Finally started my trips to visit Texas courthouses and what a great first choice! I lived in Denton for a while…two times. First time I was a young married going to school at TWU. We lived in a tri-plex house near UNT and had a blast, but left all too soon for the next … well, I’m not sure what. I wasn’t looking for things back then. The second time I lived there I had an infant son and was doing a 6-month internship at Denton State School. In retrospect, they were both lovely times in my life, but so far in the past. Anyway, I knew the square in Denton well at the time but it was different from now. In 2011, the Denton County Courthouse Square and the courthouse grounds themselves are filled with people – families, and lots of kids, presumably from the two universities in town. They were sitting on the steps, on the grounds, just enjoying themselves. Imagine that! Enjoying yourself at a courthouse. It is a concept I can hardly grasp!

Surrounding the square are lots of businesses that draw people: coffee shops, hamburger joints, some bars. We had coffee at Jupiter Coffee House and I nearly fainted when a bottle of water and two doppios cost less than a solo espresso at Starbuck’s. Now, I’m not knocking my favorite coffee joint, but this was a delight; a laid back stop with student art for sale on the walls, friendly help (no different from Sbux, of course), and good coffee. There were also electrical outlets at every single table. Now THAT’S something the big boys could learn…

After coffee, Honey and I went to a place called the Love Shack for… Burgers! I was a very good girl and had a salad (which was actually very, very good) and Honey had an over-dressed dog. It was a new joint but, judging from the activity (and remember, the colleges are out for the summer so the population is probably at least 2/3 lower than during the school year) it will be around awhile.

Denton County Courthouse

The whole square was peaceful and fun. It was like a beatnik scene 45 years in the future…has it REALLY been that long since the beatniks? UNT is a huge music school and there were musicians sitting around the square playing. And people were sitting at outdoor tables talking (presumably) politics with the same sense of enlightened ennui you associate with a French sidewalk cafe. Ahhhh. College.

The route there was from my office in Carrollton so we took Marsh Lane to Plano Parkway, which becomes Paige Road and headed north on FM 423. I’d planned to turn off that onto FM 720 headed West but it was closed and under construction so we continued to US 380 and took that into town. Even though I lived there twice, a 24-year absence has changed everything. Still found my way to the square but the return ride home was rougher. It had also gotten dark and seemed pointless to take the scenic route I’d planned. I started out that way but quickly abandoned it for I-35: fast and easy.

Also, I took Honey with me on this ride so I had zero confidence in my route selections. I know the only way to learn to plan routes is to do it but I hate being put to the test with someone who never seems to mess up his routes.

We made it home just fine and I even got a picture off my BB (managed to remember my Nikon but not to charge the battery before I left so no big equipment shots).

Total miles: 86; total time 3 hours, including a really nice dinner.

That’s 1 down, 253 to go. Carry on!