Posted in Travel

California Recap

Hello! How was your weekend? We had a good one! On Friday, Travis had knee surgery, so he took it easy all weekend while we took turns getting him whatever he needed 😉 Hayden had baseball on Saturday, but then it was rained out on Sunday. While I love watching his team play, Sunday at home, was much needed with Travis, groceries, laundry, and just taking it easy. We were all pretty tired after our first week of school.

Today, I’m recapping our recent trip to Del Mar, California.

I have been there quite a few times, and it’s definitely one of my favorite places! Travis goes there a few times a year for work, and he often invites me to join him when he goes for work in August. I always say, “no” because it’s the weekend before school starts which is hectic within itself, but this year I decided to tag along.

I certainly have no regrets, and it was nice to get away for a few days, but it really did make the days leading up to the trip hectic to prep for back to school, and then I started school the day after we returned home.

We had a great time. Here are the details!

Wednesday:

An Uber picked us up at 4:30 AM for our 6:00 flight.

We flew to Dallas, and I will spare you the details of delays, deplaning, and changed gates, but the two hour layover turned into eight hours at DFW.

We finally landed in San Diego around 4:30, and after getting our luggage and a rental car, we drove the 25 minutes to our hotel in Del Mar. We rinsed off, got dressed, and I wanted to see the beach for a minute…

After travelling for 12+ hours and wearing a mask the entire time, I wanted some fresh air before we met some friends for dinner at…

Pamplemousse. I got the halibut, and it was delish. We were back to the hotel by 9:30. With the time change and long day of travel, we fell right asleep!

Thursday

On Thursday, I slept until 7:00, which was later than Travis did. I met him at the hotel bar for coffee and breakfast.

After breakfast, we enjoyed our coffee on the deck with an ocean view and planned out our day.

We went for a walk …

before heading to lunch at Brigantine.

This dress was one of the best things I packed! Comfy and cute!

This is a restaurant that overlooks the Del Mar racetrack, and Travis typically runs into people he knows. We both got the fish tacos and a beer!

After lunch, we headed to the beach for a couple of hours, and it was glorious.

I took a walk while Travis dozed off. By the end of this trip, I had 50+ photos of the beach and ocean on my phone…I can never get enough of the view.

Also, while beach trips with my kids have gotten easier as the years have gone by, it’s been a while since just Travis and I were at the beach. It felt so weird to grab my sunglasses, my book, and my towel and have that be all I need.

After the beach, we relaxed a bit, and then went to dinner at Market.

We actually sat at the bar, so we could watch the USA women win gold in beach volleyball!

The sushi was amazing!

Again, we were home by 9:30 and fell fast asleep!

Friday

On Friday, Travis was up very early to meet friends and clients on the back side of the track to look at horses. I slept in a bit, and then headed to the hotel bar again for breakfast.

I took my book and read while enjoying only about 1/3 of these pancakes with my coffee.

When Travis got back, we decided to drive to La Jolla which is only about 20 minutes away. We walked around and there’s an area where you can see the sea lions on the rocks, and we always go there to take in the views and see the sea lions.

We walked around a bit before going to Puesto for lunch. We split some chips and guac, and I got the shrimp tacos and cilantro rice.

On our drive home, I spotted a trail by the hotel, so while Travis napped, I went for a walk. The views were breathtaking, and I wondered what it would take to have a house on the side of a cliff with ocean views.

Ahh…

After I got back from my walk, Travis was at the pool. After a few minutes there, he was going to to the track to catch a couple of races. I went to the beach for about an hour. It’s not that the horse track isn’t my thing, but the beach in 75 degree weather is!

I hung out and …

started a new book…

before getting ready for dinner. Right before the trip, I was at Target with Hayden, and picked up this dress on a whim. It was perfect for dinner…

…with a view. A racing group from Trav’s farm hosted clients at Pacific Coast Grill. The views and the food were amazing.

We could hear the waves while enjoying champagne and seafood!

Saturday


Saturday morning, Travis was up early and at the track. When he returned, we had one more hotel breakfast before going to the beach for a couple hours.

Then it was time to pack up, and get ready for the track. Again, they were hosting clients for the races that afternoon. We arrived around 1:30 before the races started at 2:00.

Trav’s co-workers really knocked it out of the park with the attention to detail, gift baskets, food, hospitality, and more!

We were able to see other clients and friends who I usually just get to see when they come to Lex for the sales or racing. The track is so pretty and right off the ocean.

Once the races were over, we snapped a couple of selfies before leaving.

We had about an hour and a half before we needed to be at the airport, so we weren’t sure we’d have time for a nice sit down dinner. Well, we drove right past an In-N-Out Burger, and our dinner decision was made 😉 Travis has dined there a few times, but I never have! The burger was really good!

When planning our return flight, we weighed the pros and cons of taking the Saturday red eye or early Sunday morning. With school starting back on Monday for me and since air travel is so unpredictable right now, we decided on the red eye. We arrived at the airport around 9 PM for our 11:00 flight. We returned our car, changed our clothes, checked in and had plenty of time before boarding. Once in the air, it was about 3.5 hours to Chicago, and we slept hard! We landed in Chicago at 5:30 and had a two hour layover before taking the quick flight to Lex. We were home by 10 am! I took two naps that day and went to bed early, but was glad with the decision to go ahead and get home.

It was a really great trip, nice to have time with just the two of us, and I’m glad I said, “yes,” to join him.

Hotel:

While in Del Mar, we stayed at Hotel Indigo.

It was super cute and felt very much like a California hotel.

Have you ever been to Southern California? I always say if I win the lottery, I’d moved to Charleston, SC or So Cal! I just need to cash that winning ticket!

I hope you have a great week! We are continuing to ease back into school with a four day week this week! See you back here tomorrow for Tuesday Talk.

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Posted in Travel

Isle of Palms Recap

Hello! Today, I’m sharing the details of our vacation last week to South Carolina. We often head to Siesta Key, Florida for most of our vacations, but we’ve gone to SC pretty often as well. I actually was thinking and we’ve been to Hilton Head once, Folly Beach three times and IOP three times as well. So, we know our way around the Charleston area pretty well. Since our summer is filled with baseball, we chose IOP because we can drive there in 8-9 hours, and we hadn’t been there since fall break 2018.

These memes are timely:

and…

It’s so much effort for my homebody self to get everything organized and packed, but the trips are always worth it once we get there.

Warning: photo overload! 😉 My love language must be photo taking!

We left after Hayden’s Sunday baseball championship game, and drove to Asheville. We arrived at our hotel around 10:00.

Monday

Monday morning, we slept in. Even I slept in! The kids and I woke up around 9:00 and, after a quick breakfast, we hit the road around 10:30. We definitely took longer than we thought we would in the morning, but the sleep was much needed.

We arrived at our hotel around 4:00, unpacked, and headed straight to the beach. There was an outgoing tropical depression, so it was really windy but no rain. We walked around a bit, and the kids splashed in the water before we changed and went to dinner.

We drove a few minutes to Mt. Pleasant and ate dinner on the water at Saltwater Cowboys. I had the shrimp tacos, and they were delish!

This pic of Hayden and Travis is a fave of mine!

Hayden and Hadley checked out the dock of the restaurant after we ate.

Then, we headed back, but made a stop for ice cream on Sullivan’s Island. As we were parking, Travis recognized the picket fence that I had the kids stand in front of in 2013. This photo (on the left) is on our gallery wall in our kitchen. The kids obliged for a “how it’s going…” photo for contrast of “how it started.” Since 2013, the kids have grown two or more feet and the house has definitely been upgraded!

We hit up Co-op for delicious ice cream.

We headed back to the hotel and went to bed!

Tuesday

Travis always gets up early on vacation, and I do try to sleep in a bit. The kids really sleep in on vacation! Travis usually goes for a run, and then it’s my turn to sip my coffee on the beach. It’s my absolute favorite thing to do!

Our hotel was on the beach, and we rented two chairs and an umbrella for our four full days there. They were set it by the time Travis got down there each morning. (We packed two smaller beach chairs from home, so we all had somewhere to sit when needed). These are the best spent money for sure!

Me: every morning…

I brought a ton of snacks and drinks from home, but Travis went to the grocery for sandwich stuff and other food for the week. The kids had a quick hotel breakfast (They had grab and go until 9:30 each day), and then we hit the beach.

I usually went to the room around noon to make sandwiches and grab any other food we needed. We typically stayed at the beach until 2:00 or so, and then the kids liked to go to the pool. I will say that Travis knows my love for the beach, an ocean view, and reading a book under and umbrella, so most days I stayed put while he monitored the kids at the pool.

We usually got an afternoon snack or headed back to the beach for a bit before dinner each day.

Travis and Hayden love oysters, so everyone freshened up before we went to happy hour at Pier 41.

Oysters were the happy hour special as was $2 champagne. They had oysters, Hadley had calamari, and I sipped the bubbly!

We went back to the beach afterwards. Hadley and I walked around while Hayden and Travis played catch.

I always love watching the sunset at the beach. Through the years, we’ve tried to make a point to go to dinner early and head back to the beach for sunset.

After the sun set, we headed to at late dinner near our hotel at Acme Lowcountry Kitchen. We’d eaten there during a previous visit and knew the food would be good. Hadley got the salmon, I had a salad, and Travis and Hayden split the fish special.

The kids wanted ice cream, so we got that on our walk back to the hotel. We all went to bed with full bellies.

Wednesday

Wednesday started with another morning filled with sunshine and coffee.

Once we all got down to the beach, we took our traditional beach family photo 😉

On this day, we purchased a boogie board, and the kids had tons of fun.

I got some time on my own in the afternoon with a book and a cool beverage.

Wednesday evening we headed to Charleston to eat at Coast. I love all of the colorful home in Charleston!

Our dinner at Coast was my favorite. The atmosphere was amazing, and the food was phenomenal.

Hadley, outside of Coast, looks like she’s 11 going on 16!

On our way to dinner, I spotted Sewing Down South which is Craig’s pillow store. I love watching Southern Charm, so I was excited when I saw his store! Hadley and I stopped by there for a few minutes after dinner. Craig wasn’t there, but the employees were so friendly!

We ended our evening in Charleston walking around Battery Park. We usually do this every time we visit.

Then, we headed back to the hotel and went to bed!

Thursday

On Thursday, I checked the weather, and they were calling for 100% chance of rain on Friday, so we beached hard on Thursday!

I got my “me time” in the morning.

Then, we hung out in the sand most of the day! Hadley borrowed my hat for a bit:

Then, Travis and Hayden wanted round two of oysters, so we went to Binkys, by our hotel, for Happy Hour oysters.

Then, the kids played in the pool for an hour or so before we headed to dinner at Papis.

When we visited IOP for fall break 2018, we went to Papi’s TWICE. We loved it that much. So, we couldn’t wait to eat there again. We got all the dips and chips, some margs (for the adults ;), tacos, and then churros for dessert!

After dinner, we headed to the beach for a bit before bed!

Friday:

Friday morning’s hour by hour forecast seemed pretty favorable for a decent day at the beach. One more morning of coffee …

followed by my sunshine and sand.

The day actually turned out to be so nice. The wind picked up and the skies got cloudy around 4:00, so the kids hit the pool and then we got ready to go into Charleston again for dinner.

The kids really wanted to do a ghost tour, so Travis found one for Magnolia Cemetery at 9:30 pm. We walked around Charleston, and as expected on the Friday of 4th of July weekend, most restaurants had quite the wait. We go to Hyman’s every time we come to Charleston. They said their wait was about 1.5 hours, so we walked around, and Hayden and I got ice cream sandwiches at Peace Pie (key lime pie for me and chocolate peanut butter for him), and Hadley got some macarons from Le Macaron which was next door.

The wait ended up being about an hour, and we ate dinner around 8:00. We were a bit pressed for time because we had to be to the ghost tour by 9:15. We ate quickly and headed that way…

Hyman’s has these little cards on the tables that are fun to read. Fun fact: When Travis and I visited Charleston for the first time in 2010, we ate at Hymans, and I have carried one of these marriage cards in my wallet ever since. I should probably refer to it more often, but it’s a good little check list!

This one is so funny and so true!

The Magnolia Cemetery Nighttime Tour was so good. I didn’t know what to expect, and I told the kids to be prepared to be “spooked” a little, but it was all good.

We met our group and tour guide, Joy, at the gates of the cemetery at 9:15. Joy was amazing! Hayden and Hadley were the only kids on the tour. After she closed the gate, she pulled them aside, and told them they could ring the massive bell to start the tour. She gave us all flashlights, and explained that we needed to stick together because there are various birds, bugs, spiders, and ALLIGATORS! that we may see on the tour.

Joy was so knowledgeable. The tour is listed at 1.5 hours, but she told us that her tour takes about two hours, and she wasn’t wrong! As we walked, she shared the history of of the cemetery, talked about Charleston, the people who were buried in the cemetery, and sprinkled in spooky stories within the history.

My kids loved it! Hayden White was often found near Joy, asking her questions!

Checking out a mausoleum…

We spotted the huge cranes, definitely saw spiders, and had to keep our eye on a alligator that we spotted in the pond as Joy told one of her stories!

Her tour ended right around 11:30, and I definitely wish we had time to drive through the cemetery during the day just to see some of the headstones and structures in the daylight.

We got back to our hotel after midnight, packed up most of what we could before falling asleep around 1:00 am.

Let me tell you what is more spooky than a southern cemetery at night…me on less than 5 hours of sleep 🤣

We were up by 6:00 and on the road around 7:00. Of course, we hated to say goodbye to one of our favorite places, but we were ready to get home and see Homer!

To sum up the trip with a favorite quote:

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me) it’s always ourselves we find in the sea.”
~e.e. cummings


I never realize how much we need to get away until we do. Grateful for some time in the sunshine with a mix of sand and saltwater. The week provided a time for great memories, wonderful weather, amazing food and a different setting for the kids to bicker 😂

This was me most of Sunday…unpacking all my overpacking…

If you made it to the end of this post, you’re the real MVP!

I’m so glad we made the time to squeeze in some uninterrupted family time in one of our favorite places.

Have you ever been to the Charleston area? We’ll definitely be back…hopefully soon!

Posted in Friday Favorites, Travel

Friday Favorites {#75}

Hello and Happy Friday! Also…

Or should I say…😂

Linking up with Andrea and Erika for this week’s Friday Favorites.

This has been quite the week with lots of favorites.

The kids had lots of fun with friends this past weekend.

Hayden’s on a summer basketball team, and following their game on Friday, we went out for pizza and ice cream with friends.

Hadley spent most of Saturday and Sunday at a pool / slumber party for a friend.

Hayden had two baseball games on Saturday and he and Travis went to the pool Saturday night and met up with some friends.

Sunday, Hayden’s team won in extra innings to move on to the championship game of the tournament.

There’s a grandma on the team who takes the photos with her nice camera. She gets some great shots of all the players and the team.

The dugout photos are some of my faves.

…and another favorite is Hayden’s team won in the championship game!

Right after Hayden’s game, we hit the road for…

Isle of Palms, SC.

We went from 90+ degrees in Kentucky to the sand, saltwater, and sunshine of South Carolina.

We’ve eaten delicious seafood all week!

Shrimp tacos

Hayden and Travis were able to enjoy some oysters…

I always say if I win the lottery, I’m buying a house here!

We often vacation in Siesta Key, Florida, but we head to SC every few years. With the short window between baseball tournaments, it was the perfect getaway destination. The last time we were here was for Fall Break 2018. I love the Charleston area.

2018

A few fave photos from the week:

Family time
Sunshine Sis
Mom & Dad
Surfer Boo
Beach Bums

Favorite Beverage:

I still love White Claws, but Trulys have been my drink of choice this week, & I’ve loved the Fruit Punch variety pack!

Favorite 4th of July Tradition:

We will be home for the 4th of July this weekend, and I will be serving my favorite red, white, and blue waffles for the kids.

Favorite Mom Meme:

Currently me…

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

We were cruising down Middle Street on Sullivan’s Island, and Travis remembered the photo I took (it’s on our gallery wall at home) of the kids in 2013.

While my kids have grown over two feet since then, and the house was definitely updated, some things will never change: they had to be bribed with ice cream for both pics 😂

Weekly Recap

I had two posts this week:

I hope you’ve had a great week. We definitely have, & I hope to share more details about our trip soon!

Have a great weekend. If you need me, I will be unpacking and dreaming of the beach!

Posted in Everyday Life, Travel

Lexington Top 5

Hey there! Happy Thursday. Today, I’m shining a spotlight on Lexington. I’ve lived here since 2004 when I moved here from Missouri after becoming engaged to Travis.

One of the immediate things I loved about Lexington is the small town feel but in a city. While I miss Missouri, I did feel “at home” when I moved here many years ago. I felt like I was able to navigate pretty easily on my own, I love all that Lexington has to offer, and the activities and restaurant options have only expanded through the years.

Here are the Top 5 things I love about Lex:

Keeneland

Hands down, my favorite activity is Keeneland. “Out-of-towners” always ask about Churchill Downs in Louisville, but I always suggest visiting in October and April when Keeneland has their fall and spring meets. The atmosphere at Keeneland can’t be beat!

At Keeneland this spring with Travis.
I rarely bet…I just watch the horses run!
Fall meet 2018
At the track with dad in April 2018

Restaurants

There are so many awesome restaurants in Lex. Here are some of my faves.

Merrick Inn:

Merrick Inn is a classic Lexington restaurant with a cozy indoor atmosphere and an awesome patio.

Merrick

Carson’s Food and Drink:

Carson’s is a favorite as well. The inside is fun and has a rustic feel. It’s known for it’s cocktails and craft beers as well as it’s wonderful menu.

My birthday dinner this year at Carson’s
Carson’s oscar style salmon

Native Cafe:

The Native Cafe is fairly new and located at Michler’s Greenhouse. The outside atmosphere is picturesque and quaint. Native Cafe is tucked in and quiet while in an urban setting.

June 2020

Windy Corner and Wallace Station:

Windy Corner Market and Wallace Station Deli and Bakery are both located just outside of Lexington. They are great places to go to for outside sitting and great for families. Both have plenty of green space for kids to run around and picnic tables for diners to enjoy their meal.

July 2020

The Stave:

The Stave is another restaurant just outside of Lexington with a wonderful outdoor space and great food.

May 2020
Fun in the creek while we waited on our food.

Bella Cafe:

Bella Cafe is another new restaurant in town. It’s “everyday dining elevated.” I love their grilled salmon salad, and Hadley gives their lemon tart two thumbs up!

Bella cafe

Others Faves:

We also love:

  • OBC Kitchen – bacon in a glass as an appetizer is a MUST!
  • Malones – great steaks…I love their oscar style twin filets!
  • Graze – lots of classic food options, hamburgers, and more!
  • Puccinis – Italian food, affordable, and family friendly!

This is the just tip of the iceberg for restaurant recommendations in and around Lexington.

Sports:

Y’all knows the the city of Lexington bleeds blue. While I’m not necessarily a “super fan,” I do love all of the sporting events and athletics that UK has to offer.

From football, to basketball, to volleyball, along with baseball and softball, there’s something going on every season of the year!

We usually go to one to two volleyball games a season. We often try to hit up the MIZZOU/UK match when it’s in Lex.

In the fall, you’ll find us at most home football games.

So many fun photos through the years.

2019

The girls…

2019

and their moms…haha

2019

Parks:

There are so many great parks and hiking opportunities in and around Lexington.

UK Arboretum:

The Arboretum is always beautiful!

2018

Shaker Village:

Shaker Village is outside of Lexington and is filled with history and has great hiking trails.

July 2020

McConnell Springs:

I took the kids to McConnell Springs last year for the first time, and we had so much fun exploring.

June 2020

Other Parks:

Other parks we enjoy include:

  • Jacobson
  • Masterson Station
  • Woodland Park
  • Raven Run Sanctuary

Activities:

There are so many fun activities throughout the year.

Winter:

The Hillenmeyer Christmas Shop Santa is the best in Lex!

Santa visits through the years…

Mustard Seed Hill was a fun place to visit. It’s located just outside of Lexington in Millersburg, KY. We went there for the first time this past December, and the lights were amazing!

December 2020

The Horse Park’s Southern Lights are a fun family tradition for us.

Ice Skating at Triangle Park is also fun, but the rink is only open for a couple of months around the holidays.

December 2017

Spring:

I already mentioned it, but Keeneland is lots of fun in April.

The Children’s Garden at the Arboretum offers activities and trails.

August 2016

UK baseball and softball games are always fun to watch.

The blue and white football game is a fun way to get a glimpse of the football team for the upcoming season.

April 2016

Summer:

We picked strawberries at Evans Orchard for the first time last summer, and we hope to make it a summer tradition.

June 2020

Picnic with the Pops is a fun event that happens in August. There’s always a theme, and people decorate their tables, wine and dine, and listen to the classical music.

C/o Kentucky.com

The Mid-Summer Nights run is neat activity. There’s a mile race as well as a 5k. There are also booths and snacks like popcorn. We always end up running into friends and others that we know.

fun run August 2016
5k in August 2018

Fall:

My favorite thing to do in the fall is to head to Evan’s Orchard to pick out our pumpkins and get the apple cider donuts.

October 2019
2019

As I mentioned before, we often attend the UK football games at Kroger Field. Tailgating is the best part!

UK games through the years…

Keeneland fun continues in the fall with more racing in October.

2016….Hayden’s horse lost by a nose!

Other Lexington “to do’s”

  • Waveland Museum
  • Explorium
  • Ashland: Henry Clay Estate
  • Bourbon Trail (surrounding Lexington)
  • Mary Todd Lincoln House
  • Horse farm tours
  • Kentucky Horse Park

Shew! This ended up being quite the list! I could get a job at the Kentucky Department of Tourism! 🙂

Anyway, this is just a glimpse of the great things, places, and food that Lexington has to offer.

What’s the best thing about where you live?

See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites.

Posted in Travel

Gaylord Opryland Nashville Recap

Hello! How is your week going? I’m not going to lie…re-entry back into reality after a week of Spring Break has been a major adjustment. On top of school and work, Hayden has had two back to back late baseball games! Only a couple more days until the weekend!

Today, I’m sharing about our Gaylord Opryland Resort trip. We’ve had this place on our “to visit” list for a couple of years. As I mentioned in last Friday’s post, we typically plan a Spring Break trip for a few days of break rather than going somewhere for an entire week. Spring Break has been the perfect time to visiting some place new for a few days. This year, we headed to Nashville to stay at the Gaylord, have fun at Sound Waves, and experience some of what Nashville has to offer.

Travis and I have friends in Nashville, so we’ve been there quite a few times, but this is the first time the kids had ever been there. We left Tuesday morning after breakfast, and arrived around noon at the Gaylord. We were able to secure an early check in, and this was our view when we exited the elevator:

I checked out our balcony view while the kids got ready for the water park.

Funny enough, in our 48 hours at the Gaylord we ran into three different families we know…but rarely get to see! One of the families we knew would be there, and my kids had fun playing with their kids!

We spent most of Tuesday afternoon at the Sound Waves water park. The kids swam, I enjoyed the lazy river(s), and Hayden tried the FlowRider body surfing. He had lots of fun giving that a try. While the dads kept an eye on the kids, my friend and I hit up the water slides. Eventually, Hadley and our friends’ daughter joined us for the four person water slide. We had lots of fun.

We went back to the room around 5:30, cleaned up, walked around some of the property.

Nothing says Opryland like guitars hanging from the ceiling.

We stayed in the Cascades Atrium, and the waterfalls were amazing.

The main restaurants (sushi, Mexican food, steak, etc) on the property rotated being open for dinner while the market and smaller “grab and go” places like Cinnabon and Starbucks were open daily. Tuesday night, we decided to see what was nearby and stumbled upon Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen. There was a bit of a wait, so we had a later dinner than usual. It was “family style,” so we shared the fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, green beans, mac and cheese (and more!) between the four of us. The desserts were amazing, and I even picked up a couple of boxes of the gooey cake on the way out. The restaurant was super cute, and I had to show great restraint at the gift shop!

Once we got back, we walked around the resort a bit. The waterfalls and the seating areas were so pretty at night. We headed to bed around 10:00. (Hayden stayed up a bit later than the rest of us watching the basketball game.)

Day 2

The kids slept in until about 9:00 on Wednesday morning. I enjoyed my coffee and quiet time on our balcony while they snoozed.

Then, we walked to pick up breakfast while checking out some of the Easter decorations.

After that, the kids and Travis changed for the pool. We got two day passes for the Sound Waves Water Park. While they swam, I went to Landyn’s store! This was a “must” for me this trip as I love following her on Instagram …

and her…cream and white color palette is just my style!

Her shop is in L&L Market and there were other cute shops restaurants there as well. At Landyn’s store, I purchased her “Morning Announcements” mug, a pair of fun gold earrings with my initials, and a cute white bunny (bottom of the photo above). I actually asked one of the girls working if it was for sale…and they weren’t sure. She looked it up, and it was only $5! Uh…sold! I will remember my trip to her store every Easter when I put out my decorations.

I also stopped by Marigold Popcorn which is in the space across from her store. She shares them on stories sometimes. I picked up some churro flavored popcorn as well as white chocolate drizzled popcorn.

It was only a 20 minute drive from our hotel, so I’m glad I made the trip!

I got back to the hotel around 2:00, and read my book until about 3:00 when the kids and Travis got back from the pool. We lounged around for a bit, and then got dressed for Wednesday night activities. Before heading out for the night, we walked around for a few minutes, and a sweet family offered to take our photo (and then I took theirs).

We got in the car and headed to downtown Nashville. I have such fond memories of trips to Nashville with Travis and friends to visit our friends who live here and also to see the football CATS play at Vandy a few times. We’d always end up at Tootsies or Legends. We walked around for a bit, but as we walked by Legends, there were some people (and families) in there listening to music, so we stopped in for a bit.

Listen, when you hear Dixieland Delight being played, it’s hard to resist hanging out in Legends for a few minutes.

The band was really good and so sweet. They asked Hayden and Hadley for requests, and they obliged with an Eric Church song (Hayden) and Maren Morris song (for Hadley). While out an about in Nashville, people were wearing masks, we we kept ours on until we sat down, and then we stayed seated until we left.

Hayden loves American Idol as much as I do, and was excited to spot the Lionel Richie album on the wall.

After Legends, we walked passed Ryman Auditorium on the way to…

Assembly Food Hall. I’m assuming this is new since the last time I was there, but it was a good quick option for us. It was basically an upscale food court with live music. Travis and Hayden got pizza while Hadley and I got chicken (chicken pita for me) followed by cookie dough for dessert.

Then, we headed to Top Golf Nashville. (We were going to go to Top Golf Cincinnati the first weekend of break, but a friend told us there was one in Nashville, so that made more sense to just go there rather than drive to CInci and back)

We had such a good time. We had our top level golf bay for an hour, but ended up adding an additional 30 minutes on because the kids were having so much fun.

While Hayden is definitely the golfer in the family and can drive the ball far, Hadley wins for most accurate!

I’m glad we went around dusk and stayed until dark. The atmosphere was so pretty.

Then, we headed back to the hotel and checked out the fountains and waterfalls at night.

We headed to the “Delta” area for ice cream for the kids and then a glass of wine by the waterfalls for me.

We were all fast asleep by 10:00.

Day 3

I had to wake the kids around 9:00 on Thursday morning, so we could enjoy our last few hours at the Gaylord.

We packed up, got a quick breakfast in the Delta area…

and then the kids tried the rock climbing wall. Hadley scaled the wall in a minute and 37 seconds. Hayden took a couple of tries, and then made it to the top.

We headed back to our room, checked out around 11, and then made a stop at the outlet mall. We hit up Nike and Vineyard Vines before heading home.

We had such a great time, and I’m sure we will go back there some day. I’d love to see it at Christmastime because I know the decorations and lights are amazing as well as their winter activities.

Of course, we planned this trip knowing there were Covid precautions in place. Everyone wore masks on the property, limited tickets were sold for the water park, only some restaurants on the property were open each day, among other precautions.

So that’s a little look at our trip. It was a great three days away, but we are always happy to get back home…and the kids are always excited to be reunited with Homer.

Thanks so much for reading!

Posted in Family, Friday Favorites, Travel

Friday Faves {#62} and FBF: Spring Break

Hello and Happy Friday! Usually, Friday means a hectic week is wrapping up, but today, Friday, means Spring Break is almost over. Ugh!

Today, I’m sharing a twist on my normal Friday Favorites posts. I’m still linking up with Andrea and Erika, but this is a special Flashback Friday edition.

Spring Break is always a favorite, so I’m taking a look back on our previous Spring Break trips because those places and those memories will always be favorites for us.

I love Spring Break, and I honestly love being at home. March is always a hectic month, and I know that April-May will be busy with activities and end of school things, so it’s sometimes (always 😉 nice to just be home, relax, unwind, and regroup for the last couple of months of the school year.

Before the kids started school, we never took a Spring Break vacation. We usually had family visit during that time. Once the kids started school, we did make a point to start going somewhere for a few days. What I’ve come to love about Spring Break is we do something different each year. We usually plan to go to somewhere in the middle of break, so we have a few days at home on either side of the trip.

Upon reflection (this post!), I love that we’ve provided our kids with these various opportunities and created so many memories in different places!

Knoxville {2016}:

When the kids were in kindergarten, I was teaching in a neighboring district. We ended up having different Spring Breaks that year (which never happens…and hasn’t happened since as most districts in KY tend to have the same break the first week of April).

Anyway, on the first weekend of my break, we headed to Knoxville because Kentucky was playing Tennessee in baseball, and we knew the kids would enjoy that. We were gone Saturday-Monday, so the kids missed school that Monday. (Kindergarten and already skipping school! haha)

As soon as we arrived, we checked into our hotel and headed to the ball park to watch the game.

That evening, we went to dinner and the kids are all about a hotel pool!

That Sunday, they swam some more, and we hit up some local attractions like the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster and miniature golf. We went to dinner that night and headed home on Monday.

It was a fun little getaway.

Hilton Head {2017}:

In 2017, I was teaching in the same district as the kids, so we for sure had the same Spring Break 😉 We decided to head to Hilton Head. We love South Carolina. The weather was on the cooler side but perfect for playing in the sand (and the kids braved the ocean!) and swimming in the heated pool at the resort.

Can’t beat sunshine and the ocean.

We ate lots of great food, Hadley and Travis rented bikes one day, (After a fall the summer after kindergarten, Hayden refused to ride a bike for a couple of years. I wish I was kidding!), the kids collected seashells, played in the ocean and the pool, and we had lots of other fun.

One of my favorite family photos!

The beach and the pool can never be beat!

South Carolina is always a great place to visit.

Asheville {2018}:

Spring Break 2018 location came about because Hayden was adamant about visiting the Biltmore. We went to Asheville for four days and three nights. We spent one entire day at the Biltmore wandering around the property and taking the tour. Once it was our turn to enter, we toured on our own. Hayden was mad we didn’t pay for the head sets and guided tour. He’s a history buff!

I would definitely like to go back there again.

On the other days, we hiked a couple of times including to this waterfall. The scenery was stunning.

We always hit up a few breweries…

Of course, the hotel had a pool, and then on the last day, we hiked a bit more before heading out of town.

On our way out, we drove past The Red Rocker Inn. Long story short, Travis took me there after Christmas in 2003. I thought he was going to ask me to marry him. He did not. We didn’t get engaged until May of 2004. 😉

We actually went back there a few years ago and stayed as a getaway for Trav’s 40th birthday.

We always have a great time in Asheville.

KC/Vegas {2019}:

As our summers have gotten more hectic, we don’t always make it to KC to see family in the summer. We decided to go visit family for Spring Break 2019, and then Travis had the idea to leave the kids with my mom and he and I headed to Las Vegas for a few days. Airfare from KC to LV is always cheap, and it’s a pretty short flight.

Well, even with that plan in place, we had an even better surprise. The Kentucky Wildcats would be playing in KC for the Sweet 16 on the day we were to arrive! So, Travis, Hayden, and my mom went to that game…and the CATS won!

Then, Hadley and I joined the three of them for the Elite Eight game on the first Sunday of break. Travis and I weren’t flying out until later that night, so it all working out perfectly.

Once we were inside, my mom and Hadley made their way to their seats while Travis surprised Hayden (and me!) with…

FRONT ROW SEATS!

Hayden was so excited, loved to shake the pom poms, and hoped that Coach Cal would hear his advice.

Well, the game was tied at the end of regulation…and this was Hayden’s face…

Hadley was at the game for all the free swag she could find…and Tyler Herro. He’s still her crush!

I sent Hadley the Herro photo from where we were sitting, and told her he was winking at her.

Unfortunately, the CATS lost in overtime, and Hayden was very upset. I told him not to cry or he’d be the kid that CBS zooms in on, and that’s not the the national TV recognition that he would want!

We all went back to my mom’s, and Travis and I headed to the airport for Vegas.

We landed around 8:00 Vegas time and guess who we saw waiting for his Uber? O.J. Simpson! I spotted him, and Travis didn’t believe me. Then, he was waiting with us as we got our Uber…and it was him.

We were in Vegas for 3 nights and 2.5 days. We hung out by the pool,

went out to dinner,

ate lots of great food, and Travis gambled bit.

The first two nights, we stayed at the Aria and then moved next door to Vdara. Travis White is known for booking multiple hotels on single trip because he either 1. waits to long too book or 2. find a better deal!

On our last night, we went and saw The Beatles: Cirque Du Soleil. It was out of this world amazing. I’m so glad that we saw that performance.

Afterwards, we had a delicious steak dinner and walked back to our hotel before an early wake up call for our flight. Travis White is also known for finding the earliest flights possible!

It was a great trip and the kids had fun with GG while we were gone. We’d just lost our dog Shiloh right before Spring Break and that KC/LV trip was just what we needed to get away.

Spring Break {2020}:

Ugh! Last year, we were supposed to visit NYC. We had our air fare and hotel booked for the week, but of course we didn’t get to go.

Nashville {2021}:

This week, we decided to take the kids to a place that’s been on our list for a couple of years: Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville.

We stayed in the Cascades Atrium section of the resort.

The kids had lots of fun at the Sound Waves park.

and we enjoyed our first Top Golf experience in Nashville.

This Spring Break has been pretty perfect with nice weather in Lexington, fun with neighbors and friends, a few days in Nashville, and still a couple more days left (and Easter!) before we get back to school next week.

What do you normally do for Spring Break?

Weekly Recap:

Here are my posts from this week!

Thanks so much for reading. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and a lovely Easter.

See you back here next week.

Posted in Travel

Asheville Trip Recap

So…we had a very brief fall break last week, and we decided to make a quick trip to Asheville, NC. We’ve been there quite a few times, and actually, when I got to thinking about it, we’ve gone at least once a year the past few years. Asheville is about a four hour drive for us, and we like the outdoor vibe NC has to offer. Also, Asheville is the city with the most breweries, per capita…which makes it a place Trav loves to visit.

A couple of times, Travis and I have stayed at the Red Rocker Inn in Black Mountain. Actually, the first time I ever went to Asheville (in 2004), we stayed at RRI…and all weekend long I thought Travis was going to propose. He did not. That happened a few months later in May of 2004…but that’s a tale for another time. 😉

I also booked a stay at RRI in 2013 to celebrate Trav’s birthday with a getaway for the two of us.

For Spring break 2018, we visited Asheville with the kids because Hayden wanted to go to the Biltmore. Of course, we did other activities like hike to a beautiful waterfall, but that was one of our main goals of the trip.

Last fall break, we stayed in Asheville one night before glamping with friends in Pisgah National Forest two additional nights.

Anyway, any time we visit, we check out new (to us) restaurants, breweries, and hiking trails, and we always leave planning a return trip ASAP.

Quick note…We stayed at an Airbnb that was cute and close to downtown. Every place we went—downtown, restaurants, hiking trails, etc….followed Covid protocols very closely. I don’t think I saw a single person without a mask in the 48 hours we were there. Of course, when we hiked, we just kept our masks handy if necessary, but everyone seemed to keep their distance while letting other pass and looking at the views at the top of the trail.

And…my only other mental note for a fall trip is to eat dinner earlier. We ate dinner both nights at around 7:00 which is about dark and much cooler outside. So, if we go back in the fall, I will try to remember to rally my crew for dinner at 5! 😉 During the day, with the sunshine, the weather was glorious.

Thursday:

We arrived Thursday around 2:00, found our Airbnb, and unpacked.

The kids were excited to see the bunk beds….but on both nights, Hadley slept on the bottom bunk and then Hayden slept on our floor (don’t ask 😂), and then in the other bedroom the next night.

The 3 bedroom Airbnb was so cute and super clean. I loved the bedding and couch so much that I was trying to find the brand name on the tags of the duvet and the cushions of the couch. There was only one bathroom, but we made do.

There were cute little touches around the house like the Asheville bar of soap on our bed, brochures and books for the area, and a welcome packet with info about the house and electronics.

Then we headed to Highland Brewing. We sat in the “meadow” area where there were picnic tables both in the shade and in the sunshine. I don’t have a good picture, but you can see parts of the hoops that had out for social distancing. If you wanted to picnic in the grass, you sat in the hoop on the ground or put your chairs in the hoop to maintain distance. The picnic tables had larger hoops around them, and they had bricks with a red and a green side for dirty vs clean table. The large hoop around our table was wide enough for the kids to move around a bit if they didn’t want to sit at the table. That being said, it wasn’t very crowded, we we could space out some and give them a few extra feet to roam. When you weren’t at your table, you were to wear a mask…and everyone obliged.

The weather was perfection. The kids got a coke and a lemonade while we enjoyed a beer. Hadley spotted the food trucks, so Travis took her to get something to eat. They came back with tamales and a Nutella crepe. Hayden and I weren’t mad about it! So good.

Travis also purchased a hat within the first five minutes. He didn’t pack one from the trip…and to be honest, many of his hats have been #homered! He was due for a new one.

We went back to the house to freshen up and then went to White Duck Taco for dinner. We love this place, and try to go there to eat with each visit. We’ve passed by the one downtown, but have only eaten at the one by the river. There are tons of picnic tables and the scenery is pretty!

I got one steak taco and one gyro taco. So good

After dinner, we headed to Omni Grove Park Inn for drinks and dessert. A couple of Trav’s work friends were also in Asheville, so we met up with them. The kids did a good job letting the adults have some conversation time…

while they devoured the s’mores dessert…and Hayden enjoyed looking at the wall of famous guests who had stayed at OGPI as well as the history of the resort.

Then, we went back to the house and went to bed.

Friday:

On Friday morning, we slept in a bit. I actually slept until 9:00 which was pure bliss. Then, my crazy crew decided to go for a trail run…

off they go…

while I ….sipped my coffee and read The Flatshare on my Kindle.

When they got back, we got ready for the day. We decided to head to downtown Asheville, walk around a bit and find a place to eat.

We stumbled upon H&F Burger. We did eat inside because outside seating was all bar top sitting in a row. We wanted a table to sit at, so we went inside. Like the other restaurants, everyone had on masks unless sitting at their table and tables we very spaced out. Also, it wasn’t crowded for inside eating.

I got the ricotta gnocchi with bolognese sauce, and it was amazing!

The kids each got a milkshake, and I had a Diet Coke from a bottle (which Hayden thought was so funny). Travis got a burger, and both kids got the chili cheese dog. Both of them loved it so much, and let me have a bite.

Hayden loved it so much that he borrowed Trav’s phone to leave a review! 😂He’s very into reviews lately…more on that in a minute.

Then, we headed down the Blue Ridge Parkway, stopping at a couple of lookout points…

Hadley actually dozed off in the car, so it’s only Hayden in this lookout pic.

We drove to the Craggy Pinnacle Trailhead and parked. This was our view when getting out of car…

With the elevation, it was definitely cooler, so Hayden went back to the car for this jacket before we hiked. The hike was only a little over 1.5 miles round trip, but it was pretty much uphill to get to the top.

family selfie before the hike

On our way to the top…

Halfway point…

View from the top. Gorgeous.

Gorgeous part 2:

We snapped a couple of photos and headed back down the trail.

Love this pic of my 3 ❤️

It’s no secret Hayden loves to golf. We haven’t been to a putt putt course in quite some time. Well, Hayden searched for putt putt places in Asheville and stumbled upon Lakeview Putt and Play. He said, “Moooommmm…they have over 100 five star reviews, and their ice cream is supposed to be amazing!”

Honestly, when he gets an idea in his head, he’s like a dog with a bone! So, we fit it into our day after the hike. I am glad we went. We had a good time…and I humbled him by beating him by turning my putting game around for the last few holes. Travis won…and Hadley came in last. Poor girl…she started off strong though!

Of note, we did get a scoop of ice cream after our round, and it is pretty good!

We went back to the house to relax for a bit before a low key pizza dinner.

Travis found All Souls Pizza, and the outside seating was so cute. The pizza was delicious as well. The kids got pepperoni, and Travis and I tried the sausage, fennel, fontina pizza…SO good!

We were pretty chilly, so we didn’t stick around long after dinner. Again, the setting was so pretty, but the temperatures definitely drop quickly when the sun goes down!

We were back to the house around 8:00, hung out, watched tv and read before 10:00 bedtime.

Saturday:

Saturday morning, we eased into the day, but were packed and out of the house around 9:45. We wanted to make a pit stop at Pisgah to see our friends who were glamping and camping.

By the time I went to make a glamping reservation, there were no more tents…which is how we ended up at the Airbnb. So, of the three families in Asheville, we stayed at a house, one family glamped, and the other family camped….like in a tent, on the ground. I’m not about that life! …but would like to try glamping again.

The kids were excited to see their friends and run around for a bit..

while the adults drank coffee and caught up.

We left Pisgah around noon and got back about 4:00 Saturday afternoon…just in time to see the Cats (lose in a heart breaker of a game), for Trav to watch the Preakness race, and to see my mom and Gma who were in town at my brother’s house.

One more day in Asheville would have been perfect, but we are always happy to get home…

Let me know if you have any Asheville questions! It’s definitely a great place to visit.

See you back here on Friday for this week’s Friday Favorites.

Take care,

Posted in Monthly Musings, Travel

Monthly Musings

Hey! Hey! I’m linking up with Holly for this month’s Monthly Musings post all about Summer Vacations & Staycations.

Top 5 Items to Pack:

  • Well, I can’t leave home without my Kindle or a book, so that’s the first thing that popped into my mind!
  • Workout bands. I try to at least workout a couple times while on vacation whether it’s a walk or using my workout bands.
  • Sunglasses. I need to have a pair or two on hand.
  • Face wash, Toner, Moisturizer. I try to keep up some kind of skin care routine even if I don’t do all the steps every morning and night while on vacation.
  • A hat. I always have a ball cap on hand or a beach hat if that’s where we are headed.

One more “must have”…

  • Melatonin – especially if I can’t pack my weighted blanket 😂
Pic from my Let’s Look (at what’s in your carry on bag.)

Packing Cubes. Yes or No?

Yes! Packing cubes are life changing for packing. I’ve been using these for a couple of years and love them. I use them to keep my items organized, but I also use them for the kids…especially if they share a suitcase. Besides helping with organization, they do condense what fits in the suitcase. I actually need to buy a few more as I only have two colors and I’d like to have a third for each person to have their own color. Trav is on his own when it comes to packing 😉

Warm or Cold Destinations?

I’d probably have to say warm destinations, but that’s because most of our vacations are beach vacations. That being said, I love to visit the mountains in Asheville…especially in the fall when the weather is cooler.

Isle of Palm, SC

Favorite Vacation Destination of All Time:

San Diego/Del Mar is my favorite place to visit.

Lake Tahoe is a solid runner up!

Staycation Tips:

  • Learn to love where you live.
  • Try a new restaurant.
  • Hike at a park you usually wouldn’t go to.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Go for ice cream before dinner (which is something we sometimes do on vacation)

The kids and I visited McConnell Springs Park this summer which was a first for us.

Camping, Glamping, or Uh No?

Travis and I went camping in 2002. He was testing our relationship 😂

Last fall, we went glamping in Asheville with our friends. Overall, we had a great time…but I still prefer a cabin in the woods with a cozy fire…and tv…and cell service! 😉

How Many States Have You Been To?

I did a quick count, and I actually think I’ve been to 22 states? Of course, some I’m counting like Missouri where I’m from and Kansas where I visit family. One family vacation when I was in high school, we knocked out three states for one vacation: Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Also, places like Indiana, Ohio, and Tennessee are near Kentucky and we’ve visited for both day and overnight trips. We’ve been to California a few times, and then places like Florida and South Carolina many times.

Still…22 states blows my mind. Also, while we love the beach and going to places we know, I’m glad that we are purposeful with planning other trips for the kids like our Grand Canyon/AZ/California trip. We try to plan a spring break trip to visit somewhere new…It doesn’t always work out that way, but we try!

Have You Ever Traveled By RV?

I have not, but definitely think it could be a fun way to travel and see many parts of the United States.

Most Random Place You Have Been To?

This one stumps me…I can’t think of anything off the top of my head…

I keep asking myself, “Have I been to an alligator farm?” or “Have I seen the world’s biggest ball of paint?”

and those answers are “no” and “ball of paint is in Indiana.”

I need to branch out more, I guess!

Check out the highlighted tourist attraction in your state with the link below. 😂

First Place to Travel to After Pandemic?

If I could hop in a plane and go anywhere at any time, it would be southern California. That being said, we were supposed to spend Spring Break 2020 in New York City with the kids, so that’s where I’d head first whenever it’s safe to travel and sight see.

Vacations are always fun to think about…and I actually love a good staycation too.

Thanks so much for reading! Don’t forget to check out Holly’s post as well as other bloggers’ posts who linked up as well.

See you back here tomorrow for What I’ve Been Reading: July.

Posted in Family, Travel

Road trip to KC

Last week we hit the road to visit family in Kansas City. I’m from KC (hence part of my blog name…I’m from the “Show Me” state 😉 ), and try to get back there at least a couple times a year.

Obviously, with the world turned upside down, I hadn’t seen family in a while. I had to adjust our dates a few times and wanted to make sure to take as safe of a trip as possible, so we headed out last Wednesday and came back on Sunday.

With a few stops, KC is about a 9 hour drive from Lexington. We made great time on both legs of the trip, only stopping quickly for gas and restroom break if needed.

I mentioned this earlier in the week, but this trip reminded me that traveling with kids does get easier! I made a list for each kid for their suitcase and backpacks, and they packed themselves! I double checked a few things, but they had it all. Also, I felt less stressed packing this time (I just hate packing…and unpacking) because I knew we were just going to lounge around! Comfy clothes, workout clothes and pjs were all that I needed.

We arrived Wednesday afternoon and stopped at my dad’s house first. The kids played outside, and my dad helped Hayden with his golf swing. 😉

Then, we made our way to my mom’s house. The kids were excited to continue their dog walking biz by walking her dog Gus. They walked him twice a day most days.

It’s summer. It’s July. It’s hot everywhere, but KC brings the heat. Travis and I were married in KC in June 2005…when the heat index was pushing 110. So this heat index of 106 was something I’m all too familiar with.

Two days of our trip, Travis took the kids to a nearby golf course so they could hit balls on the driving range…and “drive” the golf cart.

Look out!

Friday morning Travis and I went on a walk on a trail close to my mom’s house. We didn’t start our walk until after 10:00, and it was already so hot. We chose the trail, so we’d at least get a little shade!

Friday afternoon, one of my mom’s friends graciously let us cool off in his pool! It’s always good to see him and his wife…and the pool is a great way for the kids to cool off and burn some energy.

Gus got lots of snuggles.

I’ve mentioned before that Hayden has been reading the Harry Potter series. My mom has all the books, so she was saving them for when the kids would be interested in reading them. Hayden has read the first three books, so he started with the fourth book, Goblet of Fire, once GG gave him the set.

He even stayed up later than the rest of us on Wednesday night to start the book.

Sunday, on the drive home, Hayden read 90% of the time! He was really loving that book.

Throughout our stay, we played quite a few games. Monopoly Deal was a favorite. It took a couple of rounds to get used to, but we enjoyed it…and it’s definitely easier to pack and shorter to play than the Monopoly board game.

We also played Battleship that my mom had and then Dominoes at my grandma’s house.

Missouri has my favorite convenience store…Quik Trip. (It’s the little things that make you miss home, right? ;))They are always so clean and the employees are known for ringing you up as quickly as possible.

Sometimes we stop at QT on our way in or out of town, but Saturday, we picked up drinks for everyone as well as tacos from Taco John’s which are a fave of Trav’s when we visit.

When we are in KC, we usually hit up other local faves like Topsys for their popcorn and cherry limeade, Winsteads for a burger and shake, and of course, KC BBQ. This trip, we didn’t eat out as much just to be on the safe side.

On Saturday, we celebrated my Gma’s birthday. I ordered her a flower pot from the same Etsy shop that I purchased end of the school year gifts for the kids’ teachers.

Saturday night, we played more Dominoes before lasagna dinner and cookie cake at Gma’s house.

dinner at Gma’s

Then, it was time to pack up on Saturday night to head out Sunday morning.

It was a great visit, and we got to spend lots of time with our family.

Of course, it’s always sad to leave (and as the kids get older, they definitely do miss seeing family that’s far away), but it’s also good to get back home to Homer and sleep in our own beds.

Until next time, KC…

I hope you are having a great week.

Posted in Travel

Lake Tahoe

I mentioned in my What’s Up Wednesday post that Travis and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary yesterday. That got me thinking about how we try to go somewhere for “milestone” anniversaries.

For our first anniversary, we went to Florida. To celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary, we went to Charleston, SC.

So thought I’d look back at our 10th wedding anniversary when we went to Lake Tahoe.

I did a Today, in my my mind, I’m in… post about our family vacation to Arizona and California two years ago.

So, today, in my mind, I’m in…Lake Tahoe.

I thought for our 10 year we may go somewhere like the Bahamas! BUT…Travis is the first to admit he likes the beach and ocean but not necessarily for a stretch of days. He prefers to explore and be a bit more active on vacation.

He mentioned Lake Tahoe, and I loved the idea. Our anniversary is in June, but we decided to take this vacation in October of 2015. At the time, the kids were in kindergarten and had a different fall break than I did. The district that I was teaching in at the time gave us a whole week for fall break. So, we thought it would be easier on my mom and gma to watch the kids while the kids were mostly in school and we could take advantage of the fact that I had a week off of school.

We left on a Tuesday afternoon and flew to Reno, NV. We arrived late, so we just stayed at a hotel that night that wasn’t too far from the airport. The next morning, we drove the scenic route to our destination of the Ritz Carlton, Lake Tahoe in Truckee, CA. (more on that later)

This first picture is one from our drive to Truckee. There were scenic pull off spots to look at the gorgeous view.

It’s amazing how different parts of the lake from different angles show various and beautiful shades of blue.

We arrived at the Ritz Carlton around lunchtime on Wednesday.

Let me just say that we aren’t fancy people. I mean, we like nice things and think through major purchases, but we rarely splurge. Travis always does our vacation planning, and I’m not mad about it. This trip was definitely a treat, and I’m pretty sure it’s the only five star hotel I’ve ever stayed in.

Of course, the grounds were beautiful and the amenities were amazing. After checking in, we walked around a bit before heading to lunch on the water.

I don’t remember where we ate for lunch that first day, but this was our view.

We went out to dinner in Truckee and came home to this delicious cake in our room. During that time, the KC Royals were in post-season play, and I remember drinking a glass of wine from our favorite winery (Anomaly) and eating this cake while watching them play on the TV in our room. #heavenonearth

On Thursday, I had booked myself a massage. I’ve had massages before, but this was certainly a treat. I met Travis back in the room afterwards, and he looked 10 years younger. I asked him where he’d been while I was gone, and he said he sat in the steam room for a bit. I’d never done that before, so I headed back to the spa and sat in the steam room for a while. I don’t know that I looked 10 years younger, but I loved it! I felt so refreshed.

Later on that Thursday, we drove a bit to the lake to stand up paddle board. This was my first SUP experience, and I loved every second. My yoga and Pilates classes paid off because I found it pretty easy to do, and I did not end up in the very chilly water!

Thursday night we ate again in Truckee. It is the sweetest little town surrounded by mountains with cute little shops and wonderful restaurants.

On Friday, I checked out that steam room again for a few minutes, and then we decided to go zip lining. I hadn’t been zip lining since Girl Scout camp in 1989, but when Travis came up with the idea, I went with it. Admittedly, I don’t like heights. That being said, this was apparently a zip line/obstacle course. My fears were definitely tested, and I asked Travis more than once why he brought me all the way to Lake Tahoe to kill me, but I persevered! I truly enjoyed the zip lining part…just not walking on the wobbly sticks 1,000 feet in the air.

I’m smiling because I didn’t know what I’d gotten myself into.

After doing some of the obstacles and telling Travis that I would not be doing the harder obstacles, I watched as he “challenged” himself on the more difficult courses. #showoff

Top photo and bottom right photo: Travis way up in the air. Also, the time I confirmed his life insurance was up to date.

Bottom left photo: Me holding on to dear life on the zip line.

After the obstacle courses, we had lunch and hiked a bit.

at the top of a mountain
The view was certainly worth the hike

When we arrived back from our hike, we were reminded that we aren’t bougie as the valet drove our Ford Focus right past the high roller cars. Travis said the really rich must arrive on the weekends! 😉

For our last dinner of the trip, we ate at one of the restaurants at the hotel. It was a great way to end our little vacay.

We had to get up pretty early that Saturday morning to travel back to Kentucky, but it was a great trip overall.

With Covid and life just being different right now, our 15th anniversary kind of snuck up on us. I’m not sure if we will be able to go anywhere this summer. If so, it will most likely be in driving distance. We’ll see.

Where’s a favorite place that you’ve traveled to??

Take care,