Category Archives: outings

What I’m Thankful For Thursday Part 1

I am really into gratitude and the power of positive thinking.  I have read several books and countless articles (here is one)on the topic and I really believe it is all mindset.  My problem is I am by nature a Debbie Downer. It comes with the territory.

So, I have to force myself to be positive and sometimes, it feels a little forced.  Every book I have read on the subject says you have to fake it till you make it a real habit.  This is why I am starting Thankful Thursdays, to get myself in “the attitude of gratitude” <—The Secret anyone?  So everyday I have jotted down something I am thankful for.  Here is a short list of things I am grateful for this week:

  • Family time… at Sweet Berry Farms!….Who knew a pumpkin patch could be so much fun!

 

  • The Waco Zoo…we went on the spur of the moment and it was so nice!  Full of surprises and fun family memories.

 

  • Good Health….I’ve had some bad health issues in my family. Nothing makes you appreciate your health more than being sick, so I am thankful that my immediate family is as healthy as can be right now.

 

  • Good Friends Old And New…That bring surprises and love

 

  • Lady Bird Lake /Town Lake 4.2…I did it!  Walking a huge chunk of Lady Bird Lake/Town Lake was actually an item on my bucket list for Austin and I am so glad I got to walk  that with my friend and daughter in tow.  It was so beautiful and it made me fall in love with Austin all over again.

 

town lake

 

 

  • The Trailer Park…OMG go to Torchy’s Tacos and get a Trailer Park taco.  You can thank me later.  So good!

 

  • That Paco Lopez Had A Home.  So, the other day while my friend and I were walking Lady Bird/Town Lake we found a dog and his name was Paco Lopez.  he was wandering around in a more residential part of the trail.  We texted the number on the collar and they texted us back that Paco Lopez was indeed lost.  We tried to keep an eye on the dog, but somehow or another we lost the dog while doing all of this texting.  My friend, went looking for him close in to the residential homes. Eventually one of the neighbors, a Hispanic man with a thick Spanish accent, came out of his house wondering what she was doing?  We eventually understood him to say that Paco lived at the next door neighbors house. So Paco Lopez wasn’t lost, but home.  Horary!

 

  • That My Hair Is NOT GRAY Anymore….Thanks friend!  Never dyed hair that early in the morning before and amazingly enough we didn’t get it on anything except my favorite pair of shorts.

 

No More Grays

  • For Anita…who started THE CHALLENGE.  I haven’t lost any weight yet, but I am watching what I eat and doing more exercise.  For me it is really going to be baby steps

 

  • For Chef Paul Prudhomme…May God Bless his Soul!  We will forever love the food  he blessed us with!  Check out these touching photos from his funeral and second line.

 

  • For My Friend Taking Me To See… Bob Schneider, an Austin legend at the Saxon Pub…also another Austin bucket list item.  He was amazing!  Go see Bob if he comes to your town.  I have one of his songs jammed in my head right now and I am thinking about downloading it on itunes  <—-y’all that is serious!

 

  • Vacation Days…My husband is on vacation right now and it is really good to spend a lot of quality family time together.  He is also knocking some household projects out of the park and off of my honey do list!  Thank gawd!   Today is his final day off and we went for a hike this morning at Walnut Creek Park.

Walnut Creek Park Saints

Look at us SPORTING our Saints gear on game day. Geaux Saints!!!!

What is something you are thankful for today?  Play along in the comment section.

I am thankful the Saints are playing a prime time game and we get to watch them on TV while sporting our Saints gear!

Sweet Berry Farms

This weekend we made a run for  hill country and headed to Sweet Berry Farms in Marble Falls. We actually got out of the house for 9:40AM, a house record (HR)! The drive was gorgeous and entertaining and took a little over an hour.  I enjoyed the conversation we had on the way up to the farm.  The Artist is my favorite person to talk to.

We got there around 11AM and were shocked to see the parking lot nearly full.  After being directed to a parking spot, we got out the car and walked up to the front of Sweet Berry Farms.  Everything is a la cart at Sweet Berry Farms, so whatever you want to do you pay for it separately. They use a cash or check only system so the place has a family friendly financial feeling too it, makes it more nostalgic.  Since Be Be is still young we opted to just do a few things like the corn maze, feeding the goats, and the berry jump.

Of course there were lots of photo opportunities.  I will apologize now that this post is a bit heavy on the photos, but look at the cuteness!

Eva Pumpkins 2015

Sweet Berry Farms 2015 Eva Pumpkins II

When we first got there we ate lunch at the picnic tables.  I showed enormous foresight and packed up some sandwiches, chips and snacks for the occasion.  I even remembered water for everyone, but forgot paper towels.   This was Be Be’s first time eating a sandwich (peanut butter and jelly) she ate about half of it so, I will call that a win.  Then we walked around and took some more photos of cuteness.  The grounds are really set up for photos and stand up cut out photo opportunities are everywhere.

Sweet Berry Farms 2015 Eva Cut Out

Daddy had to hold her up

Eva Pumpkin 2015Sweet Berry Farms 2015 Me n cut out

Cutest pumpkin ever

The Artist wanted to do the corn maze and kids 3 and under are free so we did that at $2.50 per person plus tax.  It was the children’s maze that we went through.  Apparently, there is also an adult maze that takes 45 min or longer to complete, it is called, the Texas maze.  But like I said  we went with the kids maze and it was quite challenging.  The kids maze was perfect for Be Be and she loved running around in the corn field telling us which way to go.

Sweet Berry Farms 2015 Eva Corn Maze

I know! shorts in Mid October.  Ah the Life!

After that Be Be wanted to do the Berry Bounce.  It is some sort of aired up trampoline that the kids bounce on.  It is pretty cool.  Be Be didn’t really jump, she sat down and got bounced and she loved it.

Sweet Berry Farms 2015 Eva Berry Bounce

When the worker called “Times up”  all of the children got off of the Berry Bounce…except mine.  She refused to come off and was out there all by herself where I called and called to her from the sidelines.  Finally, I realized I would have to go and get her so I made my way towards her.  As I started to walk across the Berry Bounce, she took off running and I had to chase her all over both Berry Bounces.  When I finally caught her, she was laughing so hard she was snorting.  It was hysterical!

On our way out of Sweet Berry Farms, we stopped off to feed the goats.  She loved having the goats lick her hands.  And I got to say, these were some very tame goats.

Sweet Berry Farms 2015 Eva Goats

On the way back to the car, Be Be fell in the dirt and skinned her elbow.  It made me sad to see her cry and be in pain.  We then headed home and talked in the car about making this a new fall family adventure.  It definitely was worth the drive out there.

Sweet Berry Farms 2015 Family Photo

Family Photo!

Sweet Berry Farms 2015 Eva Passed Out

Mission Accomplished!

Totals for the day:

Gas $10

Berry Bounce $2.50

Corn Maze $5.00

Goat Food $.25

Picnic Food $10

Total for the day $27.75

How about you?  Do you have any Fall Family traditions?  Ever been to a pumpkin patch? 

The Waco Zoo

On a lark, we decided to head out of town this morning…early, tossing caution and grocery shopping to the wind.  Errands BE DAMNED!!!!!By early I mean about 10:30; you know it is hard to get toddlers moving in the morning.  We headed North on I35 to the Waco Zoo with Be Be and some snacks.  It took about and hour and a half to drive from Austin to Waco.  There was construction half of the way which really sucked to drive through.

This past Mardi Gras, we took Be Be to the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, at the time, she was about 2 years and 4 months old.  I am pretty sure that she remembers nothing of it save maybe the beautiful pink flamingos we saw at the entrance.  And that is only because we remind her about it, so I’m not really sure she she actually remembers it or we are just forcing the memory.

We listened to the audiobook : The Millionaire Next Door on the way up to Waco.  I’ll have to do a whole review on that one at another time. but the jest of it is that the richest percentage of American millionaires live frugally  (well below their means).   They never buy new cars, and a lot of them are entrepreneurs. More to come on this audiobook review later.  Anyway, then we stopped and had Chipotle for lunch which was a treat for us frugal people, but ended up not being worth it.  Our bowls were small, not how we had remembered Chipotle to be.  Boo!

When we got to the zoo it was $10 per person kids 3 and under free which is not what their web site said admission was.  The web site said $9 per person, child free.

 

Waco Zoo Entrance

Source

 

We walked through the gates and found the first two exhibits to be seemingly  empty or at least we could not locate the animals.  Going into it, my expectations for the Waco Zoo were not that high.  Then we turned a corner in the zoo and I saw some bald eagles.  I thought to myself “I don’t think I have ever seen a bald eagle before, our nation’s bird.” and right then and there I was impressed with the zoo.

After that we were put on a path that meandered around and around through a maze of animal habitats and exhibits.  Some of the highlights for me were:  of course the bald eagles, an anaconda, the giraffes, and a rhino.  I was really blown away by the size and the lay out of the zoo plus they had a large variety of animals.  The grounds were gorgeous and all of the exhibits were well thought out and had a natural flow.  For instance, the reptile exhibits was immersive.   You went into what felt to me were like caves and each habitat flowed into the next.  Each snake had its own little room.  There were also several bird aviaries and large spaces for the big cats to sun bathe in.

Waco Zoo Me and Eva

Watching Be Be was the best part of the zoo! Be Be loved the zoo!! She is about to turn 3 so it was right up her ally.  She ran from exhibit to exhibit saying “I want to see more animals!”   I thought she would be blown away by the size of the elephants, but she wasn’t.  When asked at the end of the day what was her favorite part of the zoo was?  She says “The monkey”.  And indeed he was impressive! He blew me away as well.  He laid in the glass window with his eyes facing out to the crowd, right at Be Be’s eye level.  His eyes were so telling and sad.  He looked so human and so frail in that moment.  Be Be said it was because he needed a friend.  Her words touched my heart.

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It was so wonderful to get out of town and enjoy some family time on such a beautiful day.  It was even more wonderful to create some family memories.

 

Waco Zoo the Artist and Eva

Totals for the day: $56.01

Gas $10

Admission $20

Lunch $22.00

Coffee way back (essential)$4.01