Fireplace in the hotel
If you're Discovery Networks, it's Shark Week. If you're the Travel Channel, it's China Week. If you're me and Trinity, it's Texas week, yee-ha! My former husband/Trinity's dad lives in Texas. We have evolved to become pretty good friends, provided that we remain 800 miles away from each other the majority of the time. We headed down there to stay at his most recent luxury hotel, the Gaylord Texan, which is in Grapevine TX, near DFW. This is not the type of establishment I normally frequent. I like hostels, I like the Holiday Inn, I like my friends' couches. I don't usually take trips and then spend time in my actual living quarters. I was torn between non-belief that people pay exorbitant amounts of money to stay there for a single night, when others in the world are starving and dying every day, and just trying to relax and enjoy it.
Poolside at the hotel
It's a resort and convention center, so I imagine a lot of the guests are there for conventions. The inside of the hotel is a dome, filled with thousands of real plants (there's one fake plant there, a replica of a tree, which cost $250,000 to make. Crazy!). There are sidewalks, bridges, stores, a huge fountain, and even a riverwalk modeled after the one in San Antonio. The inside of the hotel alone was the size of an entire quaint tourist trap of a town. The temperature inside is set to 72 degrees. Our room had a balcony which overlooked the indoor city. Because it was a dome, it actually seemed as though the balcony was outside. I actually started to place our swimming suits on the chair, until I realized they wouldn't dry any faster, because it was colder "outside" than inside.
Elevator overlooking the interior of the dome inside hotel
One thing I found personally enjoyable is that there were photographs of sexy cowboys on the walls... so much more exiting than the drab painting of a cactus I'd expect to find. Outside, they had an actual grapevine, the only grapevine, the sign said, built on the grounds of a hotel. The hotel was unlike any I've ever stayed at, although I've only stayed at three luxury hotels in my life, so who knows if I can even judge?
I've wanted to go to Dallas
for a long time, specifically for one reason which I'll get to shortly. I guess in my previous daydreams about it, I did not travel there in the summer. It's hot in Texas. It's hot everywhere I go lately! It's always hot in Texas, but it did not help when I turned on the Weather Channel that morning in Milwaukee and saw that Dallas was indeed currently breaking the ALL TIME high temperature ever recorded for July 28th.
Drying off which took all of thirty seconds
It was like 106 when we first got there. Not the hottest place I've been to, but still ridiculously hot. I'm from Wisconsin. To me, anything over 85 degrees is extremely hot. 106 degrees is like being in an oven. It feels like I'm not actually there at all. I seriously think my judgement is clouded in the same way it might be if I had a horrible migraine. But we toughed it out, and headed to the Rangers/Mariners game at The Ballpark in Arlington. What a great and ridiculous name for a baseball stadium, I love it! I loved the stadium. It looked almost exactly like Miller Park, except that where our Midwest sign is, they have a Southwest sign. I was a little confused about who to cheer for. I didn't care either way who won, and the crowd didn't seem very excited.
It reminded me of Milwaukee before all the fair weather fans got on the bandwagon in the past couple seasons. The Mariners got off to a quick lead, and I imagined that drained them of a lot of excitement. Frankly, Trinity and I spent more time looking at the digital thermometer below the Starbucks ad, waiting for the moment the temperature would go from three figures to two. It got down to 96, woo-hoo! I also texted my friend Kristi who is from Texas to tell her how hot it was. She called me a wuss, deservedly so. I spent a lot of time repeating "Holy shit, it's hot!" and other such phrases. The best part of the game was when they played "Deep in the Heart of Texas" along with the words scrolling across the scoreboard! God, Texas is such a cliche! Trinity and I really got into it the entire time we were there. Trinity kept saying "Yeeee doggy, I'm a country boy!" in this fabulous accent. Whenever someone said "y'all" to us, we would high five each other. It really is exactly how I imagined, i.e. a cartoon.