Archive | Road Trips and Pit Stops

An All Around Sweet Friday

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Not one, but THREE, of three tasty sweet treats I’ve made lately.

And a sweet girls’ weekend to a Georgia winery.

And a sweetie pie kiddo.

First up, sweets!

Flourless Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know they don’t look like much, but they were good (albeit a little crumbly). So good in fact all 2.5 dozen were eaten in 24 hours by my crew. The recipe is The Southern Baker, but you can find the recipe here.

Mary Kay Andrews’ Butterscotch Brownies (scroll to the bottom of article for recipe)

This picture doesn’t really do them justice, but these were good (especially so right out of the oven). Usually I’m not a fan of a dessert unless it contains chocolate, but this one was definitely an exception.

The recipe is part of her new cookbook out called The Beach House Cookbook and it’s a great cookbook. Mom & I met her and got our cookbooks signed at her book launch party in Atlanta at the end of April.

And finally, Peach Cake

Earlier this week we went to Jaemor Farms because we had a hankering for some homemade peach soft serve ice cream (June – August is peach season in Georgia and I swear as soon as the calendar flips to June 1st I want peach everything).

After the kids were asleep on Wednesday I made this peach cake from Back in the Day Bakery: Made With Love Cookbook. (I’ve mentioned it on the blog before, but it’s a great cookbook and it’s now on sale for less than $13 shipped)

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One note on the recipe: it says to cut up ten peaches and I did. Honestly 3 peaches would have been enough for the cake. I had so many extra peaches that I tripled the recipe to accommodate all those extra peaches from the first step! (‘Cause lord knows, you CANNOT waste Georgia peaches!)


When does a “girls’ trip” officially turn into “middle-aged women’s trip”?

Just asking for a friend.

‘Cause we’re definitely not old…even though we all pledged the same sorority EIGHTEEN YEARS ago. Lordy.

We went to Helen last weekend and did a little hiking, a little gossiping, a whole lotta eating, and spent quite a few hours at Yonah Mountain Winery.

It was good. So good to be with these girls…ladies…middle-aged gals…who get me. Who knew me as I was finding myself, before I ever met C. (by a good five years!), and before I was a mama. They know me better than I even know myself. I love these ladies something fierce.


And last but not least, this cutie.

Being the third child means he doesn’t get as much one-on-one time as the other two have had in their lives. This past week the oldest two had VBS at night so it was just the two of us hanging out and it was so fun to watch his curious, goofy, funny personality come through.

Wednesday night he spent over thirty minutes hauling this giant blanket to the couch and getting himself all settled in just right with his lovey and sippy cup. Then he sat there giggling. I think he liked being an only child for a bit.

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Hope y’all have a great weekend. It’s supposed to be low 80s and sunny and absolutely perfect for being on the boat and sleeping in tomorrow. Can’t wait!

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Tour Maine Series: Portand + a Printable Guide!

This is my last post about from our recent trip to Bostom, Salem + Plymouth, and Portland. I saved it ’til the end because I loved Maine that much. It was absolutely perfect. Perfect weather, perfect views, perfect shops, perfect food, perfect everything.

It was probably one of my favorite places I’ve ever been.

I will say this: the ocean in mid-May is COLD. When we went lobstering our guide said the water temp was in the 40s! (But look how pretty!)

One of the places I recommend eating is the Lobster Shack Restaurant. The food is good (they have live lobsters right by the cash register), but the view is spectacular. I’ve never seen anything like it. Oh, and the whoopee pies are worth the trip to Portland themselves. Woah Nellie.

Most seating is outside overlooking the water. There are some tables inside, but you don’t go to this place to sit inside.

That’s a pretty fresh lunch right there.

And while we’re on the subject of food another must-do in Portland is The Holy Donut that’s in downtown Portland. C.’s favorite was the lemon, mine was the dark chocolate glazed.

We got to Portland around 5pm the day we drove in from Salem. Instead of stopping at our hotel we drove on through to Freeport (about 30 minutes north of Portland). It was the cutest town! We said when we come back to the area we might actually stay in Freeport. We only spent a few hours there and wish we could have stayed longer (we got Moseby his kindergarten backpack–that they’ll monogram while you wait–at L.L. Bean).

The next morning we went on a lobstering tour with Lucky Catch Cruises. I can’t recommend enough. They let you bait traps, throw them out, pull them in, etc. or you could just sit on the boat. I learned that I’m very fast at baiting them with herring. Maybe I should quit my job as a teacher and move to Maine and work on a lobster boat? Sounds like a good plan to me. (note: they accept cash or checks only)

One of our favorite things we did was explore the Maine coastline by getting off the interstate. We hopped on Route 9 outside of Portland and took it all the way to Kennebunkport. We stopped and visited the Bush family of course. 😉

And yeah, their compound was nice, but this house was my favorite in Kennebunkport. It’s on Haverhill Avenue and overlooks the ocean and it makes my little historic preservation loving heart go pitter patter. This is a house dreams are made of.

And then there’s this house on route 9. Yes, beautiful and old. …but look at the second picture to see its view: a pasture with stone walls with views all the way to the bay. You know when they built this home 200+ years ago the view was what brought them to this spot and I can just imagine looking across the street (where their barn is) and seeing your livestock (in my head it’s fluffy white sheep) grazing in front of the Atlanta. Wow. Just wow.

That night we ate pizza at Slab back in Portland. The pizza was great, BUT they won’t let you customize it. If it says cheese pizza on the menu you can’t add a topping. If it’s a five meat pizza you can’t take ask for only four meats. And there’s only like five pizzas to choose from and I’m married to Mr. Picky…so yeah, just know that going in.

The next morning it was time to head out. We stopped at Mt. Agamenticus and hiked for a few hours. It was so beautiful! From one viewpoint you could see the Atlantic Ocean to your right and snow-capped mountains to your left.

After that we hopped on route 1 and took a leisurely ride towards Boston and Plymouth (we stayed in Plymouth that night) and I’m so glad we did because I found my ideal beach town along the way: York Beach. It was like the perfect little beach town straight out of the 1950s with a soda shop (that we ate at, ’cause duh), an arcade (old fashioned kind of course), and even a bowling alley…all right on the beach. Oh y’all, it was just perfect.

There is one thing we didn’t get to do while in Maine/Massachusetts and that was going on a whale watching trip. We’re already talking about taking the kids back when Lawson gets to be around 4 and that will be the first thing on my list of things to do with them. I think they’d love it.

Here is the Portland cheat sheet (click on this link to get a high resolution copy).

portland cheat sheet

I didn’t mention the shops in this post, but the shops there were great. I especially loved Market Square Jewelers (where I got a pretty new ring (‘new’ meaning from the 1920s of course) that I posted about on Instagram that day) and the Mangy Moose (in Freeport).

Thank you so my friend, Denise, for her awesome suggestions and to my friend, Sarah, as well. This trip was spectacular because of you ladies!

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Tour Massachusetts Series: Salem and Plymouth + a Printable Guide!

I’m combining our two day trips from our trip Northeast last week in one post. I didn’t think we did enough in each place to warrant a whole post on each and I definitely think you could do both places in less than eight hours each.

Salem

After we flew into Boston  we drove up to Portland, but stopped in Salem on the way up (it’s a 1.5-hour drive from Boston with traffic).

We took a tour with the Salem Witch Walk company because we thought we’d see the most of Salem in a short period of time that way–and afterwards I can say that was definitely the right hunch–I can’t imagine trying to see Salem on your own. The sites of the witch trials are tucked away in a modern-day city so it would be hard to find them on your own. The Salem Witch Walk boasts that all the tours are given by witches. We didn’t take the tour because of that though–our reason was purely that of schedule–we wanted a morning tour during the week (and in mid-May before “tourist season”)–this was the only company we found having one that Thursday morning. And it wasn’t busy, that’s for sure!, because C. & I were the only two people on the tour with our witch-guide. (As far as the whole witches thing: he was, uhm, interesting. He did a well-being spell and gave us some crystals…and a car tag. #random)

After our tour (spoiler: there’s very few original buildings/structures/graves/sites from the time of the witch trials left) we grabbed lunch at The Lobster Shanty. And y’all, those gigantic lobster rolls (I had the traditional cold lobster roll while C. had the Connecticut-style that’s warm with butter, both came with delicious homemade pickles) made the whole trip to Salem worth it. It is a Salem MUST.

My cold lobster roll with tots.

His warm lobster roll with fries. They were twice as big as they look here.

We each had our tarot cards read for fun. Then we did a little shopping which I totally forgot to add to the my cheat sheet at the bottom of this post. I loved Roost & Company–they had the cutest gifts (I got my grandmother a tire swing bird feeder and MM a goat tote bag) and Curtsy (where I got my mother-in-law a picture frame and my mother a pair of earrings). Both are on Front Street. Salem also had a fabulous retro-inspired dress shop called Modern Millie. Oh my gosh, I could live there.

Plymouth

We had about twenty hours from when we left Portland until we were to fly back to Atlanta. We took our time driving down the coast (our favorite beach town was York Beach–I’ll post about it in the Portland section) and got to Plymouth around 4pm. Now, I’m going to be honest here: the only reason we went to Plymouth is because I love history and I felt that it would be unpatriotic to go all the way to Massachusetts and NOT see Plymouth, you know?

Once in Plymouth we spent an hour or so walking along the jetty (breakwater? sea wall?) at the harbor. It was fun, but you do have to be steady on your feet–it’s just rocks stacked on top of others.

Afterwards grabbed an early dinner at Wood’s Seafood which served huge portions (C. and I split the fried seafood plate of fish, oysters, shrimp, and scallops) and had some yummy clam chowder…and a great view to boot.

The next morning we went to Plymouth Rock at 9am (not much to see, not going to lie). It seriously took ten minutes tops.

Afterwards we went to Plimouth Plantation right after they opened. And I liked it. I’m not sure if it was worth the $60+ for the two of us–we were in and out in 1.5 hours–but it was interesting to see structures the Wampanoags and Pilgrims had, as well as to listen and talk to them (they stay in character the whole time). I definitely would make sure I went AFTER 2pm during the week during the school year–I imagine that place is a zoo with school kids!

And here’s a little Salem and Plymouth Cheat Sheet/guide I made for the two towns.  (click on the link to download it)

 

salem plymouth cheat sheet

This week is a packed week here on the blog. Tomorrow I’ll post pictures of our (finally) finished dining room redo and Friday I’ll post about the one year anniversary of my tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) and muscle repair that I had on June 1, 2016. It’s going to be a “what I wish I had known”-kind of post and I’ll be more than happy to answer ANY questions you have–just leave them here or on Facebook or on my Instagram page by Thursday.

Thank you to my friend Sarah for her delish recommendations for Salem. That girl knows her stuff!

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Tour Massachusetts Series: Boston + A Printable Guide!

What to do and see and where to shop and eat for a quick 36-hour trip to the city!

Y’all, I might just have a crush on Boston. If their traffic didn’t completely stink (and I know bad traffic– #helloimfromatlanta), I would have a full-on stalker relationship with Boston.

It’s so pretty. And old (old being a very good thing). And tasty. And full of personality.

But the traffic? Oh, the traffic makes me say bad words.

So here’s what we did: we flew in late on a Tuesday afternoon and arrived just in time for dinner. We ate fried lobster (that were the size of chicken fingers!) at Tony’s Clam Shop that’s right on Quincy Bay on the way to our hotel. Nothing fancy (hello paper plates and plastic trays), but so good.

The next morning at 9:30 we took a Duck Tour (we left from the New England Aquarium stop). It was a blast and we got to see lots of Boston–by land and by sea (well, technically river). 😉 If you book a tour earlier in the day (which I recommend for the heat alone) you save like $9 a person.

After that we grabbed lunch at the Tip Tap Room where we had the best calamari I’ve ever tasted (and we eat calamari all the time). C. enjoyed his roast beef sandwich, but I wouldn’t recommend my BLT (the olive bread was overwhelming). But I’d go back in a split second for that calamari. Like woah.

The afternoon we spent exploring Beacon Hill and Harvard Square (see the cheat sheet below for a few of my favorite shops). Both areas are beautiful, especially Beacon Hill.

Don’t these pictures just scream Boston? So pretty!

That night we had pizza at Easy Pie in Braintree. They have subs and salads too. The buffalo pizza was some of the best I’ve ever had.

The next morning we left to go to Portland via Salem. We did come back to Boston Sunday before our flight home and ate brunch at the Beehive. It was hands down the best brunch I’ve ever had–I had Belgian waffles with mascarpone and chocolate and C. had a bacon cheeseburger that was the best burger he and I had ever tasted. We sat right in front of the jazz band in the basement and it was perfect. Definitely recommend it if you’re in Boston!

And here’s my little cheat sheet I promised! I’m sure there is so much more you could do (like go to Fenway Park!), but this is all we could cram into 36 hours. 🙂

full boston cheat sheet

Click here to download my boston cheat sheet (in better resolution than the one above).

Thank you to my friends, Denise & Jessica, for her tourist insight and to my friend, Sarah, for her local insight. Y’all ladies did not steer us wrong!

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Boston, Salem, Portland, and Plymouth

Last week C. & I spent five nights touring the northeast in celebration of our twelfth anniversary that’s this Sunday. We flew into Boston and stayed for a couple of nights before making our way up to Portland through Salem and New Hampshire, before driving south to Plymouth.

And it was really great.

I’m going to do small guides to each city–things to do, see, eat, and shop–over the next couple of weeks since my friends who’ve been there before helped me out so much (and my friends that live there–thanks Sarah!).

But before I do those I thought I would share just a few photos to tease you. 😉

See y’all back here on Friday–hope you’re having a good week (we’re almost on summer vacation, hooray)!

 

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Tour Texas Series: What to See & Do and Where to Shop & Eat in Dallas

I’m doing this last post on Dallas before I forget all the fun things we did, ate, saw, and shopped there.

To Do, See and Shop:

The reason we went to Dallas in the first place is because two of C.’s jobs are there. One is in an area called Bishop Arts District and one is an area called Deep Ellum. Both are technically in Dallas, but they are on opposite sides of the city and have different vibes for sure.

For the kind of shopping where you park and go to multiple stores along a sidewalk, I love Bishop Arts District. We also ate at Hattie’s while there and it was yummy {I had an onion tart}. DIRT Flowers there is amazing. And Emporium Pies looked delish.

The other things we did while in Dallas were to go to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science (read my review here and DON’T go there before 1pm during the school year).  We also went to Klyde Warren Park first thing one morning and it was dead (but it’s super cool–the interstate runs right under it!) so I would recommend going to lunch and eating a burger at Savor Gastropub (you can order from a takeout window or sit inside) or go at lunch on Saturdays when they have food trucks.  Another thing MM really enjoyed was the Reunion Tower–a giant tower (you ride an elevator up) that allows you to see all over Dallas.

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One thing MM said she wished we had done was go on the trolley. It went right by our hotel (we stayed here and it was great) and every morning she would talk about it, but we never got a chance to do it.

My favorite souvenir shop we went to was Buzzerk in Lower Greenville. We got the coolest Dallas t-shirts (some shirts were not little kid appropriate, but most were) and coasters. While we were in the neighborhood we ate at Toasted–an entire restaurant/bakery/cafe built around different types of toast. The peanut butter-honey toast was GOOD.

To Eat:

Probably the best place we ate was a small hole in the wall/kinda fast food restaurant called Velvet Taco (they also have restaurants in Ft. Worth, Austin, and Houston). The roasted corn side was amazing. They also have artisanal sodas (MM love the grapefruit one). It’s a definite ‘must do’ in my book and will be my first stop when I go back to Dallas.

We also ate at the Shake Shack one day.

I’ve heard great things about Pecan Lodge (BBQ and sides) from C. in Deep Ellum, but we didn’t go there.

And that’s it. This is the last post about our Dallas trip even if we did get stuck there for an extra two days and had to drive allllll the way back home. #thanksdelta


I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. We don’t have much going on (YAY!) other than MM’s artwork is being featured in a pretty prestigious art show for our school system’s K-12 annual art show. We’re all going out to eat lunch before we go on Sunday and she is on cloud nine that all the people she loves will be there celebrating her. Art is where her heart and passion are and she was over-the-moon to be chosen for this exhibition. It’s so amazing/interesting/thrilling to watch as your children find their passion.

 

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Tour Georgia Series: Washington Farms Strawberry Picking {’17}

I mentioned last week that we are doing something fun with my dad every week for the month leading up to his 70th birthday on May 17th. Last week we went to a Gwinnett Braves game and today we went strawberry picking (so I could make him a strawberry cobbler!)…who knows where we’ll end up next week! 😉

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And just because I had people ask on Facebook (’cause I personally think I look like a hot mess express post-workout here) here’s links to my gym clothes: top. sports bra. compression leggings. tennis shoes (different color). 

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Lawson had a blast picking berries. Well, he’d pick one, squish it all in his hands, and then stuff his mouth with it. ‘Cause that’s how you’re supposed to pick them, right?

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Mary Margaret and Moseby are old pros of course.

They grabbed their buckets and started picking right away.

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And after we picked these gorgeous ladies we headed over to the picnic tables and had our fill of strawberry ice cream.

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When we got back to my parents’ house I made dinner {spaghetti and meatballs because that’s my dad’s favorite} and homemade strawberry cobbler. I used this recipe and it was PERFECT. The crust was almost cake-like and delicious.

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Definitely can’t recommend Washington Farms enough (they have TONS of berries right now!) or this cobbler enough…or my dad enough. He’s one terrific guy.


This is the fourth time you will find me talking about Washington Farms on the blog. The first was in 2011 when MM was 2. We took her again in 2012 when she was 3.  And again I wrote about it in 2014 when we took her and Moseby (she was 5, he was 2).

 

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Which Science Museum for Kids in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area?

On our recent longer-than-expected trip to Dallas thanks to Atlanta’s storms and Delta’s lack of scheduling/planning/togetherness MM & I did two science museums in 24 hours. We went to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas one day and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History the next afternoon.

I thought it was kind of cool we did both so close together and thought it might be beneficial to some of y’all if you’re ever planning a trip to the Dallas-Fort Worth area and are trying to decide which one to do with your kiddos (or yourself).

First off, cost.

Perot is $20 for adults and $13 for kids. Parking was a flat $10.

Fort Worth is $15 for adults and $12 for kids. Because I was a teacher I got in for free. Parking was $6 for 3 hours.

Next, let’s talk about size. Perot is four levels (with three levels of exhibits) and the Ft. Worth museum is one level (with two hands-on exhibits outside). If I had to guess I would say Perot is 1.5-2 times bigger.

Okay, now what about the best age for the museum goer? Both are geared towards school-age kids, but Perot is best for 5th-8th graders (or even older), if I had to guesstimate. The science and exhibits (robotics, engineering, body/anatomy) are more advanced and mature. It does have a children’s museum for kids 5 and under, but we didn’t go to it. At the Perot Museum she needed my help to do many of the exhibits, like the robotic arm or building a structure to see if it can stand up to earthquakes.

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She created a bird from six different stations (beak, feet, feather color, call, etc.)

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The best age for the Ft. Worth museum I would say PreK-4th. Their children’ museum is for children up to 8 years old, but MM wasn’t interested in it since the rest of the museum’s exhibits were more her speed–she could easily do all the exhibits on her own.

She’s laying on a bed of nails!

She worked on circuits for over thirty minutes. It’s not a standard for second grade so she was learning as she went. 

Finally, let’s talk crowds. Y’all, while we were at the Perot I thought at any second the fire marshall might walk in and shut the place down. She had to wait in a long line at every one of the exhibits. It was a madhouse zoo. I would NEVER (ever) go back there in the mornings (it was all children on field trips), take my word: go in the afternoon after 1 when they all head back to school.

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Perot museum

This is JUST the crowd outside the door. Y’all, it was insane. I’m a teacher so I get the craziness that field trips bring, but this was more than that. There were way too many people allowed in the museum.

The next day when we went the Ft. Worth museum we went at 2 in the afternoon and were two of literally five people in the entire museum. It was AWESOME.

So, there’s your basic rundown. I personally enjoyed the Ft. Worth museum as a mama {MM LOVED it all!}, but as an adult the Perot Museum was fascinating. The crowds, however, spoiled it for me so I would recommend the Ft. Worth museum if you only had to chose one of the two.

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Tour Texas: Waco {in Seven Hours}

Honestly, Waco wasn’t on my radar when planning our Dallas trip. Yes, I’ve seen a few episodes of Fixer Upper, but I’m not a super fan like some.

In fact, I prefer beadboard/wainscotting to shiplap.

Sacrilege to all those Fixer Upper groupies, I know. 😉

But MM loves it. She and my mom have watched every episode and MM talks about “JoJo” like there are actual real-life friends. And since this trip was all about her, I knew I had to take her to Waco since it’s pretty close to Dallas.

I asked my high school friend/Baylor grad/web designer, Meredith, for advice on what to do in Waco. She told us what to do after we left Magnolia Market and she was spot on. So I thought I’d share with the world her wiseness in all things Waco.

On the second day of our trip we headed out around 8 from downtown Dallas (C. had meetings all day in the city so it was just a girls’ trip). It’s right at 1.5 hours and the drive there is pretty. We left early because I knew Magnolia Market opened at 9am and I thought it would be busy.

We had seven hours (9:30-4:30) to do Waco. And here’s how we spent our time.

~First we went to Magnolia Market at the Silos {601 Webster Avenue}. They have a huge gravel free parking lot. Do NOT pay to park (even though you’ll see tons of places charging). 9:30-11:00

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Y’alllllllll, calling this place “busy” is an understatement.

Zoo. Chaos. Crazy Town.

My dad has this expression he loves to use, “It’s like they’re giving it away!” and I always roll my eyes. But y’all, the amount of stuff people were buying, the sheer amount of people on the lawn, the sheer length of every single line (to the bakery, or a food truck, or to check out, or to the bathroom), was staggering. It was a random Tuesday morning at 10:30am. I was/am/forever will be dumbfounded.  It’s like they were giving it away!

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The line for the bakery was 50-deep at 9:30, by 11am when we left it wrapped around the block. 

So, there are like four parts to Magnolia Market.

  1. There’s the store itself.  They’ve styled various vignettes (and solidified that I do indeed want concrete countertops in our kitchen remodel). And as much as it kills me to say this (remember I’m #teambeadboard ), I loved it. Everything was gorgeous and the prices were reasonable. Grrrr, Joanna. Why you gotta be so dang perfect?

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This table. Y’all. It’s the stuff dreams are made of.

2. Then there’s the bakery. You place your order on a little card they give you at the door and once inside the actual bakery the line moves quickly. And again it kills me to say it, but dang, that stuff was good. Best chocolate cupcake (and we all know my weakness for all things chocolate so I’ve tried my fair share!) I’ve ever had. MM said the same about her sugar cookie.

Even the cupcake wrappers {parchment paper} were perfect.

3. There’s a food truck park. I didn’t take a picture of that area, but there are about a dozen various food trucks–everything from smoothies to BBQ. It was centered around their garden center area.

4. There’s a large faux grassy square in front of the silos with swings, picnic tables, porch swings, corn hole, etc. It would be a great place to drop off your husband and kids while you shopped (probably their plan all along).

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~Then we headed to Spice Village {213 Mary Avenue}. 11:15-12:15

Very rarely do I gush about a store, but this seriously was hands down the best store I’ve ever been in. It was a bunch of little booths like an antique market, but it’s not full of antiques. It’s full of heaven that’s what!

Shirts. Mugs. Towels. Signs. Baby blankets. Jewelry. Clothes. Candles. Shoes. Souvenirs. American Girl doll clothes. Sun catchers. Texas stuff. Waco stuff. Baylor stuff. Kitchen stuff.

Basically it’s like every one of my favorite stores combined into one. And it’s huge. And 90% of it is reasonably priced.

We stayed an hour, but I could have easily stayed three.

~Then we headed to lunch. Girlfriend here chose Chuys because she saw it as we passed by on the interstate and it’s her favorite restaurant (and I like it so much that I didn’t really argue. #chuysislife ). 12:30-1:15.

Now, if it had been up to me I would have gone to Ninfas {220 S. 3rd Street; right below Spice Market} since it’s a Waco legend and I’ve never met a Mexican restaurant I didn’t love.

~Next up was the Cameron Park Zoo {1701 N. 4th Street}. 1:30-4:00.

We were “warned” that this was a small zoo and to adjust our expectations as such, but it was AMAZING. It was just as good as Zoo Atlanta! The only animals I didn’t see were zebras and pandas. That’s it. And the best part–I’m not sure if it’s the size of Waco itself or if it was the afternoon–but we were seriously two of like ten people there. It was great!

Here are a few pictures, but I didn’t want to bore you; you can see the rest by clicking here.

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~Last stop on the way out of town was Coco’s Shaved Ice {3824 Bosque Blvd.} for some shaved ice…or in our case, ice cream. 😉 4:15-4:45.

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And that, my friends, is how we did Waco in seven hours. If we had a few more hours I would like to have gone to Laverty’s {600 N. 18th Street} for some more shopping and I’ve heard Olive Branch {215 S. 2nd Street} is a great bakery!


If you follow me on Instagram you saw our crazy travel adventure on Friday. I’ll fill you in on all the details Wednesday…like why the Mississippi River is in the background of this picture.

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Tour Texas: Fort Worth Stockyards

On Monday morning I woke MM up at 5:15 and told her to hurry up and get ready–that she & I were having a special surprise Mommy & Me date that day.

What I didn’t tell her is that we’d been planning it for a month. And that it wasn’t just one day, but THREE.

See, MM’s love language is attention and one-on-one time. And that’s hard to get when you’re the oldest of three and have two high maintenance little brothers. She’s my helper and my kind & responsible child. She’s had all A’s all year long in school. She never ever gets in trouble. We wanted to fill her “love bank” by taking her on a special little trip all by herself where she could get alllllllllll our attention.

So she and I hopped in the car to a destination unknown {I had packed our suitcases earlier and put them in the back without her knowing the night before}. I thought she would figure it out by the time we parked, but nope, the airport signs and all the planes didn’t give it away (HA!).

She was over-the-moon excited when I told her she would be going to Dallas with Mommy (C. left on an earlier flight and she didn’t know he was actually going to be in the same city with us until we got out rental car!).

When we got on the plane the pilots ushered her to the cockpit (I have no idea why!) and they let her welcome the passengers on the PA system. They showed her all the buttons and gave her wings & a card. She was on cloud nine.

She enjoyed her flight so much that she promptly passed out and slept like this for most of it. #Icouldntfeelmyarm

Once we touched down and found C. we decided to head to the Fort Worth Stockyards for the afternoon and it was awesome. She had a blast!

Our first stop was Joe T. Garcia’s which sweet Allison recommended last week in a comment (thanks, Allison!). It was delicious. C. got the mixed fajitas and they were hands down the best fajitas I’ve ever tasted. Cookies (75 cents!) were delicious. And the patio? Gorgeous.

April 3. 4. Dallas. Waco_0022_edited-1

April 3. 4. Dallas. Waco_0021_edited-1

April 3. 4. Dallas. Waco_0016_edited-1

A quick two or three minute drive and we were at the Stockyards.

They had steers you can ride.

April 3. 4. Dallas. Waco_0026_edited-1

A maze you could complete (and get this prize if you finish it–oh la la!).

A petting zoo. A museum. Old timey pictures. TONS of shopping.

Carriage rides.

April 3. 4. Dallas. Waco_0027_edited-1

They have a herd of cattle walk down the main street every day at 11:30am and 4pm with real cowboy herders.

Stockyards

Link to photographer (not me).

Our favorite part was going inside the stables to see the horses, mules, and reindeer. I don’t know if people knew they could go in there or not because we only saw one other family the entire time we were in there. We wouldn’t have known to go had the carriage ride driver not told us!

And isn’t it random they have reindeer?

April 3. 4. Dallas. Waco_0031_edited-1

April 3. 4. Dallas. Waco_0029_edited-1

We had a really good time and everything was reasonably priced. A carriage ride was $25 for all three of us. Sitting on a steer was $5. The maze was $15 for all three of us. The petting zoo was $5. The cattle drive, museum, and the stables were free.

I definitely recommend the area if you’re going to be near Fort Worth!


After we left the Stockyards we drove into downtown Dallas. MM promptly set up the desk in the hotel room with all her new souvenirs and writing and art supplies (’cause isn’t that what YOU do first thing when you get to your hotel room?!) and then we went up to the rooftop pool (which was too cold for us old folks).

April 3. 4. Dallas. Waco_0032_edited-1

Yesterday we went to Waco and today we’re going to the Perot Museum before we head home (stay tuned for pictures of that!).


Oh! And as you may know, I post on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays…but something happened on Monday and I scheduled the post for NEXT Monday not realizing it. So I’m sorry if you came here looking for me on Monday…I was flying somewhere over Mississippi at the time and didn’t catch my mistake until yesterday. Oops!  But no worries: I’ll be here Friday. Pinkie promise. 😉

 

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