Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Our First Time in Austin, TX!!!

Austin Texas is such a cool place.

We only spent a long weekend here but we had so much fun. We didn't do anything too extreme and still there were interesting things around every corner. On our way there we stopped at The Picnic which is a little park of food trucks serving all different types of foods. Everything we had, including cupcakes, was delicious.
We stayed at The Archer hotel which is in an area called "the Domain", about 15 minutes from downtown Austin. Scarlett walked into the hotel and was immediately in awe at the HUGE horse mural that ran the whole side of the stairway. She ran to it and the excitement on her face was pure joy. In fact she had to say hello and good-bye to them every time we entered or left the hotel. This involved running up the stairs to pet their legs and say, "I'll see you soon, girl".
The rooms were pretty and non-traditional, just the way I like them. We checked in and as we stepped outside, we found that we were in the midst of a very cool atmosphere. Dining, shopping and parks surrounded our hotel. We had planned to go visit downtown more than we did but we took a day and just wandered around the Domain, shopping and eating, more shopping and exploring fun restaurants. Of course our hotel was right next to Nordstroms and it happened to be Black Friday when we arrived, so I took it upon myself to buy myself some gifts! ha ha. It's sad that the only person that I bought for on Black Friday was myself. But to my defense, I had my shopping done a week earlier so we had no plans to shop on this day for anyone else. Every store that I love was walking distance to our hotel. Which was bad and amazing all in the same thought. The kids found a store called it's Sugar that was a horrible place to take them, lol, and we also discovered some fun eating spots where the kids could run around and play with some outdoor games while we enjoyed drinks and apps, like Culinary Dropout.

Our hotel pool/lounge area was spectacular! They had a huge screen tv with the loveliest round pool and bar to top it off. We spent most of Saturday here. It was just nice to get some Vitamin D and do natta. The kids didn't object and spent all their time in that pool. We also spent evenings here becuase it was just too cool not too. I watched the game one night while I swam in a heated pool with a drink in hand. I mean... #lovinglife. ;)
On Friday night, we went to a local coffee place that had a lights and music show. We grabbed hot cocoa, snacks and glow bracelets and watched the entire place light up to the festive music. The kids really enjoyed that and it was FREE. Can't beat that!

We explored a little around downtown Austin but not nearly as much as we wanted to. We found the Barton Spring Pool, which is a spring fed pool that stays about 70 degrees year round! Then we drove by the graffiti park on Castle Hills, which may I add was SO extremely smelly (like paint fumes)  that we could only take driving by it. The kids were sleeping anyhow. We didn't even stop to look. But it was cool to see. We ate dinner one evening at Olive & June's. This place was so cool. The food was upscale but on the patio, a huge tree lives in the middle, giving it a treehouse vibe. I of course, loved all the white detail in this restaurant. But I would not recommend this for those with kids. There were literally no kids options and the kids ended up eating bread mostly, lol. The kids choice was Chuys. Which the kids ate more than I've ever seen them eat before! And the margaritas there are pretty spot on! I must say.

One of my favorites from this trip was going to the 360 Overlook! We went after breakfast one morning and it was beautiful! I had it in my mind that it would be a good hike, but it really wasn't. It took us all but 5 minutes. But when we got to the top, wow! Pretty views for sure. We wanted to take the kids to do something that they would enjoy so we decided to stop at the Austin Zoo for a few hours. Scarlett loved that they are a non-profit zoo that rescue animals. Maxwell really enjoyed it too.

I had it on my list to go see the infamous "I love you so much" wall but found a WAY better John Lennon wall that I made out with Ty under ;) Austin has the best walls, as you will see as you scroll through my photos. Even Chevy Chase was present!!  All in all, we made the most out of this long weekend trip. Austin is a very trendy, hip and cool city that we will definitely visit again! There is so much to do and see here! It's only an hour and 1/2 drive from us so I'm sure we will spend more weekends here. If you know Austin well, give me all your best places to see and eat!!!!

And now.....for picture OVERLOAD. sorry. #memoriesinthemaking

Thursday, November 30, 2017

A Day in Hill Country Texas.

So I was going to post our trip to Austin today, but I realized that I didn't even post this one from the weekend before yet. So I will post this first and that this weekend. 

We left on a whim to go explore the Hill Country of Texas. We packed up some snacks and headed out. When I first found out that we were going to move to Texas, all I could envision was cowboys and ranches, Chip & Joanna Gaines and fields full of cows. lol I was so wrong. Texas is SO diverse and every city/town you visit is so different from the next. Full of adventure and so many unique places to experience.  
While we live in a very tight-housed community with lots of people and city-like feel not far from our suburb, if you drive 1/2 hour north, you get to see a whole other world! 
We wanted to go visit some wineries in the hill country. 

So what is hill country like? If you have Instagram, go check out @wearetexashillcountry. 

The road there was so pretty! They wind in and out of the hills with things to take in the whole way. I didn't play on my phone at all on this trip, besides to take some photos and video. It was just so gorgeous! We stopped at a place along the way called Camp Verde General Store & Restaurant. They had a fun shop inside and a restaurant that we grabbed a quick bite to eat at. The kids took in the scenery and it somewhat reminded me of upstate NY in a lot of ways. Then we headed off to Becker Vineyards. There were quite a few vineyards in this area but I heard great things about Becker and since we had limited time on a Sunday, we chose to go there. We were not disappointed! It was stunning. You could taste wines inside or sit out on on the actual vineyard under the pavilion or on the grass. People had brought blankets and picnics to eat. Had I known, I would have done just that. The kids ran around the grass area happily and Ty and I enjoyed our favorite wines from the tastings. I could have stayed there all day. The sunset was just awesome from here. We also did a quick tour of the Vineyard and learned about how they make their wine and even got to visit the wine cellar. The staff there gave us some recommendations of other places to try and we have it set on our calendar to go back and visit the tiny town of Luckenbach. It has history of famous country singers and small town feel with fun family things to do. We also drove through Fredricksburg which was pretty cool as well. This is one of those places that goes under the radar but if you ever have time and are in Texas, I highly recommend visiting the hill country.