As much as I absolutely adore my co-workers, I will be the first to admit that I was not looking forward to spending a week with them training in Dallas. The non-profit sector is so much different than corporate America… We would be carpooling and sharing rooms once we got there. (JOY!) Albeit much different than any road trip I’ve ever been on, we had a pretty awesome workcation!
We left from Houston for Dallas around 4:00pm on a Sunday. The drive actually went by pretty quickly. We made the obligatory stop at Bucees. If you have not experienced Bucees, you absolutely must do so at least once in your life. It’s a gas station/convenience store like none other. It boasts about the cleanest rest rooms, and every time I’ve been in one, it has lived up to it’s reputation. I grabbed a snack, snapped a picture with Buccee (which was photobombed by some kiddos), looked around at some of the random things they have for sale (deer corn? hmm… ok), then we got back on the road.
Now it wouldn’t be Texas if we didn’t run into some real COUNTRY sites along the way. A truck zoomed by us with the largest elk (maybe deer) head that I’ve ever seen. It was just sitting in the back, hair blowing in the wind. My co-workers – who are JUST as nosy, and curious, and picture loving as myself and I decided to speed up so we could get some pictures. The irony is that this was a roofing company truck, with the quote “Everyone needs a Guardian” on the back window. That monster head was definitely enough to ward off a few people.
We arrived at our hotel The Holiday Inn. The hotel was your typical Holiday Inn. Nice enough, but nothing to write home about. I hated that they have the vanity outside of the enclosed restroom area. No privacy, whatsoever, to groom. They did have a pretty decent breakfast though – eggs, bacon, sausage, in addition to the traditional continental breakfast food. They also had an evening happy hour, where they served wine, beer, and light snacks. There was a shuttle that would bring you anywhere within 5 miles. It was very convenient, and we took it to dinner one evening.
Now, onto my favorite part of the trip… company trip = free food. We ate at some pretty fabulous places. We stopped at Mattito’s for some Tex-Mex. I loved the inside of this place. The host stand and booths behind it were made out of empty bottles. I couldn’t get the song “99 bottles of beer on the wall” out of my head for a couple of days. There was a small outside area, which I imagine draws a nice crowd when it’s a bit cooler outside. I had the brisket quesadiillas, and they were delish!
The Ranch was definitely my favorite stop. The website describes the food as “American fare with a Texas Accent.” We got there during happy hour, and my co-workers enjoyed a couple of $5 margaritas. They said they were good, and I’ll have to take their word for it. There was a guitar player playing a little country music in the bar area. The place was super crowded and really loud. We found ourselves having to shout, but the food more than made up for the volume! I had the grilled chipotle meatload. OMG! It had a smoke taste and was SO flavorful. It came with mashed potatoes and green beans that were seasoned to absolute perfection! I tried some of my co-workers fried green tomatoes which were excellent as well.
The last place worth writing home about was Andalous. A Mediterranean spot. First let me say that the portions are HUGE! Like, enough for 3 people huge. I had the Andalous chicken, which came with 2 side and 2 pieces of pita bread. I chose green beans, and dip for my sides. The spicy hummus dip as well as the tzatziki dip were both good.
A good workcation should always involve a little bit of shopping. We went to Grapevine Mills Mall. It is a bit of an outlet mall with some regular stores sprinkled inside. Nothing to significant here other than the Mangonada that I had at smoothie paradise. It is a mango smoothie with chili. Similar to what you can get in Mexico, except in Mexico they use fresh mango. It is a very tasty combination of sweet and spicy!
I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to pat myself on the back. I celebrated my 1 year anniversary with my company while we were away. My boss treated us to some yummy cookies from Tiff’s Treats… The chocolate chip was to die for!
While traveling with co-workers college-dorm style is not my ideal way to travel, I could not have been more fortunate to travel with my co-workers/friends! Til next time Dallas!