Petroglyphs & White Sands

Saturday, Jan. 16th:
Bryan and I planned on waking up early to ride the tram up Sandia Peak and then to go see the Petroglyph National Monument. This didn’t work out unfortunately because the tram ended up being closed due to high wind speeds. We instead went to a nearby Indian market and checked out the art work made by a few Navajo artists. We were taken away by some of the paintings and pottery, but especially by this hand made coyote skin quiver filled with hand-crafted arrows. It was absolutely beautiful, but regrettably also very expensive. I should have at least gotten a picture of such fine craftsmanship but it didn’t cross my mind at the time. Instead we opted for a gorgeous dream-catcher, an authentic arrow head, and a couple gifts for my father who has always taken an interest in Native American history. After leaving the market place, I started to feel ill so we decided to skip the petroglyphs and head home where I took a nap for a few hours.
Once awakening from my slumber, I felt much better and we made our way to the monument. We arrived about an hour before they closed the gates so we had to make our visit quick. We drove over to Boca Negra Canyon and climbed our way up to the top in a hurry. We learned that the petroglyphs carved into the volcanic rock are very spiritual to the Pueblo Indians and date back to at least 3000 years. Witnessing these ancient drawings inspired infinite thoughts of where they may have come from, what they meant, and who is responsible for them. Since there’s no way to know for sure, the possibilities are endless. Just in my own mind I came up with countless possible scenarios in the short time we had there.
Honestly, I find it a little frustrating that we will never know their purpose for certain, however, it’s also sort of inspiring in a way.
Afterwards, we couldn’t find anything unique to New Mexico that was both still open and interested us, so we played arcade games at the local Dave and Busters where we won a little over 3000 tickets. I spent these tickets on an adorable giraffe Hello Kitty stuffed animal. Definitely tickets well spent, if you ask me.
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(See? Freaking adorable.)

Sunday, Jan. 17th:
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(Happy birthday, Daddy!)

The Plan: Wake up early, have breakfast at a café on Sandia Peak by riding the tram, drive 3 and a half hours to White Sands National Monument.
Why the plan failed: I am the furthest thing from a morning person and waking up early is nearly impossible, apparently I also made this café up because it doesn’t exist (even though I swear I saw it on their website! Bryan of course doesn’t believe me because he checked and couldn’t find it. This is obviously a conspiracy against me to make me look stupid.), and once again the tram was closed due to high winds.
SO! Straight to White Sands we go!
We stopped at Del Taco for breakfast on account of the original plan falling through, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise because they have an amazing breakfast quesadilla with eggs, bacon, and LOADS OF CHEESE! The 3 hour drive wasn’t so bad considering it was abundant in beautiful mountain scenery. (And because I didn’t have to drive any of it. ;D ) When we finally arrived at White Sands we drove up to the boardwalk area where we learned about all the different plants and animals that call this particular desert home. Perhaps one of the most interesting facts is that all of the animals that live there (with the exception of one beetle) have adapted to their surroundings by being colored lighter than their relatives located elsewhere, allowing them to blend in with the bleached sand to escape predators. We continued on our exploration of the desert, climbed tall dunes, wrote our names in the sand, and eventually met a cute camel named Mitchell. Then, after failing to be able to slide down the dunes on our own, we broke down and bought a couple sleds from the gift shop. This is when the fun really began!
We raced each other down the steep sand dunes, giggling and screaming all the way to the bottom each time. We ultimately became exhausted and hungry (not to mention parched from the dry air) and decided it was time to leave. On the drive home, Bryan stopped along the side of the road so we could watch the sunset behind the mountains. It was an phenomenal site, almost comparable to the stars that filled the night sky shortly after.
We stopped again at the same Del Taco on the way back to the hotel, and I’m pretty sure I’m obsessed now. It may have taken over being my favorite taco drive thru. (This is a pretty big deal and completely relevant.) We were both pooped by the time we got back from our long day of adventuring and fell asleep almost immediately upon arrival.

Roswell/Albuquerque

After we left the Carlsbad Caverns we made our way to the famous alien-themed town of Roswell. I was a little surprised at how run down it was considering I’ve heard it is a popular tourist town, but the alien stuff was pretty sweet! We stopped at the UFO museum about an hour before closing time, so we had to hurry through the exhibits. Most of the displays were old newspaper clippings, articles, and pictures of UFO sightings from the 70s. There was also information about the Roswell UFO crash incident in 1947. It was all very interesting. They also had a few large alien displays. My favorite part was the various painting and artwork presentations at the end of the museum.


(UFO Museum)

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(Mountains in ABQ)

After the museum we stopped at a local Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner, then made our way to our hotel in Albuquerque. The voyage to town was once again very uneventful, without much civilization. We even almost ran out of gas at one point on account of there being quite a bit of distance between stations. Finally we made it into ABQ where we checked into Howard Johnson ABQ Midtown. The hotel is clean, with comfy beds and they even gave us a free upgrade to a room with more space since we are staying 2 weeks! They serve free continental breakfast until 9 a.m. which is nice on the mornings that I actually wake up before noon. Although, they don’t have much of a selection but the coffee is pretty good and I love cereal, so no complaints here (other than not being available a little later). The most exciting thing about staying in this hotel is the indoor heated pool because I have a strange obsession with water. There is also a hot tub, but unfortunately, the heater was broken so the water was colder there than it was in the pool. While we’re on the subject of water temperature, for some reason the shower is always cold. For the entire week we’ve been here, the water in our bathroom was only hot once. This little fact really sucks because it’s winter time and pretty cold here. We’ve had a few other issues with this hotel, such as our mini fridge freezes all our food and drinks and the wifi is constantly disconnecting and always has a terrible connection. However, overall I would say our stay here has been quite pleasant and the good definitely outweighs the bad, especially for the price. (About $611 for 2 weeks, thanks to orbitz.com)
Wednesday night we had dinner at a restaurant called Sadie’s of New Mexico. It was absolutely delicious, albeit being VERY spicy. Bryan ordered shredded brisket enchiladas with red chili sauce and they were even too much for him, and he’s a fan of fiery cuisine. I had the ribeye steak with a cheese enchilada. I took 2 bites of the enchilada and had to send it back because my entire face felt like it was on fire. They brought me another minus the chili sauce without hesitation. Definitely a place you should check out if you like the spicier things in life! (My brother-in-law, Davey, comes to mind)

The weekend will be here in a few short hours, so I should have more to tell you guys about soon. Have a wonderful weekend and I’ll be back soon to inform you of our adventures!
XOXO

First Stop!

Well, we finally made it to New Mexico!

After what felt like the longest drive in the history of forever, we finally made it out of the great lone star state.  Poor Bryan drove most of the way here through west Texas all the way up to the Carlsbad Caverns. It was quite a boring drive considering most of it is plains filled with oil fracking sites and industrial plants. Not to mention not much civilization. I will say that the benefit of being away from everything is the night sky. My goodness it is absolutely stunning! I grew up in the country, so I’m no stranger to the beauty of the stars, however I have never witnessed anything quite like this. We were so far out in the middle of nowhere that there wasn’t a single trace of light and you could see all of the stars shining brightly up in the pitch black sky. It was truly an amazing sight. When morning came we stopped at an Ihop about 30 minutes away from the caverns where I took over the task of driving so Bryan could get a quick nap in before we began our hike. (He probably got a total of 3 hours of sleep, on top of us not being the most active couple- meaning we don’t do shit- before our 3.75 mile hike underground.) Neither of us had ever had the pleasure of experiencing a cave before, so this was a first for the both of us, and we certainly were not disappointed. The caverns are located in the Guadalupe Mountains, so the drive ended up being far more exciting with brilliant views of the mountain range.  The perspective from inside the caverns was breathtaking. I spent quite a while pondering the beauty of nature completely mesmerized by the sites underground, that something so beautiful exists naturally. The elevators were broken during our visit so we had to hike in and out of the natural entrance, which isn’t so easy if you’re not in shape. Well, going in wasn’t quite as bad as leaving when we had to walk up the incline for 1.5 miles. (Bryan almost died.) I would have to say it was well worth it though, and I’m actually glad the elevators weren’t in service. Although, Bryan probably wouldn’t agree. Haha
My only disappointment was that we went at a time when there weren’t any bats present. They only show up during the late summer/ early fall. But I suppose this only gives us an excuse to come back in the future! (;

2016

Another year down!
Bryan and I had the privilege of celebrating the new year with our friends since we’re spending a little over a week in the Ft. Worth area before we head out on our journey.
It was an absolute blessing. These people are like a second family. Always there when you need them and a blast to hang out with as well. They truly are the entire friendship package.
I’ll miss y’all more than you realize. <3
And a special thank you to my secret santa, Janet. I adore my gift, it’s wonderful, just like you. (:

I have high hopes for this year. So much is happening very soon and I look forward to a year of personal growth and adventure with my darling by my side.
Happy New Year, everyone.
XOXO

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Trail of Lights

Many Austin natives know all about the infamous Trail of Lights in Zilker Park. This year was a first for me. The set up is beautiful with different light set ups by different groups around the Austin area. It’ll cost you $3 to get in the park, but it’s well worth it. However, if you plan on parking there, you will need to buy a parking pass online before you arrive. Let me warn you– it can get quite hectic. We had Bryan’s mom drop us off, then we took our first uber out. (Which was quite a pleasant experience, albeit we were nervous about it at first.) The lights are all beautiful and there are plenty of vendors throughout the park if you get hungry or would like to buy souvenirs.  There was also a ferris wheel and a carousel. The north pole with Santa was already closed by the time we got there, as well as Candy Land. The trail was super crowded and it was kind of difficult to navigate with everyone stopping sporadically in front of us, but like I said, the lights are worth it. A great place to take the kids if you have them, or just to see the lights yourself if you love Christmas. I’d say overall it was a pleasant experience. Would have been better if there weren’t quite so many people, but what are you gonna do? Everyone loves Christmas lights. Hahaha
Happy holidays!

XOXO

Fabi & Rosi

On Tuesday October 20th, (I know, I know. I’m behind already.) Bryan and I visited an adorable little European restaurant called Fabi and Rosi. It’s located near downtown Austin, in a neighborhood area, on Hearn St. There is plenty of parking right across the street, so that’s one less thing for you to worry about should you decide to visit.

The first thing I noticed is that there is a cute outdoor dining area. The best word to describe this place would be charming. It’s decorated in black and white, with candles hanging from the ceiling in little bubbles. The atmosphere is quiet, although it was a Tuesday night, and is perfect for date night. The windows are tinted so there isn’t too much brightness or heat from the sun. They feature a kind, knowledgeable wait staff and our waiter was more than happy to explain the menu to us. He even gave us a few wine suggestions. We ordered the Nigl Brut Rose, it was sensational! I’m not much of a wine connoisseur, however, this is the best wine I personally have ever tasted. (Granted I’m 23 years old and usually drink cupcake moscato and am completely fine with a $10 bottle.) On Thursday nights the do half priced wine, both by the glass and the bottle, so I would strongly recommend checking that out.)

Since we arrived during happy hour (5 pm – 6:30), the appetizers were all $5 and the boards were $8.  We also got $2 off our wine, and they also do this for beer, if you’re more of a beer person.  We settled on the Brotzeit board with bratwurst, pretzel, and obatzda beer cheese. Oh my goodness, that pretzel was delicious dipped in the beer cheese. As some of you may know, I am a cheese fanatic, so of course, I was excited about the cheese. The bratwurst was also amazing. It was served with a mustard sauce that I didn’t care for, but it honestly didn’t even need it because it was delicious and full of flavor. Also worth mentioning: the pickles! I think they may make them in house because they had a fresh, cucumber-y taste. You can never go wrong with pickles, but in this case, they really outdid themselves. (I’m also a bit of a pickle fanatic, but it’s not as bad as the cheese.)

The main course was exquisite! I enjoyed the roasted duck. This was the most succulent, perfect bird I’ve ever eaten. Golden brown, sliced up in bite sized sections. The meat to fat ratio couldn’t be more on point. Tender, moist and delicious. This was my first time to ever try duck, and I was not disappointed.  The duck breast was served on a bed of creamy polenta, which is like nothing I’ve ever eaten before with a flavor all it’s own. Even after I was stuffed, I couldn’t quit taking bites of it! I also ordered a side of the truffle fries. These are an absolute MUST. They were so good!! And they come with a side of the best sauce! I’m not sure what it was, but I know it was scrumptious. Bryan ordered himself the rabbit stew, which was also a first for the both of us. We both agree that it’s reminiscent of beef, but a little tougher. (Not that it’s tough, as that is not the case at all.) After our meal we ordered dessert, but I cannot for the life of me remember what it was called. It was something lemon with a graham cracker crust (my favorite!). It was heavenly, although I didn’t really care for the “whipped cream”. I put it in quotations because it obviously wasn’t actually whipped cream, but it had a similar consistency.

My rating for Fabi and Rosi: a solid 5 stars. I adored the décor, the atmosphere, and above all else, the food!! Perfect if you’re in the mood for something unique and out of the ordinary. I strongly suggest you try it! What’ve you got to lose?

XOXO

Adventure Awaits!

So it’s getting down to crunch time!
This weekend we will be packing our things and downsizing our belongings. Then next week, we stay in our first hotel in the DFW area. We will be seeing our friends and families one last time before hitting the road at the beginning of the year. (around Jan. 9th)
The first state we will be visiting is New Mexico.
Stay tuned for more information on our trip and to see what adventures await us!
XOXO

GO HORNS!

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We went to the UT game with our friends Andrew and Matt a few weeks ago!

It was a great experience getting to see everything happen so close, but I think I prefer watching the game at home on my television in the air conditioning! Haha. It was super hot outside so we were sweating to death while being in a very crowded area. Plus we were drinking beer that definitely didn’t agree with the sun. Not to mention our team lost and traffic was horrible so we missed all the tailgate parties.  (I suppose that is my own fault for sleeping in.. Oops!)

I know it seems like I’m being a Debbie downer, but I actually am glad that I went. Although next time I think I’ll watch from the comfort of my couch with beer that doesn’t cost $8 a pop and unlimited snacks. (;

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Hello World

My very first blog post… HOW EXCITING!

Bryan and I have been in Austin for a couple weeks now. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to get out much due to insufficient funds after Bryan was out of work after switching companies. He is now back at work and we should have lots of adventures to post about before you know it! We did get to experience a few things, however. The first being a restaurant off of highway 71 called Jack Allen’s Kitchen. And let me just say, we will definitely be going back!! The first thing I noticed was the beautiful, homey atmosphere. I absolutely loved the décor and our waitress (I can’t remember her name for the life of me!) was charming, charismatic, and very knowledgeable about the menu and the restaurant in general. The menu isn’t very long, and there aren’t too many options- which is perfect for me as the world’s worst decision maker. They also have a full outside bar, covered and surrounded by trees. It feels as if you’re in a forest or something.
Since we arrived right in between lunch and dinner, the waitress gave us the option to either order the lunch specials or wait 15 minutes to get 1/2 priced appetizers. We opted for the appetizer and ordered the blue crab gratin (originally $10.99). Being the seafood lovers that we are, we adored it, but it does have a very fishy taste so I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who isn’t a big seafood fan. The gratin came with ciabatta bread crackers made from scratch in-house! For my main course, I ordered the chicken fried pork chops, and let me just say, I could literally rave about these all day! They were everything a fried pork chop should be- crispy on the outside, tender and moist on the inside, covered in succulent gravy. To say they were perfect would be an understatement. And the mashed potatoes that it comes with were heavenly. Bryan ordered the fish tacos (which of course, I sampled) and they were absolutely divine. We were offered dessert as well, but after our meals, we were both stuffed.
Our waitress did warn us that the menu changes frequently, but I’d be willing to wager that anything from Jack Allen’s would be amazing. If you haven’t been, I highly suggest going!

"Oh, the places you'll go, Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!" -Dr. Seuss