Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Vacation to Grapevine, TX

Well, we had a fabulous time on our trip. We left out around noon on Friday after we dropped the pups off at the doggie hotel in Ruston. They really don't seem to mind going there which makes us feel a lot better about leaving them. We arrived in Grapevine Friday evening around 5:30 pm at the Gaylord Texan Resort. I knew we were going to a large resort but I had NO IDEA exactly how large it actually was. This place was enormous, gigantic and every other word that means BIG! And it was so beautiful and clean. I was instantly in love with this new found treasure! We will definitely be going back again. There were waterfalls, fountains and streams everywhere! In the atrium you hear the sound of rushing water, it was so peaceful and made me want to just hang out in the atrium all the time. And there were plants, flowers and trees everywhere too. The resort has four restaurants inside the atrium. One is a buffet style eatery with different kinds of food, one is a nice steakhouse that was very good, one is sports bar and grill that serves American food and the other serves seafood and mexican I think. The seafood/mexican one is the only one we didn't go to. Also there is a piano bar, a wine bar, a coffee shop, a candy shop and a market type place to buy ice cream, cookies, muffins, etc. There is a mens clothing store, two women's clothing stores, a jewelry store, a children's store and a gift shop type store that also sold snacks and things you might forget when you go on vacation. There was an indoor pool and an outdoor pool. There was a vineyard outside. A very nice, large spa inside. I booked an appointment on Friday to go have a facial on Sunday morning and it was so relaxing. I love getting facials because it just makes my skin feel so good. There is also a night club on the grounds but not connected to the resort. Oh and the actual name of the hotel is Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center. So there is a huge Convention Center connected to the hotel as well. The hotel has 1511 rooms. We got a room with a king size bed and the room was huge and had a nice size bathroom too. Oh and it had a mini fridge in it which was nice for keeping Emme Claire's formula and juice in. I think the service at this hotel was some of the best we've had and we've stayed at a lot of hotels. The only problem we had was on Monday when it was time to leave we had to wait a long time for a bellman to come help us with getting our bags down to the car but that was because a ton of people were all checking out at the same time. We valet parked and we only had to wait one time for our car, they were very quick the rest of the time. This resort had a private four lane driveway that was one mile long, Brian clocked it. The atrium is air conditioned so it is very comfortable to walk around and sight see inside. But if you are a jogger and like to get outdoors there are sidewalks everywhere outside too. Friday night we ate at the steakhouse in the resort and it was very good. My wedge salad may have been the best one I've ever had. The steak was good too. We also explored the hotel Friday night and did a little shopping in the resort. Brian got himself a new belt and we got EC a new stuffed baby doll called Sweet Pea, it's so cute. There was a lot of activity going on because during the summer months the hotel has SummerFest. They have all sorts of entertainers walking around the atrium. They had a balloon animal artist, face painter, juggler, The Grinch, a woman covered in ivy on stilts walking around (it was really hard to tell she was real until she moved), a tall cowboy on stilts, a silver cowboy living statue and a gold one too, a trick roping cowboy, a magician and a woman who had a little monkey named Miki. They also have fireworks every Friday night (during the summer) and they have a murder mystery dinner theatre. There was also a photographer there who would take your family portrait in the middle of some wild flowers.
On Saturday we all three slept late (maybe 9:30) and then got ready and went to lunch at the Riverwalk Cafe in the resort, it's the buffet style place and we enjoyed it. It was like we were sitting outside on a riverwalk except there was a roof over us and we were in air conditioning! That's my kind of "outside"! haha! After lunch we headed out to do some shopping. We went to the Galleria Mall in Dallas. It's nice but it's not nearly as big as the one in Houston. We found Emme Claire some new clothes of course and at Saks Fifth Ave Brian found her a talking and moving teddy bear that tells nursery rhymes, her mouth and head moves. She smiled at it so we just had to get it for her. =) Brian and I hardly buy much for ourselves anymore but I did manage to find myself a new coat and a couple of tops. There was an Art of Shaving store so Brian got himself some shaving soap and a nice wooden bowl that holds it. After we walked the whole mall we decided to head back to the resort because we were tired but that didn't happen. Grapevine Mills Mall is just a few minutes from our resort and so we decided to stop there and do a little more shopping, it was calling our name! ha! I like the way the Mills malls are always shaped like a circle so you end up back where you started. We have been to the one in Katy, TX called Katy Mills, I guess they are sort of a chain of outlet malls. I found EC the cutest winter coat at Neiman Marcus Last Call, it is pink wool and ties around the waist. I'll have to take some pics of it and post on here. I cannot wait to see her in it! I went in the Gymboree store, I can't ever pass one up, and found her a cute Halloween outfit (not a costume, it's a fall outfit that says something like Lil' Pumpkin) and I found her some pajama's that say Night Owl and has little owls on it. I couldn't resist getting that because she is definitely our little night owl. I found her some footed pajamas in several stores, we have started buying a lot of footed pj's because she doesn't like covers but her feet get cold so that is the only way we can cover those little feet. After we went around the whole mall and completely exhausted ourselves we headed back to the resort. We rested a little while in the room and then headed down to the atrium to go eat at Texan Station, it's the sports bar and grill. We both had burgers and they were good. The chips and queso were really good too. After dinner we wandered around the resort some more and then called it a night.
Sunday morning I got up early and went down to the spa for my facial while Brian and EC relaxed in the room. Then we all got ready and walked over to the Glass Cactus for Sunday Brunch. The Glass Cactus is actually a big nightclub on the resort grounds but on Sundays they hold their brunch there. It was good thinking for them to put it a good ways away from the resort so that the noise of the nightclub wouldn't disturb the other guests. I never heard any noise while we were in our room. That's a VERY good thing! The resort is located on Grapevine Lake and from the decks outside the Glass Cactus you have good views of the water. After brunch we decided to go drive around and explore the area. We road through downtown Grapevine but most of the shops and wineries were closed because it was Sunday. We ended up in Southlake, TX which is right next to Grapevine I guess. It is a very nice place. They have a lot of new outdoor shopping malls that remind me of Market Street in The Woodlands, TX. So we ended up doing more shopping and got EC more footed pajamas. There was a Learning Express toy store, I love that store. We got EC a hand puppet that is a stuffed dog and I'm so glad we did because she really likes it. She grabs it and hugs it up to her. :) There was also a Central Market, which is an awesome grocery store that we used to go to in The Woodlands and in Houston. We went there and got some cheese, dried fruits, bread etc. Brian brought an ice chest with us and that is what we used to keep stuff cold on the trip home. Sunday night we went to eat at P F Chang's China Bistro. It is one of our favorites. If you like chinese food then you have to try it. They bring everything you order out family style so that everyone can share the entrees. The food is delicious!
Monday morning we packed up and headed out. We stopped for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, another favorite that we miss living near. We picked up the pups around 6:30 pm and made it home around 7:15. I've been working on the laundry since we got back. Brian went to work this morning and is leaving out around 4 am to fly to New Jersey I think. I'm not sure what airport they are going to, it may be Newark. I just know they are going to look at a job in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. I think the hotel they are staying at is somewhere in New York (state, not New York City). He needs his clothes clean so he can pack tonight. Oh and he is picking up EC's 3 month pics from Baby Blues in West Monroe today!!!! I can't wait to see them!!!!!! Every time EC has new pics come in I feel like a kid on Christmas morning! Back to Brian's traveling, he won't be back until late Friday night. It is gonna be hard to be here taking care of EC all by myself. My mom is going to help out some.
My mom is coming over today to watch EC so I can get dressed and do some things around the house. I have an appointment to get my hair cut in Ruston this afternoon. Then me, Brian, EC, Mom and my brother Jay are going out to eat at 102 a bistro (our local favorite) for my mom's birthday. Her birthday is today. Tomorrow I have to take the pups to Barks N Bows in Ruston to be groomed and then I have to go back to Ruston and pick them up in the afternoon. Thursday I have a dentist appt and so my mom is going to come over and babysit EC for me. I joined boot camp (a workout program in Jonesboro at the country club) and I start that at 6 pm Thursday night. I guess mom will just keep EC until I get home from that. I'm not looking forward to boot camp but I need to do it. I lost weight while I was pregnant and now since I've had EC I've been gaining weight. That is so backwards! Then Friday night is my first Pokeno party with a group of girlfriends. It is at my house and so I have to clean house (ugh), cook a meal and set up a folding table and chairs in the living room so that we can all have a place to sit. I'm looking forward to that party. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with EC that night. Brian was going to take her somewhere that night to visit family until the party was over but now that he won't be here I'm going to have to make other arrangements.
We have a very busy week ahead of us!!! I will try to post some pics of some of the cute stuff EC got while on vacation soon.
In the mean time you can click on the link below to view the album of pics I created on Facebook of our trip to Grapevine. There are a lot of pics so it would just be easier to post the link to that album than to try posting them on here. If you will click on the first pic it will enlarge it and then you can just hit your right arrow key to scroll through the rest of the pics. I typed descriptions under most of the pics. All the pics were taken either inside or outside the resort. We didn't take pics anywhere else. You might have to copy and paste the link into your browser.

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