We vowed that Mothers Day 2016 would be an epic one for both of our mothers! We didn’t know how but we were destined to come up with a plan to surprise them and take them on a trip somewhere, domestically or even better internationally. Of course- like my wife always does, she relentlessly searches the web for flight deals to find the best deal available. We brainstormed on where we wanted to go in the US and out of the country that would be the best deal facing the challenges that we all were coming from different cities, her mom in Chicago, my mom from Las Vegas and us situated in NYC. We talked about a quick trip to Seattle, Miami or LA but wanted to do something a little more laid back so that we could relax and spend some good quality time with our moms. Texas was on the list and with Mother’s Day being on a Sunday we thought possibly traveling to Houston to see Pastor Joel Olsteen would be something to think about.

We found some cheap tickets that would work for all four of us to Dallas, TX, a city only my wife’s mom had been to. Probably not high on someone else’s list but knowing Dallas is a beautiful southern city with a lot to offer would be a great getaway even if it wasn’t necessarily a sexy pick so to speak like Miami or LA. Our biggest concern was making sure the moms had the best experience possible. We booked the tickets and now the fun began, the search for activities, restaurants and hotels. We had to find out a way to surprise them and we had the perfect plan.

We booked the moms flights to arrive early in the morning in Dallas and scheduled a car to pick them up and take them to the Hyatt Regency in downtown Dallas. We gave them gift cards and two options to have brunch, one at Yolk Restaurant and the second option was to have brunch at one of the hotels restaurants, which they elected to go with the hotel location.  Shortly after we sent them on a city cruiser tour (dallascitytour.com) for them to get some fun facts and some of Dallas’ historical background. This would give us enough time to hop on our flight from NYC to Dallas, get a rental car, drive to the hotel and meet them for the surprise. My wife informed the moms that there would be a snack arriving from room service shortly after they returned from the tour to hold them over until it was time for them to get dressed and ready for the next activity. In true Fly Duo form, WE were actually the snack! We obtained their room number and headed to their floor soon as we got to the hotel. We got the phones and camera ready to show the priceless looks on their faces and we were pretty sure the reaction would be EPIC and LOUD to say the least. We knocked on the door as if we were room service and Crystal’s mom opened the door. And just as expected the reaction was pandemonium, screaming and crying.

Off to the next adventure and told the moms to get dressed and head downstairs. The Hyatt Regency has an amazing Observatory by the name of Reunion Tower Observation Deck on the top of the hotel with some spectacular views overlooking all of Dallas! They have extremely friendly staff we were able to get some great photos of the deck.

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After the Reunion Tower experience, we were all starving, and one of our favorite past times is eating, and what would be a trip to the Lonestar state without some good BBQ!! Everyone from locals to Trip Advisor recommended 2 places and one was in close proximity to our big activity of the night. We decided to go to Woodshed Smokehouse (located 3201 Riverfront Drive, Fort Worth, TX) and it did not disappoint one bit. The wait was 2 1/2 hrs according to the hostess, but my wife thinking quickly on her feet managed to go to the bar, order our food and found us an outside table that we could all sit comfortably at and enjoy the food.

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(Mexican Corn)

We gave the moms specific instructions on what to pack prior to the trip, so that they would be fully prepared to enjoy their weekend. We purchased them cowboy hats and instructed them to bring cow girl attire for their next surprise, a trip to the Stockyards Rodeo in Dallas-Fort Worth courtesy of Nate Krieger from the Marketing team at Stockyards. This was gonna be a super fun experience for all of us with this being all of our’s 1st rodeo and we had some great seats in the center of the arena in the VIP section. We got the chance to see Texas at its best in a sport nobody can do better. They keep you quite entertained at Stockyards Rodeo from start to finish. And when they aren’t competing, one of our favorite parts happened to be intermission with dozens of kids from the stands getting an opportunity to catch mini calf’s around the circle. Starting the little cowboys and girls off early!!

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IMG_5577IMG_5533 We all had a ball at the rodeo and refreshing to show the moms something they wouldn’t normally do. Even for us it was a different experience that we can cross off the bucket list, and the trip was just beginning and they had no clue what was in store next………………………….