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Kimberly and I were making the high-speed burn down Interstate 35 in a caravan reminiscent of the pioneers of yore. Iwas in the lead, driving my 1993 Jeep Cherokee, and every inch of space both in the cabin and on the roof was occupied with all my worldly possessions. Kimberly followed in her 1991 Chevy Cavalier, which also was packed to the hilt with all her stuff (and some of mine that I couldn’t strap down). It was 2000, and cell phones weren’t the extension of the hand that they are today. Kimberly and I communicated with each other through walkie-talkies we’d purchased at Target only hours earlier for this, our move together away from her hometown of St. Louis.

We were excited about the prospect of relocating to Dallas, a city that intrigued us, thanks to the TV show of the same name. Only a couple years removed from college, I’d just been transferred from the newspaper I’d been working on in St. Louis to the publication’s sister paper in Dallas. Kimberly had been selling furniture in the ’Lou, and she, too, was ready for a change. We decided that we’d load our heaps, grab our cat, and mosey on down to Texas, where we’d build our careers and, should the stars align, our lives together.

Dallas would be the place. It wasn’t our ideal spot, as we were both outdoorsy and the thought of moving to a city more defined by shopping and nightlife rather than by mountains and an ocean was a little off-putting. But then again, Dallas did have the Cowboys, and any city that Roger Staubach called home was good enough for us.

The thing is, neither of us had ever been to Texas, let alone Dallas -- unless you count the layovers we had at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport when, while in college, we’d fl y from St. Louis to my parents’ house in Tucson, Arizona. But I don’t count those. After all, who does?

It used to be that when you had a long layover at the airport, a good book was a trusty diversion. Then came the laptop. And then the iPod. By the time this goes to press, there might be some other nifty doodad that will take your mind off the wait.

But after several years of living in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, I find myself wishing that I had those wasted college layover hours back. This town has too much going on to squander the downtime on a DVD of Ace Ventura. Turn to page 22 to see what longtime DFW resident (and storied Texas newspaperman) David House suggests checking out the next time y’all are in our neck of the woods.

Kimberly and I are here for the long haul. Turns out that I was wrong: There are tons of outdoorsy activities to do around here, and the people are among the friendliest and most interesting I’ve found in my travels. I’m not trying to wax poetic, but there’s something romantic about living in a Texas town. It’s like the bumper stickers down here say: “I’m not from Texas, but I got here as fast as I could.”

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Adam Pitluk