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/

    ‘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 ❤️

    Road Trip: New Mexico-Arizona-California

    Well ladies and gentlemen, we’ve covered quite some ground in the last 24 hours. We’ve seen the white sands in New Mexico, the organ pipe cacti in Arizona and we will arrive on the pacific coast of California this evening. We have been pleasantly overwhelmed by the beauty of nature on this trip and we’ve used every opportunity to stop and explore. An hour detour here, 30 minutes there, every extra minutes and mile was well worth it.

    White Sands National Monument

    We knew a little ahead of time we wanted to see the white sands in New Mexico and we couldn’t have picked a better day. When we arrived it was about 68 degrees and the views were stunning. While we explore all these places we always take the time to learn a little about the history. The white sands aren’t technically sand, they are white gypsum and they’ve been around for over 8,000 years. There are over 275 square miles of white gypsum dunes and a large portion of them are enjoyed by visitors from all over. I visited here as a child but I really didn’t remember much of it. As an adult, it’s completely mesmerizing and I’m still impressed by the park overall.

    Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

    Our next stop was Tucson Arizona. We didn’t really do much in Tucson, except eat some bomb-ass pizza at a little place called Dry River Pizza and Beer. After that we spent the evening researching things to do in AZ. The Bearded One found Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and was determined to see these cacti. It was slightly out of the way but well worth it. The desert terrain is nothing like we’d imagined it would be. It’s full of unique vegetation, most of which we’ve never really seen before.

    We’ve already seen quite a lot and can’t wait to explore California next. We will be in San Diego for the next few days and then up the coast from there!

    Road Trip: 1st Stop

    Fredericksburg

    Our first overnight stop was yesterday in Fredericksburg and we had a pretty great time. If you’ve never been, Fredericksburg is a smaller hill country town known for its wineries, distilleries and German heritage. There are lots of historical sites and museums spread throughout the town, especially on Main Street.

    We’ve only been to Fredericksburg one other time so we thought this would be be perfect little overnighter to kick off our trip. Once again I used Air B&B and actually found the perfect little inn (Fredericksburg Inn & Suites). The inn is located just a few blocks from Main Street and had ample amenities. We really enjoyed the pool and of course my Texas shaped waffle this morning.

    Main Street is where all the ‘action’ takes place in Fredericksburg. It’s filled with little shops, wine tasting rooms, restaurants and historical sites. We kicked off our trip with a couple tastings from Texas wineries such as Becker Vineyards, Fiesta Winery, and Fat Ass Ranch and Winery. The Bearded One was not impressed with our fruity selections (coconut lime wine, watermelon, peaches) but it was an in good fun. One downside To Fredericksburg is that every thing pretty much closes early, like 5:00-5:30. We didn’t get to explore too many shops due the early closures but we were able to enjoy a couple of drinks, appetizers and live music at Silver Creek Beer Garden and Grill.

    The Texas hill country is also known for Enchanted Rock (we’ve hiked it) and other outdoor activities that are just too hot to explore during July. We will have to come back during cooler weather to take full advantage of this beautiful area

    Overall, we had a pretty successful first day on our road trip. Today we are headed out to…El Paso? Las Cruces? …..we will see!