What To Do on a Wine-in-a-Can Run: “Yeah Charlie… it’ll be an Adventure!”

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Wine in a canWhen I started telling people about what I was doing (and why) one my out and back trip to try wine-in-a-can a common question I got was “what are you going to do all day?” Fair question. Sad thing is this is not the first (or probably the last) time I’ve had to kill 8+ hours of time at an airport. Granted, usually I’m waiting to travel somewhere, not just returning home from flying to the airport on the same day.

I originally considered taking public transportation into Houston to go check out a museum for a few hours; but after looking into it I decided it against it. Even if I gave myself plenty of time to get back to the airport, what if something happened and I missed my flight? The cost of a hotel room and buying another ticket or using a non-rev pass to get home didn’t seem worth the risk to go to a museum for a few hours.

Before flying out here I looked into what places to eat were in IAH and where they were. For breakfast I wanted to try Shipley’s donuts (for the kolaches) and I had a nice surprise on my way over there when I saw a Peet’s Coffee & Tea (introduced to me by none other than Delta Diva himself). =) Armed with my breakfast and coffee I headed to my base of operations for the day.

53350005Since we don’t have elite status with any airline a saving grace for our family has always been the USO. My husband is still an active reservist and we have access to USO facilities even if we’re traveling without him or on a vacation and not on military orders. Foreign military have access to them as well.

They are great about providing food, beverages (non-alcoholic ones 😉 ), wireless internet, TVs, DVDs, books, toys, a place to hang out while you’re waiting for a flight, and usually some places to sleep as well.

53350007The USO in Houston is nice and located at one end of Terminal D (the International Terminal).  While I like hanging out and grabbing some bottles of water at the USO, I always feel guilty taking too much because I know there are people traveling who are just coming back or heading to a deployed location and I hate feeling like I’m “taking” for them. *Shameless plug: Support the USO*

53350009For lunch I decided to try out the French bistro/wine bar in Terminal C “Le Grand Comptoir”. The prices for the food were quite reasonable, but a glass a wine usually went for more than the cost of the food. I opted for the Prime Rib sliders and homemade chips which were only $13. I was debating between two glasses of wine, and when I finally chose one; they were out of it so I had the other, a Castello d’Albola Chianti.

In reality it wasn’t anything too spectacular but compared to the canned wine I had earlier today it was fabulous. It was one of the “lower end” glasses of wine you can get there at $11. A nice thing they offer is a glass and a half for only $4 more. I think that’s nice when you know you want more than a glass but two might be a little too much. In this case I went with the single glass since I was still recovering from the canned wine this morning. The total cost of my lunch (before tip) was $1 less than the cost of my flight.  =)

We were delayed coming out this morning so it was no surprise we were delayed going back to DFW as well. If the USO was closer I would have probably stayed there longer, but I get a little paranoid about missing a flight, especially since I’ve been in the same situation as Keri where the monitors say your flight is delayed only for it to get back on time again.

I was also hoping for an opportunity to get a closer seat again, no such luck but at least I had an aisle seat on the way back. There also ended up being some empty rows on the flight so I moved up shortly before take-off (once the crew was sure everyone had boarded).

gasolina-mojitoOn the return flight I was going to try the Gasolina brand Mojito and Sangria (they look like adult Capri-Sun drinks) but they had just sold the last one before they got to my row. I felt bad for the flight attendant because he kept offering me other options of drinks; I didn’t really want to get into how I was just buying those to try them, I didn’t really need a drink right then. =)

At least now I’ll have something new to try the next time I fly on Spirit.


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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.

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Tiff's first big vacation was a Caribbean cruise when she was six. She first started getting interested in deals when her husband showed her the tricks to getting bought off your flights back in the late 90s. She started flying nonrev when they got married; the first unusual nonrev she did was in '05 when her family flew through San Juan to get to Dallas from Philly. They have two boys, ages 11 and 7, who she usually drags along on their travels and hopes they will grow up to love traveling as much as she does.

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