Chuck and I have recently found enjoyment in some of the local travel in and around San Antonio. Maybe it’s because we are getting older 😀. We are trying to find things to do that don't cost much or even free (because who doesn't like free??). I love taking pictures so we thought of combing the two ideas.
We have been married since 1997 and have 3 kids. Chuck plays guitar and is a singer/songwriter and is the worship leader at Living Faith Church. I am a teacher and help Chuck with his music.
I promise I am still here 🙂 It’s just been a busy summer with working at Frenchy’s Café on the Pond in Tincup, CO. Since we are way up in the mountains (over 10,000 feet up) internet signal is limited. I wanted to just give a quick check in and a few sneak peek pictures of the summer and what you can find in upcoming blogs (probably will take place after I get back to San Antonio in September, but you never know, I might sneak on again and give more sneak peeks). I have a lot to share and TONS of pictures, but need a stronger internet signal and more time to share them all. So just enjoy the few I have here for you :). I hope you all are having a great summer and stay tuned for more details later!
So the kids and I are spending our summer in TinCup, CO; a tiny little town in the central Rockies (just got internet access, so I can finally share about our travels again). We have been coming to visit for several years, but began working in Frenchy’s Café last summer. We are here for the summer working again. The weather here has been a little odd. It’s been chilly (think jeans and long sleeves or a light jacket) for most of the days. No biggie. We have started to get used to it. But today, WHAM, a change. It was even colder! Cold enough for snow. How is it June 22nd, the first full day of summer, but snowing??!!
Of course, Matthew thought it was pretty cool to have the snow.
The mountains are just gorgeous with the new snowfall. It has been incredible to see the beauty that surrounds us.
I know we will have warmer weather soon, so I guess us Texas folks should enjoy the snow we very rarely see.
So this weekend we headed out of Texas (just barely escaped the heat advisory) and headed to Tin Cup, CO where the kids and I will spend our summer. Chuck gets to enjoy a week and a half vacation before he heads back to Texas.
So we loaded up the car (and it was packed to the brim) and began our 17 hour drive (yes we drove straight through). When I was the passenger I took pictures to document the trip. It’s neat to watch the scenery change as we go further into Texas, then through New Mexico, and finally Colorado. And let me just say that some of the most amazing views are in Colorado, specifically around the Tin Cup/Taylor Park reservoir area. This summer, the blog will focus on our visit out here.
For much of Texas, construction was found quite often.
If there wasn’t construction, there were windmills.
Pretty much nothingness during our brief travel through New Mexico.
Great views in Colorado.
Found some pretty flowers at one of our stops.
Passing over Monarch Pass. Still snow on the mountain in several spots.
My favorite view! Just as we come up the mountain at the reservoir. I look forward to this site every year!
Had to get in our selfie with the view, of course.
The drive is a long and quite boring. But if you pay attention, you can find some great pictures to take. And once you get to Colorado, it is all worth it. More to come later.
This past weekend I took my daughter and a couple of her friends to Corpus Christi and Port Aransas. The girls wanted to have a “girls’ weekend” after graduation. So we loaded up the “Red Rocket” (my minivan that has now been traded for a SUV) and headed 2 hours or so south. We checked in to the Hilton Garden Inn in Corpus (http://www.hilton.com/Garden_Inn/Corpus_Christi ) and got ourselves settled and cleaned up. My expectations for the hotel were a little higher than what we actually got, but it was still a nice place to stay and I would stay there again. The room was a decent size and fit the 4 of us perfectly. The beds were comfortable but the pillows, oh man, they left a lot to be desired. I’ve never been so disappointed in a hotel pillow before. We stayed at the Hilton for 2 nights so we got to have breakfast two mornings. Full breakfast was available plus fruit, pastries, yogurt, etc.
Since we did not get to Corpus until after 5, we rested, cleaned up, then headed to Blackbeard’s on the Beach (https://www.facebook.com/Blackbeards-on-the-Beach-107772772633472/) . We had to wait for about an hour for a table, so we killed some time in the shops and taking pictures during what the girls called the “golden hour” (apparently the perfect time to take a picture since it makes you look like you have a golden tan or something like that, at least according to teenage girls). Not sure that the “golden hour” did anything to our super white legs, LOL.
After our long wait for the table (we did have a group of 7 since a couple of the moms and a sister joined us for one of the days) we finally got seated. I swear, we had at least 4 different servers introducing themselves as our server. I still don’t know who was ACTUALLY our server. We got our drinks and chips and queso fairly quick, but it took FOREVER to get our dinner. We were pretty disappointed with the service. I understand that restaurants get busy and it can take time, but this was ridiculous. There were several groups that were seated AFTER us that got their food before us. In fact, one table actually finished their food before we even got ours. It’s not like anyone ordered anything extravagant (a couple salads, some fried shrimp and chicken, and some burgers). Blackbeard’s is NOT a place I want to eat at again.
Sunday we loaded up waters, sunblock, swimsuits, and snacks and headed to the beach in Port Aransas (also known as Mustang Island). We stayed at the beach located off of Beach Access Road 1A. This was a great location for us. We had restrooms nearby (actually, port-a-potties, but at least there was something) and showers for after we finished at the beach. We arrived before the beach filled up. Got ourselves settled in and sunblocked up (though, come to find out, I didn’t apply it enough times throughout the day).
One of the things I like about the water in Port A is that it is warmer than the Pacific Ocean. You can actually get in the water and not freeze. We did have to pay attention and be a little careful since it was a red flag warning for the riptides. Besides swimming, I spent some time looking for shells and checking out the clouds while I laid in the sun.
We only spent a few hours on the beach due to the heat and us realizing that our sunblock wasn’t doing its job like it should. As I said earlier, we had showers right by us, so after we loaded up the van we got to get the sand and salt washed off of us. From there we spent some time exploring Port Aransas. We found a cool ice cream shop where we had some fruit smoothies. The shop had some interesting decorations. Each wall had a different theme: dogs, Oriental, puppets, and others. The girls played foosball while we cooled off.
We took the ferry to head back to Corpus where I was hoping to get pictures of the sunset, but it’s kinda hard to get shots when the sun sets in the west and the beach faces south/southeast. We did find a place to stop to get a few shots that had a little of the “golden hour” color that the girls were trying to get the night before. I also saw some bird that I enjoyed snapping a few pictures of.
From there we headed to see the Selena Memorial for a bit. I had always heard that the memorial was crowded, but we were fortunate and didn’t have to deal with the crowds.
Since we all were a little red (and by a little, I mean a lot and with some crazy patterns) we decided to spend the few hours on Monday that we had in Corpus at the mall. The girls found a couple of murals to pose in front of (nothing new there).
While the trip was a short getaway, we had fun having a girls’ time. I have spent the last four years with these girls during the millions of cheer events we attended. I am glad to see that they graduated and will be going off to college, but I am sad to have the time with them over. I’ve been “Mama Wimer” to them and have heard all sorts of interesting stories and have some great memories. I will forever be grateful to have this time with the girls.
Sometime back we visited Boerne, TX and found that it did not live up to it’s hype. This weekend we found a reason to visit Boerne, and will actually go back more often. We ventured to The Farmers Market at the Cibolo https://www.cibolo.org/herfffarm/farmersmarket.html. It is located at the Cibolo Nature Center and Farm (Herff Farm). The farmers market is less than a mile off the main road in Boerne outside the Historic District. Be sure to visit the website to learn more about the Cibolo Nature Center and Herff Farm. You will find out about the history and and plans for the farm and nature center.
The farm is located at 33 Herff Road, Boerne. It is open every Saturday from March to December from 9-1. Admission is free (love when I find a free place 😀❤️). While it is not a large market, it does have some great products to choose from at reasonable prices and live music.
We ended up walking out with a couple jars of homemade pickles, a couple jars of homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam, cake pops for the kids, coffee, homemade granola, and some delicious Mediterranean-style desserts.
Zoozoo’s Sweet Treats (and more) had some delicious homemade baklava and lemon tarts. I would definitely recommend that you visit their tent when you go to the farmers market. They are there every Saturday. But if you get a hankering to try some of their goodies before a Saturday, you can contact the owner, Azza Mohamed at firstname.lastname@example.org. She does live in San Antonio so you would not have to worry about the Boerne traffic to get some homemade Mediterranean desserts.
Other vendors included fresh eggs, produce, meats, homemade salsas, plants, and baked goods.
The historic home on the farm has been restored and information about the well and rain harvesting system can be found near the watershed and rainwater tank.
We also found some trails to walk through. To my delight the trails had wildflowers to enjoy and photograph. We were not able to spend too much time walking through the trails, so we will definitely be making another trip out there.
I would love to see how this place looks in the spring with all the amazing colors that Texas wildflowers provide. While the actual historic district of Boerne is not my cup of tea, there are definitely some hidden places in Boerne to check out, the farmers market is one of those places!
So the kids and I will be spending the summer in Tin Cup, CO. An absolutely beautiful, breathtaking place to spend time. Since I will be out of state soon the blog will focus on our summer travels and adventures in Colorado. And if anyone wants to head that way this summer, let me know!
But first, this weekend will be a girls’ trip to Corpus Christi/Port Aransas/Mustang Island.
Here are a couple of pictures I took last year just to give you a little tease. Be ready to be transported to Colorado for the summer.
So this weekend we were not able to travel. We had a super important event that took place; our daughter, Grace, graduated from high school.
Grace has attended The Christian School at Castle Hills for her high school years. She graduated with an honors diploma and summa cum laude. So we had to take a break from travel this weekend, but we will be back at it next weekend.
Also, a big shout out to Country Sweets Bakery in Bandera for making an amazing cake. It was a hit among our guests at the grad party. A while back I shared a post about this awesome bakery. They did not disappoint with the cake. BTW: we enjoyed some delicious pastries while we waited for the cake to be finished. I highly recommend the apple fritter!
We woke up this Saturday thinking we were going to visit some local caverns, but all the rain we have had lately had us re-thinking that plan. So while we were brainstorming places to visit today that our crazy, bipolar weather we have had lately wouldn’t be an issue, Chuck threw out the idea of visiting Luckenbach, TX. At first I thought he was a little nuts. For some odd reason I thought Luckenbach was somewhere in North Texas. Google proved me wrong. So we headed out.
Luckenbach is just a little over an hour from San Antonio. After getting off of I10, the rest of the drive is great. Once again we were surrounded by flowers on the side of the road as we drove (if you have read my previous entries, you would know that I love taking pictures of flowers). The drive is along a two lane road through the Hill Country. As you get close to the “town”, be careful to pay attention to where to turn. Once you get to the Luckenbach Town Loop, you will drive along a dirt road for just a minute or two. Parts of the road are bumpy, so be careful with your car.
So as most of you know, there is a song called “Luckenbach, Texas” by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. The fact that this teeny, tiny town became the subject of a hit song amazes me. While I enjoyed visiting Luckenbach (and would go back), it is definitely NOT what I had imagined (I had something more like Bandera in my mind). If you are expecting to visit a town that has multiple shops and restaurants, you will be surprised to know that this tourist attraction has just a couple little buildings. There is a dancehall, post office/general store/saloon, Feed Lot, and outdoor stage.
There is also a cute little Kissing Booth right when you walk through the property. We took advantage of this booth to make Matthew take a picture of us (if anyone knows Matthew, you know just how DISGUSTED he gets when he sees anyone kissing; typical 9 year-old).
The general store has all sorts of items to browse though and buy. You will find tee shirts, hats, candles, mugs, magnets, CD’s, wine, and much more. Definitely items for the “tourist” to purchase. We did wind up getting a couple of small things. I couldn’t pass up the magnet photo frame.
Just out the back of the store is the saloon. The walls of the saloon are covered in pictures of different people ranging from Waylon and Willie, to the previous owners of the town, and lots of other people I couldn’t even name.
Outside the store/saloon is the outdoor stage and seating area. Live music is scheduled for every day of the week (sometimes in the dancehall, sometimes at the outdoor stage). There is a charge for some of the shows (like when Aaron Watson plays on June 1), but most days the visit is free for the whole family. Be sure to check the website at http://www.luckenbachtexas.com to verify that there are no private parties booked or to check on shows that might require a paid ticket.
There are picnic tables to sit on and enjoy the music while grabbing a bite to eat. While we were there we had the opportunity to hear The Strayhearts (https://www.facebook.com/thestrayheartsband/). They were a great band to listen to while having our lunch. The Feed Lot has a selection of food that includes Frito pie, corn dogs, sausage wraps, hamburgers, fries, funnel cake, and more. Trees surround the area that provide shade on a hot day (though today was definitely not a hot day, crazy that our weather actually required us to have sweaters/long sleeves).
I would love to go back to Luckenbach in the evening/night to take in a show, sit around the fire pit, and do some dancing in the dancehall (which we didn’t check out while we were there).
So while Luckenbach, Texas is not quite what I had expected, and is MUCH smaller than one would think about a town that inspired a song, it is still a trip that is family friendly/budget friendly. Be sure to add Luckenbach to your list of places to visit in Texas, even if it’s just to say that you were there.
This weekend I took the kids to Cornyval, an annual festival in Helotes that began in 1966. Fortunately for us, the big thunderstorm we had the night before cleared out and though the ground was a bit muddy, we had great weather. This year Cornyval was held from May 2nd- May 5th. Admission was $10 a person (Sunday was free admission), but children under 12 were free all weekend. Each day had special prices for carnival rides. Thursday was $20 wristbands for unlimited rides. Friday was $1 day (all rides were $1). Saturday was 2 for 1 rides. Sunday was $20 wristbands. We went Saturday, and arrived just after the parade ended but before the crowds hit the festival. Additional information can be found at https://cornyval.org/
Before we spent time on the carnival rides, we roamed the grounds to check out the various vendors and food stands. We just wanted to get an idea of what to plan for our lunch and see if there was anything of interest to buy. I did find things that I liked, but I was sticking to my budget for the weekend.
Some of the booths we found were Scentsy candles, engraved wooden cutting boards, hats, jewelry, toe rings, clothes, face painting, henna tattoos, petting zoo, pony rides, and more. Some of these vendors are also found at the Helotes Market that is held the first Saturday of each month.
We decided to hit the rides before getting food (and boy am I glad we waited…..). The majority of the rides are designed for young children. This makes Cornyval a perfect place for families with toddlers/preschoolers/young elementary students. I loved the fact that they had a Mini Himalaya for younger kids (I love the regular Himalaya ride).
There are a few rides that older children and teens would enjoy. The first ride we did was the Ferris Wheel. The four of us (the kids, Grace’s friend, and me) were able to ride in one car for the ride. This ride was pretty high up, which gave me the chance to get some pictures of the grounds from way up high. I actually enjoyed this ride. I wish it could have been a little longer. We went around 2 times before getting off. However, I am VERY glad we did not stop at the very top. I am not so sure I would have enjoyed that too much.
After the Ferris Wheel, I convinced Matthew to go on the Beach Party ride. He had been on this ride when we were at the Strawberry Festival, but didn’t enjoy it much. I figure it was because he was on the ride by himself. Anyways, the four of us finally got on this vomit inducing ride. I am not sure what on earth I was thinking when I convinced Matthew to go on it. It started off fun. But then it got a little too crazy for my liking. There was a lot of up and down, spinning, and turning. The spinning was FAST (fast enough to make your face feel as though it is being pulled back). If this thing had gone on any longer, I think I would have hurled. By the time the ride ended, my world was spinning. I literally had to sit in our cart for a few minutes to get my bearings again, get my stomach to settle down, and to keep myself from losing my breakfast. I kid you not, it took most of the day for me to begin to feel normal again.
After that ride, I was DONE with joining the kids on any other rides. Fortunately, the few other older kid rides that were available, Matthew didn’t feel like riding. Instead, he went through the Magic Maze with Caitlyn and Big Bamboo with Grace.
After rides we headed over for food. Besides the regular food one can find at a carnival, there were plenty of food booths from local vendors. We decided to get our lunch for one of them. Picking from chicken on a stick, turkey legs, steak kabobs, fajitas, sausage, chicken and waffles, fruit, fried donut holes, and much more, we had a big decision to make. I wound up getting a steak kabob that I shared with Matthew. Grace got chicken and waffles (no surprise there). Caitlyn got sausage with sauerkraut. We all got some amazing fruit cups. The fruit was fresh and sweet! Exactly what we needed. We enjoyed our food under the covered pavilion listening to live music. And of course, we had to get some kettle corn to take home.
We finished up our day watching pig races. The host of the races was quite humorous. Watching these little pigs race around the “track” to get an Oreo at the end was fun to watch. We watched 3 different races, but not once did the pigs our section was supposed to cheer for win.
Cornyval was a fun way to spend a few hours on a Saturday. We didn’t attend all events at the festival. There is a rodeo each night, a 5K run, a pageant, mutton bustin, live music, and more. Plus there is the parade on Saturday. I am sure that in the evenings Cornyval is much more crowded. It is just large enough to be able to spend a couple of hours and enjoy different events, but just small enough to be able to have your fun and head home knowing you still have time to do other things. Be sure to check out Cornyval next year!
Last weekend we visited Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg http://www.wildseedfarms.com and while it was not exactly what I had pictured in my mind when it came to fields of wildflowers, it was still worth the visit.
Wildseed Farms grows fields of wildflowers for the production of seed. They have over 200 acres in Fredericksburg. There is no charge for admission and they are open year round, 7 days a week, 9:30-6:00pm. The walking trails are open from 9:30-5:30
Getting up close to the flowers for pictures can only be done in limited areas. The fenced areas keep guests from walking through the flowers, but can still get great pictures with the fields in the background. We did find a couple of open fields that we could actually be in the flowers and get some great shots.
Wildseed Farms is a perfect place for photo shoots for all sorts of events. Depending on the time of year you visit the farm you could see poppies, sunflowers, bluebonnets, Rocket Larkspur, cosmos, and more. I am looking forward to going back at different seasons, especially when the sunflowers bloom!
Of course the name does indicate the sale of seeds. There is a section in the large gift shop that is full of packets of seeds to purchase. You will find everything from bluebonnets to sunflowers to Indian Paintbrush, poppies, daisies, primrose, and more. Packets of seeds start at $2.89. If I had a green thumb, I would have loved to plant these seeds so that I had lots of color in my yard. Unfortunately, I can’t even keep a bamboo plant alive.
Besides seeds, you can also purchase various types of plants that you can plant at home. There is an awesome selection of yard decorations as well. Prices were pretty reasonable.
What’s cool about this place is that you can make the trip to the farm an all day event. There are plenty of shaded areas to rest and enjoy the views and are also photo opportunities. They have a seasonal butterfly garden as well.
The Brewbonnet Biergarten offers a place to sit and relax in the cool a/c. They have cold beer, snacks, and ice cream. There are also samples of jams, jellies, and salsas. Plus lots of jams and such to purchase.
The outside patio of the Biergarten offers shaded seating and live music. Since there is a vineyard and tasting room on the grounds, you can relax with a glass of wine and listen to the band.
Wildseed Farms was an enjoyable place to visit and gave me the opportunity to find additional flowers to take pictures of. If you get the chance, take the drive out to Fredericksburg and visit the farm. You will enjoy this day trip.