Are you guys ready for my Confess tour?! If you didn’t know, usually I read books set in NYC and go out and explore the city after being inspired by the book. I’m exploring the city I love in a whole new way! If I’m honest, after living in NYC for over 10 years, I wasn’t taking advantage of living in this great city.
Instead, this was me: wake up-work-home-tv-bed. Rinse & repeat! I needed to shake up my life and get out of that boring routine. So when I got the idea to do these tours, I felt reinvigorated. Now, I love going on the tours and then blogging about them. The cherry on top of the sundae is making connections with so many awesome people I’ve met through blogging.
Hit the Road!
That’s how it started, but I also thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool to take this show on the road?” So I did just that when I brought you all to New Hampshire with me after reading a book set there. If you dare, read Part 1 of my A Little Murder Tour, which will lead you to Part 2.
That brings us to my current tour- my Confess Tour. The book, Confess, written by Colleen Hoover, is a captivating, romantic novel set in Dallas, Texas. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, you can check out my review here.
Auburn has just moved to Dallas and working as a stylist is not cutting it for her financially. No pun intended. She spies a help wanted sign outside a gallery when Owen Gentry opens the door and enters her life. The chemistry between them is electric, probably doesn’t hurt that Owen is an artist. Something so appealing about artists, amirite? Of course, obstacles get in their way and both have secrets. Will they confess them and overcome all their obstacles? You’ll have to read to find out. Feel free to come on this tour with me even if you haven’t read it. No major spoilers here.
Let’s not forget that this tour isn’t all about me. I was visiting a very good friend of mine, Kerri, who was one of the first friends I made in NYC. Much to my sadness, she moved to Dallas a few years ago, but I forgave her and now we get to go on a Dallas book tour together. Win win!
Let’s go! And p.s. let’s pay attention to how cool Kerri looks every step of the way. I want to be her when I grow up!
A Tour of Dallas, Day 1
Every tour starts with food in the belly! The minute Kerri mentioned tacos, I asked, “When can we go?”
Scrumptious and healthy! The top one is shishito pepper, bottom left is brussel sprouts with almonds and a lime crema, and bottom right is the cauliflower one. I seriously felt good all day after eating these! Check out this place on their website at www.residenttaqueria.com. They have something for everyone! The combined flavors in these tacos made them very tasty.
Back to Confess: Auburn must hide out for a bit. She stays at a hotel…look, I’m not saying she went to a luxury hotel, but the book didn’t specify. Could she have spent 200+ per night? Who’s to say really? Also, you probably want to know if Auburn was alone during her hotel stay? I won’t say, but I will say it gets steamy, she did shower after all!
Alas, Kerri and I went to scope out a couple fancy hotels in downtown Dallas. After all, Auburn does live in downtown Dallas. So how far off could we be?
This is not too fancy at all for financially struggling Auburn.
Gorgeous hotel! I’ll put up some more pics in my Instagram stories. Make sure you are following me @literary_dates.
In reality, compared to hotels in NYC and other big cities, rooms for $200-275 per night is not too bad!
We also checked out the nearby Joule Hotel, which is another beauty. If you read my book review or follow me on Instagram, then you saw a picture of Dallas’ sculpture called The Eye. That sits right outside the Joule Hotel.
This bookshop welcomes you with a glorious, golden mosaic, comfy seating, and all the coffee table books you could want. The woman working here was very friendly and knowledgeable about the shop. For example, she told us that the publisher Taschen started his bookshop as a comic book shop and then it evolved to be what it is today.
We didn’t try it but this shop has afternoon tea on Sundays with champagne and pastries. For more info check out their website at www.thejouledallas.com/#eat-drink. Sounds like a lovely afternoon indeed!
You know what I really loved about this little bookshop?
I wasn’t sure if my dogstalker needs would be fulfilled in Dallas, but rest assured, Dallas did not disappoint in the dog department! Phew! Isn’t this little one too adorable? I think he wants to come back to NYC with me.
Oak Cliff: Bishop Arts District
I marveled at all the colorful street art that seemed to adorn every alleyway.
We visited a few different neighborhoods in Dallas. All the neighborhoods seemed like fun places to hang out in. They are filled with trendy restaurants, shops, and other entertainment.
Fun(?)fact – Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested at Texas Theatre which is in Oak Cliff.
We spent some time browsing the many shops that lined the street and checked out an artsy store. Because Owen Gentry is an artist, he inspired us to check out some art throughout our Confess Tour. This night kicked off our artsy-themed tour…but first…let’s smell some yummy candles…
This neighborhood has so many great spots like this. I loved the atmosphere. While I was there, it was a bit chilly, but I imagine in nice weather, lots of people must hang out in these spots.
This place knows how to decorate! From the art murals on the walls to the lights that decorate the trees, I even saw these pretty chandelier, ribbony things dangling from a tree. It definitely has a come hither and stay awhile vibe.
I’d love to see the neighborhood in warmer weather and then see a live show. After the show, hang outside with a cold beer or yummy cocktail. Would be perfect!
But I didn’t need warm weather to enjoy this cutie…
How adorable is he!? Max is 5 months old and the sweetest puppy alive! Definitely find me on Instagram because if you think he’s cute here, you will love him in video form! I’ll include him in an Insta Story highlight.
After playing with Max, we got drinks before meeting up with Kerri & her husband’s friends for dinner.
Drinks and Eats
The drinks were good and I thought the bar’s rustic charm and distressed walls made for a cool atmosphere. I got to get a little taste of what people are like in Dallas at this bar. As I was waiting for the women’s restroom, a guy comes out of it, sees me and for about five minutes straight, profusely apologizes for accidentally using the women’s bathroom.
Unbelievably sweet guy (looking at women’s sign & back at me): “OH MY GOD! Oh my god! I am so sorry! SO sorry! This is so embarrassing.”
(Looks at sign again): “Oh my god! I’m sorry. I can’t believe I did that. I apologize. That was so wrong. Oh my god.”
(Looks at sign for the 3rd time): “I can’t believe this. So sorry!”
I provided so much reassurance, then head into the bathroom and still hear him, “Oh my god! I can’t believe I did that. Oh my god!”
Ladies and gentleman…I am absolutely, 1000% not exaggerating here.
Toto, we are not in NYC anymore!
Next stop- Eno’s Pizza Tavern
Kerri and I shared the heirloom spinach pie, which was pretty darn tasty! Gluten-free crust is available here.
Touring Dallas, Day 2
To start our day, we got some coffee and I had some avocado toast at a place called Local Press + Brew. In addition to having good coffee and lite bites, it gave me a good photo op.
It had a nice outdoor seating area where we could power up to start our day. I also snapped a pic of some cute pups but upon looking at the photo, I can tell the dog owner was giving me the side-eye about that. Side-eye guy is going on the ‘gram!
Thanks-Giving Square is the spiritual center of Dallas where people of all cultures and religions are welcomed. We wanted to check out the Chapel of Thanksgiving. To reach it, we walked up a spiral ramp and passed some beautiful skyscrapers that reflected other skyscrapers. The contrast between the tall buildings and tranquil chapel had a calming effect on me. Everything has beauty.
Chapel of Thanksgiving
Taken from the sign outside the chapel: “The spiraling shape rises 90 feet above street level, suggesting the infinite upward reach of the human spirit.”
What’s especially remarkable about this chapel is the stained glass “Glory Window” on the ceiling inside. Pictures of it are for personal use only so I won’t be posting any. If you find yourself in Dallas, definitely make a stop here. You can take a seat inside and tilt your head up to see the colorful glory window. However, a description posted inside encourages people to lie on the floor to view the window. I had to try that! Soon after I did, it made me smile as others did the same around me. I felt connected to the strangers around me as one by one we were all lying down together to look up. If I lived here, I’d try to go regularly for its meditative effect.
We bid adieu to the chapel to continue on our tour with art in mind.
But first, since Auburn was strained financially, she didn’t have a car and often had to walk down the streets of Dallas in the blazing, hot sun. Since it was February, I didn’t experience the blazing heat of Dallas, but I did get to imagine Auburn walking down those long streets of downtown Dallas.
Crow Museum of Asian Art
This turned out to be a good spot after visiting the chapel because this museum has its own meditative quality.
We saw Buddhas, deities, and samurais. Learned about strength, compassion, and enlightenment. The special exhibit was the highlight for me.
Clouds and Chaos: Artist, Jacob Hashimoto
We got to see Hashimoto’s “giant cloud.” It was a spectacular art exhibit to see! From the exhibit’s description: “Hashimoto’s sculpture shows how there is much to be found in both the intricate detail of minute components and the large-scale meanings that can result from their accumulation.”
Jacob Hashimoto‘s installations have been displayed in various museums across the world. Have you seen his work?
Nasher Sculpture Center
Before we head inside, you have to see what kind of enjoyment they have right outside the museum.
That “chair” was fun and terrifying! Don’t drink & ride that chair!
Sterling Ruby Sculpture
From the museum’s pamphlet: much of Sterling Ruby’s vibrant art shows what his works of art look like in progress like when pouring urethane as it goes from liquid to solid. “Ruby’s work builds up the form to monumental proportions in multiple layers of material ooze. Spray paint on the urethane, like the multicolored glazes on the ceramics, create sculptures with vibrant, seductive surfaces.”
This museum has a beautiful outdoor garden also with sculptures. It would be a great spot to relax and enjoy an outdoor concert and/or film, which apparently is something they do here!
I, of course, tossed a coin in the fountain to make a wish. What do you think I wished for?
Kerri and I walked past this bar and I got very strong Confess vibrations. Scenes from Confess flashed before my eyes- dimly lit, small “dance floor,” and the real kicker is that the bartender has to be the character Harrison, the owner and bartender of the bar Auburn and Owen go to.
Okay, Confess aficionados, four-leaf clovers definitely didn’t decorate this bar, but perhaps Harrison has done a redesign? I should have asked him because that is seriously him working the bar! #facts
The bar scene in Confess is the “omg” moment we fall in love with Auburn and Owen. You have to read it just to get to this scene! I won’t reveal too much but it will make you melt and ooze like a Sterling Ruby urethane sculpture.
I see scooters! Everywhere we went people were on scooters! It’s like Citi Bike but with scooters. A dollar to start is what is written on the “Lime” electric scooters. I read that they are trying to get into NYC too. In Dallas, they seem to be a big hit because like I said, they were literally everywhere.
Sorry to disappoint but I didn’t go for a ride because I once rode a scooter after a few too many beers and I’ll just say that wasn’t a good combo.
Also, riding on a scooter definitely wouldn’t be a good idea after our next stop…
Thank you, Kerri, for taking me here! These pies were absolutely delicious! I am sure Owen probably took Auburn out on a date here even though it wasn’t specifically written, but I definitely think it can be implied. He’d be a fool not to take Auburn here and Owen is no fool!
Emporium Pies changes up their selections, but on this day, Kerri had their “Cloud Nine” pie, which is a three layer custard pie with salted caramel, butterscotch custard and brown sugar meringue in a flaky crust. I’m dying thinking about it! Can I go back and have that one too?
Being the ice cream fanatic that I am, I wanted pie that would pair well with it. I got their “Lord of the Pies,” which is a deep dish apple pie with cinnamon streusel. We ate outside and it was a bit chilly out, but I didn’t care because my pie with vanilla ice cream was heaven! Ah!
Let’s take one last look at Deep Ellum…
Such a cute, fun area! Dallas pleasantly surprised me! I want to come back to hang with Kerri again and experience it when it’s a little warmer.
The remainder of this tour will mostly consist of places that I will pretend are the homes of the various characters of Confess.
House Tour (not creepy at all for the owners)!
I’m pretty sure this is walking distance from downtown Dallas. It would have to be since Auburn lives in downtown Dallas, so I am sure I got this one right. Totes.
Looks like a lawyer could live here, right? This house is up for sale, so I didn’t look creepy snapping a picture of it because I could have just been interested in buying it! That’s my story!
Lydia figures predominantly in the book and serves as Auburn’s foil. I can’t say too much about her without giving things away, but I will say that she and her son, Trey can go straight to hell for all I care. Trey is another one! Piece of work!
This book is so multilayered like all of Colleen Hoover’s books. If you’ve read Confess, what do you think your Confess tour would look like? Just like how books are up for interpretation, I think they could inspire us all in different ways. Your Confess tour could be completely different than mine, but just as fun!
Now that I think about it, I think we could take a book and use it to inspire us wherever we are. Maybe you can’t go to Dallas, but maybe you’d like to use Owen Gentry as inspiration to head out to see an art exhibit? Or stylist, Auburn, could inspire a fabulous new hairdo?! Or Harrison could inspire you to go to an actual Irish bar unlike yours truly?
My tour ends here but my stay at Kerri’s isn’t quite over. Everyone has been asking about the secret message candle I posted on Instagram. The story behind that is in the guest room, Kerri has a small box on the nightstand with a sign that reads, “All guests must leave us something fun!” It’s filled with all sorts of cute little knick-knacks. I was up for the challenge and covertly got Kerri something in one of the shops we went to.
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Thank you all for reading my post and joining me on my Confess Tour! I appreciate you all! Thank you, Colleen Hoover, for writing awesome books and inspiring my Confess tour.
And of course, thank you to my good friend Kerri for showing me such a fun time and indulging me by coming on a book tour with me. You are such a great friend! ❤️