Travel

Camping for Rookies

I have been camping probably hundreds of times in my life. I would go so far as to call myself a seasoned camper. Despite all of these trips and excursions into the woods and mountains, apparently it wasn’t enough times to prevent some very rookie mistakes this last weekend.Camping for Rookies-2

My husband proposed the idea on Friday. Randomly, he recommended we go camping on the beach for one night on Saturday. It sounded like a great idea to me! I couldn’t wait to wake up to the sound of the Gulf of Mexico, play with our kite, and bury my feet in the sand. The one perk of living in South Texas may be that you can comfortably go to the beach in February.ow+9znWlQ6ysOxaBmj3Tpw

Saturday came around, we took care of some household chores, loaded up the truck, and set out for the beach and our overnight camping expedition. The last time we went camping was over New Years, so we were looking forward to disconnecting, even if it was only for the night.

Well, we hit our first road block early into the trip. We first headed to Mustang Island State Park where I read it was free to camp on the beach. A quick 20 minute drive and we were pulling up to the entrance, only to find it was closed. They are still doing clean up after Hurricane Harvey that hit the coast in August 2017. Well we quickly reassessed our situation and headed in the opposite direction to the Padre Island National Seashore. This is a National Park, and luckily since he is active duty military we get an annual pass into national parks for free-I love free. Civilians can purchase an annual pass for $70. About 30 minutes in the opposite direction and we were in the park, our spot scouted on the beach, and we were setting up camp for the night.

Cue snag number 2. I started cooking dinner. Grilled chicken and a salad were on the menu. I immediately realized I didn’t have any aluminum foil to cover the chicken in the pan. Not a big deal, but it would’ve helped the chicken to cook a bit faster, especially since it was incredibly windy. Ten minutes into cooking and I noticed the flame was out on our stove. Fabulous. I thought it was due to the wind, but it was due to the butane fuel can being empty. No biggie, we have a spare in our kitchen gear. Not a full can though. It was about 3/4 empty. So five minutes into trying to cook with that can, and we were completely out of fuel. As a last ditch effort to salvage the protein for our dinner, we put the pan on the campfire. It turns out, cooking on the beach over a campfire, on a windy night, and no cover for your pan, will only lead to your food being completely covered in an extraordinary amount of sand. Making it inedible.

Snag number 3. We have a rooftop tent. This completely genius invention is a tent that can be mounted on- you guessed it- your roof! It is a GAMECHANGER! It’s probably a million times more comfortable than a ground tent, and takes about 30 seconds to set up.

Check it out:IMG_0634

Typically we keep our sleeping bags and pillows in the tent. Everything folds up so nicely and conveniently! Well, as I mentioned before, we went camping over New Years. Since our trip was about four nights long, our linens were due for a wash. In our haste, we remembered to get the sleeping bags from the linen closet, but not the pillows. Balling up a thin hoodie to serve as a replacement pillow is not ideal.

Overall this trip, while it could’ve been better, was still a great time. We learned that we definitely need to not get complacent with our camping prep and just assume we have everything we need in our pre-packed gear. We also learned that the trip is about being together, even in unideal circumstances. And we learned that sandy chicken is gross. I don’t care. I still got to wake up to the sounds of the waves from the Gulf of Mexico crashing onto the beach, just feet from where I was sleeping. YrssAQyUSF2Q0UY+%FzneQ

 

Travel

100 Travel Destinations

Today is the 100th day of school. I work in an elementary school, and the 100th day is kind of a big deal. Kids and teachers dress up… students complete themed activites based on the day… there may or may not be a parade for the students to show off their 100 day apparel, arts and crafts. It’s so cute! It also got me thinking, why do they get all the fun? Why not use this opportunity to take a 100-themed idea and put my favorite spin on it? Travel. So, what are the 100 places I’d like to travel before I’m 100?100 travel destinations before you're 100-2

In no particular order:

28 Destinations in the United Statestravel destinations in the US-9

24 Destinations in Europetravel destinations in Europe

20 Destinations in Asiatravel destinations in Asia

19 Destinations in AmericaTravel destinations in America

9 Destinations in Africa, Antarctica, and OceanaTravel destinations in the world

Whew! There are definitley a lot of places on my list. Just a few more than my typical 5. I literally cannot wait to start checking some of these off in the very near future. In fact, I’m getting ready to take a road trip in March that will take me through 4 states in the USA that I’ve never been to.

Are any of these places on your list? I thought it would be hard to come up with 100, but it was actually hard to narrow it down to ONLY 100!

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Travel

Seattle Bound

2017 was full of traveling and experiencing new places for me. Everytime I start to write about a destination I went to, I find myself beginning to say, “This was one of my favorite places I’ve ever traveled”. And it’s true every.single.time.

I fall in love with every location. If I’m only there for a short time, I leave hungry for more. If I’m lucky enough to have a longer stay, I fall deeper in love, every day.Seattle Bound..png

The same is true for when I went to Seattle, Washington in June of 2017. I traveled with my husband from Houston, Texas to visit his brother and boyfriend for a whole week. I had high expectations for Seattle after binge watching Grey’s Anatomy, and it definitely delivered. The views, the diverse culture, the weather. I loved it all. Shall we review?

  1. Transportation
    • Spirit Airlines
      • Spirit Airlines is a budget airline that sometimes gets bad reviews from certain travelers. I was hesitant to book our flights with this airline because of some of the reviews I read online. I’m so glad I listened to my wallet instead of the internet. As a very frugal (aka cheap) shopper, I was persuaded by the hundreds of dollars worth of savings Spirit offered compared to the next cheapest flight from Houston to Seattle. We paid just over $200/each roundtrip. This included selecting our seats in the emergency exit row and checking one bag.
      • I have zero complaints and only compliments to share about Spirit Airlines. Even though the seat did not recline (not a big deal to me), I thought the seats were comparable in size to any other airline I have traveled on. Our seats were in the emergency exit row, so we did have more leg space than average, but I’ve sat in their regular seats before and still had leg space for my 5’6″ plus size frame. There were no snacks provided, so I just packed our own from home, no biggie. The flight attendents were friendly, comical, and again-comparable to any other airline. I’ll take the cash savings over a small bag of pretzels any day.
  2. Foooooooooooooooooooood
    • Aladdin Gyro-cery & Deli located at 4143 University Way NE near Washington University has amazing Middle Eastern food. Screen Shot 2018-02-03 at 8.00.06 PM.png
    • We did get seafood while we were in Seattle. It was good. I must apologize, I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the restaurant we ate at.
    • GINGER BEER! It was good! It was fun! Get you some! IMG_0608
    • We also had icecream, turkish delight, and delicious cinnamon orange tea at Pike Place Market. I highly recommend it all! We also saw them throw a fish in the market, but I wasn’t fast enough to get photo or video evidence.
  3. Must-sees in the city
    • Everything. We went up in the Ferris Wheel down by the pier. We also walked down a bit to an overlook over the city in the same area as the Ferris Wheel.
    • Quirky things like the gum wall by Pike Place Market, and doing the underground tour are tons of fun. Did you know Seattle was built on top of itself? And you can thank a prostitute for the city’s survival?!
    • More quirky things like a troll built under a bridge and this novel abandoned manufacturing plant near Kite Hill.

    • Who doesn’t love a science museum with an awesome playground nearby?
  4. Must-sees outside of the city
    • Ferry rides are a compulsory activity of course. IMG_0459
    • Stop to learn about the Native culturesIMG_0474
    • From the beaches to the mountains. The views are to die for.

    • And venture outdoors to hike to a waterfall.

  5. Saved for Future Visits
    • We saw and did so much in the week we were in Seattle, and barely skimmed the surface on what this city and surrounding area has to offer. I would love to do more hikes to see the beautiful and amazing outdoors. Eat more food, see more shops, just get lost in all the streets. I wish I could be more specific, but there’s just so much there, I don’t even know where to begin but everywhere. I can only hope we’re lucky enough to return in the future.

Have you ever been to Washington? Do you have any recommendations on where to go or what to do?

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Travel

Travel Addiction

My name is Carlie and I am a travel addict. 

It feels good to get that out.

This time last year I made a list of a few destinations I wanted to experience in 2017. You can read the original post here.

Let’s review what did and didn’t happen.

  1. New Orleans  – checknola-bound_new-orleans-in-24-hours
  2. Overlanding the TransAmerican Trail – didn’t happen =(
  3. Camelback Mountain Resort and Waterpark– checkCamelback Mountain Resort
  4. Pensacola, Florida – checktripadvisor-vs-local-top-5-things-to-do-in-pensacola-florida
  5. Washington – check; Alaska – didn’t happen =(IMG_0526

So these were what I planned to do for 2017. As you can see, most of my plans did happen! Some didn’t. But I was able to add some destinations that weren’t on my original list! Such as:

  1. Corpus Christi, TexasCorpus Christi feature image
  2. San Antonio, TexasSan Antonio Feature image
  3. OBX, North Carolina
  4. Road trip: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New HampshireNew England road trip
  5. Big Bend National Park-TexasOV7nQXjiQpKRO0NcNq+eSA

2017 was a great year of traveling for me. I experienced so much more than I thought I would and it inspired a few of my travel goals for 2018.

2018 goals

  • Visit 30 states before I turn 30 in NovemberF45A4A34-5770-4E22-9A31-15F8D2B0997D
    • I was able to check off 7 states I never visited before in 2017. I have now visited 23 states in the USA, so I hope to visit 7 more states to bring my total to 30 states before my birthday.
    • March 2018- Spring Break Road trip Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas
    • Moving We may be moving again this summer. Wherever we end up should give me the opportunity to add another state to my list. Will it be Mississippi? Will it be New Mexico? We shall see.
    • Nevada Long weekend in Vegas? I’m hoping I can make this happen.
    • New York: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Weekend Vermont– since I’ll be in the area
  • Learn Latvian in LatviaMy husband is from Latvia. He lived there until he was a teenager and Latvian is his first language. We’re approaching 8 years together and I’ve always said I wanted to learn the language. This is the year I make it happen!
    • The University of Latvia offers a free intensive language course over the summer. So I’m hoping to make the journey to Latvia to spend 3 weeks finally making strides towards learning the languange of his people!
  • Dirty Thirty Cruise
    • I didn’t get to take a cruise in 2017, which is one of my favorite ways to vacay. I’m due. And I’d love to relax in Mexico with a margarita for my thirtieth birthday.

Do you have travel goals for 2018?

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Travel

Three Days in San Antonio, Texas

You may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas!

-Davy Crockett

I can’t lie. I haven’t been the biggest fan of the Lonestar State since moving here in April 2017. My main complaint is the heat. My second complaint is how long it takes to travel ANYWHERE. Texas is a beast of a state.

Those complaints aside, I spent a wonderful weekend in San Antonio, Texas with my best friend when she visited me in May 2017. Despite the heat, I loved San Antonio! I loved the history, the sites, the food, and just the overall experience. Do you have a trip planned for San Antonio yet? Add it to your list and you must do and see everything we did! I did the hard part of researching, planning, and testing it out, so you don’t have to! You’re welcome.

Accommodations: We stayed at this fabulous Airbnb. The host was super kind and full of recommendations on where to eat and what to do while we were in town. It was also very conveniently located less than a mile from the Pearl District and more affordable than any of the hotels I researched.

Never used Airbnb? Well pal- if you use this link, you will get $40 of travel credit when you sign up. What are friends for?

Transportation: We parked our vehicle at the Airbnb and used Uber to travel downtown and then walked to many of our destinations from there. Some of our other excursions that were not located downtown, we drove to easily in my car from the Airbnb.

Itinerary:

  • Day 1-
    • Arrive and check in at your hotel or Airbnb.
    • Find your way to the Pearl Brewery for amazing food, views, and shopping. You have to sample a flight of beer at Southerleigh, and indulge in macaroons from Lorraine’s Bakery. 10 out of 10 friends would recommend it.
    • Next, travel downtown for the Riverwalk. Take a riverboat tour and enjoy hearing about the history of the Riverwalk and recommendations on places to go while you’re in the area. IMG_0172
    • If you are there on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. You CANNOT leave until you have experienced the light show outside San Fernando De Bexar Cathedral. It’s completely free and worth sticking around until 9pm, 9:30pm, or 10pm. fullsizeoutput_ac9
    • We intended on going to Cowboys Dancehall San Antonio after the light show, but I’m an old lady at heart and was ready for bed instead. However, this place has great reviews on TripAdvisor. They offer dance lessons, live music, and tasty drinks if you’re not quite tuckered out yet. me
  • Day 2-
    • Head on back downtown for what you really cannot leave San Antonio before seeing. The Alamo. Do I even need to explain? It just has to be done. To be honest, I was underwhelmed because I expected it to be a lot larger. Which apparently is the case for many. But the amount of history and significance of the destination continues to make it a must-see. fullsizeoutput_ace
    • If you’re in the market for souvenirs then you should definitely make your way to the San Antonio Market Square. There are tons and tons of little shops and stands for you to acquire everything and anything you need and don’t need all at the same time. I saw some pretty large margaritas and there was also live music and performers in the center of the Market Square. IMG_0286
    • Despite The Alamo not being what I anticipated, the San Antonio Missions exceeded all expectations. They make up for in size what they lack in popularity. I had never heard of the Missions before researching things to do on this trip, so they were a pleasant surprise.
    • If you still have time, you could also go to the San Antonio Zoo, Japanese Tea Gardens, maybe even the Old Time Wooden Nickel Company.
  • Day 3-
    • I really wanted to experience something unique and a little weird on this trip. And I definitely succeeded. The Toilet Seat Museum. It’s exactly what you think it is. Hundreds of toilet seats decorated and on display. A very kind, elderly gentleman has been honing his toilet seat decorating craft for decades. He has been on numerous television shows and even honored by the mayor of San Antonio for the museum he runs in a small building located next to his home. Be sure to stop, sign his guest book, and sign the toilet seat for whichever state you hail from. IMG_0304
    • On our way to another excursion, we decided to make a pitstop for a unique photo opportunity. The Largest Boots in Texas. They’re on display outside a mall. I won’t lie. You can skip this. It wasn’t that impressive. IMG_0289
    • Have you ever been down into a cavern? Well a short drive outside of San Antonio you will find Natural Bridge Caverns and Wildlife Ranch. If you’ve never been in a cave, you really must. And if you’ve never driven next to elephants, giraffes, ostrich, and various other wildlife, you really, really must.

San Antonio helped me change my negative Nancy outlook on Texas. Texas was no longer the never ending stretch of hellish heat I was stuck in. Instead, it became an opportunity for adventure I got to conquer- one mile (going 75 mph) at a time. I DO love the speed limit here.

Have you ever been to San Antonio? What did you think and what did you do?

Never been? When will you be coming? I’ll meet you there!

San Antonio pinterest graphic.png

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Health · Military · Random Ramblings · Travel

Long Time No Blog

Guess who’s back… back again…. List Five Blog’s back… tell a friend…. If you didn’t rap that in your head, we can’t be friends.

Well it’s been 8 months since my last post, or 33 weeks and 6 days or 237 days to be exact! Oh how I have missed thee! It really doesn’t feel like it has been that long. So much has happened since my last post in May, job changes and A LOT of traveling. I will write more detailed posts about all of the exciting events, and try to leave out all the boring stuff, over the next few weeks.

Why haven’t I written? Have I been so busy? I’m tempted to say yes, but the fact that I’ve had time to binge watch ALL seasons of the Jersey Shore speaks a louder- NO. I guess it just got away from me. I had numerous instances where I would have thoughts about writing again, but it just never came to fruition.

I knew it was time to get to writing again though when 3 different people in the last week asked me what was going on with my blog, or lack thereof. My sincerest apologies if you enjoyed my ramblings in 2017 and felt completely lost without them (highly doubtful).

So here is a quick highlights reel of the last 8 months:

  1. May 2017- When we left off, my mother in law was visiting us in Texas from Maryland. Later in the month, the bestie came for a visit. We went to San Antonio, Texas for a long weekend.
  2. June 2017- The husband and I went for a trip to visit his brother and boyfriend in Seattle, Washington- I fell in love with the Pacific Northwest.
  3. July 2017- I rejoined the workforce as a Subject Matter Expert in Mathematics. We also explored a bit more of Texas with rivertubing in New Braunfels. MayJuneJuly
  4. August 2017- Since I have a history of working too much, I took on a second job at a local elementary school as a special education paraeducator. I also took a vacation to the Outer Banks, NC with my bestie’s family. The husband stayed in Texas to continue his flight training. Oh and we faced a bit of crazy weather. Hurricane Harvey- you might’ve heard of it.
  5. September 2017- Lots of working and dreaming of future trips.
  6. October 2017- I flew back to Delaware for my grandfather’s funeral. My sister and nieces came to visit us in Texas from Delaware!AugSeptOct
  7. November 2017- Because I can’t stop traveling, I took a roadtrip of New England with my bestie, followed by staying in Maryland to help my mother in law recover from a surgery. It was my birthday and Thanksgiving!
  8. December 2017- Traveling is wonderful, but it’s nice to be back into a routine and working again. At least until we took a little camping trip to Big Bend National Park in west Texas after Christmas. Spending New Years on the Rio Grande is a fantastic way to bring in the New Year!
  9. January 2018- I deactivated my facebook *gasp*! What will I do with all my free time?! Stay tuned my friends. Stay tuned.  NovDecJan

More about my plans for 2018 and everything that happened in 2017 in future posts. I hope all of my readers have been well and I look forward to catching up with you all soon!

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Travel

Preliminary Life in Corpus Christi, Texas

We’ve been in Texas now for a month. There are a couple things I noticed immediately upon crossing the state line from Louisiana into Texas (besides the dead armadillo on the side of the road).

  1. I’ll be damned if everything didn’t suddenly feel bigger. The trucks got bigger, the land seemed to open up, my hair rose about 3 inches. It’s true that everything is bigger in Texas.everything is bigger in Texas
  2. The radio stations. I’d say about 33% became church music. 33% became country. 33% became latin music. 1% everything else.
  3. Bad drivers. When I lived in Delaware, I thought Pennsylvania drivers were the worst. When I lived in Florida, I thought, well I was wrong… Florida drivers are the worst. Now that I’m in Texas, I was wrong… Texas drivers are the worst. Danger. Danger around every corner my friend.
  4. Drive-thrus. There is literally every restaurant I’ve ever heard of and not heard of in Corpus Christi. And almost every single one has a drive thru. I guess it makes sense why it has been named the fattest city in the country.
  5. HEAT. Goodness gracious is it hot. It was only mid April when we arrived and it took us 6+ hours to unload our moving truck. Not because of how much stuff we have, but because we had to keep taking breaks to recuperate from the heat. It is hot. It is humid. And it is not even summer.

In our first month here, we’ve only done a little bit of exploring. Mostly our time has been spent settling in and adjusting to our new basecamp, but we have been able to get out a bit.

  1. Padre Island. One of the first excursions we took was a drive down to Padre Island.
    • We had lunch at Mikel May’s, which is a wonderful place literally hanging over the water. I recommend the seafood nachos. Thick, crispy freshly fried tortillas drenched in parmesan cheese, gulf shrimp, crab meat, and scallops.Lunch Date on the WaterSeafood Nachos
    • We drove down the beach, literally right on the beach. The sand is pretty packed so you don’t need 4 wheel drive to explore, especially if you stick close to the surf. During our drive we came a campsite of a group of people who were mostly nude. This was not a nude beach, but to each his own! We were definitely overdressed, so we turned around and headed back.Off the Gulf Coast in Texas
  2. Farmer’s Markets
    • I have really grown to love farmer’s markets. Being a conscious consumer and supporting local artisans and small business owners is something we should all strive to do more. I’ve been able to find two farmer’s markets in Corpus Christi. The Southside farmer’s market is on Saturdays. My first visit included maybe a dozen vendors and I picked up some homemade soap from one vendor and green beans from another. The second week was their semi-annual craft fair and they had about 40 vendors with everything from musicians, live chickens, jewelry, crafts, baked goods, and fruits and vegetables. There is another farmer’s market in downtown Corpus Christi on Wednesday evenings from 5pm-7pm. I have not been able to venture down there yet, but it is on my to-do list.
  3. Movies and Shopping
    • Corpus Christi has so much shopping! Just like they have every restaurant you could imagine, there is also every store you could ever want to spend all your money in. I haven’t done a significant amount of shopping, besides groceries-in which case, I recommend the HEB- but it’s nice to know the option is there. And believe me, ALL the options are there.
    • I love going to the movies. I’ve grown a deep affinity for popcorn, and have been known to drive 1.5 hours to attend a dine-in theater. I am not ashamed. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a dine-in theater in Corpus Christi yet, but the one theater closest to us has an IMAX and even their standard viewing rooms have these AMAZING reclining seats. It really takes the experience above and beyond.Movie Theater lounging
  4. Downtown Waterfront Strip
    • Finally three weekends into moving here I was able to convince my husband to go explore downtown with me. It was very beautiful! Spanning the entire waterfront there are white gazebos for overlooking the green water. You can spend the afternoon on a rented pedal bike, jet ski, or boat tour. Or you can even buy seafood right off the fisherman’s boat on the pier! Talk about farm to table!! I was most excited to come across the Selena memorial. This was easily the most popular point of the waterfront. Everyone was taking photos with the statue commemorating the life and loss of Selena. The memorial is beautifully crafted with a life-size statue of her entire body and a white rose bloom. There are also murials painted on the water-facing side of the pavilion. Corpus Christi also has a museum for Selena, which I will be sure to visit in the future.IMG_8389IMG_8390
    • Also located at the far end of the waterfront strip is the Art Museum of South Texas. Every first Friday of the month they offer free admission into the museum. If you love art museums this is a great way to spend a couple hours of your time. There is also a spectacular view of the bay, a wonderful cafe if you get hungry or thirsty, and a marvelous fountain with large sculptures outside. The Art Museum is not the only museum located here. There is also the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History. I have yet to visit this museum, but will certainly give a review when we do.IMG_8450Art Museum of South Texas.pngIMG_8449
  5.  Corpus Christi Bay
    • Since my husband is in the military, we are able to rent boats from the Morale,  Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) on base. There are public companies for civilians to do this as well. We rented and 18 ft boat to explore the waters surrounding Corpus Christi. What an amazing way to see the coast and wildlife! We traveled down the shore to get a different view of downtown, the base, the oil rigs out in the water, wind turbines, and Padre Island. Outstanding views!corpus christi bay
    • Part of our boat adventures included docking at Doc’s Seafood Restaurant for lunch. We pulled the boat right up to the back of the restaurant, tied ourselves to the dock, and had a scrumptious lunch before heading back out on the water. I highly recommend the Ahi Tuna Sandwich! My mother in law also said her shrimp and avocado salad was the BEST salad she’s ever had!Doc's Seafood Restaurant
    • There is so much wildlife to see as well. There are 3 dolphins that seem to hang out near the base a lot. I’ve named them Boris, Helga, and Juniper. So many different birds! Big ones, small ones, the ones with the big beaks, I clearly don’t know birds, but there are many and fun to watch the big ones dive bomb into the water with a big splash as they hunt for fish. Speaking of fish, the fish literally jump out of the water down here! It’s quite comical to see! Oh and the jellyfish– not comical to see, and I will NOT be getting into the water.

I guess we have seen and done a lot more than it feels like. And there is so much more on my list! I have my mother in law visiting, and my best friend coming at the end of May. These are perfect opportunities to do more exploring. The definites on my list include going to the USS Lexington, the Selena Museum, Texas Surf Museum, and a Hooks baseball game. My possibly/maybe list would include horseback riding on the beach, the Texas State Aquarium, and glow in the dark mini golf. These are budget dependent.

Stay tuned for more travel updates! Sometimes we get so wrapped up wanting to travel to new and faraway places, we forget to explore where we live! Take a day and be a tourist in your own town! What have you never seen where you currently reside?

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Health · Random Ramblings · Travel

Melting Off the Weight in the Texas Heat.

Texas is hot. Balls fricking hot. I attempted to write this while sitting outside. Not only did I start to melt, but my laptop was slowing down and stroking out. We both had to come inside to recover.

Melting Off the Weightin the Texas Heat

Besides adjusting to the Texas weather (global warming is real), this week has been flipping amazing! And since I haven’t done a list in awhile (how out of character of me), let’s review in list form:

  1. My home is fully unpacked and decorated! It feels so, sooooo good to have a place for everything and everything in it’s place. I never fully unpacked or decorated in Florida since we were only going to be there for a short period of time, so I’m so stinking excited to make my home in Texas feel like my home.
  2. I’m back to writing! It was a long 24 days of not writing on the blog, and it’s one of those things where you’re like…. I don’t feel like it, but then once you do it, you feel so much better. Like working out, or getting a shower. That’s my relationship with writing.
  3. I made the best schedule and I stuck to it all week! For months now I’ve been saying to myself that I’ll be so much more productive if I make myself a schedule. I’ll do so much better with my weightloss if I make a schedule like I did over the summer. And yet, I wouldn’t buckle down and make a schedule. Well Monday I finally forced myself to not only plan out my meals for the week, but also create a daily schedule for my week and it has made all the difference! Not only have I been super productive, but I’ve been eating so healthy, and I’m right on track to hitting my 3% weightloss goal for this month! I’ve talked about my schedules and meal plans on my blog post Eat food. Lose weight. A Recipe for Weight loss. 6D9039B6-C183-4AAA-98B7-F83F33147614This was the meals from one day. minus the Halo Top I had for dessert. Red Velvet Halo Top is now in my top 2 Halo Tops. #1 is Mocha Chip. Halo Top is going to take over the world. I’m also obsessed with those nut bars. There’s some sort of glaze on them, and they’re crunchy and so yummy. They’re made by Nature Valley. Get you some. 
  4. Future travel plans have been confirmed! In my last post I mentioned hoping to be able to go to Seattle to visit my brother-in-law. Well I found dirt cheap airline tickets to Seattle and we jumped on the opportunity. We’re flying on the airline Spirit, which is a budget airline where you only pay for what you use. This means you only get one personal item that flies for free with you. Any other carry on items, checked bags, snacks, choosing your seat is all an additional charge. At first I was hesitant, but I compared what the cost would be flying the next cheapest (Delta) and even after paying for a checked bag, and choosing our seats, it was still $400(!!!) cheaper to fly Spirit. So we will be taking over Seattle at the beginning of June! I can’t wait to plan some great excursions!
  5. Speaking of traveling, being in a new place means I get to explore a whole new city! I haven’t gotten out too much yet. But I did check out my local farmer’s market where I got some new soap, and locally grown green beans. Shop local!! I look forward to going back this Saturday, when there’s supposed to be more vendors. I’ve also been to the beach and had lunch at a unique little place right on the water on the island. It was called Mikal May’s and had really delicious seafood nachos.

     

    I’m pretty excited about how great this week has been! It’s hard to top feeling at home in your home, eating healthy, losing weight, exploring a new city, and buying new soap. Am I right?

In other news, the job hunt continues. I had an interview last week, but haven’t heard anything since. I’ve applied to about a bazillion other places. Fingers crossed something comes along soon!

Any recommendations on Seattle or Washington State excursions?

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Health · Military · Random Ramblings · Travel

Moving. Job hunting. & Weightloss. Oh MY!

It’s been a couple weeks since I have written on the dear ole blog. 24 days to be exact. So what has happened the last 3 weeks and three days?

Moving

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Well first of all, we moved to Texas. We knew there was a chance of moving to Texas. We requested it, as a matter of fact. So we were hoping the Navy would give Yanis orders for Corpus Christi to continue his training, but there was a chance he would be sent to Milton, FL instead. Well, on March 30, we got official, hard-copy orders for Corpus Christi, TX, and we had 15 days to pack up and get there.

Pensacola, FL was a ball of a time. The Naval Air Station there is top notch. The museum and lighthouse are divine, and the downtown area has great shops, bars, and restaurants. We loved going to the ice hockey games, the off roading trails at the Eglin AFB and Blackwater State Park. Let’s not forget the gorgeous, white, sandy beaches, and our quick getaway to New Orleans! Most of all I’m going to miss the friends we made, but I am optimistic we will see them all again in the future! We were only in PCola a short 4.5 months, but we were able to make so much of our time there!

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The upside of moving so much, it forces you to truly prioritize what you need materialistically. Before moving from Delaware, I held 6 yard sales purging stuff. We also had two charity pick ups of tons of stuff we donated. After moving to Pensacola, I identified at least 10 more boxes worth of stuff to get rid of and a couple pieces of furniture. I would easily say we have less stuff than your typical American family and yet that 26 ft moving truck is still full for our drive to Texas. Since arriving and unloading, we’ve picked out even more stuff to get rid of. I’m optimistic we’ll be down to two suitcases and a knapsack by the end of flight school.

Job Hunting

My time in Pensacola was well spent with lots of writing and getting to know myself better- the good and the bad. Now that we are in Texas, I have decided to pursue working for a non profit and in the community again. I miss the sense of purpose I felt when working with The Delaware Readiness Teams. I need that again. So I dusted off the résumé, updated it with my new address and other pertinent details and have been applying pretty aggressively for a new job. You know what’s really annoying about job hunting? It’s so redundant. What is the point of having a résumé, if every job posting is going to require you to fill out their job application, asking for the exact information that can be found on your résumé, and then ask you to attach.. you guessed it.. your résumé. I think job hunting is just as exhausting as working, if not more. Just hire me already. I promise, I’m fabulous.

Weightloss

Moving can not only wreak havoc on my ability to write consistently, but also eat well consistently. The last week of the move we ate pizza three times. I had to pack up all the kitchen stuff at that point, and I also couldn’t find the energy to cook anything, even if I had the supplies to do it. Despite these dietary setbacks, I think a combination of the big losses I had the first couple weeks of my diet bet and the stress burned extra calories and fat. I was able to hit my 4% weightless goal by the hair on my chinny chin chin. So Trump will not be getting a donation from me this month.

Unfortunately the losses haven’t continued on their own organically, and I have gained back 4 of the 8 lbs lost. So my brother and I are revitalizing our diet bet this month. We started as of Friday, April 21 with a couple adjustments. My goal is to lose 3% (6.4lbs) and his goal is to lose 4 lbs. Of course, I’ll keep you updated on the progress along the way. Now I want pizza…

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Oh My!

What a helluva 3 weeks. I have a new city to explore now! We’ve been in Corpus Christi for just over a week now and my first impressions are pretty good! There is literally every single store and restaurant I’ve ever heard of in my whole life here. It’s a bigger population than I’ve ever lived in. There are definitely some sketchy parts, but that is to be expected with any large city. I look forward to exploring and experiencing everything I can before we’re told to pack up and move again!

In the meantime, there’s a lot coming up. The mother-in-law is coming for a visit at the beginning of May, the best friend is coming for a visit at the end of May, culminating in a long weekend in San Antonio. Then we’re going to visit the brother-in-law in Seattle at the beginning of June. It’s going to be a busy, busy couple of months! I’ll do my best to keep the blog updated.

Any recommendations on things to do or see in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, or Seattle?

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Travel

Camelback Mountain Resort

Camelback Mountain Resort.pngLast week I met my family in Pennsylvania for a quick, snowy getaway. This was our second year traveling to Camelback Mountain Resort and we were able to take what we learned from our first trip to make this one even more enjoyable.

Let’s take a look at what the resort has to offer:

  1. Indoor Waterpark: The indoor waterpark is advertised as the best on the east coast, and I can’t help but to agree. I’ve personally been to another Pennsylvania waterpark, that I can’t even recall the name of and the Great Wolf Lodge in Virginia. Camelback’s waterpark surpasses both of these by far. The park as 13 waterslides, a swim-up bar, private cabanas, wave pool, lazy river, splash park, flowrider, and a huge hot tub that extends indoors and outdoors. IMG_7996
  2. Skiing/Snowboarding: I’m not a skier or snowboarder myself. I attempted snowboarding once, but failed miserably at the stopping part. My bum still has not forgotten. Alas, due to my lack of skills, I cannot give a comprehensive review of this portion of the resort. I will say they have everything you need right there. Lessons, gear rental, various trails, lifts. I don’t know what else you might need, but it appears they know what they’re doing there and you can get your ski and snowboard on whether you are a novice or experienced snow bunny.
  3. Snowtubing: The resort boasts 42 lanes for snow tubing. Both times I have been, they only had half the lanes open, so that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Regardless, it’s still a wonderful time, and I highly recommend taking the time to check it out. Despite not having a lick of talent in the standing up snow sports, I can really rock a sit and slide sport like snow tubing. Our second day at the resort was spent throwing ourselves onto inflated inner tubes and hurtling down a hill as quick as gravity would take us. Zero talent or experience needed.
  4. Food: The resort has multiple restaurants directly on site you can feast. We enjoyed the buffet for dinner the first night. In my opinion the food was really good, but it was very pricey at $23/person. That evening my best friend and her husband arrived late and ordered room service. Again the food was good and the price seemed reasonable, but they automatically charged a $5 room service charge and 18% gratuity to the order which made the price not so reasonable anymore. The next day we had breakfast at the buffet (again overpriced). Lunch at the sushi restaurant was more reasonably priced and the roll I received was very tasty. My only note would be that there were not that many different options. That evening for dinner we opted to order pizza from a local business. I believe it was called Big Papi’s and it was absolutely great! The price was reasonable, they delivered quickly, and the pizza was delicious. Our third and final day at the resort we decided to eat at a local restaurant named Barley Creek Brewing Co & Distillery. I recommend this place a million times over!
  5. Indoor Activities: The resort does not stop at only offering skiing/snowboarding, snow tubing, and an indoor waterpark. There is also an arcade, indoor high ropes course, mini golf, laser tag, pottery painting, scavenger hunts, rock climbing, crafts and mini bowling. All of these activities are excellent, but come at an additional cost. I thought the price for most activities was comparable to anywhere, but in my opinion the arcade was grossly overpriced. Although, we had an absolute ball in the laser tag. Unfortunately we wanted to try the high ropes course, but it was closed for maintenance for our entire stay.

Some lessons learned were definitely to be more prepared in regards to food to save money. The convenience of eating directly on site was great, but I’m not sure the cost of the buffet really makes it worth it. At least not for me. If we return, I will definitely do my oatmeal breakfasts in the room and prepare lunch in the room as well. Although, I didn’t think the sushi restaurant was expensive, so that could be an option for one day. And then we’d probably eat out at a restaurant off resort for dinner.

Highlights from the trip:

  1. Indoor Waterpark: My favorites in the waterpark are the outdoor hot tub and the group slide, the Venus Slydetrap. Our first year at the resort in 2016 we probably went down the slide a dozen times. This year I only did it once and I wish I had done it more! Same thing with the hot tub. The first year we spent so much time in the outdoor hot tub. They even had some steps we’d brave standing on in the open freezing air for as long as we could bear before plunging ourselves back into the warmth of the hot tub. This year, I was saving the hot tub for our long day in the park, and then was greatly disappointed when only the indoor portion was open. Of course it was open again the day we were leaving. Go figure.
  2. Skiing/Snowboarding: I wish I had the skills needed to snowboard. I really want to try skiing because I feel like I might be able to do that better, but I’m also very cheap and didn’t want to spend the cash on lessons. Despite no one skiing or snowboarding there was still a moment that stuck out. My brother-in-law seriously contemplated trying it out, but was quickly deterred by a woman at the desk selling lift tickets and gear rentals. Her response to his request was, “Sir, are you sure you want to try, at this stage in your life?” Which of course we took as a stab at his age, and we laughed and laughed and laughed.
  3. Snow tubing: The highlight of snow tubing this year was no one having a bad time. Last year my sister-in-law almost fell from the magic carpet that pulls you to the top of the hill, and my brother lost his phone. This year was drama free and everyone simply had a ball of a time. Also, it snowed our first night there, which was super exciting since it’s been an unseasonably warm winter, so the snow was real and fresh!1318172714775|Carlos Tejeda/1843~LEFT  Hill
  4. Food: My highlights on food would be the pizza we ordered from Big Papa’s and the breakfast place, Barley Creek. I had the eggs benedict and a side of scrapple. Oh how I have missed scrapple.
  5. Indoor Activities: Definitely the laser tag. Without a doubt, the laser tag. It was $8.99 a person, but well worth every dime.

Well Camelback, yet again you provided a wonderful vacation for me and my family. Will we return? I’m not sure, simply because as much as I love it there, I would also like to go somewhere else to add to my list of travels. Perhaps somewhere in Vermont or New Hampshire. Anyone have recommendations?

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