Never a Dull Stay!
The Best Part
The very best thing about staying at The Driskill, is that it still feels grand. I love the word grand and my grandmother used it a lot, always with a smile on her face. The Driskill was 10 years old when my grandmother was born in 1896. She never got to stay in the hotel, but she would have loved the Romanesque grandness!
Stained Glass and Pillars
It's hard to catch a glimpse of the lobby without people bustling through. If it's not filled with guests, then the staff is decorating for Christmas... or a costumed guide is passing through with a ghost tour group... or musicians and florists are heading towards the Mezzanine or a ballroom to set up for an event.
My Driskell Memories
All of my stays have involved some kind of reunion with family or friends.
The two stays with my mom and sister are the sweetest memories. Mom's Alzheimer's made travel difficult, but our overnights at The Driskill gave all 3 of us a rejuvenating boost. Mom loved the terrace best and we made many trips to use the rockers. Since Mom spoke a lot like her own mother in later years, I'm guessing she probably said, "This is grand!" while she rocked on that terrace.
Playing in the Room
A Fancy Room, with the Fam
One Tall Room
We didn't have a fireplace, balcony or stained glass like Ladybird once enjoyed in her suite, but we had soaring ceilings and art deco tiling and black marble in the bathroom. I was tempted to count all the "D"s on the glass, linens and tile. My favorite D was within an elegant design in the vintage sink! All in all it was a very festive setting for opening birthday gifts.
The Driskill Bar
Room With a View
It happened to be Halloween the day we gathered in the gracious lobby. Making the most of our hotel stay, we took one of the haunted ghost tours and learned some curious and creepy history.
Time for Costumes
We even came prepared with costumes and all 8 of us dressed up for dinner. The costumes that we saw later on 6th Street were a bit wilder than my "Aunt Ruth" costume. The street party below made it pretty difficult to sleep, but it was Halloween in Austin, after all. Don and I finally slept, only to wake to a phone call from our daughter. She had joined her friends for Halloween festivities after our family dinner. As the Street Party came to a close, it became clear to Heidi that hailing a cab to her apartment would be impossible. How lucky for her that she had parents (too tired to be grumpy) in a hotel room... just an elevator ride away!
Another Noisy Night
When we returned to the hotel after dinner, we joined the biker crowd in the bar for a little nightcap. If you've seen Brando in The Wild One, you might be imagining a more exciting atmosphere. The bikers at the Driskisll may have owned some loud bikes, but they were a pretty tame bunch. We headed up after a bit and the bikers on the street partied on for many more hours. Eventually the rumbling sounds lulled me to sleep and all was quiet in the morning.
With 7 stays, it's hard to decide. I guess I'm mostly impressed with the balance of Cattle Lovin' Texas Style and Old Fashioned Elegance.
Just look at the cow above the letter R! (That's Mr. Driskell's head high above the cow!) I love the fact that I have been able to experience this "grand" hotel with some of my favorite people! Wonderful hotel and wonderful people, with a few whacky motorcycles and costumed crazies thrown in!
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!