Staycation: Exploring Home

Huntsville, Texas

Home of the Bearkats

The Piney Woods

And of course The Prison (there’s actually several)

I think Huntsville gets a bad rap, you know because of the large population of prisoners and college kids, but personally I love this growing town.

According to a recent article I read, Huntsville is the 5th fastest growing city in the state. Now I know that might seem a little scary to the original Huntsvillies but I am excited about the growth and development!

Our rapidly growing town has so much to offer but yet still holds that small town authenticity.

Hidden Food Gems

Whether your in the mood for Japanese, Cajun, or El Salvadoran food, Huntsville offers it all. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Latin Food
  • – Hands down our go to Latin food place is Carbonero. They offer a variety of food but specialize in El Salvadoran cuisine. The owner is always so welcoming and friendly, service is great, drinks are fantastic, and the pupusas are the best!
    • Steak
  • – We’ve all dined at those expensive chain steak houses which in all honesty aren’t too bad, but nothing beats and original family owned steakhouse. If you’ve never been to 1836 Steakhouse you’re missing out. The restaurants itself is housed in a beautiful historic mansion. It’s been renovated numerous times and is quite beautiful. Our favorite dining experience is upstairs in the attic bar. Not only do they have delicious, perfectly cooked steaks, they have an array of creative appetizers and drink! (Try the friend goat cheese, sangria, and Caesar salad with housemade dressing)
    • Cajun
  • If you’re from the south, you know all about crawfish and Cajun food, and if you’re into all of that goodness you have to try Arnaud’s Cajun Kitchen. This fabulous food truck is situated in its own little food truck park (so if you’re not a fan of Cajun you have several other options). Arnaud’s isn’t just crawfish, they have it all…boudin, boiled shrimp, crab, and so much more.
    • Deli/Sandwiches
  • – If you’re looking for a sandwich, salad, or any other home town deli dish you have to check out Five Loaves Deli. This family owned gem is one of my absolute favorites and has been since college. I’ve never been disappointed in any meal I’ve tried here!
    • Something Different
  • If you’re tired of burgers and fries and the same old thing then you have to check out Potato Shack. This unique restaurant bar is literally potatoes in every way, shape, and form. Chicken fried steak stuffed potato? Sure thing! Boudin stuffed potato? They’ve got it! They have other menu items such as salads, wings, and funnel cake fries (yes you read that right). The atmosphere is always friendly and laid back, great owners, awesome staff, daily drink specials…we just can’t get enough of this place!
  • We’ve pretty much grabbed a bite to eat at every restaurant, diner, and dive in Huntsville and have rarely been disappointed. This small town has a lot to offer so come check it out for yourself.

    http://www.carbonerorotisserie.com/

    https://www.1836steakhouse.com/

    http://www.arnaudscajunkitchen.com/

    http://www.fiveloavesdeli.com/

    http://www.potatoshackhuntsville.com/

    Spring Break- So you want to go on a cruise?

    We’re Back!

    Roasted crickets, slaughtered pigs, and dancing in the street…we found it all!

    This was our second time on a cruise and we’ve came to the conclusion that we are just not cruise people.

    We had the most fun when we were OFF the ship and able to soak up the sun and culture of Cozumel and Progresso Mexico.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of activities on the ship (including a hairy chest competition that The Bearded One partook in). There’s just so much more to see and appreciate off the ship!

    Cozumel

    Our first port was Cozumel, which we were slightly familiar with because of our first cruise. Once off the ship we grabbed a taxi and headed straight to Chankannab Beach for some much needed sand and snorkeling. The beach was beautiful, the snorkeling not so bad ( better than my first experience) and the staff attentive. We spend the whole day laying in the beach, watching the other tourists and chatting it up with our waiter Angel. He was so pleasant and beamed with pride when we asked him about his family (3 grown daughters all at university!). It was definitely a challenge to leave the beauty that is Cozumel and head back to our ship.

    Progresso

    Cozumel is the ‘fan favorite’ but personally, I love Progresso. It may be a little run down and impoverished but it’s full of authenticity and friendly people living their best lives. The Bearded One and I occasionally like to stray and explore when we’re out and about (no worries we were perfectly safe) and on this particular trip we wandered in to the markets and it was quite the experience.

    We saw fresh fruit and beautiful flowers, butchered pigs and sharks, and so much more! We also enjoyed multiple buckets of beer on the beach, fun little gifts from numerous beach vendors, and a couple of crunchy cricket snacks 😉

    All in all we had an amazing vacation (we always do). The cruise staff was great, the activities plentiful, the weather fantastic, the food decent, but making memories with my forever date was the best part ❤️

    Bon Voyage

    Today we embark on our 5 day Yucatán Cruise. Although we’ve been to these ports on our first cruise, I am still excited! As stressful as this year (school year for all our non teacher friends) has been, I am ready to soak up the sun and put away my phone!

    5 full days of sun, food, drinks, and relaxation with my numero uno.

    Today we #choosefun and think you all should as well. Sometimes you just need a break and I am encouraging all of you to take one! Even if it’s just a weekend getaway with your partner, friends, or yourself, you deserve it!

    Hasta luego my loves, I’ll report back on the fabulousness of our Carnival ship The Valor!

    We’re DINKs!

    I learned a new hysterical, yet fitting, term recently. DINK-Double Income No Kids. At this point in our lives we are choosing to embrace this term and spend some of that double income on our next adventure.

    In just 3 short weeks (hopefully, if the school Gods are smiling down upon us teachers) we will be ON SEA TIME, headed to Mexico!

    This cruise is basically the same as the other we took but no complaints here. Five days of food, drinks, sun and sand, I can’t wait!

    I’ll keep y’all posted on the itinerary but until then, wish us DINKs luck, we need it to make it spring break!

    ‘Tis’ the Season in San Antonio

    Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m slightly obsessed with Christmas and all it encompasses. I love the beautifully decorated trees, the sparking lights, the perfectly wrapped gifts, the nostalgia of Christmas as a kid, heck I even like the corny Christmas shirts! I’m just in love with the whole Christmas season and I want to experience it in every way possible!

    When I saw everyone posting on the IGs about the San Antonio Riverwalk Christmas lights I knew we had to check it out for ourselves, and it was definitely worth it.

    Now we’re not new to SA by any means; Six Flags, Seaworld, Market Square, The Alamo, The Riverwalk, Beerfest, birthdays, bachelorette parties, the list of San Antonio adventures goes on and on. We’ve been to SA so many times I’ve lost count, but this was the first time we’ve seen the city sparkle and shine with the Christmas spirit and it did not disappoint.

    We’re pretty touristy when we visit San Antonio and we started this little overnight adventure at Market Square. For those of you that have never been, Market Square is a great place to shop, eat, watch street performers, and experience something new.

    During the wonderful Christmas season Market Square was decorated with poinsettias, lights, and a giant Christmas tree. We had a great afternoon shopping and people watching.

    After Market Square we took our cliche touristy selves down to the Riverwalk to see the lights. Once again, San Antonio did not disappoint with their Christmas flare. From the trees to the river,the whole area was dripping with lights. No matter how many pictures I attempted, I just couldn’t capture the beauty of the Riverwalk Christmas Lights. It’s something y’all will just have to experience yourself!

    Another successful adventure for Messy Bun and The Bearded One ❤️🎄

    Christmas in Gruene

    Last weekend we were fortunate enough to get away from it all and bask in the Christmas spirit of Gruene, TX. Not only is Gruene our favorite little getaway, but there’s always so much to see and do. We were able to enjoyed the Christmas festivities including:

    • watch the Pony Express ride into town
    • shop at the Ole Gruene Christmas Trade Market
    • hear Christmas carols for a local choir
    • and my favorite, witness Kris Kringle light up the town

    Gruene already holds a special place in my heart, and when you combine that love with the spirit of Christmas, it became a magical vacation.

    I would definitely recommend Gruene to anyone who hasn’t been. Even if you can’t make it for a special holiday event, this special little town is chock full of love and adventure.

    Check out some of our favorites when you plan you visit!

    • Check in to Gruene River Inn for fabulous service, rustic decor, jacuzzi tubs, and unbeatable river views
    • Dance at Gruene Hall (this is mandatory)
    • Grab a pizza and listen to some music at Infernos Pizza
    • Have a Batman and Robin at Mozies while you snack on their amazing garlic fries
    • Shop shop shop!
    • Sample some wine at the Grapevine (try the blackberry)
    • Shop at the Gruene Olive and sample their innovative oil and vinegar blends
    • Share apps or have dinner at The Gruene River Grill
    • And finish the night enjoying free music at the outdoor venue Oma’s Secret Garden (recently renovated)

    I hope you fall in love with Gruene just like me and my Bearded One ❤️

    Gruene River Inn Views

    Wine at he Grapevine

    Gruene Hall

    Kris Kringle Lighting the Town

    Oma’s

    A Much Needed Weekend Away

    Gruene, Texas, my favorite little town.

    This weekend we finally decided to get away and head to my happy place, Gruene. Situated on the banks of the Guadalupe River, home to “Texas’ Oldest Dance Hall” , and notorious for historic shopping and live music, I am in love.

    This perfect little town is chock-full of history, music, and memories for me and my bearded wonder. This is the place where I was asked to become a Mrs, I discovered acceptance and love from strangers, I two-stepped without a care in the world, I discovered my favorite wine, and continue to build my adventures.

    We’ve never experienced this perfect little town in the winter and although we’ve been here for less than 5 hours, I’m already overwhelmed with the holiday spirit.

    I can’t wait for tomorrow adventures! We plan to welcome the original Pony Express, shop the artisan Christmas market, and cheer on Kris Kringle as he arrives on horseback to spread a little Christmas magic.

    Stay tuned, my heart is full tonight ❤️

    Where to?

    Sometimes with the hustle and bustle of life we lose track of the things that truly make us happy, for us, that’s traveling. Like any good travel enthusiast you have to plan your next adventure, and that’s where I’m stuck!

    In a world so rich with history, beauty and mystery, how do we decide our next big (or little) adventure?

    Where shall we go next?

    What should we do?

    Beach? Mountains? Prairies?

    I can honestly say I’ve never had a bad vacation…so why is this next trip planning stumping me?

    As I sit here overwhelmed with ideas and possibilities I realize it’s not necessarily the destination I’m dreaming of, it’s the adventure itself.

    Stay tuned for our next adventure…

    Road Trip: Morro Bay

    Morro Bay, California was one of our favorite destinations on this trip. It is a quiet, picturesque bay town with so much to do and see. We spent our days there walking along the pier and taking in all of the sites and sounds we don’t experience back home.

    First of all the weather was amazing, actually, it was slightly cold. When we arrived it was a beautiful 72 degrees and as soon as that sun went down it was in the 50s. I had to buy a hoodie in one of the gift shops along the Embarcadero (which is basically a boardwalk). Also along the Embarcadero you will discover all kinds of shops, restaurants, bars, and rental places for boats, kayaks, paddle boards etc. We thoroughly enjoyed listening to the sea lions and watching the otters as we strolled through the bay on our way to the beach.

    Our beach day was quite an adventure in itself. It turned out to be very cloudy and about 58 degrees. We knew the Pacific was cold but it was too cold to get in that day!Although it was too cold, the water was crystal clear; you could see all the way down to the bottom along the piers.

    This small bay town was very well taken care of, pristinely clean, not over crowded, family friendly, and very affordable. We loved it so much that we have plans to return in the future.

    View from our Air B&B

    Beautiful Clear Water

    Sunset Over Morro Rock

    Beautiful Sunset the First Night

    Fog Covered the Bay Day 2

    Morro Rock is Way Bigger Up Close

    Foggy Beach Day

    Enjoying the Beach Despite the Chilly Weather

    Foggy Beach Day

    Last Night, We had so much fun!

    Tip: Although there are several places to eat we really enjoyed Libertine Pub, especially their clam chowder!