We used some of our Arrival miles to pay for two nights in the Westin Galleria in Dallas this past weekend. This was a great hotel that is directly connected to the Galleria mall, which afforded us shopping at our convenience and was situated right next to the George Bush tollway which meant we had pretty quick access to several parts of the Dallas area.
We ended up first going to Fair Park for lunch on Friday. This is the location of the State Fair of Texas, and was constructed back in 1936 in the beautiful Art Deco style. They had a variety of food trucks setup and also had a rotating water show - which was a little underwhelming, but I thoroughly enjoyed the grounds since I had never in all my travels been to Fair Park and it definitely makes me want to go back to experience the state fair.
We then checked into our hotel, did a little shopping, and then went to Texas de Brazil. This was also a new experience for us, and even though I know this is a chain restaurant, the amazing salad bar and all you can eat varieties of meat that the servers bring to you was more than worth the $130 price tag (includes tip and a glass of wine).
The next day we ended up going to Oddfellows for brunch - and it was great as well. They serve Cuvee coffee and even have a nitrogenated cold brew on tap - called Black and Blue - that was very tasty. We drank coffee at the bar and then after waiting about 15 minutes for a table I ended up getting the eggs benedict w/ salmon and my wife got a Sante Fe scramble. Both were very delicious.
We ended up doing some more shopping and then going to North Park - which has to be my favorite mall in the world - for some more shopping. It is Art Deco as well and is privately owned and they don't allow kiosks - which is very unusual for a mall - but makes for a great experience and is probably one of the reasons why they are so popular. We then went to Eddie V's for dinner, which is a steak/seafood joint that had a jazz trio that night that was headed up by one of the University of North Texas jazz professors. The music was great - as was the food - and the server allowed us to get drinks at the happy hour price even though our dinner extended past the allowed hours. They also signed a card for us and treated us to dessert so needless to say our experience was off the charts. It was definitely expensive at $180 out the door (which included 4 glasses of wine and cocktail) but it was worth it for a once in a year treat.
Our last day consisted of going to Sushi Yaa - which is a small sushi chain that we have found in the Dallas area that has all you can eat sushi for about $10 a person. You serve yourself and they have around 25-30 rolls, as well as fried rice, and different fried vegetables and meats and soups to eat as well. This place is always great - especially for the price and the quality of sushi is actually really good. We ended up then driving home and hitting an outlet mall on the way for a little more shopping before getting reading to get back to reality.
All in all we spent about $1,000 on the hotel, dining out, and shopping, and after redeeming our miles for the hotel room we only had to pay about $650 out of pocket - which to me was a great deal for a nice anniversary getaway.