Monday, March 26, 2012

Back from Vacation...

Its been a nice week spending time with my MIL, FIL and fam.  Today was their last day in town as they've all headed out back to California. I've gotta say, I definitely took a break from eating super healthy since everyone wanted to go all out and splurge. Since I've got 6-7 more weeks to go till we fly back to San Diego for a wedding, I figured I could get back in shape by then. Plus, it's not too often we have family in town so why not, right?

The first day meeting up with my fam was nice. They stayed at the Westin Oaks which is attached to the Galleria Mall. That mall is the biggest mall I've seen so far with stores like Jimmy Choo, Fendi, Gucci and every brand you could think of! I'd compare it to the likes of the Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas as well as South Coast Plaza in Irvine, Ca.  Best mall on my list so far!  Not to mention, they had a great balcony and overview of the Galleria area of Houston with Nordstrom Rack and the Grand Lux across the street. 

We spent the wee hours of the night walking through the mall after grabbing a quick bite to eat at Chili's.  To my left was the "Ice" at the Galleria where surprisingly there was a huge class of kids at the far end getting ready to skate after the whole mall was closed. 

After calling it a night and heading back to the room, my MIL and FIL surprised us with the new iPad!!! Seriously, that was the most unexpected gift as we've never asked for it nor does my other half really care much for it. The funny thing is, whenever the iPad comes up in any conversation with friends, I always say it's something I would never get myself and it would have to either be given as a gift from someone else since I've already got my MacBook Pro and iPhone. It's one of those "oh I wish I had one, but I don't really need it" kind of thing. Now that we have it, it's super convenient! Plus I've got a complete set for home and travel now, haha.  Thanks Mom and Pops!

quality of the shot was ehh...

The following day was like any usual work day. I had to put together a quick outfit for an interview with the Houston-West Chamber of Commerce...A fuchsia collared ruffled blouse with a pinstriped vest and high wasted pencil skirt to match. My apologies for the unclear shot. I was totally in a hurry and for some reason the shots I was taking weren't coming out clear enough.  Thankfully though, the meeting went well!  Later that night, we met up with the fam at the Grand Lux Cafe Restaurant...

Mmm...My Indochine Shrimp and Chicken was delish and the company was even better!  

The day after, all eight of us hopped in our Chevy Suburban and drove on a straight shot to Austin, Tx. It didn't take very long for us to get there, however we did make a few stops on the way, lol. No, we didn't make a stop at the smoke shop above.  The gas station happens to be on the same lot and I thought it was funny seeing Cheech and Chong rolled up on the side, haha...

Thanks to Yelp and our trusty Garmin navigator, we found this awesome restaurant called the Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill.  It was there that I had Chicken and Waffles for the first time and boy was it tasty! For my main dish, I had the Pecan Crusted Catfish with dashes of Tobasco sauce on top along with Crawfish, sides of veggies and Rosemary Sweet Potatoes mMMmmm...It's true, Texas food is really bigger and better!

Austin is such a lovely city to visit and I'd have to say, the atmosphere and environment is quite modern and populated with many young students and working professionals.  For the first time in a long time I saw hills of greenery which was so refreshing! 

Full from a tasty lunch, we headed off to the State Capitol where we relaxed under trees of shade and enjoyed the calm and peaceful atmosphere that surrounded us. We spent some R&R together while our family took a tour of all the historic buildings.  The hub and I liked Austin so much that we spoke about going back for an overnight stay one of these days in the future.  

During the last portion of our stay in Austin, one of our Uncle's spoke about visiting the World's Largest Urban Bat Colony that happened to be in the area. I didn't realize that this bat colony was right under the bridge that takes place every night! There were so many folks that came to see these bats take off at around 7PM. It was interesting to see them all fly out from under the bridge.  I've never seen such a thing, but glad to have made a stop at this park for the experience!

It was back on the road again for another 2 hours as we had to make it to our hotel in San Antonio.  When we finally arrived, I headed straight for the bar for a Cranberry Vodka.  Let me tell you, that ride definitely called for not just one, but two!  Since most of the restaurants had closed by the time we arrived, we ordered for a delivery of Pizza to our hotel room. After filling our stomachs, we all called it a night until the pesky hotel fire alarm went off! OMG, what a night! Luckily it was a false alarm, but it was the most unpleasant sound to hear at 3AM. 

Nevertheless, I caught up on some sleep and woke up not too long after.  Since the hub had to do some work, we stayed near and walked behind the hotel which was right along the Riverwalk.  Hidden away behind lush trees, it was very serene and quiet.  My family seemed to love the atmosphere of San Antonio and we were just glad that they were enjoying their stay.  

Brunch was to die for!  We all headed to the Guenther House which is a historic Flour Mill and award winning restaurant that's open daily for breakfast and lunch.   The house was so cute and the food was ridiculously good! The place was actually recommended to us by family from Louisiana and we're all so glad to have visited this charming place!  Yes, I took a bite out of my biscuit before taking the picture because it was so good! I had the Breakfast Platter which had biscuits, strawberry preserves, gravy, sausage patties, eggs and rosemary potatoes along with fruits.  Oh yes and a short stack of pancakes!!! Holy smokes they were! Before leaving this place, my family and I went a little crazy and shopped for souvenirs! 

We all decided to make a trip to Ft. Sam Houston military base afterwards for more shopping and to visit some extended family that's based there.  Not too long after, we all headed back home to Houston since we couldn't make it out to our other destinations as planned so we decided to just do it all the next day...

So there happens to be a huge ice cream factory mill called Blue Bell Creameries located in Brenham, Tx which I never knew about.  I've seen the ice cream sold in stores, but never knew of its location.  When we arrived, the place was so crowded and populated with tourists, I was completely amazed! Unfortunately we didn't get to do the full on tour, however we were able to stock up on ice cream! $1 a scoop compared to $2.50 a scoop outside of the factory! Man, I had three scoops of the Rocky Mountain, Cherry Vanilla and Caramel Fudge YUM!!!

Yes, I had dessert before lunch which was not a good thing, but it was worth it! We drove ten more minutes out to a little shopping area of Brenham, Tx where we grabbed a quick bite to eat at a place called Must Be Heaven where the food was "Absolutely Delicious".  It definitely reminded me of an ole countryside restaurant.  Oh yea, I even mingled with the elderly neighbors! LOL!

Did more shopping and picked up some fab vintage items that I can't wait to share with you all!  That'll have to be in the next few posts since I'm trying to catch up with all my other review updates. After our foodscapade, we did a little drive through the countryside to check out the Texas Bluebonnet flowers that people had stopped on the side of the road to take pictures of. It was quite refreshing to see a lot of greenery. 

It was a vacation well worth it and it was even better to have been surrounded by our family whom have never visited Texas before. The road trip experience was fun and I hope to do that again soon with just the hub.  Hope you've enjoyed my journey so far as I wanted to share a glimpse of my experience on the road this past week while I was MIA. I did receive some packages while I was out of a few purchases I made and can't wait to eventually share with you all what I got.  Till the next post! XoXo



  1. looks like you had a great time!! :)

    1. Sure did! It definitely took a lot out of me, but I can't wait to go on another one! I certainly enjoy visiting new places! ;)

  2. Hi Jen! Thank you for your kind words on my previous post! Im glad you had a great time with your family
    and the new ipad :) Lovely photos!

    1. Aww, thank you and for also stopping by!!! ;) Hope you have a fabulous day! XoXo

  3. Thank you for visiting my blog! :) It was my pleasure! You have a nice blog too. I am sure going to be a constant visitor here :P Take care!!

    Missy Shugah

    1. For sure Missy! Thank you!!! I will definitely do the same ;) XoXo

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