Texas winter storm: Dallas man returns from Rome after free trip

It was one of the worst storms in years, and somehow it ended in a trip to remember for Ezell Holley.

DALLAS – It was one of the worst storms in years, and somehow it ended in a trip to remember for Ezell Holley.

The story began in February when Ezell and his son Glenn lost power during a winter storm.

“I just had my lighter trying to stay warm, then I went to Glenn’s, he got hot for a while, then neither of us got hot,” Ezell said.

“Hotels were hard to find, and hotels with heating were even harder to find,” Glenn said.

That’s when Ezell’s granddaughter, Alex, a Philadelphia news anchor, stepped in.

“I felt helpless. I wanted to do something. And that’s why I started looking for hotels,” Alex said.

After a long search, Alex was able to find his family a very low-end hotel – with warmth – that his grandfather jokingly called the Waldorf Astoria. Surprisingly, the real Waldorf Astoria heard about it and offered Ezell a free trip to his hotel in Rome.

RELATED: Dallas grandfather gifted trip to Rome’s Waldorf Astoria after his winter storm experience went viral

They made this trip a few weeks ago.

“We just thought, OK, we’ll get a room, it’ll be fine, that’ll be great, we were grateful to have a room. But the Penthouse?!” said Alex laughing “We didn’t expect that at all”

“That hotel room was off the chain. I mean it was amazing,” Glenn said. “The doors opened, and looking at his face was worth everything.”

Ezell will never forget it.

“They had a big bed. I had never seen such a big bed before,” he said. “Then there was a ceiling that was amazing to me because it had a replica of the sky. Like you’re sleeping under the sky.

The room was so beautiful it was hard to leave, but eventually the family got out and explored Rome.

“See the Pantheon and the Colosseum, eat pasta, eat real Italian gelato. Just walk the streets and take a look at everything,” Alex said. “It was really special to have this real Italian experience, especially for grandpa as he hasn’t been in over 60 years.”

Considering how this story began, it’s amazing how it ends. Ezell Holley showed us everything – life really is what you make it.

“It was truly a highlight of my life to be able to return to Rome,” Ezell said. “It’s everything you can imagine.”

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