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.

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

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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.

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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!

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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.


Rainy Day in Dallas

Rainy Day in Dallas

Our second Dallas day was a rainy one.  Not just rainy, like DOWNPOUR. So we needed something indoors to do.

We had a slow morning, eating our leftover breakfasts and getting ready.  Then we headed to Grapevine for some shopping.

Our first stop was Bass Pro.  Truth be told, I thought it was connected to the big mall, but it wasn’t.  That’s ok!  Tyler and Nancy shopped while we took in the free aquarium and animals. Remi LOVED the water wheel!

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Then we headed to Grapevine Mills mall.  We did a little shopping, then we let Remi ride the little train. She was VERY excited to say the least!

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While we waited for our table at Rainforest Cafe, we walked to the chocolate shop (because, why not?!) And she got a big chocolate covered marshmallow.

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We did lunch at the Rainforest Cafe. She may not look like it here (she was ready for a nap, so picture cooperation wasn’t happening) but she enjoyed it.  The food is overpriced and not that great, and I’m not sure she loved it enough to go back….but it was fun.

She was a tiny bit scared during the first “storm” when all the animals came alive.  We sat in the middle of the restaurant under the gorillas, so there was stuff ALL around us.  But after the first one, she got excited when the rain storm would happen.

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She PASSED OUT for a nap. I’m never mad about a good naptime.

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For dinner, we went to the Gas Monkey Grill, which was a very surprising win. The food and service were fantastic. And it may be from a TV show, but it wasn’t kitchy or too overdone. It was just good food and a neat place.

And the big monkey cups were a hit!

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They have a music venue and a concert was happening, so Remi definitely wanted to go watch the show after our meal. She loves live music. So intently watching!

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That night at bedtime she read us all Brown Bear. She has it almost memorized. It was precious.

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We all slept well that night! A fun, long day together.


Dallas Adventure: Perot Museum

Dallas Adventure: Perot Museum

We had a family wedding in Dallas, so we decided to make it into a really fun weekend.

It was Tyler’s cousin, so of course, Nancy was going with. And my mom came to keep Remi during the (very fancy, swanky) wedding.

We left on a Thursday after work and made the trip. Remi’s a champ- we made only one stop the entire 4.5 hours.

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We adventured all Friday until it was time to get ready for the wedding.

We started at Cindi’s NY Deli for breakfast. My mom grew up Chicago and misses deli food. And I love it, too. Mom asked them for a sample of their chopped liver, and Remi surprised us, diving right in for a bite! She loved it!

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I got wonderful cheese blintzes. (along with some potato latkes we all shared). We all ended up taking leftovers and eating them the next morning.

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Our next stop was the Perot Children’s Museum. It was a bit cold and gloomy (especially for Texas in May), but we enjoyed the frogs outside.

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Inside, we took Remi to the toddler area (only for kids 5 and under). We thought after a while she would want to venture around the rest of the museum- but nope. We were in that are for like 3 hours. She explored and enjoyed every inch!

She loved this big water table. They put on aprons and could build and play in the water.

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In the middle was the big produce truck. They could drive it, fill it with veggies or take the produce and stock the little grocery store. Remi did all three.

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Another corner was a camping set up with a picnic, fire and animal puppets. She loved this as well.

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Outside was a giant sand area where they could dig (supposed to be for dino bones, but the kids just loved playing in the sand!)

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She also enjoyed the craft area- with glue sticks, scissors, stickers and other things to create with.

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There was an indoor slide/play/climb area with these fun conveyor belts. Remi sent like 50 blocks up them- she loved spinning that wheel.

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She CRASHED on our walk to lunch. She never does this.

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We reached the holy grail – Shake Shack. I LOVE it so much. Though the downtown Dallas location had poor service, the food was still great.

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Remi perked up after a hot dog, fries and ice cream, and she enjoyed riding back to the car with dad.

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She spotted these big 00s outside of El Fenix (to mark their 100th birthday or something- you could stand and be the 1). But she just wanted to sit inside it and she said “Take my picture” ha!

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We finally convinced her to make a big 1 to show 100!

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She had her own Rocky moment when she wanted to climb these stairs outside the Perot Museum on the way back to the car.

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We dropped her and my mom off at a park near our AirBNB while we got ready and left for the wedding (Shoutout to Mimi, carrying her the half mile back from the park when she didn’t want to walk).

The wedding was SO fun and SO nice. After the reception, we had a cold but awesome cocktail hour by the pool.

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Then we partied until after 11 at the reception. Delish food, great company (a table full of Tyler’s fun family) and dancing the night away. It was a great day in the Big D!


Anniversary Weekend in Lake Ozark

Anniversary Weekend in Lake Ozark

When we were looking for options for our anniversary weekend, we had lots of thoughts. We could go somewhere we’ve been and know we like.  Or we could go somewhere new! But with endless options within like 5 hours of us, we didn’t know where to start.

I was checking Groupon Getaways (some great deals, but mostly inspiration for locations) and saw something on Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. It was like 4.5 hours away from us and intriguing.

To be honest, I was sort of skeptical.  I did some googling but I couldn’t tell what the area was really like.  It looked nice with some neat resorts, but I know that sometimes things look better online than they are in person. But we decided to take a chance and try this area.

We ended up booking an AirBNB there and the entire area was BEYOND our expectations!

Lake of the Ozarks is a HUGE lake (really a damed up river).  It has more coastline than California (or so a few signs said!). I can tell during the summer this place is HOPPING.  But in March, it was great for a quieter weekend. There were endless condos and restaurants- most of which were very very very nice.

Our AirBNB was waterfront and perfect. It was a bit smaller, but very nice and comfortable.

We went for a 3-day weekend, and without it being warm pool weather, it was perfect.

We started Saturday by visiting Spa Shiki. Y’all.  The massage and reflexology were great, but the spa itself was AMAZING. You could literally spend all day there- wet and dry saunas, this gorgeous soaking pool, hot tub, hot and cold towels with essential oils, a lounging area, juice bar….I was sort of sad to leave and get Tyler.

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We went to Half Sauced for BBQ which didn’t disappoint. These BBQ nachos were YUMMY (once we added some BBQ sauce) and we enjoyed our sampler plate of all their meats.

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The area has several towns that are connected.  We didn’t mind driving 20-30 minutes either way to do stuff. So we headed to a town over to Bridal Cave. It’s on the water, so another pretty view.

The cave was very interesting. One of the neatest caves I’ve ever been in! Pretty easy walking inside, but unreal inside. You can see where some of the early explorers had to crawl through (thank goodness it’s been opened up for visitors!).

There was a small tour group, and we hung in the back so we could really take our time looking at everything.

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After the cave, we headed to Ha Ha Tonka state park. It’s “known” for “castle ruins” which are really the remnants of a big home from a fire in the 30s or something. Not that impressive.  But thankfully, we found a great trail and did some hiking.

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The woods felt very different from home- not as thick.  You could see for hundreds of yards (where at home, there’s thicker evergreen underbrush, so it’s more of just seeing the trail). We enjoyed the 60-degree weather!

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Then we rounded out the day with the outlet mall!  We stopped for a treat at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (where I had the BEST caramel apple!) and then we shopped and grabbed dinner at Dog Days (which was SO yummy).

On Sunday, we slept in and then decided to drive to the lookout over Bagnall Dam. Lovely views of the lake and we learned about the dam.

We were originally headed to brunch at a winery, but saw a line outside this place.  When the sign looks like this and there’s a line, you trust that. It was a DELICIOUS breakfast.

I had a cinnamon roll the size of my head!

And Tyler ate this crazy pile of biscuits, sausage, eggs and gravy. We were STUFFED (with enough to go for the next morning!)

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After breakfast, we did some more driving and exploring. We saw a couple interesting stores to stop at (which ended up being more of a dud than a hidden gem), but then we stumbled onto this winery. 7Springs was BEAUTIFUL. The grapes weren’t growing, but you could see the vineyards and the mountains.  We did a full wine sampling of like 15 wines for like $15 or something. We liked several of them and took a couple bottles home.

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It was a little chillier, but still a sunny day.

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We came back and took a nap (glorious!) and then we got ready for dinner.  I always wear my wedding shoes on our anniversary dinner, so these pink puppies came out!

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We dined at JB Hooks- on the middle of the lake. GORGEOUS sunset views and a wonderful dinner. We stuffed ourselves with steak and seafood and cocktails and creme brulee.  So so so good.

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On Monday, we mostly just took our time driving back- stopping at Bass Pro for Tyler to shop (of course!) and taking a more scenic route home through Missouri.

It was a fantastic time away together. I’m so thankful to celebrate 9 years in such a fun way.

When we got married, our pastor told us to always celebrate your anniversaries as best as you could afford with money and time. He said your marriage is something to celebrate- and we totally agree!