All posts by Mandy Bee

Road Trip Tip: Pack a Lunch

My biggest regret from our last road trip wasn’t that we got caught in a blizzard, had to take a 20 mile 25mph detour off of I-10, or that we got a $312 speeding ticket. It was that we packed in such a hurry that we forgot snacks and small meals.

We started the road trip with a bit of patience, taking time out for two sit-down meals on the first day. Every subsequent 16+ hour drive devolved into a Supersize Me kind of day. Our only meals on the last drive home were from Whataburger… (I’m not proud.)

So if you’re going to be impatient speed demons like us, do yourself a favor: Buy some carrot sticks, make a few sandwiches and throw them in a small cooler to keep with you in the car. You won’t need to stop for food AND you won’t feel like a tub of lard at the end of your drive.

Breakfast today is a huge and welcome difference from Whataburger two times a day on the road.

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Hiking to Earn More Food

We love hiking — getting outside, going farther than you probably should before you turn around, burning calories — but the meals you eat afterward are the best because they’re so guilt-free.

This is what we discussed after our hike at Lair o’ the Bear with Beana while eating cookies and brownies.

The trail at Lair o’ the Bear wasn’t overly strenuous but it was pretty. From what Beana told us it can get fairly crowded, but we only passed one person on our tromp through the woods.

View from Lair o' the Bear

We saw no lairs nor bears.

Mandy and John at Lair o' the Bear

Mandy and Beana at Lair o' the Bear

Mandy and John at Lair o' the Bear

After about an hour at Lair o’ the Bear, we’d completed one of the loop trails and decided to move on to Red Rocks because we had not had enough hiking.

A view from a trail at Red Rocks

So… this hike was an ass-kicker. Not only did the altitude steal every breath from us but the trail has a 16% grade incline.

Mandy and John before things really got started on the trail
Mandy and John before things really got started on the trail
Beana and John going uphill
Girl, look at that steep hill.

Pretty views from Red Rocks

Mandy and John pretending like they're not dying.
We’re trying to pretend that we’re not dying up here.
Beana leading the way
Beana is leading the way downhill — our destination is the parking lot at the top right of the picture.

We went into the Red Rock Amphitheater Hall of Fame downstairs from the parking lot (yep, more stairs).

Mandy and Beana

Sabrina and John
Ain’t no thing to go back up for Beana and John (I think they’re holding it in).
Beana and John acting tough at the top of Red Rocks
We made it back up to the top!

Views from Red Rocks

View from Red Rocks
You can see the car down there! It’s all downhill from here.

We made it! I’d definitely recommend hiking around Red Rocks — they’re tough hikes but well worth the views and make you feel like a bad ass when you’re done (though not as bad ass as all of the mountain bikers we saw riding around).

Today’s Steps: 12,000+

Achievement Unlocked: Two 16+ Hour Drives in One Week

This is just going to be a big gallery from the trip between Wimberley, TX and Golden, CO. Not much happened on the way.

Driving at 5am
The trip started out dark and scary, with lots of fog.

IMG_1395

Christmas Lights
We popped out of the car in Fredericksburg to take some pictures of the lights
Christmas lights
So this is Christmas!
Super fog
A little after this, I took over driving and got my first speeding ticket. Just a PSA – make sure you slow down on those Texan highways when you drive through a small town!
Big Texas Sky
Big Texas sky
Windmills in Sweetwater, Texas
Windmills galore in Sweetwater, Texas
Agri Producers Building
Not sure exactly what these are for but they’re gigantic, towering and in the middle of nowhere.

IMG_1404

Texas sky
So much sky
Texas sky
More sky, taking a quick break to stretch our legs
John
Look at that handsome mug
Driving down a northern New Mexico road
I know people hate out-of-the-car shots, but I couldn’t help it. We were getting to New Mexico right around 3:30pm and as always, New Mexico delivers an amazing sky.
Old building in New Mexico
Slowing down through small towns – we learned our lesson.
New Mexican sky
Amazing colors
Panorama in New Mexico
Little panorama
Sierra Grande: An extinct shield volcano
Sierra Grande: An extinct shield volcano
Sierra Grande
Another shot of Sierra Grande
More sky in New Mexico
More sky in New Mexico
Sun setting in New Mexico
Sun setting in New Mexico
Sun setting in New Mexico
Sun setting in New Mexico
Sun setting in New Mexico
Sun setting in New Mexico
Sun setting in New Mexico
Damn! Look at that sky.
Sun setting in New Mexico
Not even sure what else to say…
Mountain in New Mexico
Mountains and stuff
New Mexico sky
New Mexico
Driving down the highway in New Mexico
Driving down the highway in New Mexico
New Mexico sky
Breathtaking, pretty much the whole way.
New Mexico
New Mexico
At a rest stop in New Mexico near Sierra Grande
At a rest stop in New Mexico near Sierra Grande
At a rest stop in New Mexico near Sierra Grande
I could not believe the way that sky blended into the snowy mountain

At a rest stop in New Mexico near Sierra Grande

New Mexico rest stop
That sky!
New Mexico sun set
The sun was setting, still at that rest stop
Driving through New Mexico
Back on the road, but ain’t that purty?
New Mexico is beautiful!
More out-of-the-car shots. Don’t care.
Tiny town in New Mexico
Tiny towns
Driving in New Mexico
Driving down the highway
John and Mandy in front of Sierra Grande
From the left: John, Sierra Grande, Mandy (also, John is becoming a Grand Master Selfie-Taker)

 

Hill Country Romp

We spent the day in Wimberley, Texas with Debbie on her birthday. We had no real plans, so we just kind of ran around and did whatever we could think of.

We watched a group of glass blowers at Wimberley Glassworks for 30 minutes. They stood around swinging around molten glass on the end of stainless steel sticks like it wasn’t any big deal.

Glass Blowing Facts: Glass is 2100° when being worked

If you ever have the chance, go watch someone blow glass. It’s quite mesmerizing.

John and Debbie watching the glass blowers
John and Debbie watching the glass blowers

 

Wrapping molten glass around some more glass
Wrapping molten glass around some more glass

 

Glass blowing
Molten glass on glass action

 

Glass blower showing off a bird's nest light fixture cover
Look at this smug mother. I’d be smug too.

After the glass blowing, we had a delicious lunch at The Leaning Pear.  They have an amazing reuben and a side salad that can hold its own with roasted/sugared pecans.

They also had this Texas Yaupon tea. Since I’d never heard of it and I love tea, I ordered it. It’s apparently tannin free, which is where real tea (Camellia sinensis) gets its bitterness. It’s really smooth and tastes amazing with a splash of lemon.

Texas Yaupon Tea at The Leaning Pear
Texas Yaupon Tea: Native North American Caffeinated Smoothness

We drove around town, bought a few bags of the tea, sadly found out that the local alpaca farm had shut down, then went home to relax for a bit.

A little car talk
A little car talk

We finished up the night with a drive out to San Antonio for some Maggiano’s for dinner and happily made it home alive thanks to my dad’s expert fog driving. Fog, total darkness and tons of hills makes for a very entertaining (read: horrifying) after-dinner drive.

A night out at Maggiano's