Family Vacation: Little Jerusalem State Park

Several months ago I saw a news story about a brand new state park opening in Kansas. It had these amazing chalk formations and great walking trails. I sent that article to my husband Dean and asked if we could go sometime. He replied yes and then we went about our regular business as usual.

Here’s the thing about me: I am always planning a million trips to a million different locations. I keep a running list on my phone of places I’d like to travel to one day. Sometimes it kills me that I’ve seen the Eiffel Tower, but I’ve never seen Mount Rushmore or been to Washington D.C. I am determined to see all of this beautiful country before I die!

When we lived in Texas, we had a state parks pass and we camped at least once a month. Now that we actually have campsites on our farm, any time I mention going camping my husband just tells us to set up our tent out back. We’ve done that and it is lovely… but there’s just something about a family camping trip and a change of scenery!

After mentioning the new park to Dean, Covid happened. Churches closed. Museums closed. Airlines closed. You know the rest… In August we had a lovely socially distanced dinner for Dean’s birthday. He admitted to me how much my imaginary vacation planning actually stresses him out. It stresses him out because he actually wants to give me all those trips, but again, Covid had just happened.

I replied, “We don’t have to get in an airplane, but I do want us to prioritize smaller family trips together. You know, places we can go in the car and create new once-in-a-lifetime memories. Little Jerusalem, for example.”

From that moment on, Dean took my suggestion and ran with it. He planned our whole trip! It was a out of my comfort zone to let go of the reins, but I am so glad I did! So, keep reading to get a run down of our recent family vacation to Kansas’ newest state park, Little Jerusalem!

Continue reading

Vegas Momcation: New Year’s Eve 2020!

I have long wanted to write a love letter to Las Vegas and now I just so happen to have a blog due at the same time that I am fresh off a trip, so here we go! Vegas is easily one of my favorite places on Earth. There is just an exciting, electric energy about this bustling, colorful, historic city in the dessert that I can’t help but gravitate towards. It is not uncommon to see visitors from all walks of life and every continent, speaking every language imaginable. Whatever is entertainment to you – shopping, gambling, shows – you can just about find it all in Las Vegas! We lived close by when I was younger so I have some early memories of the Treasure Island pirate show, going to the games at Excalibur, and I even went to the Siegfried & Roy white tiger show one time.

Nowadays, my Dad actually lives in Las Vegas. So for me a trip to Vegas doesn’t just mean partying. I know that I am going to get the best local advice on where to go and what to do while I am there. I also know that I am going to get to soak up some family time. This year I spent Christmas at home in Kansas, but I hopped on a plane at ICT just in time to ring in the new year with the rest of my sisters and family in Vegas. Keep reading to hear where and how we celebrated!

Continue reading

Vacation Series: Mexico Momcation

I got to kick off this year’s traveling early and in a very special way. My best friend was getting married at an all inclusive resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico! It was determined early on that my husband would stay home with our two boys. While I was originally bummed out about going solo, I eventually decided to turn the trip into the ultimate “momcation.” They say dining or going to the movies alone is good for your psyche, and I know all moms love getting to go to the grocery store alone, so I figured the chance to travel and sit by the pool all weekend in silence would be ultra relaxing!

Continue reading

San Antonio Date Night: Pearl Edition

For my husband’s birthday this year, I was determined to plan the perfect date night. At first, this task seemed easier said than done. You see, it was his birthday so our regular dinner and a movie wouldn’t do. We have a great local music scene but my husband is deaf in one ear so, any concert or loud venue is typically not enjoyable for him. Also, my husband is the type who does not like to spend money, least of all on himself. So what’s a wife to do?

Continue reading

Summer Road Trip Part Two: KOA vs. State Park

Rawlins, WY

In my last post I shared about the two family reunions and vintage camper find that led up to our big Summer road trip.  My husband and two boys drove round trip from New Braunfels, TX to the following cities:

  • Greensburg, Kansas
  • Rawlins, Wyoming
  • Garden Valley, Idaho
  • Bloomfield, New Mexico

Our stops in Kansas and Idaho were for the two family reunions. Our stops in Wyoming and New Mexico were adventures all our own! When we were planning our stops I expressed interest in staying at a KOA since I had never been. My husband was quick to say “what’s wrong with a good old state park?” From there our challenge to stay at and compare one of each was born.

Continue reading

Summer Road Trip Part One: Family Reunions

Reunion Collage

My husband and I often fondly compare our extended paternal families. Specifically, they both have awesome reunions every few years that come complete with themed t-shirts and even a talent show. Yes, we’re that kind of family – twice. Sometimes I can’t even believe how incredibly lucky we are to belong to both clans. Needless to say, our time spent with each side is cherished. With one family in Kansas and the other clear up in Idaho, imagine our panic when we found out that both family reunions would be this July – one weekend right after the other. I remember saying, “how on earth are we going to physically and financially make it to both family reunions?” and dreading the thought of having to choose one or the other.

Continue reading

Dinosaur Valley State Park

A few weeks ago the family and I loaded up to go camp at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas. This park is known for having fossilized dinosaur tracks on the river banks. Boy had we been looking forward to this trip! My 8 year old is a dinosaur connoisseur of sorts and has been dying to go ever since he heard about it last year. I learned when we went to make our reservations that folks come from all over to stay at this park and book months in advance. We were lucky to get two nights in a row this Summer. So, call ahead and be flexible with dates.

Continue reading