Tag Archives: Gaylord Texan

A Month In 5 Minutes

Well hello again!

Did you miss me Blog? I promise I’ve been thinking about you often, but life just kept getting in the way. Then it had been just so long that there was almost an awkwardness when I came to  my keyboard and I didn’t know where to begin, so it was easier to just avoid you all together.

But it’s time to break the silence!

Rather than feel overwhelmed with trying to write a post for everything major that happened in December, I thought I’d start small (by copying whata fellow blogger did) and share just a few clips from the last month. I promise to try and not take more than 5 minutes of your time!

Ready?

Here we go…

Since I last posted, the weathermen (for once) finally got it right, and we had Icemaggedon hit Dallas over the weekend of December 6–and just in time for us to take Christmas card photos!

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This was the worst ice I’ve ever seen in Dallas! The sidewalks, roads, and even objects were layered in thick, thick later of slick ice. We had a great time playing with cookie sheets as make-shift sleds until someone got hurt! (Sorry Baby Z! Mommy lost her balance when trying to catch your brother!) 

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When we put the sleds away, we decided to take our chances in an even bigger sled–our van– and head to NorthPark for some time out of the house. We couldn’t let a little ice stop an annual tradition; especially since this would be Baby Z’s first trip to the Trains at Northpark!

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After the ice cleared away, we had one more threat of severe weather, but it never came. We enjoyed the rest of December wrapped up in holiday parties, play dates, and events.

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Then the Christmas festivities began!

It’s almost impossible to believe that this was Baby Z’s first Christmas. He was born so closely after Christmas that it’s strange to think we’ve spent the whole year with him and we hadn’t celebrated a Christmas together as a family of 4.

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This Christmas felt like the official first of many. Although it was a joy to spend the last few with the Little Man, now that he’s beginning to believe in the spririt of Christmas, it made it all that much more exciting and real!

Gingerbread Trains were built. The Polar Express was watched well over a hundred times. We left cookies and milk out the night before, and discovered snow the next morning on our fireplace from Santa’s boots. Christmas morning was magical and I’m already excited to see what next Christmas will bring with a almost 2 and 4 year old!

My Christmas gift to Tim was a night at the Gaylord Texan. I had it all planned out! We spent the afternoon with the boys and his parents at ICE walking through 9 degree temperatures. After a little sightseeing and photos, we went our separate ways. The boys with their NaNa and Grandpa and Tim and I to the Gaylord’s steakhouse.

Unfortunately, half way through dinner I became extremely sick. My $45 steak into a doggie bag and up to the room where I spent the rest of the night in the fetal position on the bed. But at least we captured a few pics before the evening went south!

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Christmas lasted through January 1st as we waited to celebrate with the Hurst’s until we were all together again.

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And finally…this happened…DSC_0099

We officially have a walker!

Welcome 2014!

I am excited you’re here!

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First Time for Bliss

This time tomorrow night I’ll be at a Newcomer’s Meet and Greet at Blissdom; a premier conference for women and bloggers. 

I’ve been so wrapped up in my small world of poppy diapers and tantrum-throwing toddlers that it didn’t actually dawn on me until tonight that the conference is actually this weekend! And not even the weekend, but tomorrow!! 

As I’m reading the Twitter feed of all the ladies who are attending, it’s helping make it more and more real. Women flying in from all over the country talking about what they’ll be wearing and who they’ll be meeting up with. I can’t wait to show up and begin meeting new people, and the best part, actually being able to stimulate my mind! 

But to be honest, all of this talk makes me a tad jealous. 

You see, one of the benefits of living in Dallas is that I can attend the conference very easily. It’s only a 30 minute drive to Grapevine so the drive is simple. And, it was also a lot easier to persuade my husband to let me leave the newborn at home! 

I’ll be able to attend the sessions in peace without having to worry about a hungry, crying baby; take notes, participate in meaningful conversation, and learn a little something from experts. 

But of course, him not being with me is the downside to the conference being in Dallas. 

Any other year, I would have found a friend and booked a room at the Gaylord with everyone else so that I could feel like I was getting the true conference experience, but with a 2 month old, I just couldn’t do it. So while the other women are getting a weekend of pampering and relaxation, I’ll be driving out to Grapevine every morning in traffic, participating in Blissdom, then enjoying the car ride home anticipating the needs of a crying baby. 

Although I’m “getting away” for the weekend, I’m not truly “getting away!”

But that’s okay…I’ll take what I can get. And that’s several days of fun and bliss; even if it is only until 5! 

**You can join in on the fun too by following me via Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!**


Will you be at Blissdom this year? 

Make sure to find me at one of the sessions! 

Here’s a peek at my schedule: 

Ice at the Gaylord Texan 2012

This past weekend, @ChevyTexan and DrivingtheHeartland.com treated my family to a Sunday excursion to the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine. In my opinion, it’s one of the most beautiful hotels in DFW, and we love making it a part of our holiday traditions. 

I’ve been almost every year since ICE opened (with the exception of 2011), and it never disappoints! So, when @ChevyTexan offered us a chance to not only experience Lone Star Christmas for its opening weekend, but have a brunch at the Boardwalk Cantina, how could I say no?? (And the fact that they gave me transportation for the weekend in a Chevy Malibu pretty much put icing on the cake!)
Typically this resort restaurant has a family style or a la carte menu, but for Sunday Brunch at the Riverwalk Cantina they go all out with a huge buffet; including complimentary Mimosas and Bellinis by the water. 

There’s a gourmet breakfast bar with a variety of foods including an omelet station. If you’re more for the lunch in brunch, you can head to the salsa, soup, and salad bar for starters. Then enjoy freshly made tamales, tacos, and fajitas, or more premium entrees like pork tenderloin, rack of lamb, and prime rib. . . And don’t get me started on the desserts!  

Yum. 

Once we were sufficiently stuffed, we decided to make the long walk over to ICE and work off some of the few hundred calories we’d just consumed. 

After years of standing in lines that last for hours, this weekend, we experienced a first . . .

We handed the attendant our tickets, walked straight through all the ropes…past the movie that’s normally the holding queue, and right to the booth where they hand us our parkas. For a family with an almost 2 year old, THIS was the way to go!

There was no attempting to entertain him while we walked 10 steps per minute. We didn’t have to fight a toddler tooth and nail to prevent him from running past all the crowd and into the exhibit. We just grabbed our parkas and walked straight on in!! 

  

This year’s theme is Dreamworks’ Merry Madagascar. Using almost 2 million pounds of ice, sculptures from China were flown in to create this amazing display based on the holiday TV special from 2009. 

Although the Little Man didn’t know who any of the characters were, he still had a blast since 
he’s currently into learning about animals. 


He’d run from character to character shouting “Zebra,” “Lion,” “Penguin”!

  . . . And that’s right, I said run! Again, just as easy as it was to move from the entrance into the attraction, there was even more room to move around inside. 

So much room, that when we got to the giant ice slide, we were able to ride it 3 times without having to wait in line! 


I honestly don’t think ICE has ever been this memorable! Mostly because it’s a completely different experience seeing the wonder through the eyes of a child, but also because it relieved Mommy from a lot of undue stress! 
My advice if you’re planning to head to the Gaylord Texan for ICE and you’re visiting with little ones: 
  • Buy your tickets in advance! Save yourself the hassle and time by not having to stand in the ticket line. 
  • Go on a Non-Peak day if possible. Check the calendar for the “white days” when tickets are almost $5 cheaper each and lines are likely to not be as long. This might mean you have to take a day off of work or plan in advance, but it will make your experience so much more enjoyable. 
  • If you have to go during a Peak time, go early or go late! Try to be the first in line or head during a time of day when others won’t be there. For example, during lunch or dinner time. With so many great restaurants at (and near) the Gaylord, plan to eat a brunch or early dinner and head to the line while others are eating. You might even try a Sunday night while others are winding down and getting ready to head back to work! 
  • Be prepared to leave your stroller at the door. For safety, they’re not allowed past the ticket person, so don’t count on it as a way to manage your child through the lines. 
  • Snap away!  There’s so much to see and look at while inside the attraction make sure to go camera crazy to capture that perfect photo. And don’t be surprised to see your cheeks get rosy quickly from the cold! 
  • Upcharges everywhere! With ticket prices at almost $27 per person, I always hate how much more they try and sell you once inside. Before being able to enter, they’ll take a family photo that you can buy at the end starting at $20. Then once you exit, there’s a dessert and coffee bar ($3 hot chocolate anyone?) with opportunities to take photos with a Madagascar character …for a fee. And once you’re past those temptations…a toy store! Be prepared to either make a compromise or cover your child’s eyes to avoid temptation of spending extra money! 
Now that you’re prepared for this adventure, all that’s left to do is buy your tickets! 

For a limited time, you can get 50% off your ticket by using the promo code ICECG