Jun 29, 2018

Twilight Oaks Camp

This post is sponsored by Glad® but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

The calendar strikes June; it's time for camp once again. My favorite time of year. The heat, the smells, the mess; all a fond memory of each summer past. I pull up to the gravel road eager to retrieve my list and find my campers for the week. A familiar smile greets me as I look for the Wood Cutter sign. My camp group for the week. She gives me a bear hug."Ms. Aleshea, please tell me you're my leader this year," she asks."I am," I reply."The smile is genuine; It reaches her eyes.We make quick work of introductions. She's eager to introduce me to the group."This is Ms. Aleshea. There's a lot I don't know about her. But she likes Pokemon. One time she was in charge of the camp, and it was a Pokemon theme, and she took us hiking it was so fun. Oh, yeah she likes hikin' and teachin' the hikin' badge."My co-leader motions to me, "is there anythin' else the group should know about you?"I debate on whether to let it be known I don't care for Pokemon. I know the kids like it, and that is why I picked the theme. I decided it best to keep quiet. "No, that pretty much sums me up."We spend much of the week hikin' and learnin' new outdoor skills that aren't so new. With a Prairie theme, the girls found it fun to learn things many had never tried. The pure joy at makin' butter and biscuits on a dutch oven. I let it known that my family owns a dutch oven.She hollers, "see I told you Ms. Aleshea likes campin'. Who even owns one of those"I stand camera in hand willin' the goats to look my way. Please eat the grass for my picture. I topple over in laughter as one tries to lick my camera instead.They salivate at every day's snow cone flavor happy for a sweet refresher from the Texas heat.The messes pile day after day. They roll their eyes when I begin the seven steps of leave no trace behind. She groans, "Ms. Aleshea you already taught me this at the last camp when we earned our eco hikin' badge."I groan back."I know but none of these girls are here and its a perfect time to cross a requirement off for everyone else who hasn't earned it.They all raise their hands in unision, eager to tell of what they already know and what they hope to learn. I keep a single Glad® Advanced Protection or Glad® Advanced Protection trash bags. that I bought from Walmart next to our daily spot. The handles provide easy carryin'. I smile as one offers to pick up everyone's snow cones trash. My mind wonders what else I could fit in the trash bags. The girls laugh when I tell them the last campout I was in charge over had over 60 girls and I packed all the activity supplies and food in Glad® Advanced Protection or Glad® Advanced Protection trash bags.. The perk was then we already had trash bags for trash once we left camp. The laugh at how creative.The talk turns to the last day of camp and how late they will stay up eatin' smores and talkin' in their tents. I raise my hand, motionin' to get back on topic.Before I can finish she goes, "I already know. A Girl Scout leaves a place cleaner than she found it. Nature stays in nature and what goes in must come out. That's what your gonna say isn't it?"I smile. Indeed it is. Indeed it is. She grabs the Glad® Advanced Protection or Glad® Advanced Protection trash bags. and begins to fill it with trash.

Jun 18, 2018

Cicis Buffet Italiano

I bounce through the door, four large boxes in hand. My sister reaches me before I have time to shut the door or catch my breath. What do we have this time? I'm starvin', and you took forever, but thank you. "Flatbreads from the new Buffet Italiano menu," I holler. Chicken Parmesan and Bruschetta. "What's the other box," she implores. "The new Lemon Crème Bar and it took everythin' in me not to eat some in the car."

Before I can walk back into the kitchen, she had a pizza box in her hand and the lightin' set up. I chuckle. "Well, I know you need pictures, and I'm hungry so come on."

We chuckle as my sister poses with the Cici's pizza pretendin' she's a model. Secretly I think she always wished she was one.

Mallory, my sister's best friend, comes likes a rush into the kitchen, "I heard there was pizza." She stares at the Bruschetta Pizza. "Explain it, " she goes. Think Italian I tell her. Cheese and bruschetta tomatoes. It also has basil and a balsamic glaze drizzle. I wander off with the box of Lemon Crème Bar as the reaches for the Chicken Parmesan flatbread.

They demolish a box of Bruschetta Pizza before I have time to come back for seconds.

The days pass by, and my sister calls askin' for the front door to be left unlocked cause she can't find her key. I open to the door to see her standin' with a large Cicis' box in hand. I raise an eyebrow. She opens the box, and a fresh Bruschetta Pizza stares back at me.

The pizza was so good I need another and no I'm not sharin'. I roll my eyes and make a mental note to remember all the details of the pizza week.

Jun 11, 2018

Travel Guide: Blanco Texas Lavender Festival

This post is sponsored by Sparkling ICE but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
Blanco Texas Lavender Festival

Each Travel Guide I love to link the full #TravelinTexan bucket list so Y'all can see the entire list. Smell lavender in Blanco, Texas crosses number 31 off the list. Shall we get into this quick little trip? 

It’d taken us just over four hours to reach our destination; Blanco, Texas. I eye Olde Blanco Emporium and Marketplace on the historic Square, the Texas heat threatenin’ to overtake us. I take a sip of my refreshing Sparking Ice as we walk over. The sign glares: “No Food or Drink inside.” I reach to open my camera bag, shovin’ the remain’ contents of my jerky stick and drink in the bag. An older Coast Guard Veteran motions us over. He wants us to see his novel collection. A Western and Mysteries writer he was workin’ for his sales. We saunter over, happy to be in from the heat. He smiles as I grab a business card. 

I eye him, “Sir”- I begin, “What is Blanco known for?”

“You know Blanco is white,” he replies.

I cringe. He notices my confusion.
“Blanco means white. Blanco is known for Lavender and white rock.”

“Oh,” I chuckle.
“Did you know the Blanco river runs over the white rock?”
“No, Sir I didn’t. Thank you for the info.”

We continued throughout the store fascinated by the beautiful pieces we had no business touchin’.

We saunter out the store, the Texas heat once again hotter than satans toenails. Jeff perks up, "did you need any more pictures of the Historic Square?"

"No," I mutter. We've visited all the shops and supported the vendors. The Lavender fields are callin' our name.
Blanco Texas Lavender Festival
Blanco Texas Lavender Festival
We make our way back to the highway, lamentin' about the walk and the heat the whole way to the car. I pass the Sparklin' Ice to Jeff. "I reckon I can't guess the mystery flavor. Can you?" "--- He goes," I know my fruit flavors. I chuckle. Now that he said it I tasted it. Was that the point or was he right? I guess that's the point of the contest. He glances over. " I know I'm right. Can I enter the #WhatTheFlavorSweeps? Or am I somehow excluded because I'm one of your best friends?""I honestly don't know. I'm just happy to have this fruit flavored goodness on such a hot day. This sparkling water is one of my sister's favorites. She loves the strawberry flavor and purchases it often.Sparkling Ice Mystery Flavor
Blanco Texas Lavender Festival
We pull into Lavender Lane Farms, and you can feel the excitement in the car. To pickin' Lavender, we shall go. 10 dollars a bushel or 17$ for two seemed like a fair price to us. I quickly look over only to realize in the hustle and bustle of all the excitement I lost my twist tie to pick Lavender. No worry, I was just there for the pictures anyway.

The farm was smaller than I imagined but the smell, oh the smell hit you like a ton of bricks. The lavender a delight to my nose. We bounced through the farm takin' pic after pic careful not to take to much lavender from one place.
Blanco Texas Lavender Festival
Blanco Texas Lavender Festival
Blanco Texas Lavender Festival
Blanco Texas Lavender Festival
Blanco Texas Lavender Festival

Content with our lavender, pictures and the prospect that we'd cross another item off the Travelin Texas Bucket List we made our way back to the car. The heat had worn us out, and dinner was in our near future.  GPS in hand, Jeff made a frown when he quickly realized there weren't many options on this side of The Hill Country. "I told you," I nagged. I was just this way a few weeks ago, and there's nothin' on this end.

We both look over and holler, "AUSTIN!" Deal, less than an hour and we could have our pick of spots to dine.

"I'll drive," he goes you edit the pictures. I need some for Instagram. He reaches for a Blanco, Texas brochure: It says here you also have to visit Blanco State Park, Buggy Barn Museum, Pioneer Museum and some local breweries and distilleries. Did you want to go? I'm ok I mummer.

Blanco Texas Lavender Festival
Blanco Texas Lavender Festival

I smile If this isn't the Travelin Texan. Just a casual stop for dinner three hours away from home.

I climb in the old Ford as he tosses me a freshly cold Sparkling Ice. To Austin, we head.
Sparkling Ice Mystery Flavor
Sparkling Ice Mystery Flavor

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