Monday, March 22, 2010

On the Road Again

We were hoping to take a road trip this past weekend – J unexpectedly got the end of last week off, so we wanted to make the most of it – but we couldn’t settle on a destination.

We’ve been talking about Memphis for a while, and I was pretty excited when I found on Better Bidding* that we could potentially get the Peabody relatively inexpensively. Alas, marching mallards, Graceland and BBQ were not meant to be when we realized a seven hour drive was probably a bit much for a three day weekend.

helpful tip of the day: sunburns and 100 degree water don't mix

I’ve also been itching to soak in some hot springs since we wrapped up our Costa Rican luna de miel at the Tabacon springs, so Hot Springs, AR looked right up our alley. However, I wasn’t very excited by the lackluster hotel reviews I was finding, and I was confused by the actual use of the bathhouse, which looks like it’s a private experience. (Which means no canoodling with your spouse trying to pretend like you’re on your segunda luna de miel.) Has anyone been to Hot Springs that has any recommendations?

We went to Houston the weekend before, and have made plenty of trips down to Austin, San Antonio, and the surrounding Hill Country, so those were out, and J didn’t want to go Choctaw with me at an Oklahoma casino, even if I promised not to wear my fanny pack.

Running out of ideas, and remembering that the four hour drive to Houston the weekend before was a bit much to repeat so soon, I suggested a staycay at a local hotel, where we could lounge by the pool and sip cocktails and pretend like we didn’t have a pile of laundry to do at our house down the street.

Luckily, J nixed that idea. When I came up with this plan late last week, it was upper-70s and sunny. This is what our car looked like Saturday night leaving the bar:

Yup, it snowed in Dallas on the first day of Spring. Pool time was most definitely out. (And uh, maybe I should start checking the weather more often.)

So instead of making a weekend getaway, we:

I thought the "warm vintage" effect would be appropriate for this one. Sorry for the poor quality iPhone photos...maybe one day I will actually download photos off of my real camera.

  • Ate at our favorite hole-in-the-wall burger joint. The waitress has worked there for 29 years, and I don't think anything about the place has changed for at least that long. But don’t be scared, this guy has been known to park his Maserati outside and come in for a juicy burger.

  • Took the puppy to her first training class.

  • Watched some of our friends play their first gig at one of our favorite bars. They played covers for four hours, and it went really well. So well that the guys at the table next to us (already drunk when our friends went on at 8 pm, so that might explain it) spent a lot of the time singing, air guitaring, and doing jigs in front of the stage, somehow managing to not knock over any of the equipment.

  • Went to see our new niece for the second time. Hard to believe that I’m an aunt to NINE kiddos!

We’re still wanting to go somewhere new soon, and I now think we’ve found the perfect place! As we were catching up with one of our couple friends during the show, they told us all about…the awesome, only-two-hours-away road trip they took last weekend to Dublin, TX, home of Dublin Dr Pepper! (J was following a doctor recently named Dr. Pepper, and I can’t stop giggling every time. I want that last name so I can make people introduce us as Dr. and Mrs. Pepper! But I digress.) I think they stopped by the bottling plant, went to a winery, and saw cheese being made. They did it all in one day, so I’m now psyched to shamelessly copy their itinerary for a day trip or a whole weekend stay!

What about you, any quick trips you’ve taken or planned recently?

* Better Bidding is my secret to using opaque hotel booking sites like Priceline and Hotwire. It provides a listing, broken down by the area and star rating, of hotels you are likely to get. If you're using Hotwire, you can also match up the amenities listed, which helped me net a 4* hotel in Boston where a wedding reception we were going to was being held for half off the cheapest rate.

The site also has forums where you can see what price other people got a hotel for in the area you're interested in, which was helpful when I was booking our hotel for Houston last weekend. We got a 4* hotel in downtown for $55...never mind that it was a smoking floor and we're too chicken to ask to be moved, and never mind that when we came home late that evening that neither of our keys worked and I was stuck standing in the hallway listening to a rather loud amorous couple through what were apparently thin doors while J got a new key. I used Priceline for the first time to book it, where I recommend having a backup email and credit card if you don't want to adjust your bid or wait 24 hours to place the same bid.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

WOW. You've been busy with some uber fun sounding travel! I was just in San Antonio last month.