Miami For The Weekend: Part 1

Ball and Chain, Blogger, Little Havana, Miami, Travel

Known for its diverse culture, beautiful beaches, beachfront resorts, Cuban flair, cultured nightlife, and amazing seafood, Miami is the little piece of paradise that everyone should experience.

I only had about three days in Miami (which I learned is not enough), so I wanted to squeeze in as much as I could. Although Miami is known for the food, nightlife, and beach, there is so much more to see!

Day 1: Little Havana + Calle Ocho

Little Havana is Miami’s Famed Cuban neighborhood with some of  the best Cuban food, coffee, and bars. My favorite thing about this neighborhood was the culture. The people were friendly and inviting, there was a lot of history there, and I loved seeing the little markets that sold fresh fruit and juices. I have never been to Cuba, but I felt as if it would look and feel similar to Little Havana.

Ice cream at Azucar Ice Cream Company

Azucar, which means sugar in Spanish, is very well known in Little Havana. They are an all natural ice cream company that uses local fruits and vegetables from local farmer’s markets to make their ice creams. Azucar was inspired by their abuela (grandmother) who traveled throughout South and Central America determined to make ice cream out of every tropical fruit she found along the way. A huge portrait of Celia Cruz was displayed inside. Celia was a Cuban singer of Latin music who has a popular song called “Azucar“. I was impressed with this place – even more after I found out that they had dairy free options!! The watermelon mint sorbet in a waffle cone was delish!

Domino Park

More mature Cubans can be found here sipping coffee, smoking a cigar, and playing dominoes. Domino Park is a thirty-five year tradition and Little Havana landmark. It’s a cute little gem!

Little Havana Cigar Factory

I am not a cigar smoker, but when in Miami you must or at least you must visit a cigar shop. I like the initial smell of cigars, but after so long they start to get a little strong for me. I didn’t buy one to smoke, but it was nice to pop in and see all of the different varieties. The building had some nice graffiti on the side too, which you all know I love.

Dinner at Perricone’s Marketplace & Cafe

Deemed as South Florida’s best Italian restaurant for two decades, Perricone’s definitely did not disappoint. The aura alone was enough to impress me. It was absolutely gorgeous and featured low lighting with a tropical rustic feel and lots of greenery. Thursday is the only day that you cannot make reservations, because they offer Pasta Thursdays where select dishes are $10. I ordered the Capellini with Shrimp and it was delish! I was a little nervous, because I have been trying to consume less meat, but this place was worth it! A must while in Miami. Parking is $6 for valet and you can valet with your waiter.  *This restaurant is in the Brickell area (not Little Havana) *

Ball + Chain

After dinner, we went back to Little Havana, because I could not miss going to Ball + Chain. I think I got there around 10 ish and they were still doing the salsa lessons. The place was already packed. The bar is smack in the center of the room and on the sides there are tables that are “reservation” only. There is a small stage for live bands as well as the famous pineapple shaped stage in the back for bigger performances. Couples danced beautifully alongside the bar which was very fun to watch. I could watch them all day! I ordered a whiskey shot for me $12 and a tequila shot for my mom $10. The night ended with a guy asking me to dance and teaching me how to salsa, along with a La Pachanga performance.

Miami: The Morning Of 

Blogger, Miami, Travel

I can’t believe my trip to Miami is finally here!! I’m so excited to get there and see my family! My morning started at 4:10 AM! The only time I like waking up that early is when I’m catching a flight, so getting up was a piece of cake today! 

Getting to the airport was easy – it took about twenty ish minutes to get there. I got through security like a breeze – ten minutes tops, and I didn’t have to take off my shoes! Yessss!! 


I was a little nervous for some odd reason. Maybe I’m just anxious to get there?Maybe because I’m flying alone and had to actually read the signs of where to go and what to do? I don’t travel alone often, but it feels good to depend on yourself for something so small as getting to your boarding gate.

I arrived at my gate early and had about forty minutes to kill before my flight, so I decided to jot down my thoughts. 


I was lucky to get a seat up front, but the only downside is that it’s a middle seat (mehh) and I’m between a family of five or six who’s literally turnt to the max already. Boy, they are fun fun! The dad is super friendly and offered to help me lift my bag into the overhead. Apparently, he’s meeting his family of twenty-two in Miami to party! I swear the guy has spiked his coffee – I’m not judging…I’m more so wishing I had done the same. Oh wait, he just offered me a drink coupon! WIN! I didn’t take it though – it’s a bit too early and I can’t show up to get my rental with whisky breath. *le sigh

My flight is just a little under three hours, so I get to listen to one of my favorite podcast on Spotify: Death, Sex, & Money! If you’re into podcast and topics as such, you should definitely check this one out!

Thanks for reading, 

Jesser The Adventurer 

Miami, here I come!

Blogger, Miami, South Beach, Travel

I am really excited today, because I am actually getting ready for my vacation. I am traveling to Miami with my mom and my two cousins – the ultimate girls trip! This is my first time traveling with family, so I’m even more excited about it.

A few months ago, I surprised my mom with a trip to MIA for her 50th birthday. If you haven’t seen the footage, check out the clip on my personal Instagram page. It was a sweet moment that I am glad I got to capture. I decided to do this for my mom, because I know she wanted to do something special for her big day – I hope this trip does not disappoint. I will say that this was not the easiest  trip to plan, because she left everything detail up to me. I’m used to planning trips for myself based on what I want to see and do, but it’s challenging to plan a trip for your mom especially in Miami when all you do is eat, drink, and party! I hear the city doesn’t sleep!!

Any who, this is my first trip as an adult with my mom, so I am eager to see how well it goes. I told her that my cousins and I would drop her off after dinner so that she could sleep, and we would go out to the clubs. She insisted that she would tag along with us – we shall see. *wink* Haha it’s going to be an adventure for sure, and I am ready!!

Take a look at what to pack for South Beach!

What's In My Bag

See below for a few tips/things that I use while traveling:

  1. Roll Don’t Fold – this method comes in handy because if you’re like me and you like to carry on your bag, you save so much room by rolling your clothes verses folding them. Even if you are checking in a bag this will give you more space for shoes, blankets, or other essentials.
  2. Claim Your Luggage: How many times have you been waiting at baggage claim for your  bags to start rolling around along with all of the other hundreds of bags that are circling around? Maybe that’s never happen to you, because you’re like me and carry on or maybe you’re that person with the bright color bag that’s hard to miss. However, if you are one of the 90% of people who have dark colored cloth material luggage, an easy way to distinguish your bag from everyone else is to mark it. Although I carry mine on, I still like to mark my bag by tying a piece of cloth to the handle. I’ve used a bright orange handkerchief before, and that was was hard to miss. Anything would work though – I’ve even used some old fabric left over from a pillow I was making.
  3. Portable Chargers: I always carry a portable charger with me when traveling. Between Instagram, Snapchat, and capturing photos, you’re bound to use a lot of your battery. Why rush back to your hotel when you can adventure more and charge your phone while doing so. My favorite brand is Anker. Their chargers are nice and sleek, they come with a little bag, and they don’t take up a lot of space.
  4. Water Bottle: If you know me, you know that I go nowhere without my water bottle – literally, nowhere. It is like an accessory that I must have access to at all times. If I go to the grocery store, I have it. If I travel, I have it. If I…well, you get the picture. 🙂 I prefer stainless steel bottles, because they are easy to clean and not plastic. These typically last longer too. My favorite is the MIRA bottle. What I love most about this water bottle is that it keeps my water icy cold. Even in this hot Texas heat, I always can depend on my Mira bottle for a nice cool refreshment. Stay hydrated while you travel with MIRA!

Austin’s Most Instagrammable Murals

Travel

One thing I love about Austin is that it is super laid back, there is always something to do here, the food options are limitless, and the street art is Instagram worthy. The murals here are beautiful and are unlike any I have ever seen. I grew up thinking graffiti was bad, but this type of graffiti is pure art.

Over the weekend I decided so travel around Austin and capture some of my favorite murals. I didn’t get a chance to do all of them, but below are six that I really love.

With Love From Austin 

This one is high on my favorite list. I love the dark black wall and creamy white lettering. I felt like I was at a photo shoot. The ironic thing about that is that I get really nervous taking pictures by myself. It feels so awkward and I struggle with how to pose. It’s funny but quite difficult, because I want the best pictures for my blog. *Sigh* Mastering these skills will take time. Check this mural out on the side wall of Prima Dora 1912 South Congress Ave.

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Austin Howdy

This would have been my first favorite had I not stumbled upon the With Love From Austin sign. I love everything about the Austin Howdy sign. It’s full of color and life. It is on a big blue wall and the sun hits it perfectly. Each letter has symbols and graphics that all reflect Austin in some capacity. It’s located downtown on the side of Parlor and Yard 601 West 6th St.

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You Are My Butter Half

I came across this one last year (this picture is from last year too). This mural is super cute because you can take it with your partner or significant other as well as your friends. I love the symbolism in this mural – bread and butter go together like two peas in a pod. Who’s your butter half? 2000 E Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Mural 1

Hello! 

Does anyone else think of Adele when they see this mural? I can just hear her saying “Hello from the other siiiiidddee.” Haha! My partner actually took me to this one. This wall is simple and sweet… just how I like it. Hello, from Austin! *waves* 1102 West Koenig Lane

mural 2

Run DMC 

What can I say? I love music so of course this wall would make the cut. Although, I am not really sure who the lady is in this mural. This mural is in the South Congress area – so hip, so cool! It is on the side wall of Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop – the vegan cupcakes were delish! 1905 South 1st Street

mural 6

We Are All Mexico

This mural is located downtown on the side of the Mexic Arte Museum. This one kinda popped out of nowhere while we were driving home. I love the mountains in this and the combination of the colors. The message is so simple yet so powerful. We are all Mexico. We are all immigrants. We are all one. 419 Congress Avenue

mural 4

If you live in Austin or plan to visit soon, capture some of these murals in your photos!

Happy Wednesday!

Instagram: @jessertheadventurer 

On Sundays We Brunch

Austin, Blogger, brunch, Foodie, Sandra Bullock, Texas, Walton's Fancy & Staple

I don’t know about you, but brunch is one of my favorite meals! I love having breakfast type foods in the middle of the day. Who am I kidding? I love any type of food in the middle of the day, but brunch is one of my favs. I was never a big “brunch” person until I moved to Texas. In fact, I had not heard of such until I was living in Houston my first year (back in 2013) and overheard people talking about “brunching” over the weekend. So crazy, but so true!

This past Sunday, I decided to have brunch at Walton’s Fancy & Staple. This was not my first visit here, but the food was delicious last time that I wanted to revisit. I love everything about this restaurant – even the fact that it is owned by the beautiful and talented Sandra Bullock. It’s located in the heart of downtown right off of 6th street: 609 W. 6th St, Austin, TX 78701. The exterior features a stairwell that leads to a rustic brick side wall along with their logo and beautiful greenery which makes the perfect photo-op.

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Once inside the ambiance is really cozy. It reminds me of what an old cafe or bakery would look like back in the day with a few modern touches. The interior is also very rustic-chic and decorated so beautifully with accents of green, white, and brown which gives off a warm and welcoming vibe. I also love that there is greenery everywhere: air plants, succulents, flowers, and big green plants! The walls are brick which adds to its natural flair. It’s hard not to feel at home in this restaurant.

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Upon entering, there is a huge bar style table to the left with bar stools for people to sit and eat. There are also tables in the center of the room where people sit, and the line sort of forms in an L shape around this area. Ordering is done at the counter prior to sitting. The only con to this is that it gets really packed and so often people are crammed at the door and around other people who are sitting and trying to enjoy their meal. I have never waited longer than 10 minutes to get to the ordering counter, but arriving early is recommended. Sundays are busier than Saturdays from my personal observation. 

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I ordered the shrimp and grits – one of my favorite dishes! My partner ordered the breakfast sandwich and beignets. The shrimp and grits were exceptionally delicious.  They tasted a little different from the first time I ordered them, but overall still very good. The beignets were okay. It is so hard to have beignets and not compare them to the oh-so-yummy Cafe Du Monde. The breakfast sandwich was average – the bacon was yum! Everything on the menu looks delicious – I will definitely visit again and try something new!

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There are three parts to the restaurant. The front area where you order your food along with some space for dining, the back area where the gift shop/flower shop is located, and the third part is another area of tables and chairs for dining. They also sell their plants, flowers, and other household products in house as well.

walton3

If you live in Austin or  if you are planning to visit the area soon, you won’t regret adding this little gem to your list of places to eat.

“Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw 

Summer Saturday: Barton Springs Pool

Austin, Barton Springs Pool, Blogger, Texas, Texas Water Holes, Travel

Looking for one of Austin’s finest swimming holes on a hot summer day? Then, Barton Springs Pool is your place!

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A little about Barton Springs...

Barton Springs is a swimming pool, located in Zilker Park, that is filled with water from nearby natural springs. The pool is well over three acres and about nine hundred feet long with an average temperature of 70 degrees year round.

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“Summa, Summa, Summa time…”

The plan was to arrive at Barton Springs at 10 am to beat the crowds and to get a good spot on the hill; however, that didn’t happen. I couldn’t quite let the bed go this morning. Instead, I made it around 11. The parking lots were already full, and it took a little time getting a park, but nothing too crazy. We managed to get a spot close. Parking is $5 flat rate (kinda steep, but whatever). Admission into the pool is $3 for residents and $8 for non-residents. There was a line for those who were paying with card at the kiosk out front. I would suggest having cash, as the cash line was much shorter and moved much quicker.

barton2

Once inside there are hills on both sides of the pool to setup your stuff and relax. Most people bring towels and blankets to lay on, but I saw families with tents and cabanas which is not a bad idea. Food and alcohol are not allowed, but bags were not checked upon entering….so, break rules at your own risk. 🙂

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THE WATER!!!

The water is absolutely beautiful. You can see hints of blue and green which makes for a beautiful picture. HOWEVER, the water is extremely cold. It was so funny to watch the reaction of the swimmers getting in the pool. It definitely takes some “warming up” to the water before just diving in. Although, some were brave enough to get it over with and dive in. Being that I am not a swimmer, I took the steps into the water at a very slow pace. It was glacial cold. Once inside the pool, you get used to it!

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Barton Springs is definitely a place that you want to visit whether you live in Austin or you are visiting. With this Texas heat, you’ll be glad that you did!

  • Something to note: I suggest arriving as early as possible to avoid long lines. I left around 1:30 and the lines were insanely long. Long lines + heat don’t mix. Beat the heat AND the crowds and get there early.

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My Day Trip To Big Sur

Big Sur, Blogger, California, Road Trip, San Francisco, Travel

Does it matter that this trip was last year? No? Okay, didn’t think so!

Big Sur was absolutely beautiful!! The views were even better than what you see online or on Instagram. It is definitely a place that will make your jaw drop.

Why Big Sur? Long story short, in 2015 I saw Big Sur on some list of places to go or maybe it was on one of the million travel pages that I follow on Insta (can’t remember). Anyway, I googled it and immediately decided that it was definitely a place that I wanted to visit, so I added it to my list of places that I want to visit. Well, in 2016 I made it happen! I planned a trip to San Francisco and made sure to have enough time for a day trip to Big Sur!

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Big Sur is only about a two and a half hour drive from San Francisco, so we rented a car and left early morning (4am ish) to get there. The drive was fairly easy, but there were a few steep curves along the way. That didn’t matter though, because the views were amazing! It was fairly dark heading there, and it was a little cloudy since the sun hadn’t come out yet, but that didn’t take away from how stunning this place was. The coastline and views of the mountains in person didn’t do the pictures justice.

bs5

I got to see the Bixby Bridge, which is one of the most photographed bridges in California. I also made a pit stop at Pheiffer Beach – Pheiffer Beach was gorgeous. It featured a big rock in the middle of the beach that made for the perfect photo prop. It was also empty which was lovely, because we had the beach to ourselves.

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You can camp out at Big Sur, and there are local restaurants and bars there as well, but soaking in the views and driving along Highway 1 was enough for me. Big Sur is officially scratched off  of the list, and it did not disappoint. 

P.S. My only suggestion is to not go as early as I did. I left that early to try to avoid the morning traffic…however, the pictures would have looked a lot better had the sun had already been out!

 

Being Old Fashion at Whisler’s

Blogger, Travel

Let me just say, I have been wanting to try this place out for about a year. Why it took so long…? Not really sure! But, yesterday I finally made it happen.

I am a huge whiskey lover, and I read on multiple occasions that this place had THE BEST old fashioned in Austin. 

Skkkrrr…before I get into my actual visit, here is a little history on Whisler’s. Whisler’s is located in Austin, Texas on East Sixth Street. The bar itself is fairly small, but patio is pretty spacious. The interior is gorgeous and features a rustic chic decor. The furniture is very vintage, but the interesting thing about this place is the dead animals that they use as decor. It sounds disturbing, but it was quite stunning. The exterior was covered in art and graffiti and really gave off the “Austin” vibe. I loved everything about it.

There was a live band on the patio, Old Man Sam, performing live. They played blues and old R&B – loved it! 

The bar wasn’t packed, but there was a good amount of people there. Once we (my fiance and I) were at the bar, we stood there for a few minutes waiting to be waited on. Usually, bartenders will say “be with you in a sec” or say “hello”, but nope. 😦 Once we were waited on, the guy took our order and was very polite. However, another party was to the right of me. They ordered drinks, and the lady bartender (the same one that didn’t acknowledge us) was extremely rude for no reason. What do I mean by rude? Well, the lady ordered a Bloody Mary, but was told there was no more tomato juice, which by the way was a complete lie. My bartender had just opened a bottle of tomato juice. Then, she threw the lady’s change on the counter and walked away….and I do mean literally threw it on the counter. *gasp* And guess what?? The lady STILL tipped her a $1. *sigh* I aspire to be that kind one day!!!! 

Moving on to the MOST POPULAR Old Fashioned in ATX!!

First off, the presentation of the drink was absolutely gorgeous! I could not have asked for a better look. However, this was not the best Old Fashioned that I have ever had before. Maybe, just maybe it is the best in Austin, but I can’t vouch for that considering I have not had any other in Austin yet.

Okay, okay let’s look at the pros and cons of my visit to Whisler’s:

Pros:Decor + Presentation was a 10

Cons: Drink itself was overly thick – perhaps too much bitters? Bartenders could use a customer service lesson, or two.

Conclusion: Although I was not the biggest fan of the Old Fashioned, I did love the atmosphere at Whisler’s and plan to visit again soon. This time, I will stick to something less Old Fashioned. *wink*

whis1whis2

 

 

Dallas in a Day…or two!

Blogger, Travel

Hilo!

This blog is appearing super late in the game. My Dallas trip was like three weeks ago, but it’s never too late…right? Plus, at the time of my visit, this blog life did not exist.

Anywho…read below on how I took on Dallas for a day…or two!!

Let me first say that Dallas is not my most favorite place to visit. I think Dallas gets a lot of bad mouthing, but I must say that I saw a more charming side of Dallas. The people were super friendly, contrary to popular belief.  Prior to this visit, I had  been to Dallas on three different occasions: to Six Flags, to celebrate a friend’s birthday, and to another friend’s graduation. All of which I did nothing but go out to clubs, drink, and eat. That’s cool and all, but I now prefer to do more than just party, drink, and eat when I travel to new places.

The weekend trip came about when I decided to surprise my girlfriend for Valentine’s with tickets to see her favorite artist: Tori Kelly. This was our second time seeing her in less than year – stalker, much? JK. The girl is talented, so why not go see her over and over?!?  So, that is just what we did. We took a half day Friday, and hit the road to Dallas, Texas!

I love planning things, so I was really excited to take Norma on this mini trip and surprise her (although she somewhat peaked at my list of things to do)  with everything I had planned. The drive from Austin to Dallas was short and sweet – we made it in about three hours and immediately went to check into our rental, “The Green House”. The Green House was super adorable!! I love tiny houses, and really wish I could have one, especially after staying in this one. It was the perfect size with just enough space to not feel claustrophobic. Once we were settled in, we refreshed and got ready to head out to a late lunch before the concert. Wait, first, I had some wine that the host provided for us…how nice? He actually had wine, snacks, water, the whole shebang!

We had lunch at the popular Pecan Lodge in Deep Ellum. Seriously, I read that people travel to Dallas just for the bbq here, and I even read that people normally stand in long ass lines waiting to get served. Naturally, you’d think, “Okay, this place has to be the bomb.com!”…right? I mean seriously, I researched it thoroughly and even saw on Yelp that it had over 1,500 reviews!!! I was sooo excited to take Norma here (we both loved bbq) and to eat here myself. Until we arrived and there is no line, which was fine because who likes to wait, but then I get inside and it is completely dead. Hmmm…another bonus? No line, no wait, winning!!! We ordered our food – we both got the chopped brisket sandwich with macaroni and beans. I wanted potato salad, but they did not have any…what BBQ joint does not have potato salad. Long story short, the BBQ was bleh, nothing fancy or worth waiting in line for. Deep Ellum was super chill though, and I loved the street art/graffiti that was on the buildings. There was a brewery on the block that seemed really chill as well as a little candy shop.  We went in and tried some of the taffy there, so if you are a taffy lover, check out the candy store across from Pecan Lodge.

Once we finished exploring Deep Ellum, we headed over to a bar on South Lamar called, Full Circle Tavern. It was right down the street from the venue where the concert was, so it was a bit packed from all the people hanging out. It was a super cute bar that was established from a catering service, which I felt added that extra flair. We had a few beers, and then hopped in the line that was forming outside.

This venue, South Side Ballroom, was way bigger than the last venue we saw her at back in Houston. It was standing only, but we were able to get a good spot to see her. It was crowded, but the performance was outstanding. If you like Tori Kelly and have not seen her perform live, you MUST. She sounds way better live to me.

We ended the night back at The Green House with a movie and some wine. We were supposed to go out the gayborhood, but we were not feeling it.

Saturday morning, we said goodbye to The Green House and headed to the Dallas Farmer’s Market.The market is super cute and has a slight rustic appeal to it, which I love. It was a little small, and I didn’t see much produce, so maybe there are some weekends where different vendors come? I dunno. There was a super cute flower shop called, Rubial’s that I adored. It was so cute with so many different types of plants and flowers. If you’re into this kinda stuff, you must check it out when in Dallas.

For lunch, I took Norma to the developing area of West Dallas where Trinity Groves resides. I wish I had a lot of time to really explore this side of Dallas, because I really liked the tid bit that I did experience. Trinity Groves is an area where you can do it all: eat, drink shop, grab a brew at the brewery, or just hang out. We had lunch at another “hyped up” restaurant called, Off-Site Kitchen. It was….eh okay. I won’t elaborate too much, but the outdoor patio was super cute and the art on the building was dope. After lunch, we walked over to the shopping area and explored a bit. I really loved this little area for some reason. I didn’t get to go into most of the stores, because Houey was with us, but….we stopped at Cake Bar and got a few slices of cake:red velvet for me and carrot for Norms. Both were really good, but nothing on my mama’s cakes…just sayin’. After we smashed our slices of cake, we took a walk over to the  Trinity Groves Bridge (OMG…nice!!!) and dabbled in its greatness. Then…it started to pour down raining, so we had to literally run back to  the car. Pretty epic!

The rain was enough for us, so we decided to head back to Austin!

Thank you, Dallas for showing me a different side of you!

P.S. “Wherever you go, go with all of your heart.” – unknown FullSizeRenderIMG_0655IMG_0657IMG_0660IMG_0659IMG_0661IMG_0663IMG_0664IMG_0665FullSizeRenderIMG_0671IMG_0682

Jesser’s First Camping Trip

Travel

Hilo!!

So, over the weekend I took on a new adventure for me:camping! Let me tell you, it was AWESOME! Norma and I had the trip planned for a few months, and during that time we were making small purchases and getting things that we needed – all of which excited me more because I knew the trip was coming soon. Anyway….here’s a little snippet of how it played out.

I am notorious for wanting to plan things properly and get the most out of my time, money, etc., so naturally I wanted my first camping trip to be thorough and well thought out. This was scary, because my girlfriend, Norma, was in charge of planning  this trip, and sometimes (most time) she’s a bit of a procrastinator. (love you babe :))Although she had given me her word that she would plan it all out, truth is the week of we did not have an itinerary, grocery list, or small things that we needed. Sigh. I literally think we went to the store three days in a row, because we kept forgetting something that we needed. I HATE last minute stuff, so….this really aggravated me. Long story short, Norma pulled it all off and by noon on last Friday we (plus my our little pooch, Houey) were on our way to Garner State Park – one of the most popular state parks in Texas.

Upon arrival, we had to wait what seemed to be eternity to get checked in and what not. During this time, I became super annoyed because Houey (who is not used to anything, ugh) decided that he wanted to bark and growl at every thing that moved or made a noise. He got on my nerves sooo much that I had to cover his kennel with towels. Not to mention, Norma kept blowing this dog whistle that she bought in hopes to train Houey on his barking…FML! At that point, I was over it and needed a strong one to take the edge off. ON TOP OF THAT, I had cramps because I was expecting “scarlet” (who was seven days late) to arrive at any moment. Camping + the potential arrival of scarlet = THE WORSE!

We finally made it to our campsite, #459, and began to get settled in. Let me just say, I LOVED our campsite. It was right across from the bathrooms, (which were ew, but to each their own), secluded, and quiet. I felt like I was in my own outdoor suite. HA!! Once we were settled in, we rode around the park to explore and get familiar with where we wanted to go the next day. The park alone, was very beautiful! We stayed in New Garner, which I am grateful for because Old Garner was super crowed with children running around and screaming babies…no, thanks!

As the night approached we lit up our tent with lights we brought to decorate. Yes, we had water and electricity – thank goodness. We had grilled cheese for dinner, and we even attempted to make smores….that was not the best turn out, but not a total fail either. Needless to say, we ended the night watching a movie in our cozy tent.

Sleeping in the tent was perfectly fine for me, although it was REALLY cold later in the night/morning, so we had to wake up and put on layers of clothing…AND…guess who decided to join us? SCARLET! UGH. Luckily, I was fully prepared and it was not so bad. Normally, I am in a great deal of pain when she shows up, but maybe being out in nature helped? or maybe it was the mixing of ibuprofen and wine? Whichever it was, I am just glad that it didn’t ruin my trip.

Saturday we hiked up Old Baldy. This was one of the hardest hikes ever, not because it was long (not even a mile), but because it was SUPER rocky and super steep. The view was gorgeous, and the sense of accomplishment was rewarding. I literally felt as if I was on top of the world. I recommend it to everyone!  After, we hiked up to Crystal Cave. Crystal Cave was okay. I was a little disappointed because the cave was super small, and the work to get to the cave was not worth it. 😦

Later that evening, we went tubing down the Frio River which was really  nice and relaxing after all of those hikes. I have tubed rivers before, and it got a little crazy with the water, but this was way different. The water was calm and the vibe was overall refreshing. People of all ages (and sizes) were jumping off of ropes into the river, which was very entertaining to see. Overall, it was nice to float the river with Norma and Houey, while enjoying a nice brew. The people were friendly out there as well, which always makes for a better time.

The night ended with dinner, good conversation, and a movie!

Oh, it rained…like in the middle of the night and I was lowkey scared, because the wind was blowing and I was afraid the tent would like fly away. Dramatic, I know. We survived though.

Sunday morning, we packed up, and came back to Austin! It was bitter sweet, no kidding. I really enjoyed myself. I would do it again and again.

BIG shout out to Norma for making the trip a success…love you! 

P.S.Do something new today, or this weekend, or whenever you feel like it – just do it! 

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