Category Archives: Travel

Trip to Abilene

Trip to Abilene

A couple of weekends ago, we had a long weekend for MLK Day, so we packed up and spent the weekend in Abilene with my parents and Christo.  We left around lunchtime on Friday and got to Abilene just in time for supper.  The trip takes anywhere from 5.5 to 6 hours and Parker did GREAT both ways.  He slept almost 3 hours on the way there and back, which was perfect since it let us stop in Temple, which is almost exactly halfway.

We didn’t have much on the agenda for the weekend and it was nice to just hang out and spend time with everyone.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous and we took complete advantage of it and spent lots of time outside.  Saturday afternoon we had lunch at Rosa’s – Parker loved his fajitas and tortillas and even got his first taste of sopapillas!  He ate a whole one by himself!  After lunch, we headed over to the Abilene Zoo and saw all the animals and even got to feed the giraffes!

Sunday afternoon we had lunch and then drove out to a little town north of Abilene to pick up my dad’s deer from the processor and then headed back to the house to get ready to take some family pictures that afternoon.  One of my parents’ friends is a photographer in Abilene and she came over Sunday afternoon to take some pictures of the 3 of us along the creek in the backyard.  I only have a few sneak peeks that Hannah posted on Facebook from the photo session, but they are so cute!  I’m so happy with how they turned out.

Unfortunately, we had to head home Monday morning, but we’re so glad it was a long weekend and got to stay for some extra time.  Can’t wait for our next trip – hopefully for part of Spring Break!

Parker’s 1st Trip to the Ranch

Parker’s 1st Trip to the Ranch

Brad & Monica are always so generous and let us spend time in the beautiful hill country at the ranch.  It’s always so nice to get away from the busy-ness of the city and life in general and be surrounded by nothing but a beautiful landscape, beautiful animals,sunsets, stars, and just the sounds of nature.  Summer trips to the ranch are especially relaxing since we get to take ranger & 4wheeler rides in the morning before it gets hot and then spend most of the rest of the day in the pool.

the day before we left…we talked about vacation all day…he was very excited ;)

in the car on the way to the ranch…no longer excited about vacation…thankfully, he fell asleep shortly after this picture and was much happier when he woke up!

We’re here!  On the ranch road headed up to the house!

LOVE those ranch sunsets!

view from the front porch of the house one evening

how could you not love it here?

it rained most of the day Sunday while we were there and that evening we saw a gorgeous rainbow

Another great thing about the ranch…SINK BATHS for Parker-man!

We also got a chance to take some new family pictures…it’s a rare event that all 8 of us are together, so we had to take advantage!

Such a great vacation…wish it could have lasted longer!

Ski Trip!

Ski Trip!

The first weekend of February, we crossed another thing off of our list of things to do and places to go.  We flew to Denver for 5 very frigid days of skiing in Breckenridge.   I was really excited to go to Colorado and spend a few days in the mountains and snow…2 things I had never really seen before.  Since I had never skied before, I signed up for ski school the first day we were there and then skied the 2nd day with Matt.  Skiing was pretty good…though I wouldn’t say its my favorite thing in the world.  I think if/when we go back, I will probably stick to the spas and shopping…hahah!

We had a blast hanging out with our friends, cooking meals, and watching the superbowl.  Breckenridge got about 2 feet of snow while we were there…which was so cool to see.  The snow is pretty and fun to see, but I’m so glad it doesn’t snow in Houston.  I couldn’t handle all that.  And seriously…I have NEVER been so cold in all my life.  O.M.G…it was awful.  I think the warmest it got while we were there was 21 and the day we left, it was -9!  Not only was it freezing cold, but it snowed pretty much the whole time we were there and it was so, so windy.  Needless to say, these spring-like temps the last few days in Houston have been very welcomed in our house.

The only downside to the ski trip was the lovely stomach bug that most of our ski caught and passed around while we were in CO.  The worst part of the bug only lasted about 24 hours, but it took most of us a few days to really feel 100% again.

at the base of the mountain, about to get back on the chair lift…lovely bank robber mask, huh?

yup…I fell…several times…haha!

the girls…Becky, Brittnie, me

the boys…Matt, Ben, & Brandon

We had a blast and can’t wait for our next trip!  After the winter we’ve had and the crazy cold in Breckenridge, we are most definitely going somewhere WARM & SUNNY!

Baseball Trip – Philadelphia

Baseball Trip – Philadelphia

After the Orioles game in Baltimore, we hopped on a train and traveled to Philadelphia.  I had never been on a train and Matt hadn’t been on one since he was really little, so this was basically a new experience for both of us.  Train travel is SO simple.  There’s no crazy security screening, no removal of shoes, no naked x-ray machines, etc.  You just get your ticket & ID checked and hop on the train.  The seats are bigger and you have at least twice as much leg room as you do on an airplane.  Definitely a much more pleasant way to travel.  Too bad we don’t have passenger trains in Texas.

We arrived in Philly a little late.  It was close 9:00 pm, so we caught a taxi from the train station to our hotel and then ran across the street to grab some supper at a Chili’s.  My worst fear came true when we walked out of the train station…it was cooling off outside…and QUICKLY.  I had not packed clothes for cool weather.  I had 1 long sleeved shirt to keep me warm on the plane/train and p.j. pants…definitely not things that would keep me warm in the New England “summer”.

We started off our first full day in Philly with breakfast at…Dunkin’ Donuts.  I swear…these things were on every freaking corner up there.  Every single city we visited seemed to have them about as close together as we have Starbucks.  It was weird.  After breakfast we hopped on the subway and rode over to the tourist spots…Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and the U.S. Mint.  There were TONS of tour groups and school groups at the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall…I guess the schools in the Northeast aren’t out for summer yet?  Too bad for them.   The U.S. Mint was pretty cool too…unfortunately there were no photos allowed, but it was neat to see how our coins are made and all of the machinery that’s used.

Independence Hall…it was so cool to think about all the things that took place in this building.

the liberty bell…the little museum we walked through before seeing the bell had tons of interesting facts about the bell that neither of us knew.  Apparently it used to tour the country and it served as a symbol to ending slavery and ending Apartheid in South Africa.  So interesting…

Ok…now for the Phillies game.  We took the Subway out to Citizens Bank Park for the Phillies game against the San Diego Padres.  It was a night game, so I packed my sweatpants so I wouldn’t freeze during the entire game.  I was a little non-impressed when we arrived outside the ballpark in Philly…it’s not much to look at from the outside, but the inside was pretty awesome.  And…they definitely had the best food out of all 5 ballparks we visited.  Matt had a cheesesteak which was pretty good and I had definitely had the best dinner I could ever ask for…French Fries!  But they weren’t just any french fries…they were called CRABFRIES and they were HEAVENLY!  I’m pretty sure they were just crinkle cut fries with crab seasoning on them, but holy moly…they were amazing.

outside the park…not overly impressive

yes…that’s an entire cup of french fries…and it was my dinner.  I love vacation!

Citizens Bank Park…view from the outfield

view from our seats

the hot dog cannon

the Liberty Bell in the outfield

us after the Phillies game

Great game, great park, great food, and the home team won!  We loved our time at Citizens Bank Park…but we were not impressed with Philadelphia.  If you have family there or are from there, I’m sorry, but Philly is gross and dirty and the bums are EVERYWHERE.  Some of the old historical buildings were impressive, but that’s about it…we were glad to leave and get on with our trip.  Next stop…New York City!

Baseball Trip – Baltimore

Baseball Trip – Baltimore

We left Houston last Saturday and flew to Baltimore, Maryland to watch the Baltimore Orioles play the Boston Red Sox at Camden Yards.  Our flight was uneventful (always a good thing) and we arrived at the fabulous Hilton hotel right across from the ballpark.  After getting checked in and relaxing in the room for a little while, we walked down to the Baltimore harbor and had a delicious dinner looking out over the harbor.  After dinner, we walked around the harbor, mostly people watching.  Apparently it was high school graduation night and the harbor was packed with unruly kids.  It was quite humorous in a way and also inspired us to head back to the hotel to get away from the crazies.

On our way back to the hotel we stopped by the ballpark to get some night pictures of the entrance all lit up since the game we were going to was the next afternoon.  We got some great shots and then headed in to the hotel for the night.  We slept late the next morning, walked to a nearby donut shop for breakfast, and then went back to the hotel to check out of our room.  We checked our bags with the bellhop since we wouldn’t be leaving Baltimore until after the baseball game and then we wandered across the street for the game.

the Sports Legend Museum at the entrance to Camden Yards

the entrance to Camden Yards

Oriole Park at Camden Yards is a really cool ballpark.  It is a very simple & classic park, but yet has a very new and modern feel to it.  The game was great.  The Red Sox were in town for the weekend series and there were a ton of Boston fans there for the game.  This was actually the very first game Matt and I had ever seen in the rain.  Since we have an indoor stadium here in Houston, rain is never something we have to worry about with baseball games.  They continued to play in the rain, and when it got bad enough, we just pulled out our ponchos and continued to enjoy some baseball!  Luckily, we were able to see the home team pull out a win!

the view from our seats

the outfield

us after the game!

Our Dream Vacation!

Our Dream Vacation!

We’ve been talking for a few years now about seeing games at all of the major league baseball parks.  In order to really get a jump start on crossing parks off our list, we thought the best place to start was the northeastern United States because there’s lots of parks and the cities are all within just a few hours of each other.  Our original plan was just to see a Yankees game and Mets game in New York and then head to Boston for a game at Fenway, but when we realized that there were home games in Baltimore and Philadelphia that same week, we added two more stops to the trip and off we went!

We flew to Baltimore last Saturday and traveled by train between each of the cities before flying home from Boston today.  We splurged on great seats at the parks and some nice hotels in a couple of the cities and really had a fantastic week away.  It was a great way to relax after finishing a hectic school year and a very busy several months of Matt working 60+ hours per week.

Of course while we were in each of these cities, we did more than just baseball.  There’s so much history and so much to see in all of these places, that our days were full of sightseeing and our nights full of baseball games…what could be better?

Pictures from each city and ballpark coming soon (we took over 1,000 pictures)!!

Coming Together!

Coming Together!

Our baseball trip is really starting to come together now!  Our train tickets arrived at Matt’s office the other day and we finished ordering all of our tickets for the baseball games this weekend.  We knew tickets at Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium would be the most expensive of the 5 stadiums we were visiting…but HOLY.COW.  It was unbelievable to see the markup on the tickets.  The game we are seeing in Boston is a game against the Phillies, so it was a “Black-out” series and when tickets went on sale Saturday morning all they had left was standing room only. I don’t know what prompted Matt to check Boston tickets Saturday morning, but he did…and we both ended up “sitting” in the “Boston Red Sox Virtual Waiting Room” for tickets to the game we wanted and then we ended not even buying anything because they only had single seats left.  We ended up getting AMAZING seats off of StubHub…but paying more than I’ll ever admit for them…front row seats along the first base line…technically field level seats, but there are like 5 rows in front of us.  So…really, I guess they are more like row 6…but whatever…it’s row 1 of our section.  Make sense?  Good.

awesome, huh?

Our tickets at Yankee Stadium are on the second level along the 3rd base line and while they were expensive…they weren’t anywhere close to what we had to pay at Fenway.  Yankee’s tickets aren’t on sale through their website yet, so we bought these straight through StubHub and didn’t even wait around to see what we might be able to get from  They are playing the Astros when we are there, so we know it won’t be a “Black-out series”…haha…but they sell out their games no matter who they are playing, so we went ahead and bought them.

pretty dang sweet, huh?

Now that we have all of our game tickets and transportation lined up…we just need hotels to stay in!  We will be booking those in the next few weeks!  Hurry up, June!

Baseball Extravaganza

Baseball Extravaganza

As we mentioned several months ago, Matt and I are planning to take a baseball lover’s trip of a lifetime this summer.  We have finally started making travel arrangements for our trip and we are so excited.  We just wish it wasn’t still so far away!  We’ve booked our plane tickets to get us to our first city and baseball stadium and then home from our last stop on the trip.  We are both trying REALLY, REALLY hard to pack in carry-on sized suitcases so we don’t have to deal with checking bags.  It’s just so annoying and frustrating and even worse now that you have to pay to checked luggage.  Matt will totally be able to pack and carry his suitcase on the plane…me on the other hand….that remains to be seen.  A week is a long time and will require lots of clothes ;).

We’ve also booked our train tickets.  We will be taking the Amtrak train between Baltimore, Philly, New York and Boston.  We are both really excited about this.  I’ve never been on a train before, so I’m looking forward to it.  This is the other reason we are both trying to pack in carry-on sized luggage…you can’t check luggage on the trains we are taking and it would be a huge pain to deal with a big gigantic suitcase on a train and in a train station.

Last night we were able to book the first of our game tickets.  The Baltimore Orioles already have their tickets on sale, so we found so pretty good seats at Camden Yards and bought our tickets for the game.  We looked at tickets for our other games on StubHub…but because they are because sold by season ticket holders, they cost more than if were to buy them from the teams we are going to wait until the other teams put their tickets on sale before we buy them.  If we need to buy them through StubHub to get good seats, we will.

We’ve got hotels for each city picked out, but will book those in the next several weeks.  We are also deciding on other things to do in each of the cities we will be visiting other than the baseball games.  We will be in New York for almost 4 days and since Matt’s never been there…we have lot’s to do!  We also plan on trying one of Bobby Flay’s restaurants while we are in New York.

We are getting so excited about our trip…I wish it was closer to June than it is.

2 Relaxing Weekends

2 Relaxing Weekends

Matt and I have had two wonderfully relaxing weekends the last couple of weeks.  Last weekend, after a few crazy weeks, we both took Friday off from work and drove out there early Friday morning so we would have an extra day to enjoy the serenity.  We have spent both weekends in the Hill country with my family at the ranch and it was so nice to get away for a few days and just relax.  We didn’t do a whole lot…the guys hunted, the ladies sat with them in the deer stands, we rode 4wheelers, ate LOTS of tasty food, and enjoyed some wonderful weather.  Us gals ventured into Fredericksburg to do some shopping one morning, but other than that, we steered clear of civilization for the weekend.   The guys didn’t come home with much meat…only 1 deer and 1 hog were shot, but it was great to get out there before things get busy with the holidays.  We won’t be going back until the day after Christmas, which we are so excited about!