Posts Tagged ‘Travel’
July 28, 2014
Hello! Here’s hoping you had a great weekend. Ours was spent on the beach with friends in Galveston, Texas and was every bit of wonderful and relaxing as I was hoping.
Scott and I spent last week in Houston and left for a weekend getaway Thursday afternoon with a group of friends. I mentioned before that Scott and I haven’t had a non-work related vacation together since our honeymoon, so spending a couple of days at a beach house without plans sounded pretty marvelous.
We arrived in Galveston late in the afternoon and walked along the main strip of Seawalk Beach while we waited for the rest of our group to arrive.
It was hotter than I was used to, but I refrained from complaining. Believe it or not, I miss being uncomfortably hot in the summer. It’s currently a high of 70 back in Michigan, and to me that doesn’t quite scream July.
Embracing the hot summer day, a small group of us enjoyed a welcome refreshment and met the rest of our group at our beach house rental about an hour later.
I always love renting houses for vacations. If you have a decent amount of people in your group, it is worth the price and always helps me feel more like a local and less like a tourist.
Our friends Robert and Amy made plans for us to stay at this beach front property for a steal! There was a homey feel and besides the questionable art pieces that were borderline creepy, the rest of the decorations were charming and just what we needed.
We had a group of fifteen or so (the number kept changing as the days went on), and I was impressed at the amount of people it held comfortably.
Scott and I, along with another married couple, took the villa apartments in the back that had a beachy feel with pastel decorations and tile floors.
My favorite part about staying in the “nook” was going through the outside courtyard every morning on my way to wake up with coffee.
For the first time in a long time, our days spent in this house felt like a true vacation. No alarms were set, no plans were made, and every day was very much a go with the flow type of schedule.
In a swimsuit or sweats, I enjoyed every bit of being outside next to the ocean and loved spending my mornings sipping coffee in the hammock on the balcony. (Making a mental note to buy a hammock… immediately.)
We planned to have a family dinner in on our last night together, so we headed over to The Strand for dinner at Nonno Tony’s to kick things off. Everything from the appetizers to desserts were delicious!
Oysters, barbecue oysters, chardonnay (SO good I had to snap a picture of the bottle) and rigatone with turkey meatballs.
We ended up spending a lot of time inside or just outside of the house more than I expected. With our group of friends, there was always something entertaining going on, like ping pong tournaments…
…or competitions in throwing Nerf ball spirals across traffic. Remember Nerf footballs? Those were the best.
Thanks to the planners of the group (which this time did not include Scott and I), we made breakfast at home every morning and ate lunch out while hanging around the beach.
Saturday we walked several blocks to find a local’s suggestion for Cajun fare at Benno’s.
Scott ordered the crawfish étouffée while I went with my go-to seafood entree pick of crab cakes.
Before we arrived to Galveston, we heard that the beaches in the area aren’t the prettiest we will ever visit. The water wasn’t the clearest, but the views still proved to be as relaxing and appealing as you can expect a beach to be.
I received a question asking if this area seemed dog friendly, and to answer it I saw plenty of them (leashed) throughout the weekend! As long as your dog is friendly and good around people, I would say go for it.
You might have to be careful for the crazies out there… but…
Pups on a leash should be just fine out there.
We spent the days moseying on the beach and finally got the idea to explore our area by renting bikes on Saturday afternoon.
(Making another mental note to invest in a beach cruiser.)
We passed Pleasure Pier and kept going to see what else was fun to do in the area. Scott, Barry (Scott’s best friend from Chicago) and I stopped into a neat place called Float where there was a pool in the middle of a bar.
Once again, the water wasn’t the clearest, but the views were great and it sure made for some interesting people watching!
I just love these two.
Spending any length of time with both of them together is always a treat and has my sides hurting from laughter within minutes.
After splitting a snack and enjoying a couple of frozen drinks, we made our way back to the beach where our group was set up. As soon as we parked our bikes, we were called over for a group picture and were all taken by surprise by what happened next.
Right after we took this photo, and on his 40th birthday, Robert asked Amy for her hand in marriage!
Nobody had any idea this was going to happen and we were all so excited to congratulate them both in person. (They’re all in!)
We are so happy for you guys!
After several hugs, we wrapped up our time at the beach and revisited our bike ride to check out Stewart Beach just down the way. It was a very popular spot filled with activity and cool restaurants with live music.
On our turnaround, Scott spotted an overlook and suggested we turn.
I’m so glad we did.
Upon our arrival back to the house, we had a cookout and spent the rest of the night celebrating a special birthday and engagement.
There was plenty of entertainment with our crowd, and we even surprised the birthday boy with a live performance from a Miriachi Band!
Andddd a cake in the face.
I swear, we’re adults. Sometimes.
The band members weren’t quite sure how to deal with everybody trying to join in, but they eventually learned to loved us. It was all so much fun!
We finished up the night with a couple of rounds of Cards Against Humanity, which always turns into a fantastic time. We played with at least twelve people, which had me in tears when the fill in the blank answers came around. The hilarity doesn’t stop!
The best way to wrap up my thoughts about the weekend is simply… awesome.
It was the perfect blend of relaxing and shenanigans I always hope for vacations to include.
As I sit back at home looking over the photos, I am realizing this trip went by too fast, just like most of the good ones seem to do.
We hope to make some kind of summer group trip an annual thing, and in the mean time try to sneak in visits with some of Scott’s closest friends he has known for now over a decade as much as possible.
Thanks for the perfect getaway week and weekend, Texas!
Before I go, there is a giveaway winner to announce! Thank you to all who entered the Fabletics giveaway over the past week. I loved reading your picks and it turned out to be the most successful giveaway on HWG to date!
Entry #422: Jenny E!
You won by liking Housewife Glamour on Facebook.
You have been emailed and must respond within 48 hours to claim your prize!
(Also, linking all of this madness up with Katie.)
Have a great Monday!
July 25, 2014
Good Morning from Galveston, Texas!
Currently, I’m sneaking in my final post before a true vacation begins. Scott and I were talking about the last time we went on what felt like a “real” vacation together (alone or with friends that didn’t involve work), and came to the conclusion of our honeymoon.
I guess you could say we have been enjoying taking advantage of it with late night outings and conversations with friends, which would explain the hold-up in getting this post up at a normal early hour. Sorry about the delay!
Lets get straight to the Friday Favorites. As usual, I invite you to join the party and share yours through the comments and link up button below!
Friday Favorites #47: Week of 7/25 – Houston Highlights
• Embassy Suites hotel
I have always enjoyed staying at the Embassy Suites.
This trip, we checked into one located in the heart of downtown Houston, and Scott and I were impressed by the looks of the inside as well as the service.
Everyone went out of their way to accommodate our large group, offered me something to drink every time I went down to work in the lobby, offered extended late check-out times, and always asked about my day. It was a great stay!
• Top Golf
Following every full day of the conference, there was also a night outing planned for our group. As Scott’s wife, I was invited to join in on the fun and took full advantage of experiencing every one.
I had seen places similar to Top Golf in movies before, but never visited one for myself until Tuesday. Basically, you could describe it as a fancy driving range meant for adult entertaining.
There is a full sports bar set up on the inside and a private party space to order dinner and hit golf balls on the outside.
Believe it or not, I took Golf I and II in college. I hadn’t really picked up a golf club since then so it was fun for me to revisit my swing.
The group of us had a great time at the links and Scott and I even got to hang with his college buddies who now live in the city!
Now if there was only a Top Golf remotely close to us…
• DEFINE Body & Mind barre class
While Scott was busy on Wednesday, I was on a mission to finish up my work for the day in order to get out of the hotel and explore a little.
Wanting to check out a local barre class, I was very thankful for your suggestions on where to go! A few of you mentioned DEFINE, so I called to register myself for an afternoon class and headed that way shortly after.
I cabbed over to the River Oaks area, which was only about three miles away and had a great afternoon! It started with a barre class at the studio.
There’s just something about entering a barre, Pilates, or yoga studio that instantly calms me. I take classes at my gym frequently, but truly miss visiting the ambiance of a studio on a weekly basis.
I checked in quickly and headed upstairs to the Open Level class.
On the phone, I asked if I should wait to take the Intermediate level later on in the day, and the studio manager assured me that I would still get a great workout at the introduction level. Holy geez, that I did!
I’m not sure if it’s because it had been several months since I have taken a full barre class or what, but my legs were on fire. The barre burn was certainly present and never fails to get me every time.
My teacher’s name was Elizabeth and she did a great job transitioning exercises and changing them often.
On my way out of the studio, I noticed some funny looking sneakers with clips on the bottom for rent. I asked what they were for and it turns out that they also offer Spin Revolution classes, which is very similar to SoulCycle. I wish we were around a bit longer. I have been dying to try a class like that!
After my barre class, I decided to make the three mile walk home and see part of the city instead of cabbing back. On the way, I found a great new-to-me salad bar chain called Salata.
The restaurant features a glorified salad bar that gives you all the options and toppings you could possibly ask for. I chose the seafood salad with seasoned shrimp, and added a lot of veggies into the mix with a vinaigrette dressing.
Spinach, romaine, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, peas, tofu, chick peas, and probably a lot of other things I am completely forgetting about.
It was delicious, filling, and I found another location the next day for lunch as well. The restaurant is based in Texas, but there are locations popping up throughout the United States including cities in Illinois and California. Here’s hoping Michigan comes around!
• Flojos sandals (Marshalls find)
There was a Marshalls right next to Salata, so naturally I stopped in for a minute. I ended up purchasing two summer tops and found these Flojos sandals near the register on my way out for $14.99.
I have been wearing them all week. What a steal!
• Battlefield Houston
Another group outing activity this week was laser tag.
Tuesday night, a group of twenty-five or so rolled into Battlefield Houston and I’m not sure if they knew what they were in for.
The group playing at our scheduled session time was divided into two teams, and we spent five rounds trying to complete challenges and rack up points by shooting people. It was fun, but different than the laser tag and attire I am used to.
I had a blast running around and shooting lasers in the dark, nonetheless!
Yesterday afternoon, Scott and I rode with a group of friends over to Seawall Beach in Galveston. We rented a beach house and have plans for no plans here until Sunday!
I’m sure there will be plenty to keep us busy, but for once, this vacation is all about relaxing and going with the flow.
I will be back to share the highlights on Monday, but have been absolutely loving it so far!
Don’t forget to enter the Fabletics giveaway going on if you haven’t already! Thank you all of you who have, as I am been overwhelmed (in the best way) by your excitement and have been enjoying reading your fitness fashion picks!
Have a great weekend!