This blog is part of a special series featuring winners of Downtown Dallas Inc’s Live Like a Local contest, which asked for locals to submit mobile friendly, self-guiding local experiences on the Guidrr iPhone app that showcase their #mydtd journeys. Dawn Fisher is featured today, along with a link to download her free, winning staycation experience – Lolling on Lamar.
Dawn Fisher is more than a bit of an expert on food, travel and local experiences – passions she drew upon to submit her winning entry for the Live Like a Local contest, a weekend staycation guide titled Lolling on Lamar.
This long-time teacher spends her day nurturing first-graders at an Irving, Texas elementary school that’s part of the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD.
But, in her spare time, this mom of a college-aged daughter & frequent traveler is turning her love for Dallas foodie experiences into a new pursuit. She’s blogging about great experiences around DFW and the world using her love of food as a way to connect with locals and brands that enrich her home city.
“I grew up in and around Dallas most of my life,” says Dawn. “I was born in San Antonio and moved here at the age of 5. My dad was a salesman for Mattel Toys. I went to school in Richardson ISD and graduated from Lake Highlands High School.”
For Dawn, despite many living years in DFW, she confessed “I used to see Downtown Dallas almost as a no-man’s land while I was growing up.” But that changed when she started to venture out and explore the downtown area, taking staycations with her mother and her daughter in the city. “I’m amazed at what gems and hidden treasures are all around us in downtown,” she says. “I’m very passionate about spreading that information to others. Being a teacher, I see sharing information as a gift.”
Dawn’s innate curiosity and desire to find new experiences began with her own father as a role model. “My dad traveled all the time for business. We were a middle class family; my father being the breadwinner, so when we traveled we traveled on family road trips. Some of my best memories for our family of 5 involve driving as far as California, Nevada and the Florida Keys.” Getting nostalgic for a moment, Dawn shares that it was this ability to get up and go that helped her have the courage to plan solo and group trips to far-flung places like Italy, London and Paris as an adult. She jokes “this time we did manage to get on a plane.”
Dawn Fisher is a local teacher and food blogger with her brand @JustEatitUp
“I’m amazed at what gems and hidden treasures are all around us in downtown,” she says. “I’m very passionate about spreading that information to others. Being a teacher, I see sharing information as a gift.”
After dabbling in blogging and Instagramming, and becoming a creator on the Guidrr app, Dawn has taken her love of good food and travel experiences and turned it into a business, to be called Just Eat it Up, an offshoot of a first blog called Fenomenale. Wherever she goes, Dawn says that she uses food as a lens for her exploration. “Seeing the city is almost a byproduct of experiencing the food. What I have found is that through venturing out to new places to eat, I also am meeting people who are like-minded. They are just as much a part of the Dallas experience as the food and location itself.”
Dawn says that she uses food as a lens for her exploration. “Seeing the city is almost a byproduct of experiencing the food.”
Dawn shares that her life as a new food blogger is all about the research and outreach. “I’m constantly researching and following Dallas Observer, Dallas Eats and other Dallas food bloggers and I’m always looking for new restaurant openings around the city. What I’m finding is there’s little food meccas everywhere from downtown all the way to Far North Dallas. I’m even getting out of my comfort zone and contacting businesses before they open to introduce myself.”
She stumbled into being a local expert for family and friends quite by accident. “I kept getting requests from teachers asking for tips, and I found I loved providing them.” Now, she’s a bona-fide social media expert who posts on Facebook and Instagram about local experiences. “I pretty much post everything I eat,” she says. “I am a voyeur. I like visual stories. So I share my own.”
For Dallas locals aspiring for great experiences in downtown, her advice is simple “Get in your car and drive around these places. Be safe, know where you are going and time of day. But if you can walk it, walk it.” She also recommends booking an overnight or weekend stay in a downtown hotel and using it as a base to walk the area. “There’s things that you see on foot you won’t see any other way. And while you’re at it, stop and talk to people. I always speak to those working in the establishments and ask them for their favorite local tip for food and coffee.”
For Dawn, her times in downtown Dallas are also special as true family bonding experiences. “I am usually either traveling with friends or with my mom and daughter. We’re like the three musketeers. These are special times we’ll remember forever. In our lives, there’s been loss and hurt. These times together fill our hearts.”
Her guide Lolling on Lamar, focusing on the up-and-coming area around the Omni Dallas, was another lucky accident. While the trio normally stayed at the Adolphus, they chose Omni on a weekend where their usual spot was booked. “We haven’t been back since, because we can’t beat the views,” she says. “And with D-Link (the downtown shuttle for the DART system), it’s easy to get anywhere and explore almost every district in the downtown area.”
For Dawn, this is just the beginning. “My hope is that Just Eat it Up becomes a go-to for the city,” she says. She’s also been busy with her role as a blogger for Girls on Food, a self-proclaimed foodie girl gang from all over the US. “We write about our hometown food experiences and our travels. It’s been great getting the national exposure.” This also isn’t the first time Dawn has guided others through the Guidrr app. “I find Guidrr is the perfect format and avenue to share for those who just want to net it – at no cost, and with no effort, they can find experiences from people who travel like they do and learn from true locals.” She’s already posted getaways around Texas; more downtown experiences; and a foodie guide to her channel on the app.
Don’t miss Dawn’s free guide to a Dallas staycation and food, available for free on the Guidrr app (iPhone only). Download it here
Thanks Dawn for being a Live Like a Local winner, and we look forward to more #mydtd experiences hitting the Guidrr app