Monday, January 15, 2007

Wintry Mix in the Metroplex - Part 1

While I probably won't be heading to Asia anytime soon, Kate and I did enjoy a crazy weather weekend in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

We headed up to Dallas Friday afternoon and heard the first winter weather advisory crackle over the radio just north of the IH-35 split. We'd snagged a decent rate through Hotwire at the Hilton Anatole, but my budgetary triumph was quelled by the outrageous $15 parking fee.

I could understand paying that much for valet parking downtown, but the Anatole is on a large plot of land by the Market Center with acres of parking. I felt like asking the desk clerk if my parking spot came with a handjob.

Nickels and dimes aside, the Anatole is a particularly nice Hilton in a central location. We'd just beaten a line of severe thunderstorms to the hotel, so we decided to cool our heels at the Gossip Bar alongside a gaggle of conventioneers wearing knit polo shirts with corporate logos on them. I'm sure paying $12 for a Cosmopolitan doesn't hurt as much when you're paying with Other People's Money.

Although the rain wasn't letting up much, we were hungry, so I fetched the Honda and we drove over to Maple Avenue to eat at Avila's. It was a spot-hitting textbook Tex-Mex meal with a price tag lower than two drinks at the Gossip Bar.

Kate needed a warmer jacket, so we headed for Mockingbird Station, a transit-oriented development at Mockingbird Lane and Central Expressway that epitomizes how far Austin has to go to catch up with Dallas on rail. The Gap was bereft of women's outerwear, but I found a great men's winter jacket marked down from $98 to $20. The sleeves were a bit long on Kate, but it kept her warm. None of the movies at the Angelika Film Center floated our boat, but we did enjoy some hot chocolate from the coffee bar in the lobby.

On the way back to the hotel, we took a drive past my childhood homes and my first elementary school. I showed Kate the precise spot where my kindergarten teacher followed me to my mom's car as school let out, climbed in the front seat and told my mom that I needed to stop cussing in class. Needless to say, that made one hell of an impression on my 5-year-old mind.

1 comment:

Lance said...

When we were in Dallas last month for the Zappa Plays Zappa show, the Nokia Theatre in Grand Prairie charged $12 for parking. The exact same handjob thought went through my mind as well. Is this a D/FW parking conspiracy?