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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Texas Day 4: Blueberries and the Lake

On the way to the lake house, we stopped by a U-Pick blueberry farm. That was a fun experience and with both our family and Jake's, we picked enough pounds to equal 60 something dollars in blueberries. I like that we were encouraged to eat blueberries along the way so that we could test them for ripeness, there were all kinds of varieties. they had flags directing people which rows of blueberries were ready to be picked.  I know for a fact that the blueberries I picked were the tastiest.

after the farm, we headed off to the lake house, a two-hour drive. We decided to stop off for lunch at a Texas known establishment called Whataburger. We had heard from our shuttle car driver a few days previous that Whataburger is the best, so of course we had to try it. My review on it is that it was fine, just like every other fast food burger place in my opinion, but I'm glad I got to try it since it is a Texas thing.

After arriving at the lake house and setting up things, we finished the night off with a phenomenal boat ride into the sunset with Captain Kelli at the helm!

Since this blogging app that I am using on my phone seems to place pictures in random order, you get to just sift through them. Enjoy!
It was so sweet to see Brooklyn so fond of Lily.

Texas Day 3: Pizza and Pool Party at the Rich's

While Kelli was at a meeting for school, Jake took us on a fun and free trolley ride which was a nice little tour of the business district. And it is a beautiful place, with a canal meandering its way between the buildings, a walking path flanking it. I loved the little park by their library, too. Wish I had taken pictures of it.

It was a hot day and it made sense to eat lunch at home and take it easy in the afternoon, we even maybe took a nap. Then when Kelli got home we made plans with her mom to go swimming at her pool. She lives maybe 15 minutes away. She even ordered pizza for us and fed us from her garden some tasty, ripe tomatoes. Steve relaxed poolside with his camera and a good book. The rest of us enjoyed the perfect temperature of the warm-cool water in their beautiful pool.

We were also privileged to have a garden tour and house tour. They live in a serene place.  I just loved getting to spend time with my family and Kelli's. 🥰
Steve enjoys photographing and relaxing poolside
the gorgeous garden tour begins
Family time on the town trolley!
The sunsets are magnificent in Texas, too!
berries planted in a row

Garden tomatoes and caprese salad with garden basil!!! Yum yum yum yum!

BBQ with the Hotel Owners

We live about a mile from the Best Western Plus hotel.  My mom got a job there doing housekeeping of the public areas.  Well, it turns out that every summer the owners invite all the employees and their families to their home for a company party. Yay! That means us! So last Friday we went to Vernal and enjoyed the barbecue and all the fun activities! There was a couple blow up toys- a bounce house and a slide, volleyball net, horseshoes, cornhole, blow up screen for outdoor movies, a snow cone machine, a net tree swing, and a playground. There were tons of trees and lots of shade, a beautiful deck and gazebo, and wonderful torches keeping the mosquitoes somewhat at bay.

For dinner (my mom and I even got to help prepare some of it when we arrived), we had beef hot dogs and hamburgers with all the fixin's and condiments, chips, watermelon, baked beans, cookies and brownies.

We had a grand old time! Here are some of the pictures we took.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Texas Vacay day 2

Day 2 in Texas was incredible. Jacob's washer needed fixing as did his car as was evidenced by the check engine light that flashed on the day previous. Luckily, it was raining outside oh, so it was the perfect day to try to get some jobs like that done. Kelly had to be at a conference and workshop for work.  Jake worked on fixing his washer for a few minutes, and to his astonishment whatever he did actually worked!

We loaded everyone up to take the car to Jake's favorite car service station where they do everything first class. When we came in we were welcomed by an employee who wrote down what was wrong with the car, offered us a shuttle, led the kids to an indoor playground, and offered us bottles of water or hot chocolate.  The kids played while we discussed what we wanted to do while they fix the car. We ended up using their shuttle car to take us to the mall for a couple hours.

We walked around and made our way to an indoor playground where the kids could run around. Steve got stopped by one of those dead sea salt potion salesman.

When we were done with the mall, we picked up the car and discovered the transmission probably had something wrong with it. It wasn't too crucial to get fixed right away, so we took the car back home. When we went home we fed the kids lunch and just hung out until Kelly got back. We made plans to go to one of Jake and Kelly's favorite places called Lupe's Tortilla. Jake made reservations and by the time we got there we only had to wait maybe 15 minutes to be seated. That place was quite popular and the food was delicious!

Just waiting on the patio for our table to be ready.
The chips and salsa and bean dip were awesome! I liked the slightly smoky flavor of the beans, like they were cooked over a fire. I saved the leftover chips and dips and made us all nachos for lunch the next day.
Amara and Brooklyn and Levi all wanted Mac and cheese.
Lily and Steve both ordered puffy tacos.
Fajitas with steak, chicken, and bacon wrapped shrimp! Soo yummy! Jake, Kelly and I shared it.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Texas Vacay to see Jake's

A week long stay in a land faraway with family beloved goes by very quickly. I write this post having just left the ground and my heart in Texas. We're flying through the sky back to Denver where we'll stay the night before driving home tomorrow. I miss my brother and his family already.😪  So, I'm going to try to blog our vacation while it's still fresh in my mind.


After I found out we were going to be traveling near Denver Colorado for the Blad family reunion, the thought immediately came to me that I should check if there was an airport in Denver and if so, see how much flights to Houston might cost so I could visit my brother this year. When I looked into it I discovered my entire family could fly on Spirit airlines for less than $100 each, and so my plans began to come forth. We were going to visit Jake's family in Texas!


This was the girls first time flying in an airplane, besides that one time when Lily was a baby. It was awesome. The flight was only 2 hours or so, the kids loved it. We had a window seat which we required the kids to switch half way through the flight so there would be no arguments.


When we arrived in Houston, my brother was ready and waiting next to his silver Toyota Corolla that he would be loaning to us this trip.  He had told us to have our swim wear ready because we were headed to the beach. We stopped by a Chick-fil-A for a bite on our way to pick up some beach items from Kelli's sister, Debbi.  I ordered Jake's usual, a chicken sandwich deluxe (has added cheese, lettuce, and tomato) and it was delivered via a complex conveyor line that went over the first line of drive-thru customers and landed at the window for the second drive thru, the one we were in.  It was cool and there was such a ton of traffic at that Chick-fil-A, yet they got us our food fast.


We changed at Debbi's house and headed to Galveston's family beach just as the thunderheads were moving in. We had a few minutes to enjoy the warm Gulf-of-Mexico water before the rain began, and then it poured and then it thundered. The beach patrol kicked us out of the water after only a few short minutes of being in there, but I have to say it was an awesome experience. I haven't enjoyed beach water that warm, probably ever, even Hawaii waters in July last year was cool compared to this. Plus playing in the rain and not getting cold was incredible.  We headed back to Debbi's house to return her items and stopped at Rudy's BBQ for dinner. That also was a new experience. You buy your meat by the pound, they pile it on butcher paper and give you a few extra papers to eat off of. They load all your side dishes and meat in a big plastic tray and you're on your way to find an open picnic table equipped with BBQ sauce and salt/pepper. The food was quite good and it tasted even better eating it with Jake's family. You just gotta have some BBQ if you're in Texas!




After that, we made our way to Jake's house in much traffic and rain, but with Jakes as our cheuffer, the minutes flew by. We were amazed at all the tall trees. These highways are literally built in the middle of piney forests. It was remarkable beauty I wasn't expecting! I can see why he and Kelli decided to settle down there.💕🌳🌲



When we were closer to home, Jake took us to the famous HEB, his favorite grocery store that I requested to go to. There we bought my contact solution that I couldn't bring on the plane, and 2 flavors Texas-famous Blue Bell ice cream for dessert. I wondered why Jake was being particular about checking the ingredients in the ice cream and he told us Levi has severe peanut allergy. Poor little guy. He has to avoid quite a bit and carry around EpiPens everywhere he goes. Anyway, we got cookies and cream with cookie dough and raspberry amaretto swirl with brownie chunks. That did not disappoint!


We had the best accommodations too as Parker and Brooklyn both gave up their rooms for us!  That means they were having a sleepover in Levi's room. Jake and Kelli even bought brand new pillows for us! Talk about hospitality! We slept so well that Jake had to knock on the door to wake us up the next morning!