music, and we’ve seen so many great shows in Dallas together. We also love checking out local shows in Deep Ellum.
4. Meeting for fancy cocktails: When we want to have a night out on the town without spending a fortune, we like to compromise and hit up our favorite spots for fancy cocktails and appetizers. We’ll get dressed up and pick a spot that’s typically a pinch out of our price range (but justifiable if we’re just going to grab some snacks and sips at the bar). We love the food, drinks, and bar vibes at places like Gemma, R+D Kitchen, Bolsa, Meddlesome Moth, Stampede 66, Victor Tangos, and True Food Kitchen. We always order stiff drinks (I like martinis and specialty cocktails while James typically chooses whiskey) and a variety of savory appetizers to share.
5. Going to baseball games: James is a huge baseball fan, and I am a huge ballpark food fan, so going to watch Rangers games is a fun date night for us. James actually prefers to root for the Astros when they’re in town (and I typically cheer for the Cubs), but regardless, it’s fun to spend an evening watching baseball under the stars (and, on Wednesdays, consuming a few too many $1 hot dogs).