Thursday, August 3, 2017

Galveston Island Travel Guide

My family and I spent last week in Galveston, Texas. It was my first time on Galveston Island, and I really enjoyed the trip. We were only there for about three full days, but managed to fit a lot in that time. Today I'm sharing some of the highlights of our trip, including where to stay, eat, and what to do while you're there.

Galveston Island Travel Guide

|| Where To Stay ||

There are plenty of hotels along the seawall, but because of frequent hurricanes there aren't any hotels or houses on the beach. We stayed in an AirBnB and I would highly recommend going that route. Our house was only a couple blocks from the beach and it was an easy walk each day. We also had a kitchen and plenty of space for the six of us, which would not have been the case in a hotel. It was all decorated in blue, beachy decor which I appreciated, I wish I had gotten pictures.

|| Where to Eat ||

The Spot : Located along the seawall, The Spot is a fun place to grab dinner or drinks. Made up of five locations in one, there are plenty of choices for everyone. The food was really good, I would recommend trying one of their burgers and my mom loved the shrimp tacos. It's definitely a touristy place, but I enjoyed it. Their variety of bars and cocktails also made it a fun place to order my first drink as a 21 year old.

Gaido's : Another restaurant along the seawall, Gaido's is a Galveston institution. Their specialty was more upscale seafood. Our waiter was extremely knowledgable and offered lots of suggestions about the various menu items. I had soft shell crab, which wasn't my favorite because I didn't realize it came fried, but it was good. They also do non-seafood well too, my sister enjoyed their pork chop.

Black Pearl : More of a bar, the Black Pearl is a small seafood place in The Strand area of town. Embracing Galveston's Mardi Gras celebrations, Black Pearl offered cajun items in addition to seafood. I had the crab cakes and they were very good, but as a main menu item, I was disappointed that they didn't come with anything in addition to the cakes and still felt hungry after I finished my dinner. The food was good and we liked it, but it's not a must eat in my opinion.

We go together like cupcakes and frosting

Mosquito Cafe : This was by far my favorite place I ate in Galveston. My mom and I went for lunch one day and loved it. The Mosquito Cafe is located in between some of Galveston's beautiful historic homes and they specialize in lunch food, but are open for breakfast and dinner also. It was a busy lunch spot, but the staff were extremely kind and dealt with the chaos very well. My mom and I both tried one of their lunch special that day, I had the southwestern wrap and my mom had fish with fresh mango salsa, and both came with sides. After lunch, we stopped by Mosquito Cafe's sister bakery, Patty Cakes, across the street. Their lemon bombs are delicious, but very sweet.

|| What To Do ||

Go to the beach : This is obvious of course, but we enjoyed our time on the Galveston beach. We were on the east end of the island and it was relatively empty during our late morning trips.

Pleasure Pier : Galveston's Historic Pleasure Pier is a lot like any pier in any beach town, but we had fun going to it. My younger brother and I got ride all day ride pass, where as the rest of our family just did the regular walk on pass. My brother and I had a great time trying out the different rides along the pier, but be warned they're only a few steps up from your average carnival rides. My favorite was the Texas Sky Flier that went 200 feet up above the pier. I would recommend going to the pier at night when it's cooler and you can't see the ocean below you while you're going on the rides.

The Strand : The Strand is Galveston's main shopping area and it's filled with lots of touristy type shops. We spent an afternoon walking around and going into the shops. It's not a must do, in my opinion. But I would recommend stopping into La King's Confectionary for some ice cream, so good!

Tree Sculpture Tour : This is a very uniquely Galveston thing. Following Hurricane Ike in 2008, artists came to Galveston and carved beautiful sculptures out of some of the destroyed trees in the city. There's even a map you can get that tells you where to see them. Some are more visible than others, but they're really fun to see. If you're there when it's a little cooler out, you could get out and walk around the neighborhoods, but since it was pretty hot we decided to stay in the car and drive up and down the streets to see the sculptures.

House Shop : Instead of window shopping, house shop! There is no shortage of gorgeous old homes in Galveston. My mom and I loved looking at all the colorful houses and picking out our favorite ones. If you want to kill two birds with one stone, a lot of these houses are in the same area as the tree sculptures so you can check both out at the same time!

Tour Moody Mansion : The Moody Mansion was once owned by the Moody family, one of the 10 wealthiest families in America. The daughter of Mr. Moody set up a foundation to keep the house running as a museum and it is beautiful! As part of the admission to the house, you are given a small audio device and each room has a recording to listen to that explains the purpose of the room, decor, and even stories from living Moody family members. It reminded me a bit of The Biltmore in Asheville, NC (but smaller) since they were built around the same time. Through the tour we learned a lot about the history of Galveston Island and the Moody family. There is another historic home called the Bishop's Palace in Galveston, but I would recommend the Moody Mansion over it if you only have time for one.

My first trip to Galveston was really nice, we managed to fit a lot in a few days, and I would like to go back again some time. Have you been to Galveston? What did you enjoy doing there?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

July Highlights! (And Birthday Post)

I sound like such a broken record, but when the heck did it get to be August?!!!! I leave for Tigertown a week from tomorrow. As always, I'm recapping my month, but with a little twist because I'm also including what I intended to post on my birthday last week (oops).

July Highlights + 21 Facts About Me

|| TURNING 21 ||

 So this was definitely the biggest thing to happen this month, even if it did just happen at the end. I'm finally 21! I've always been the baby of all of my friends, so I feel like I'm finally caught up with the big kids. I celebrated my birthday at the beach with my family on the day, then my first barhopping experience with my best friends this past weekend. It was so much fun, especially going out with my friends since we will all be in different places this year.


At the end of June, I finally got myself together and went to the new public library in my town to renew my library card and check out some books. Since then, I've been reading a ton! This month alone, I read American Wife by Curtis Sittenfield, The Last Anniversary and The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty, Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter by Lisa Patton, and Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. Our library has an app where you can check out e-books, so that's how I read Red Queen while I was on vacation - look into whether your library offers something similar. I liked everything I read, but Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter was a definite favorite - check out the recommendation from Nell on Prep in Your Step. I also love a good Young Adult series, so Red Queen was another favorite - it has a lot of twists and turns and wasn't what I expected, I'm itching to start the next in the series.

|| STATS ||

Y'all! The craziest thing happened about two weeks ago, I had a blog post take off on Pinterest. Like over 1,000 views on that post alone. To some people that may seem like nothing, but it's HUGE to me. And I hit a huge goal of mine with the help of that post and reached over 10,000 total views! I'm super close to 11,000 so feel free to share with your friends and family! Also, don't forget to follow me on social media (did you notice my fancy new social buttons in the sidebar? Check em out ;)

Now for the second part of this post, I intended to put it up on my birthday, but I was enjoying vacation. So better late than never, here are 21 facts about me.

1. I am the third of four siblings. My mom calls me her "well adjusted middle child," but I'm not entirely sure what that means.

2. I don't have a good reason for why I chose the college I did. Clemson just felt right in the end, so I acted on my gut feeling and haven't looked back.

 3. Texas country music is the best music in the world and what I will choose to listen to above all else. (if you like country and are looking for something new, check out Aaron Watson, Casey Donahew, or Josh Abbott Band, they're my faves).

4. When I was in the fourth grade, I modeled in a magazine called Discovery Girls. Each month they chose a state and chose girls from that state to feature. We all met in Houston and got to spend a weekend shooting for the magazine, luckily those photos do no still exist online.

5. If I could live anywhere (besides TX, of course), I would live in Savannah, Georgia. It's the prettiest city I've ever been to. 

6. I would love to adopt a child one day.

7. I'm extremely type A, but also a major procrastinator. I have a perfectly color coded agenda, but wait until the last second to cross of those to-dos.

8. If I had to read one book for the rest of my life, it would be Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (the third). It's my favorite of the series, but I'm a huge Harry Potter nerd in general.

9. I would have been born on my grandma's birthday if it wasn't for Gloria Estafan. The doctor had tickets to her show on July 23rd and didn't want to miss it if I took too long.

10. I had my first job at 14 bussing tables at restaurant on the lake nearby.

11. I started this blog with the intention of it being a fashion blog, because I was so frustrated by other bloggers' opinion about what is "reasonably priced." I hope to eventually reach that goal.

12. While I went into college wanting to becoming a psychiatrist, I now plan to go into marketing research, but I never changed my major from psychology.

13. For the majority of my life, I was a cheerleader - either through competitive teams or school. I was even captain of my high school team my junior and senior years.

14. You've probably read about him on here before, but I have a wonderfully sweet boyfriend that I will have been dating for 3 years this November.

15. The most perfect meal, in my opinion, is a grilled cheese and tomato basil soup.

16. While I have grown to appreciate neutral colored clothing as I've gotten older, 9 times out of 10 I will choose to wear something bright colored over a neutral.

17. I have an obsession with all things pineapple - I love the fruit, but mostly my obsession is with pineapple decor or embellishments. I'm not sure where it came from but I don't think it's going anywhere anytime soon. I got a lamp with sequined pineapples on the shade (for my apartment) for my birthday.

18. I have an irrational nervousness (I wouldn't call it a fear) of people overhearing me talk on the phone. I won't have a long conversation with someone on the phone if there is someone else who may overhear, it feels like an invasion of privacy.

19. I'm extraordinarily fair skinned. It seems almost impossible for me to tan. I used to hate it, but it's grown on me as I've gotten older. If only I could find foundation the right shade.

20. I rarely go a day without wearing makeup, but only because I really enjoy applying makeup and it's a relaxing part of my morning routine.

21. I'm extremely introverted and shy to start off with, but once I get to know someone I can chatter on forever.

So there you have it. Some of the highlights of my July and 21 facts about me! What were some of the favorite parts of your month?