Antler's Hotel in Kingsland, TX
I've seen hotel options that allow for an overnight in a retired railroad sleeper car.
But, Antler's Hotel offered 3 little Caboose options! We picked the red one!
This wonderful old inn, is not far from our Lake LBJ cabin, where we've spent many a night in the past 5 years. The inn has a grand history and lovely ground and renovated rooms, but we've never had a good enough reason to stay.
But when we recently noticed a FOR SALE sign, we were reminded that this hotel with cabooses might be gone someday.
One Night in the Caboose
Silly as it seemed, we spent $160. to stay one night in our caboose hotel. Kind of silly when our cabin was not that far away.
Let the Adventure Begin
We packed our retro suitcases... as seen at the top of this blog page.
We climbed the stairs to our entrance, carrying every goofy kind of entertainment we could need, books about trains, cards, snacks and cocktail fixings. We even had a few movies like Hitchcock's, "Strangers on a Train", that we never even had time for.
There was more space than I expected in our little playhouse of a hotel!
We had a queen bed and "kitchen" with microwave, fridge, toaster oven and coffee maker. The bathroom was tiny, but what would you expect. There was even a shower.
Our Red Cupola
Between the sitting and sleep areas was the most fun feature. The red-painted observation cupola!
Back in 1969, when this caboose was in use, the crewman could climb up to get a good view. If he saw a problem, he could signal the engineer. By the 1980's, modern train technology made the caboose obsolete. I'm glad this one didn't end up in a junk yard.
Sleeping and Relaxing Space
I'm not sure how the interior looked originally. Now, the caboose is clearly set up for happy little tourists who want to "Play Train" like Don and me.
The bunk beds made the caboose a good option fro families. I would have gone nuts if my family had stayed in a caboose, when I was a kid. Then again, I pretty much went nuts when my family stayed an Howard Johnson's or Holiday Inn.
Actually we look sort of drab and serious in this little pose. But we had a ball looking through some old books of train history, with photos of luxury travel back in the day, when ladies wore little white gloves to carry their cosmetic cases!
The Best Fun
This was my favorite part, hangin out in the cupola. We had to modify the space to accommodate martinis, though.
The soft benches were fine, but we had to hoist up a stood to be our table. What a hoot to enjoy the view out all the little windows!
We spent a little time wandering the grounds. There were a couple fishing docks and even a rowboat we could have borrowed.
Caboose guests were welcome to enjoy the inn as well. I especially liked Baby Doll, the cat. She followed us everywhere.
I got a tour of some of the guest rooms and the wonderful old kitchen. It was fun to picture the resort guests and train travelers, who arrived the year the inn opened in 1901. But I was more curious about the Borrow Family, who bought the resort and used it as a family retreat for 70 years!
Screens and Swings!
This is just a portion of the rear of the inn. I tried to picture this place swarming with cousins and grandparents... screened doors slamming and porch swings swaying.
What a wonderful family hang-out, for a really big family!
Grand Central Cafe
We did have our own mini kitchen, for making dinner. But it's important to note, there is a cafe on the property. The Grand Central Cafe, is a mighty good option.
Not only do they serve decent food in a fun little house, but there some intriguing history! This very house, (which was moved from a different location) was the ramshackle house, used in the filming of the cult movie, "Texas Chainsaw Massacre". Doesn't get much more appetizing than that!
We've dined at the cafe a few times, so we decided to stay put in our caboose.
Here we are in the morning, having coffee and breakfast. We didn't actually make use, but we could have scrambled up some eggs on the nearby grill.
We got to Play Train! What more can I say! There were no other caboose guests, so we felt even more like kids who had discovered an abandoned train.
You don't have to be a kid to enjoy the whimsical fun of a 54,000 pound red caboose! So far no word on The Antler's being sold. So glad we enjoyed while we could!
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!