California Love

There were a lot of things that conspired against this year’s vacation.

First, we had to change our destination at the last minute because we thought Hurricane Issac was going to hit the Miami area. So we decided to go to the Left Coast (San Diego) instead. Next my manager acted a complete and total ass about me actually going on vacation. We normally go the first week of October because the month of September is a busy time at my office with the annual budget so going on our actual anniversary won’t work. So after much schedule juggling, we both were able to get time off the last week of August. This actually worked out better because we didn’t have to go back to work till after Labor Day.

Then Myron sprained his foot and we were in the ER the day before we were to take off, and he ended up on crutches for the duration of our trip.

But one (several) monkey don’t stop no show, so the hubs and I made it on the plane and prepared to show California some love!

Here are some flicks I took while there..San Diego is gorgeous and we will be back!!

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Memorial Day Weekend 2012: The Instagrammed Edition

We did quite a bit over the holiday weekend and had lots of fun. Myron played hooky from work on Friday to hang out with me and I instagrammed the last 4 days…take a look.

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Myron gazing at the waves, Surfside Beach, Freeport TX

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A little ankle wading..

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Lots and lots of seaweed…

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Grand opening of the Pleasure Pier, Galveston, TX (think Navy Pier in Chicago)

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Trying a new buffet spot – Korean style…

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This is only part of the buffet line…

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San Luis Pass side of the Galveston Toll Bridge..

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My fishing set up..note the pink fishing pole.

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Seaside…cool water..

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He’s just chilling…

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Getting provisions…

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Pasta salad…

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Fresh out the smoker…

How was your Memorial Day weekend???

Daytripping

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Shot of the aquarium pyramid...

Saturday afternoon, Myron and I took a hour drive down Interstate 45 South to Galveston, TX, an island right off the coast. I’d been wanting to the see the Bodies Revealed exhibit at Moody Gardens. Moody Gardens also has a hotel-resort, a water park on premises, an aquarium and  an indoor rainforest.

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Below are some shots I took with my cell phone of the view of the bay and the grounds at Moody Gardens.

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Here is a shot I snuck at the Bodies Review exhibit. I was living dangerously as you weren’t supposed to be taking pics!

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Here is my cute hubs!! Look at that reluctant smile!

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There are tons of beautiful flowers in bloom. Spring time in Texas is gorgeous! The weather was a wonderful 85 degrees with a nice breeze coming off the bay. We are enjoying it now. By May it will be scorching!

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This cockatoo was eating a snack and wasn’t being that cooperative for my pictures but I finally got one.

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After all that sightseeing, we got a recommendation from Beautifully Complex and decided to check out the Black Pearl Oyster Bar and Grille.

I started out with two huge crabcakes! They were so good and full of meat.image

My entree was Shrimp Diablo over rice and it did have a kick!

I forgot to get a shot of Myron’s dozen oysters on the half shell. He loves them.

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Myron’s entree was blackened shrimp, crawfish and squid over rice. It was pretty tasty. We will definitely be going back to the Black Pearl.

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We grabbed some blue crabs on the way home to cook on Sunday, but they all died overnight. I think it was too hot in the garage for them. We went back to the fish market for some fresh ones, though. My husband was determined to get him some crabs!

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All in all, we had a fun Saturday. Day trips are nice!

Vegas – Days 3 & 4: Fremont Street and Walking the Casinos

My husband is the ULTIMATE tourist. He thinks that the best part of being on vacation is SEEING ALL YOU CAN POSSIBLY SEE!! LOL!!

With that in mind, we wandered the Strip and its various casinos during the day and took the bus downtown to the Fremont Street experience at night.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking for me.

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Vegas Days 1 & 2: The Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon

We didn’t just want this to be another trip to Vegas where we stayed on the Strip and never ventured outside the casinos. So we decided to make the first half of the trip the sight seeing portion. We  also decided that we were going to rent a car and drive out to the western edge of the Grand Canyon. We are both adults and had yet to see one of the iconic landmarks in the United States of America! We live in a beautiful country and as Americans, we don’t take advantage of all the natural wonders our nation has to offer. Not this time! We gassed up and rolled out!

First up, Hoover Dam!!

Turbines Inside Hoover Dam

Colorado River

The next day had us getting up REALLY early (TIH is NOT a morning individual) to make the 2.5 hour trip to the Hualapai Reservation (which is about 6000 ft above sea level) to go to the western edge of the Grand Canyon and walk the Skywalk and visit Eagle Point on the canyon.

This is the Skywalk and it is 4000 ft above the canyon floor. If you have a intense fear of heights, it is NOT recommended. It is made of glass and steel and can support the weight of TWO jet planes.

Aerial View of the Skwalk

Some more pictures from Eagle Point on the Grand Canyon:

Eagle Point - so named because the dip resembles an eagle in flight

All I can say is that we live in a beautiful country and I encourage everyone to try to take advantage of it. Nature is truly amazing.

In my next post, we’ll head back to the Strip and see a bit of the Las Vegas that everyone knows and loves.

Hope ya’ll liked the pictures!!!

Photo Friday

Myron and I on the Grand Canyon Skywalk in Arizona.

We are off to a wedding this weekend and seem to be almost fully recovered from our colds so we are ready have a good time. Myron’s mom is slowly improving but please keep her in your thoughts. I promise the Vegas pics and posts starting on Monday. This one is a preview!!

Have a good weekend!!!

 

I Have Questions, You Have Answers: Round 4

Where we'll be about 2 weeks from now...

  • How much vacation time do you get from your employer?
  • Where was the last place you went on vacation?
  • When did you go?
  • How long were you there?
  • Did you go alone or in a group?
  • What did you do while you were there? Are you a lounge around vacationer or one that likes to sight see?
  • How often do you go on vacation?
  • Where is the next place you want to visit?
  • Do you have a passport?
  • Do you have a favorite travel website that you like to visit? Any travel tips to share?

You know the drill, take a quick vacay in the comments! 🙂

Wineauxs

For my birthday this year, I wanted to do something different. I normally invite a bunch of folks to join me for dinner and that’s always fun but this year I decided I wanted AN experience. And that is what I got this past weekend!

Myron and I discussed what I wanted to do and I’ve always been interested to taking a trip to visit the wineries and vineyards located in the Texas Hill Country. There ARE some advantages to living in such a large state! LOL!! So we found a great rate at the fabulous Hyatt Place (I highly recommend!), packed our overnight bags and jumped in the car right after work on Friday evening. The drive to Austin is a scenic one and only takes about 2 hours so we got there a little after 8PM that night. It was late so we grabbed some dinner and bellini’s at Macaroni Grill and came back to the hotel. I needed to get to bed because I am NOT a morning person and my personal drill sergeant said I had to be up so that we could get on the road by 9AM.

Views while driving thru Austin, TX

We got up the next morning and headed about an hour outside of Austin to the first of the two vineyards we were going to visit: Spicewood Vineyards. It’s a smaller winery but we got to taste 6 wines for 2 bucks apiece! Here are a few pics.

Next up was Flat Creek Estates. This is the one I’d be waiting on because not only were we going to do a tasting there but since there is a Bistro on the estate, we decided to do the 3 course wine lunch. Since we both LOVE to eat and LOVE to drink, this was perfect! It was not cheap but man the food was good!!!

I had a first course  of Scallop with Bacon, Cherry Tomatoes and Vinaigrette. My main course was New Zealand Lamp Chops with Tomato/Caper Vinaigrette and for my dessert/cheese Course I sampled a Camembert (Brie) with Golden Raisin Chutney. Myron had a first course of Beef Tataki with Jicama Slaw in Ginger Dressing.  His main course was Salmon with Smoked Mussels, Mushrooms and Tomatoes with Scallion Grits, and for his Dessert/Cheese Course: Blue Cheese with Candied Walnuts and Dark Chocolate Sauce.  We shared bites off our plates and it was delicious. Each course was also paired with a wine from the vineyard. I was feeling kinda right by the time I left there!

My lunch!

Myron's lunch!

After all of that, we both had that good itis and it was blazing hot in Austin (105 degrees!) and so we took the hour drive back to Austin over winding, hilly roads. But Myron got a bit of a present on my birthday was well!! His best friend called and decided to drive down from Dallas with his new girlfriend. He was so excited! He hadn’t seen his boy since our wedding. I texted a friend who lives in Austin for some suggestions a spot to eat and we decided on a Tex-Mex spot called Trudy’s. After that we went down on Sixth Street (overrated and collegiate), hit a night club and a blues spot and finally made it to the hotel room after 3 AM!!! Myron’s best friend and his girl grabbed a room at a hotel around the corner from us and we all laid it down for the night. The next day, we went and had a wonderful Southern style brunch at Moonshine’s Grill and Myron and I headed back to H-town!!! I got back just in time to go and visit with my dad for Father’s Day and score some leftover BBQ!!!

As you can tell, I had a FABULOUS weekend!!! My husband is the bestest! I couldn’t think of a better person to spend my 38th birthday with!!

The wine we ended up buying: a blush and a sweet red.

If you are interested in Texas Hill Country wineries, go HERE. If you are interested in going with a group of African American wine enthusiasts, contact Iris Allen HERE. She pointed me in the right direction and leads wine tours in the Hill Country, Napa and other locations.

3 States…3 Days

Myron and I decided to get away for a short trip since it was a long weekend for me..Here are some pictures that I took. Enjoy!

We went to visit Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, LA.

Circa 1800’s Road Grader and 2 Vintage Model T’s that were owned by a previous owner of the plantation.

Memorial Plaque dedicated to the plantation’s slaves. There were 20 house slaves and 93 field slaves. The slave cabins are no longer standing. The second picture in the frame shows the value of the slaves.

It’s us of course! 🙂

Front and back of the mansion. It’s three stories.

First shot is the front of the mansion from atop the levee. The plantation used to run right up the to the Mississippi. Today, there is a road in front of the plantation. Second is of the Mississippi from atop of the levee.

More pics of the grounds.

We took a side detour to Gulfport, MS to look at the beaches and eat lunch and gamble a bit at Beau Rivage Casino. Gulfport is about an hour or so on the other side of New Orleans.

Scenes from New Orleans…The river is WIDE!!

Of course, we also took a turn down Bourbon St! We got a hand grenade to go, listened to some great blues and did other stuff that shall remain a secret! Let’s just say we had to check out of our hotel VERY late!! LOL!!!

I hadn’t been to NOLA since before Hurricane Katrina. The downtown and French Quarter were back in business. The Garden District is gorgeous but there is still a lot of work to be done in this very old, quirky city!! There is nothing like New Orleans though! We had a blast!

Hope you enjoyed the pictures!