Amarillo by morning?

Howdy! Mike and I just got back from a weekend in Amarillo, TX to celebrate the wedding of our dear friend Tom.  Tom’s fiancé (now wife!) is from Amarillo, and the two of them planned the most amazing Texas weekend for us East Coasters.

However, our weekend began with a traveling nightmare.  We left DC early Friday morning and got to Dallas with no problems.  We had a four hour layover, and decided to spend our time at a Mexican cantina.  Some of our friends were also coming through Dallas, so we all met up together for a long lunch.

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In the midst of our lunch, Mike and I learned that our flight was CANCELLED, for no apparent reason. We got on standby for the next flight out, but didn’t make it, even though our friends did.  We then made the next flight, but our captain never showed up (?!?) so that flight was cancelled as well.  At this point, it was 9pm and we had been at the airport for nine hours.  We decided to call it and rent a car to drive to Dallas.  We saw another couple with ND shirts on, and figured they must be going to the same wedding….so we offered to drive them!  It was a five hour drive from Dallas to Amarillo, so we were very glad to have the extra help taking the late shift in driving across the panhandle of Texas.  We rolled in at 2:15 in the morning and collapsed into bed.  We were so bummed to miss the rehearsal dinner!  It was held at the Palo Duro Canyon State Park and it looked breathtakingly beautiful.  The silver lining in this is that we were so late getting in that the only room left was a suite on the top floor, so we were pretty pumped about our amenities! Party suite!

The next morning, we slept in and stumbled to a cool coffee shop called Palace Coffee Company for some scones and hipster coffee.  We had to take the rental car back to the airport, womp womp, which meant we missed breakfast burritos with the gang, but we met up with everyone for lunch at Crush, a wine bar.


The ceremony wasn’t until 5 pm, so we had the entire afternoon to play! First stop, Boots n’ Jeans warehouse!  The bride warned us that everyone would be wearing boots and hats at the reception, and she managed to get everyone in the wedding party a discount, so we headed out to wrestle up some boots!

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Once we were properly outfitted, our group headed to Funville, which had batting cages, Putt Putt and games galore.  We all took a shot at the batting cages, and then Jess showed us all up.  We were having fun in the “medium” and “fast” pitch cages, then Jess waltzed into the “expert” cage and knocked them all out of the park.  That girl was insane! We found out after the fact that she played softball, which helped soften the blow…


        

Swing batter batter…


Next up, some putt putt golf, couples vs. couples, and Mike and I completely and utterly lost.  We were awful!  Once we licked our wounds, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the shuttle that would take us to the church.  The shuttle dropped us off, and the ceremony began right away!  Michelle’s dress was lovely and she looked absolutely stunning.  I also loved being able to see Tom so happy!  He was ecstatic as she walked down the aisle.

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Once Tom and Michelle said “I do”, we boarded the shuttle and arrived at The Amarillo Club, a gorgeous venue on the top floor of the Chase building in downtown.  We enjoyed a fun cocktail hour while taking in the great views.


    

My favorite part of any wedding is the dancing, and we had an amazing time tearing up the dance floor after dinner and toasts.  Michelle’s sister gave, hands-down, the best maid of honor speech any of us had ever heard, and then we all worked our magic with the bandleader to get the band to play “In The Air Tonight” by Phil Collins.  Towards the end of the night, our wishes were granted, and the house went crazy for the song.


After the reception ended, we headed to a cocktail bar associated with The Amarillo Club and hung out with the bride and groom and their families until closing time.  The bar’s speciality was a Moscow Mule, and we all enjoyed a few too many 😉

Sunday morning, our group headed out bright and early, but Mike and I decided to spend an extra day just the two of us.  Given the long travel time and the fact that weddings are not exactly baby friendly, we decided to leave Norah with her Oma.  We then decided to take advantage of the baby-free time and turned it into a mini-vacation! (Spoiler alert: there’s not much to do in Amarillo on a Sunday…EVERYTHING is closed!)  We managed to find a fun spot for lunch and we hit up Cadillac Ranch!

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Super weird…just a bunch of Cadillacs stuck in the ground with some spray paint.  Hmm.  Mike and I are not cool enough to appreciate their artistic value? But they made for great photos.  We then drove down historic Route 66.

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We decided to cut our losses with trying to find something touristy to do (next time, we’re definitely hitting up Ohms Cafe!) and headed to the movies.  We saw Aloha with Bradley Cooper, and it was pretty cute! Nothing great, but lots of eye candy to go around and it made us laugh several times.  After the movie, we went to Acapulco for some margaritas and chips and queso.  Our crew ended up there after the rehearsal dinner on Friday, and we heard it was quite the experience.  Our brief happy hour stint did not disappoint!


We asked the concierge for a good dinner recommendation, and we mentioned how much we liked beer, so he immediately suggested the “I Don’t Know Bar” (that’s the actual name of the bar!)  It was a fun, sports-bar like atmosphere, with over 250 beers on tap.  We enjoyed a couple of yummy, hard-for-us to find beers and then we headed back to the hotel for some Netflixed Mad Men.

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Everyone, including the bride Michelle, raved about Palo Duro Canyon State Park, and after missing the rehearsal dinner, Mike and I knew we had to see it.  We decided we would hike the Lighthouse Trail based on everyone’s recommendations, but then we actually got the park on Monday morning.  Even though we were fueled by some great coffee from 806 , we could not wrap our heads around the dire warnings in the park’s maps.  Our favorite excerpt was “Do take plenty of water, as most heat-related deaths occur on this trail”.  WHAT!?! We might be city slickers, but we’re not stupid.  We only had a liter of water each, and neither of us were prepared for a 5.5 mile hike in a Texas canyon.  We decided to stick to the Paseo del Rio trail, and had a fun time meandering along the bottom of the canyon, even though we both got eaten alive by bugs (and we almost got rammed by a young buck, and then we interrupted a male turkey trying to proposition 3 female turkeys…it was dicey for a couple of minutes).  The views were incredible and we are so glad we got to see the park!  Next time, we’ll be more prepared with enough water and bug spray!


    

We had a final lunch at Crush before heading to the airport, and then the real fun began (cue sarcastic voice…) Our flight to Dallas was delayed, and then we sat on the tarmac in Dallas for several minutes waiting for a gate.  I SPRINTED to the gate and begged, screamed, cried, cajoled and threatened the ground crew to wait for Mike to join us with our bags.  He had to wait for our bags on the jetway, and he ran up not a second too late.  I was watching the crew close the door on us (as they assured us that we were on the next flight out to Baltimore…yeah, sure) as he ran up and I couldn’t believe that we had actually gotten on the flight.  Our captain was a bad ass and landed during a thunderstorm.  It was the scariest landing that either Mike or I had been through, and our neighbor, a flight attendant, said she’d never been on a flight where a captain had attempted such a stupid landing (her words, not ours!)  All that being said, we could not believe we actually made it back to DC Monday night.  We managed to snag an Uber and paid a huge surge to take us home, and we finally walked through our doors at 1:30 in the morning.  So happy to be home.

While we enjoyed the wedding immensely, Mike and I have no desire to ever go back to Texas again!  We spent more than our fair share sitting in the Dallas airport.  Public service announcement: never fly American Airlines!!

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