Texas Travel Diary 2017: Week 1

     Each summer, my immediate family travels back to Texas for a week or so to visit the extended family that my we left behind when we made the move to the Carolinas a little over ten years ago.  I absolutely adore the state of Texas and am always thrilled to fly back and explore!  This year my younger sister and I had the privilege of flying independently and spending two weeks in Texas; one mostly in Bandera with my father’s parents and one mostly in San Antonio with my mother’s mom.  Today I’m so excited to be sharing the happenings of our first week in Texas with our father’s side of the family!  I have recapped each day, inserted highlight pictures, and created a video which you can watch below.  I recommend you watch the video in HD by clicking the HD button in the bottom right corner of the video.  I also linked some of the locations mentioned so you can check them out for yourself if you’re planning trip to Texas.  This week was a blast and I hope you can feel that in today’s post!  Enjoy!

This video was created using iMovie.  All of the underwater/pool clips were taken with a FujiFilm FinePix XP120 and all the rest of the clips were taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T6 and a EF-S 18-55mm lens.  The background song is “Love on Me” by Galantis & Hook N Sling.

Tuesday

     My dad drove my sister (Channing) and I to the Charlotte airport 12:45 p.m. for our 2:54 p.m. flight into San Antonio.  After seeing that Channing and I made it safely through security, my dad waved goodbye and drove home.  Given that we fly at least once a year,  Channing and I are fairly accustomed to airports and flew independently without much stress.  This was actually really fun for us!  When we arrived in San Antonio, our grandparents surprised us at baggage claim by bringing our cousins, Frances and Reagan (both a year or two younger than me) to the airport to pick us up.  Channing and I were super happy to see everyone.  After getting our luggage, our grandparents surprised us again by taking us to the JW Marriot San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa instead of straight to Bandera as we’d expected.  After checking in, we went to our rooms.  The four of us, Reagan, Frances, Channing, and I, shared a room with two queen sized beds that connected to our grandparents’.  We had so much fun in this room (lots of girl talk and watching The Office) and found that it (along with the bathroom) was definitely spacious enough for four teenage girls to share.  Once we were settled into our room, we went out to eat at Cibolo Moon.  There we caught up while eating a delicious buffet of classic southern food.  On the way back to our rooms after dinner we had a brief exploration of the resort’s water park.  We found a s’more table and fire pit in an area behind one of the slides and gladly took advantage of the opportunity to make one.  We became super excited for the day ahead then went back to our rooms and showered before going to bed.

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Wednesday

     We woke up around 10:00 a.m. to our grandmother bringing in some muffins she bought at a nearby Target for breakfast.  After scarfing down the muffins, we quickly changed into bathing suits and coverups before heading to the resort’s water park around 11:00 a.m.  The water park is home to a few slides, which my cousins and I had a blast riding.  One slide enclosed you in a metal tube before the floor dropped out from under you and you were suddenly riding a plastic slide.  Another slide had a super steep drop.  Another slide allowed you to ride in two person tubes.  When we got hungry around noon, we ordered lunch in our pool chairs.  I then had an amazing grilled chicken sandwich with french fries and a virgin piña colada.  Around 3:00 p.m., after tanning, swimming in the pool, riding all the slides, and taking a trip around the lazy river, my cousins, sister, and I decided to head back to the room to watch some television and get ready for a fairly nice dinner.  The four of us had fun giving each other fashion advice, sharing jewelry, and doing each other’s hair and makeup before heading off to dinner at Cibolo Moon again.  After dinner, my cousins, sister, and I walked onto the golf course to take some pictures as the sun set.  I even shot an outfit post, be on the lookout for that in the near future!  Once we felt we all had adequate pictures together and individually, we headed back to our room to put on comfortable clothes and hang out before going to bed.

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Thursday

     Thursday morning we woke up around 8:00 a.m. and quickly packed our bags and got ready before walking over to the Starbucks in the resort with our grandmother.  After we finished enjoying our favorite sugary coffee drinks, we walked back to the room to double check that we hadn’t left anything before loading the car.  From the resort, we went to La Cantera.  La Cantera is a huge outdoor shopping center in San Antonio packed with tons of popular stores including Kendra Scott, Nordstrom, J.Crew, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Zara, Forever 21, and more.  We window shopped for a while then satisfied our hunger around noon with pasta at the Cheesecake Factory.  After lunch, we left for our grandparents’ house in Bandera.  We made a couple stops along the way to visit Reagan’s horse at the stables and pick up our grandmother’s dogs from where they were being boarded during our little resort vacation.  When we got to our grandparents’ house, we spent a couple hours settling in, hanging out, and taking pictures (including some for a blog post!) before dinner.  After dinner, my cousins taught my sister and I how to play Uno (I know, it’s crazy I never knew how to play before!) and we played a three hour game (yes, you read that right, a three hour round).  When we finally finished the Uno game, we showered and went to bed.

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Friday

     Friday morning my sister and Reagan woke Frances and I up around 10:00 a.m.  We ate some amazing homemade banana bread made by my grandmother for breakfast then played a couple rounds of Uno (both games took small fractions of the time the previous night’s game consumed) before going swimming in our grandparents’ pool.  Around 1:00 p.m. our grandmother brought out some spaghetti and we took a pool break to eat.  We continued to swim until around 4:00 p.m. when we got out to shower and get ready for a casual dinner at our Aunt Megan’s house.  When we got to her house around 6:00 p.m. we reconnected with her sons (our younger boy cousins) Campbell, Keller, and McCrae.  An hour or so after we arrived our Uncle Chip brought our other cousin, Madelyn (about my age), home from cheer camp.  We were all super excited to see her!  We had delicious tacos for dinner then went outside and explored our aunt and uncle’s little ranch.  Around 8:00 p.m. we went back to our grandparents’ house.  When we got home we showered and got ready for bed.

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Saturday

     Saturday morning I was the last one awake at 11:00 a.m. (oops) and quickly had some banana bread before we all started tidying up our rooms and packing our suitcases.  Around 1:00 p.m. my cousins, sister, and I loaded into our grandmother’s car and we drove to Dairy Queen where we met Madelyn and Aunt Megan for lunch.  I ate a grilled chicken sandwich and a Reese’s Cup Blizzard.  After lunch, Madelyn joined us in our grandmother’s car and we stopped by the nearest Redbox on the way home to pick out a couple movies.  After deciding on Split and Nerve, we got back in the car and rode back to our grandparents’ house.  There my cousins, sister, and I all piled on the couch and watched Split together.  I’d already seen the movie, so it was funny to see my cousins’ initial reactions to it!  After the movie ended, we gathered our nightly essentials and favorite outfits into duffel bags and headed to Reagan’s family’s renovated old fashioned school house in Hondo.  The school house has been turned into the cutest little guest house and it was so much fun to sleep over in!  When we got to the house we had a pizza dinner with Reagan’s parents, Aunt Brooke and Uncle Miles, and our grandparents before changing into our cutest outfits and hopping on Reagan’s golf cart.  We rode Reagan’s golf cart to a beautiful field on their property where a couple of her older horses roamed.  There we took a few cute pictures as the sun set before getting back on the golf cart and going for a faster ride over the property.  Once we rode back to the old school house, a few of us took quick showers and changed into comfortable clothes before we all sat down to watch Nerve together (side note; I loved this movie).  Shortly after the movie ended we all went to sleep.

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Sunday

     Sunday morning my cousins and sister woke me up around 10:45 a.m. to join them in the school house kitchen and eat some cinnamon rolls that Aunt Brooke had come in and made.  After breakfast, we just hung out and watched television then packed up our stuff and rode back to our grandparents’ house.  We spent a couple hours having sandwich lunches, packing up our stuff, and cleaning up our rooms at our grandparents’ house before heading to Aunt Megan’s house for a sleepover.  We swam in the pool for a couple hours before coming in for a taco dinner.  After dinner we showered and watched Hot Pursuit together then went to bed.

Monday

     We woke up around 8:00 a.m. to quickly get ready and eat some cinnamon rolls for breakfast before heading to La Cantera.  We got to La Cantera around 10:00 a.m. and looked around until we met up with most of our aunts, uncles, and boy cousins at Whiskey Cake for lunch.  Whiskey Cake honestly has a really odd menu but the chicken sandwich I got was really good!  After lunch we shopped around a little more before we met up with my grandmother on my mother’s side in the parking lot and moved all of Channing and I’s luggage to her car.  This is what I consider the separation of my two weeks in Texas, so I’m going to stop this recap here!

Thanks for reading!  Make sure you’re following me on Instagram, @apocketfuloffaith, and checking my travel hashtag, #farawaywithfaith, to keep up with my travels in real time!  Be on the lookout for my Texas week two travel diary which should be on the blog in the next week or so!

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