2 pointsIRVING, Texas

IRVING is about 30 miles from where we live but neither of us had ever been there. Fortunately, the IRVING ARTS CENTER had a SOME ILLUSTRATOR! Exhibit that featured pictures by Melissa Sweet. It was an instant love connection for us. We both were captivated by her work and loved how the exhibit was put together, with her illustrations and each book so beautifully entwined – so much so that we plan to buy a book or two so we can continue to admire her work. As a bonus, we also walked through the Ed Wheeler: Santa Classics exhibit, where the artist creatively inserts Santa into famous masterpieces. It was a lot of fun to walk through this exhibit and we both felt energized by the humor and whimsy on display. Plus, a few of the paintings changed from the original “masterpiece” look to the Santa replacement depending on where you stood. We will definitely be back to visit this Gallery again!

 1 point: ICE CREAM Tastings

ICE CREAM is a true passion for these sisters so we needed no persuasion to sample several “new to us” ice cream shops. First up was Howdy Homemade Ice Cream, started by Tom Landis, who believes everyone has the right to realize their potential and thus mainly hires special needs young adults. Dr. Pepper Chocolate Chip ice cream was touted as the leading flavor so Laura gave it a try, while Barbara tasted the Ninja Turtle flavor, which is likened to Mint Chocolate Chip. Next up was Sprinkles Ice Cream, which encourages you to try their ice cream crowned with a cupcake top or sprinkled with cupcake crumbs. We did, but regretted it. The mixture of ice cream and cake was a definite turn off for both of us. Our third try was iCream Café, a liquid nitrogen shop, where you select the elements of your treat and, in essence, create your own flavors. These concoctions tasted great but we’re not totally sold on the health aspects of liquid nitrogen. Our best ice cream tasting turned out to be back in IRVING at the Big State Fountain Grill. Our chocolate shake and chocolate malt were delicious!

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