I’m confident that “staycation” is a word some anonymous person coined to make herself feel better about not leaving town. I cancelled my trip planned for the end of this month and therefore had to come up with alternative ways to make it feel like I’ve still checked out, at least mentally.
My staycation itinerary plan was simple: 1.) Crank the air conditioning in my bedroom all the way down to hotel-room level, low enough to double as a meat locker at night; 2.) treat the kitchen only as a very elaborate mini-bar situation with Doritos and Sailor Jerry spiced rum for after midnight; 3.) visit things that exist only within Fort Worth city limits; 4.) do the same things I’d do in a different city, like go out for coffee and breakfast, take in some culture, drink a tropical drink poolside, and visit a little wine bar before crashing; and 5.) make someone else worry about driving.
Sticking with this plan meant shaking off my usual Starbucks, where baristas begin the order for a burnt bean-flavored Americano the moment they hear my squealing brakes pull into the drive-thru. Waterside development newcomer Piattello Italian Kitchen (5924 Convair Dr, 817-349-0484), among its other much-lauded qualities, boasts a coffee bar that opens at 7am daily. Snagging a Cortado (an espresso with steamed but not frothed milk) provided the much-required non-alcoholic spark to get my day going early.
Only on vacation do I crave a full-on brunch situation during the week, and the bar at Press Café (4801 Edwards Ranch Rd, 817-570-6002) opens at 7am daily. Between a breakfast burrito with a Bloody Mary or banana walnut pancakes and a Mimosa, there are options aplenty for mid-morning indulgers.
After fueling up on caffeine, breakfast, and booze in the morning, I felt the urge to remind myself why tourists flock to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (3200 Darnell St, 817-738-9215). The Cultural District icon is usually far less crowded in the a.m., so I was able to gaze undisturbed at Ed Ruscha paintings without looking like I’m sizing things up Thomas Crown Affair-style. Occasionally, there is a daytime showing of an art film in the movie theater, which makes for a relaxing break in the cool dark on a hot day. Plus, Café Modern is one of the best bars in town and opens at 10am for lunch. A big bonus for any tropical-drink-sipping-on-patios plan, the reflecting pool is sans the screeching and splashing rugrats who usually come along with standard resort pools. You’re welcome.
This spring, Café Modern even has four excellent “beachy” kinds of drinks. For gin drinkers, the Ode to Violet features Plymouth gin, Cointreau, Crème de Violette, and lemon. If a Piña Colada is what you are missing from vacation, the Island Frost is a special riff on that flavor profile using Flor de Caña four-year rum, lime, and coconut milk. Fans of Tazo’s Passion iced tea at teashops nationwide will love that same flower extract in the hibiscus mimosa. But if it’s a fruity concoction you crave, the Blackberry Coupe made with Elyx vodka, blackberry, basil, and lime hits a refreshing high note.
I’m not sure why, but summer evenings on vacation always make me crave crisp white wine somewhere that doesn’t require trading in my shorts and sandals for a skirt and stilettos. Over on the Near Southside, 44Bootlegger (1411 W Magnolia Av, 817-887-9089) has 44 different craft brews and 44 types of wine to choose from, all within a laid-back atmosphere that is full of people from the local neighborhood. This proves the perfect nightcap before hopping into a Lyft chariot and ending a damn great day — and I didn’t even have to worry about losing my luggage.