Big Cedar Vacation: Day 3

Big Cedar Vacation: Day 3

On our next day, we decided to venture about 30 minutes away to another Big Cedar property: Dogwood Canyon. We really didn’t know what to expect because their website doesn’t give a great idea….but I’m SO GLAD we went. It was gorgeous!

There’s a big building with a gift shop/museum and restaurant…but the treasure is in the trails behind.


We decided to tackle the land via a tram ride. You can rent bikes, walk, do a segway or take a tram. And the tram is the only way to see the animals in the back- and we thought Remi would like that.

We had to wait a bit. We arrived at like 10:30 and we had to wait for a 1 pm tram. Totally worth it!

Beautiful waterfalls everywhere! Amazing streams. Beautiful tree covered canyon. Seriously serene and awesome.


We took some photos in front of the big waterfall behind the restaurant and started exploring.


There’s a huge treehouse (from the TV show Treehouse Masters) that we had fun playing in and around.


And then Tyler and Nancy paid to try fly fishing for about an hour or so. They enjoyed it.


And Remi enjoyed playing around the stream.


I cringed a bit when she sat in the mud, but ya gotta let her explore, right? She played with sticks, rocks and watched the water for a while.


On the tram, we got to get out at a few stops, but we mostly just enjoyed the amazing views (including watching TONS of trout swimming around) from the comfort and shade of our tram.


This was behind the beautiful chapel. You can’t see it, but there’s another waterfall behind us.


Trout right next to our tram. SO MANY TROUT.


It was just lovely back there to see the formations, caves, streams and more.


At one spot we got to walk up higher to take a look at the natural pool down below. Remi loves to walk up stairs.


At the back of the trip, there were herds of bison, elk, deer and some longhorns.

I liked the bison. There were even young babies!


The female elks were having a “spa day” in the mud.


When we got back, we played in the tree house for a long time until we were all tired of climbing the stairs.


After a little nap (which to be honest was a STRUGGLE but she took one) and then a dinner, we went to the nearest pool to our condo (which is up pretty high) for a sunset swim. It was lovely out!


I’m so thankful for this beautiful day!

Caitlyn’s Graduation

Caitlyn’s Graduation

My sweet cousin Caitlyn was born when I was 13, so it’s sort of hard to believe she’s ready to graduate! I can’t be old enough for her to be 18, right?!

We are SO proud of her and so excited she’s coming near us for college. We LOVE KK and are excited to spend more time with her.

We went to Hot Springs to celebrate her graduation. Her church hosted a lovely lunch for families, and it was a good time to all be together.


Saturday evening, they had a party at a family friend’s home. It was pouring rain, and silly Remi HAD to use her own umbrella walking in. #soindependent


Sunday morning, my mom went to their church for the service, but I wanted to let Remi take the morning slow.  We got breakfast and went to the pool. She LOVED her Paw Patrol swim suit and swimming with us!


After a good nap, we got ready and grabbed lunch and took it to Uncle Neil. Remi LOVES pushing him in his big chair. She also loves the library there.


She was GREAT during graduation (thanks to my phone and some headphones). It was great to see Caitlyn get her diploma and cheer on her class.


We snapped a few pics after the ceremony and then headed to a big dinner with extended family.


We got home late, but it was a wonderful time with family and celebrating Cait.


Hanson Day 2019

Hanson Day 2019

Hanson Day is one of my favorite things each year.  I get a weekend away with friends to a city I love (Tulsa), great food, and Hanson concerts. Over the years, we’ve made some traditions including a local Tulsa art festival…and I just couldn’t love it more.

The weekend this year was longer- 4 days for most fans- but it was cut short to just 2 days for me since I had to leave and go to Caitlyn’s graduation.

Amber and Emily came to my house from Memphis late Wednesday and we went straight to Tulsa on Thursday morning.

We got registered quickly and then walked around and got lunch. Kim chi fries from Lone Wolf hit the spot! So good!


The Hanson stuff was BUSY that afternoon.  We thought it was due to it just being the first day, but turns out it was just a big attendance and things were busy all weekend.

We spent the afternoon sort of hunting murals! It was fun to walk around Tulsa and see some art.

This BIG mural is by the BOK center. Lots of fun imagery that Hanson has adopted- headphones, bison, lightning bolts, etc.


And we found this Tulsa flag one, too!


That afternoon, Hanson did an acoustic show that they call a Storytellers- since they do a bit more talking than a typical concert. This year it was mostly music from the Underneath album- one of my faves!

And as always, I LOVE being in Cain’s Ballroom!


After a fantastic concert, we hit up another tradition: Caz’s Chowhouse! Shocker to anyone who’s been there with me: I didn’t get the chicken fried steak. Instead, I got a chicken sandwich that was great.


And of course, we went to Glacier for chocolates (this was actually our second Glacier- we got gelato at their bean-to-bar location earlier in the day! Not mad about it).


Friday, we spent a ton of time waiting at the store, but it was sort of our only opportunity. Whatever. It’s worth it. We also got breakfast and coffee from Marie Antoinette Bakery while we waited. A really great biscuit and chai.


We usually hit up the Blue Dome Arts Festival, but it wasn’t happening. Instead, they expanded May Fest, so we got to see the art there. It was fun to see artists we’ve come to love and find some new people to enjoy. And we also ate street food for lunch! HELLO INDIAN TACO!


When circling back from Mayfest to our hotel, we found a CUTE bookstore and then saw that Glacier had painted their window with one of our favorite fan club songs. #photoop


The weather was gorgeous! Like mid-80s and sunny, so of course we hit up the rooftop pool for a bit! Nothing like some drinks, sunshine, pool time and friends.


We had Andolini’s pizza delivered while we got ready. Another great food choice. YUM.


We walked next door to the Tulsa Performing Arts Center for String Theory- Hanson’s venture into a show partnering with the symphony. It’s toured the entire world (London, Sydney Opera House, all across the US) and Amber and Emily had already seen it (to be honest, most of the fans there had already seen it). I hadn’t.

I was GIDDY to finally see this show. It was sold out- and super fun to see them on the marquee!


The show was breathtaking. I think on it’s own, the String Theory show was special. But this was extra- their hometown. We saw their family on the first two rows. The place was PACKED with super fans from across the globe. And the final two songs had this community feeling that I’ve never felt before. We were standing, singing, using our lights…it was beautiful.


I HATED to leave, but after String Theory I had to head back home. We do love NY, but we also LOVE Tulsa.  Here’s to next year!


Mother’s Day in Dallas

Mother’s Day in Dallas

We went for a very delicious Mother’s Day brunch in Dallas!

We went to a place I’ve heard many of my DFW friends talk about- Whiskey Cake. And the brunch was SO GOOD.

We were thankful to have our moms there with us.  This girl loves her Mimi and Gigi.


She may have been bribed to take this photo with me. But whatever. Me and my munchkin.


The food was AWESOME.  We got deviled eggs (which I didn’t eat, but everyone said they were good.  They were BLT eggs) and the best cheddar jalepeno biscuits with sausage gravy. OMG they were wonderful.


For the meal, we all got yummy things- Remi got a great yogurt parfait, I had a monte cristo, mom and Ty got chicken and waffles, and Nancy got a farmer’s breakfast plate. It was all so good.

After brunch, we headed out of town, but first we HAD to stop at Trader Joe’s. Remi enjoyed wearing Mimi’s sunglasses in the bright car! ha!


When we got home, it was a mad dash to do laundry and unpack before our work week started.

I’m so thankful we had this fun time together in Dallas. It was a great getaway.