Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Texas [Grapevine & Fort Worth]

Anyone that knows me, knows I was dreading this trip.  I got the news I would be going to Texas, Grapevine, Texas, to be exact, and cringed!  
I have flown out of TX {usually Dallas/Fort Worth} many times, which were all fine--quick & uneventful, thankfully!  But, on our way to South Padre Island, TX with friends {when J was 8 months old}, we spent the night in San Antonio, and to be honest, the people of SA just kind of ruined Texas for me.  More than anything else, they were just plain rude!  

So, I did what all grown women do, I called my mom and told her to get a ticket because I needed someone to go with me & I know she's always a great time.  And?  I must say, this trip totally redeemed Texas in my book! :) 

{a mix of real camera & iPhone camera photos}

The entrance from the road.  The hotel is actually 1 mile back from here.

The property overlooks Lake Grapevine

Night {iPhone photo}
A few {iPhone} panoramics.  It was like living inside of a botanical center.  So warm & lush!

view from the balcony of our 8th floor room

Our room

The patio -- so much stone & lush greenery!

::the weather::
It was 45-65* everyday.  We were loving it!  Texans were freezing.  :)
Pool at our hotel.  We didn't swim, but we sat in the hot tub one night. 

::the food::

Tolbert's was the first place we ate in Texas.  It's in Historic Grapevine, a few miles from our hotel. 

We split a Chicken Fried Chicken mean and we're so glad we did {this was HALF!} *They're known for their chili. 
H3 Ranch was our first dinner.  It's located in the Stockyards in Fort Worth.  I can't say enough about their Mop Steak--man I wish Adam were there--& their margaritas! :)
Terrible photo, but SO good!!!  I got the filet {w/ mop sauce} & some really good potatoes!
My mom & my dad's cousin, Danny.  He lives in Ft. Worth and took us out this night!
Note the saddles at the bar. :)
Hard Eight was a few {5?} miles the other direction of our hotel.  We ate there for lunch one day.  AWESOME BBQ!  Not fancy.  Lots of 'regulars' *I really wish Adam was with me!
Be prepared to wait in line--it goes pretty fast.

That is NOT water they're boiling the corn in! :)
Chicken | Turkey | Brisket | Mac & Cheese

Texas or not, we just LOVE our pizza.  So we found a really good brick oven pizza joint {Fireside Pies}!
Located just up the road from the boutiques in Historic Grapevine, so we got to do some shopping again this night. :)
We split a 12" pizza & it was perfect!

This was a quick lunch at our hotel one day.  I forget the name of the restaurant, but it's from the sports bar. 
We shared {1/2 of both} & they were both good. Chicken Club & Chicken Parmesan
We made a last minute decision to grab brunch at Old West Cafe before our flight.  This place is near Historic Grapevine as well.  They're only open from 6a-2p.  Go early, the wait starts early, but it goes fast.  So worth it.  The hashbrowns were almost as good as the ones my MIL served. :)

Again, we split a meal {4 chicken tenders} and it was PLENTY! {photo shows the full meal}
::the boots::

Before I left, I knew I needed to get a pair of cowboy boots.  I didn't know if they were really my 'thing' or not, so I didn't want to spend much.  I ended up finding a pair on sale for $60 at DSW, and had a $50 giftcard, so I ended up spending like $13.  I kid you not, I got over a dozen complements on them!  haha! 

The moment when you realize you didn't bring any appropriate shoes to wear down to the Jacuzzi!
::the shopping::

We shopped two places.  The boutiques at Historic Grapevine & Mills Mall.  Such cute boutiques & adorable finds!  Amazing deals at the mall!  win|win {except trying to pack it all for the flight home & my bank account!} :)
Cutest bag ever.  I had to buy this--I need this reminder every day!
I will be buying this for my babies! <3 td="">

::the entertainment::

My dad's cousin, Danny came at got us and brought us to the Stockyards in Fort Worth again, so that we could experience it on a Friday night {the first time we went it was Wednesday & not everything was open}

It was so fun to hear about the history of the Stockyards!  {the cattle drives, the business aspect, everything!}
We went directly to the rodeo, a first for me! :)

After the rodeo, Danny bought us tickets to see Brett Eldredge {Mean to Me :: Don't Ya} at Billy Bob's.  Billy Bob's is amazing.  It's the world's largest honky tonk {it's like a block by a block!} So much fun!  I've never seen more {good!} dancers in all my life.  And now?  I'm on a mission to learn how to really dance! :)
We had to borrow some cowboys hats for a photo! :)
BB's also had these stones made for TONS of famous people that have visited throughout the years.  Stix to Blake Shelton to Jonny Cash.  

We were late, so we were pretty far back! :)
On our way out the door after the concert, we saw this bull!  We had to get a photo on it! Such a fun memory!! :)
We left Billy Bob's and floated from bar to bar, until we landed back at Pearl's Dance Hall {where we went after dinner Wednesday night}.  I ended the night dancing with a 5 year old little boy.  My eyes were instantly filled, I was ready to get home to my family!

Actually, after dancing, we wanted to go to In & Out Burger {we don't have those in Iowa, so I've never been to one}, but had to settle on IHOP because it was the only thing open that late.  By the time we got back to our hotel, it was 4a.  We passed an older lady who chuckled at us, she was catching a ride to the airport to fly out. :)
We spent our last morning, riding horses at the Austin Ranch.  My mom and I agreed, it was the best way to spend our last morning in Texas!  We contemplated cancelling after our late night, the night before {hello, I never get the chance to sleep in!} but we're SO glad we didn't!

My horse, he was so sweet {with the exception of that one time he ran up the hill!!}

::the traveling::

The afternoon before I grabbed the kids from daycare early to spend the afternoon with them.  Shortly after, Cullyn ended up sick, so we went to Urgent Care {strep}.  As usual, with the exception of a pair of jeans, my laptop, & those boots, nothing was packed until the very last second!

Leaving Ankeny
Leaving Grapevine
I'm not the only person obsessed with plane-wing photos, right?!

Oh ya, and the conference! :)  On a serious note, they had the best keynote speakers I had ever heard! 


  1. I have never been to Texas, but you bet it's on my bucket list! It looks soo neat there and I would love the weather too Haha! Glad you made the best of it!

    1. I would definitely recommend Ft. Worth! Yes, awesome weather! Although we've had a very mild winter here in Iowa this year!

  2. How fun! Looks like you had an amazing time, and I LOVE the boots. What do you think of the boots now that you've had them a bit?

    1. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them! They are SO comfortable! Now I understand why so many people wear them! I'm hooked! ;)

  3. Looks like you ladies had a blast–makes me want to visit Texas! Love the tote bag and the cover-up/cowboy boots combo :)

    1. You know it! :) You know me--miss fashionable--hahaha!

  4. Love those boots, looks like a fun time was had!

    1. It was awesome. I always have a blast w/ my mama! :)


Thanks for taking the time to read some of our story & especially for commenting!

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