OK my bad, I played half a night till I found a $130 flight to Cabo San Lucas from Orlando and like an idiot I missed the fact that it included a six-hour lay over in Texas!
It’s ten at night and Charlene is doing the last check on our trip to Cabo. “Room’s check, transport to the resort check, Flights check,” long pause, “You booked a six hour lay over in Dallas / Fort Worth,” Charlene says giving me the “bad dog” look.
“Whoops,” is all I can say. I could have said, “I’m a cheap Geezer,” but why aggravate the situation.
So the next day after our flight from Orlando we land in rain soaked Dallas / Fort Worth at a little after noon. Yes it’s a six hour layover till were off for Mexico but I don’t panic because I have a plan.
Before my plan can kick into gear we walk right by one of our all time favorite restaurants. Yes, there on concourse “A” not a hundred feet from our departure gate is Pappadeaux’s, one of our all time favorite Cajun Restaurants.
Let me say one thing up front; I rarely find a reasonably priced, enjoyable restaurant at an airport but hear we were.
My master plan was put on hold as Charlene led the way to the elevator that took us down to a great surprise. The Pappadeaux’s in DFW is a full-scale, full menu restaurant.
Twenty-foot ceilings, chandeliers, mahogany walls and wait staff in uniforms. Oh don’t let me forget along with amazing atmosphere is the added delight of the aroma in the air of pure Louisiana cooking.
Our waiter Victor was professional, attentive, and fun
Our meal was wonderful but there was one standout; as a starch Charlene ordered the butternut squash risotto.
Good risotto is not easy and I have to say the butternut squash risotto at Pappadeaux’s was excellent. Charlene tried to capture the recipe but the chef protected it like a cobra guards it’s kill. After a little persuasion some of the ingredients were shared. I’m sure we are missing something important but Charlene did identify garlic, parsley, butter, parmesan cheese, risotto, and of course butternut squash. When we find a kitchen Charlene claims she’s going to figure it out.
We spent an hour having a great lunch with wine. The final bill for two great entrees, wine and a tip was $70. So much for the myth of, “ridiculously priced, poor quality food at airports.”
Pleasantly full and ready for a little relaxation we headed for concourse “D” and my original plan, the American Express Centurion lounge. With our American Express Platinum card we got in to the Lounge at no charge and joined the small group of lucky Centurion travelers.
Once your admitted into the Centurion Lounge all food, wine and the spa are complimentary. Charlene got a complementary massage and I got a complementary manicure (first one in years). My manicurist was a wonderful Vietnamese lady named Lori.
While Lori fought to make my little bear paws more presentable she shared a great story about traveling the road from Vietnam to Thailand by bus. This trip may need some attention on my bucket list.
After enjoying the spa we sat down for a few hours of cribbage and just enjoying the atmosphere while we sampled the complimentary drinks and food. The food buffet is fresh well prepared and imaginative. If you Google “Centurion Lounge DFW” you will hit on a site that will tell you the menu on the buffet for the day.
The spirits, wine and beer are complimentary, served at your table by friendly waiters and waitresses. The bar menu offers a nice selection of upper shelf cocktails and liquors including one of my favorite beers a Sam Adams Winter lager.
By 5:20 Charlene had completely demoralized me at cribbage, we were wined, dined and spoiled by our complimentary spa experiences and our six-hour layover was coming to an end.
Thanks to Pappadeaux’s, the Centurion lounge and ”letting” Charlene win at cribbage I was out of the doghouse for booking a six-hour layover and one more small travel adventure was over.
As I sit here writing this blog I’m reminded of all the travel screw-ups I’ve made that turned into great experiences. As a Geezer with a passport I say, “don’t worry about the screw-ups, they can make some of the best memories!”