My Solo Dallas Vacation + Where to Stay and Eat

Last week I went to Texas for the first time…. you guys… I can’t even believe how awesome my trip was ! This trip was oringally booked a few months ago for me and my best friend (who lives in Chicago) to have our first ever girls weekend getaway. Well, life happens, and a couple weeks before we were supposed to leave, she had to cancel the trip. At first I was DEVASTATED. I was so bummed that we wouldn’t have our alone time ( haven’t really had any girl time since having my son Liam- he’s almost five!). We had every single day planned out and I had been looking forward to this trip all summer.

 

Thank you to The Fairmont Dallas for hosting my stay in Dallas! All opinions are my own. This post my contain affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.visit dallas solo

It’s funny how the universe throws things at you, and depending on which path you take, can either make or break you.

I frantically started calling friends and family to see if they wanted to go to Dallas with me. Nathan couldn’t come with, because who would watch Liam for four days? I thought I was just going to have to cancel the trip all together when I couldn’t find someone to go with. It wasn’t until I spoke to my dear friend Bea on the phone about the situation, that she had a brilliant idea. “Why don’t you go alone?” she asked. I hadn’t even THOUGHT about going alone. I haven’t been alone in years! I never do things alone. Never seen a movie by myself or eaten at a restaurant solo… how awkward and scary?!

Then Bea continued to encourage me and tell me that I COULD do this. That going alone is going to be the best break that I so desperately needed. “You will have adventure, you can relax, you will gain confidence” she assured me. I decided I was doing this. And I was literally shaking when I finally said it out loud.

Now, to some, you may be confused as to why this is such a big deal. Let me just give you a super quick back story… I have been in a relationship since I can remember. I am not even kidding. I have never been single in my life. My “high school” sweetheart and I got married (and divorced) when I was just 20 years old. I moved to Colorado from Illinois, yes, but with Nathan. I have been a stay at home mother for almost 5 years…. being alone is just not something I have ever done. Even as a child, the only time I remember being without friends or my family, was when I was hiding in my tree fort reading Nancy Drew. So the thought of going to a whole new state that I had never been where I don’t know anyone… it was terrifying.

As the day to leave came nearer, I became more and more excited. I could do anything I wanted ! I could go sight seeing all day, eat when and what I wanted, or I could just lay by the pool all day ! I was PUMPED.

Thursday

The (VERY early) morning came, I was all packed, I was singing while I was curling my hair before the sun even came up…I was ready for my little adventure. The flight on American Airlines was superb. This was the first time I have flown without Liam since he was born. I was able to listen to music, read, and order a coffee without fear of a little hyper preschooler knocking it out of my hands. My trip was off to a great start.

On Vacay

When I stepped outside of the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, I felt like someone was blowing a hot blow dryer in my face. HOLY HEAT AND HUMIDITY. It was not until the last day I was there that I felt I was starting to get use to it. My hair becomes a flat, frizzy mess and I am sweating through my jean shorts. Ew. I rented a car from Enterprise and had a great experience. It was quick and easy and I got to drive around the city in this bright blue tiny Chevrolet Cruze, which was perfect for parallel parking downtown.

visit dallas solo
The Dalas Eyeball structure

First stop- lunch. I parked my car in a parking garage near this giant eyeball structure. (It was a great way for me NOT to get lost) and saw this little brick paved area of downtown with some outdoor eaters. I headed to a cute outdoor lunch spot called The Stand. They said they had just re-opened and were super friendly. I got the bacon avocado hot wrap… it was perfect. They also had some delicious looking ice cream but I was too full from the wrap.

I had found this adorable nail salon online called Pink Toes Nail Bar and had booked an appointment a couple days before. This was one of the curtest salons I have ever seen. The bright pink, black and white color scheme was fresh and fun. I loved that each station had its own iPad and headphones, I was able to catch up on some YouTube videos from my favorite YouTubers. I got the Pink Unicorn spa pedicure (my feet were SO soft) and a french tip gel manicure.

So far, so good! I am feeling good. I got this.

NOTE: Dallas’ meter parking only excepts quarters! Something I did not have (Denver parking meters take card) so I had to pay $15 in a parking garage just to get my nails done. (little did I know that my hotel was like two blocks away and I could have parked there first and then walked over to my appointment.. oh, well!)

Check-in at The Fairmont Dallas

When I drove up to the Fairmont in Dallas, my first impression was “Wow.” It really is a beautiful building and entrance. Valet parking helped me with my bags and I was instantly so happy that I was in A/C. I have to admit, I felt a bit like a hillbilly, for lack of a better word,  when walking into this hotel. I had been walking around Dallas in this humidity and heat that I just am not use to… I was wearing an old t-shirt and ripped jeans and looked like a mess. I was so tired and fried from traveling and rushing to get to downtown and then to eat and then to my appointment… I was in need of a nap STAT. And not that anyone even noticed, I was greeted with huge smiles and kind words right away anyways.

I have to give a huge shout out to Symeon Melikoglou who was SO incredibly kind and patient with me at check-in. Issues with my card meant calling Nathan, sending emails, getting his card info… it was a mess. I was so embarrassed for the delay but he just did it all with a smile. I am so grateful for him and how sweet he was while I was an overheated frizzy mess.

My LOGO on the door!

I was on the 6th floor in a suite overlooking the pool. It was perfection. I about cried when I walked up to my door and saw MY logo on the door! How cool is that?? Then walking into the room, I see photos of me and my family, my old logo for my blog, and even a framed photo of Nathan and I next to my bed. I was really tired, so more emotional than usual, so it took everything in me to not ugly cry in front of the sweet employees that showed me to my room.

visit dallas solo
Framed photo of Nathan and I next to my bed!

 

Old photos of me and my little family

 

visit dallas solo
How AMAZING does this look?!

After they left me to my room, I totally pulled a Pretty Woman and flung myself onto my giant white bed while squealing with delight. Is this really my room for 4 whole days?? I won’t have to do laundry, or cook, or clean, or …. oh my goodness I can’t believe it !

I started checking out the little details of the room and was saying things like “awww” and “wooow” out loud. The room was beautifully decorated, sparkling clean, and had everything you could need right there. All the little thoughtful details made the world of difference.The room was very spacious- perfect for a small family. The sitting room had a large TV, dining table by the window, a big comfy couch, and a desk. The bed was the most comfortable I had ever stayed in. The large walk-in closet and deep soaking tub are two things I always look for when staying somewhere for more than a night. I was impressed by it all, especially the rose-scented toiletires that had my NAME printed on the label. I have to be honest, I felt pretty special.

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I can’t forget to mention one of the best things of my trip… the chilled champagne and assorted CHOCOLATES and macaroons that were there waiting for me on the table. If you know me, chocolate and champagne is like my love language. It took me all weekend to drink that champagne and eat those delicious chocolates, but it was perfect. (Let me tell you… after a few drinks and walking a mile back to the hotel in heels… those chocolate covered strawberries were THE best thing I had ever seen. Don’t judge me.)

visit dallas solo
Feelin’ fancy

visit dallas solo

After realizing I was starving, I headed to Moxie’s Grill & Bar off Maple Ave via the free trolley. There is a trolley stop just a block over from the hotel and was really convientant to jump on. ( There are also many places within walking distance of the Fairmont Hotel). I thought I wanted a fun loud atmosphere, so this is the area that I stumbled upon. It was a fun,trendy place that had great drinks and good food. I ordered the salmon avocado salad and couldn’t believe how giant it was! I sat by the fire pit outside and inhaled my food. I forgot to bring a book or something to do so I found myself just kind of staring at people. This was my first time eating dinner alone. I wasn’t in the best place for this. I should have picked a quiet place I could sit back and relax and not care. I was surrounded by groups of people laughing and shouting over the music. I was really wishing my friend was there with me! I started to think maybe my trip alone wasn’t going to be so great. After a couple drinks and a full belly,  I skipped the trolley and decided to walk back to the hotel. I called my best friend and talked her ear off. I was happy that I had someone “there” with me because I wasn’t feeling how I thought I would. Even though I was in a new place and had this beautiful hotel room, I felt lonely, not just alone. When I got back to my room, feeling a little defeated, I ate some chocolate, had some champagne and passed out.

I wish I had gotten a good photo of the trolley!

Friday

Magnolia Market

Friday morning was THE DAY. The whole reason I had wanted to go to Texas in the first place… MAGNOLIA MARKET in Waco! I am a HUGE Fixer Upper fan and seeing the silos was on my bucket list. I woke up early and made the hour and half drive down.( It is about an hour and a half drive) I was dancing and singing in the car the. entire. way. Because I could write for days just about my experience in Waco, I am saving that one for next week. Lets just say Magnolia was everything I had imagined it would be and more. I will never forget it!

Magnolia Market in Waco

After Waco, I headed back up to Dallas for my massage appointment I had made a few days in advance. I really recommend checking out Groupon.com for deals on things to do ! Booking my massage through Groupon saved me quite a bit of money. I was so tired from my day that Friday night I just stayed in and enjoyed myself a hot bubble bath. And again, that champagne and those chocolates. My trip turned into the best vacation ever! I was feeling more confident in where things were downtown, and getting use to just being with myself.

Saturday

Breakfast at the Fairmont Restaurant

Saturday morning I had reservations for breakfast at Pyramid Restaurant & Bar, the Fairmont hotel’s Four Diamond restaurant. I could write for days just about the food. OHH my goodness, was it delicous! I had the pleasure to meet and speak with the head chef Brandon. He was as sweet as can be and explained where they get all their ingredients. I love that they use locally sourced food as much as possible and use their own herbs from their rooftop herb garden. (I also LOVE how eco-conscious the whole hotel is! They even have recycling bins in the rooms! )

visit dallas solo
Everything was so fresh and wholesome-if only I could eat like this every morning!

 

Stay Fit Breakfast

My favorite was the Stay Fit breakfast. It was a perfectly portioned bowl of ancient grain porridge topped with fresh berries, “hippie bread” from a local bakery with walnut butter, and fresh pressed juice. My favorite was the pear ginger carrot juice. SO good. (I ordered almond milk to pour on top of the porridge… it was divine.)

visit dallas solo
Crispy Waffles with cranberry preserve, Vermont maple syrup and whipped honey butter

 

visit dallas solo
Reading my Magnolia Market magazine on this big comfy sofa while enjoying EVERY. SINGLE. BITE.

Pool Time

 

visit dallas solo
Sparkling blue pool

I decided it was time to actually sit still and relax so I headed to the pool. I was able to read my book, sip on a refreshing cocktail from the pool bar, and get my tan on. The staff was very good about continuing to ask if you needed another drink or some water. Everyone I met at Fairmont was so nice! At 2:00 PM a DJ sets up and starts playing some great tunes and I am feeling celebrity status at this rooftop pool.

 

Dinner and Drinks

I freshen up and decide to head back out and give downtown Dallas another try. I don’t know if I was just in a neighborhood that fit me better, or my attitude about everything had just changed. I was feeling right at home around Mckinney Ave and Hall St. I walked around a bit admiring the mix of old and new buildings and the brick streets. I had a juicy “LLANO POBLANO” burger from Hopdoddy Burger Bar with a “Mighty Mule” cocktail. I was able to sit by the window and read my book while looking up to people watch.

Llano Poblano burger from Hopdoddy Burger bar

I wanted to sit outside because it was finally cooling down. I ended up at a pretty great place called The Quarter. I was in HEAVEN with the brick walls, black wrought iron stairs, and hanging vines. I plopped myself down in a comfy chair with a moscow mule and my book and sat there reading until it was too dark to see. There was a light breeze that made all the difference, good music, and a great view of the street. I was having a brilliant time!

 

I called it an early night. I took a hot bubble bath, watched some Netflix in my hotel room and enjoyed the stillness of it all.

Eating my cinnamon roll from Magnolia Baking Co.in their fluffy white robe. I love that there was little pull down reading lights in the headboard of the bed and that the lamps have plugs to charge your phone right next to you!

Sunday

Sunday morning I woke up a little sad that I was having to leave already. There was so much I still wanted to see and do ! And oh I will miss house keeping… if I could just have my bed made magically every day, I would be one happy momma. AND having these gardens in my backyard… that is all.

Garden Terrace at The Fairmont 

I loved the gardens and that there are little secluded areas to sit and enjoy my coffee and book.
Fairmont’s honey bees!

 

Busy little honey bees

 

These beautiful hibiscus flowers are all over the garden at the Fairmont!

 

Perfect little nook in the gardens to enjoy some peace and quiet

Fairmont dallas

171 N. Akard Street

Dallas, Texas 75201

866-514-5249

To just enjoy a day at the luxurious pool and garden terrace,  you can buy a day pass here!

Brunch

I took my time packing and getting ready for the day. I checked out of the exsquisite Fairmont hotel and walked over to the Klyde Warren Park. There were people dancing on the stage, kids playing in the splash pad, live music, food trucks and a beautiful view of skyscrapers above the trees. I ate brunch at the restaurant there and finished the rest of my book while I ate. I FINISHED a BOOK, people! Start to finish on this trip! It’s been awhile since I have had time to do that. I ordered the lemon ricotta stuffed french toast with a peach bellini. It was heavenly. It was quite rich, so splitting that with someone and maybe a crisp green salad would have made it perfect.

Lemon ricotta stuffed french toast at Savor (Klyde Warren Park)

Dallas Museum of Art

After brunch I walked over to the Dallas Art Museum and was immediately regretting not getting there earlier. This art museum is magnificent! There are four floors and I only had about an hour before I needed to head back and get the rental car. So I did a lot of quick walk-throughs while also being able to stop and really enjoy pieces I liked.

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I returned the rental car, flew home to Denver, and was kind of shocked that it all happened so fast. ( I was also shocked at the temperature – I was FREEZING)

I felt something new. I feel something new. Bea was right, I do feel a bit more confident. I also was feeling extremely inspired while I was there. I was getting all sorts of ideas and thoughts that hadn’t popped into my head for a long time. I know it’s partially due to reading Love Style Life by Galance Dore. Her story of how she built her empire is fascinating. I was/am swept up in it all. But I feel the need to MAKE again. To create things for myself just because. To write to myself, just because. To actually make something in my craft room that I never have time to even step into. And to go back to school finally…??

Big things are happening over here, and I am ready to embrace the changes and the scary unknowns. Pushing myself to get out of my comfort bubble for this trip made me realize I LIKE that. I like pushing myself, and I need to continue to do that so I grow and learn.

This will not be my last solo trip. And I am feeling the urge to travel more. If you are thinking about taking a little weekend getaway for yourself… DO IT! This was one of the best decisions I have made in awhile.

Have you ever taken a solo vacation? Where did you go and what was it like ? Let me know in the comments below. I would love to get recommendations for my trip next year!

Thank you for stopping by!

I hope you have a beautiful day

New Momma Survival

 

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17 Replies to “My Solo Dallas Vacation + Where to Stay and Eat”

  1. Whoa! It is amazing to see how talented this woman is. I have known her for 21 years, and she constantly impresses me. This is so inspiring. Taking a trip to a state you have never gone to can be rough, but doing it on a budget and by yourself??? Come on ladies!!! This is great! Printing this out and getting a clear paper to keep it protected, setting this bad girl on my coffee table! <3 Keep it up Nat!

    1. Wow thanks Lyns !!❤️❤️

  2. Oh this was wonderful to read. I especially loved reading the start on how they made things so special for you – what a treat! I have never been away by myself … Im not sure I would be lol Probably just doing work lol

  3. I love the fact that your friends’ cancellation didn’t damper your spirit and you went and had a great time. That’s awesome and looks like an amazing trip!

    1. Thanks Stacy ! It was so fun !

  4. That hotel looks amazing- what an awesome time off. I think I would struggle with being alone too but sounds like you found ways to enjoy it. Hope you end up getting a redo with your best friend! ❤️

    1. Thanks Jamie ! Yes we are hoping to plan a trip for next year !😁

  5. I’m not going to lie, as much as I love my family, I cannot resist a solo trip to relax and unwind! I didn’t realize how beautiful Dallas is! I’m so glad you had an amazing time!

    1. Thanks girl !

  6. That looks so fun! I want to visit Nashville!

  7. Solo dates! I love that idea! Good for you!

    1. Natalie Aubele says: Reply

      Thank you !

  8. That sounds like the best trip ever!!! 💛 So glad you had fun.

    1. Natalie Aubele says: Reply

      Thank you ! It was a blast !

  9. Now, THAT’s a vacation I’d love to take, Fairmont sounds simply amazing! The fact that you went solo too – even more wonderful. I think we all need time alone, it rejuvenates & strengthens our soul:)

  10. OMG!! Love this!! I’ve wanted to go by myself for some time now and just haven’t built up the courage to do it! I totally get why it was such a big deal to you because I’m the same way! I need to do this for myself!! Glad you had such a wonderful time though!!

  11. ive always wanted to go to dallas!

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