Taking a look back on 2012, I really only think – man, where did the time go?! Does anyone else feel that way? I can’t believe that 2012 is already over. There were some great experiences. It’s pretty amazing how every year things happen that completely change your life and who you are. The most amazing thing for me was that I became an aunt. I love that little girl like no other!
Travel wise, I had opportunities to check out some great places. The more I write this post, I really wish I could include every place that I went because they were all awesome. I would really suggest visiting anywhere I’ve been in the last year. More importantly, I would really suggest just jumping in your car on weekends and just taking a chance at the great things you can see along the way!
In 2012, I had the opportunity to visit: Portsmouth, NH, Memphis, TN, Ft. Walton Beach, FL, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Vemont (3 times), and Grapevine, Wichita Falls, Austin, Greune, San Antonio, Ennis and countless other little Texas towns. Even in the area that I live, I had opportunities to explore Texas further, check out some great events and great music shows!
When it comes to traveling, I thought I would do a little recap and share with you some of my favorite spots from 2012 (in no particular order).
My mouth begins to water already. We headed to the Salt Lick for my birthday last August (one of the best trips ever). If you are itching for some GREAT Texas BBQ for a very reasonable price, this is your place. The rustic atmosphere is out of this world. It’s BYOB, be prepared for a wait but it’s so worth it.
The South is known for food and in the deep South, look for pork inspired BBQ. Rendezvous’ atmosphere is on a completely different level, down home feel and the waiters wear bow ties (who doesn’t love that?!). Be sure to pick up a bottle (or two) of the BBQ sauce on the way out. You’ll be craving it the next day.
The River House, Portsmouth, NH
Honestly, still craving the lobster roll. That’s all I need to say.
As soon as I was in Greune, I felt at home and I can’t wait to go back! Authentic, down home Hill Country greatness and did I mention Greune Hall?! The music is amazing and if that alone didn’t do it, Jeff Strahan actually sung me Happy Birthday
. (You can see my sparkly earrings in the back.) Of course it’s going to make my list!
San Antonio, TX
Talk about visiting a lost treasure. The Missions in San Antonio are irreplacable landmarks. If you are in town, be sure to capture the beauty of these buildings (plus it’s free so there’s no excuse not to go). While you’re there, also be sure to check out the Riverwalk for a relaxing boat ride and one of the local restaurants along the river.
If you’re on the hunt for an old, Atlantic seaport town look no further than Portsmouth, NH. I visited last January for an old roommates wedding and completely fell in love. Try out some restaurants, microbrews but more importantly, be sure to soak in as much history as you can! Did I mention lobster rolls?! (See The River House above.)
Places to Stay (Hopefully I can expand this list in 2013)
Ok this list is going to be a little short as I didn’t get to stay at that many locations in 2012 but we did treat ourselves to a night at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis. Seriously, it’s so worth splurging a little bit. Seeing the ducks is a necessity as is relaxing and splurging a little on dessert. Do it! You know you wanna! Did I mention it’s on the Registry of Historic Hotels?!
This was my first time checking out a Civil War reenactment and I really hope it’s not my last because I’ve been missing out (and you have too if you haven’t been). Whether or not you pick a side to root for, the authenticity and detail that goes into these events are absolutely outstanding. I really can’t even put it into words but when I saw the Union Army come out of the woods, it really took my breath away. Then the cannons went off and that took my hearing. I hear the Gettysburg Reenactment is the next one to check out. Who wants to go?!
My addiction to soccer began here and its definitely something that I didn’t see coming. I can’t wait to catch another game.
Their first sold out show. Their first encore. One of the best shows that I’ve ever witnessed and it’s bittersweet to say that it will never happen again. The Lumineers have completely blown up over the last six months. They’re all over the radio and TV and rightfully so. If you think they’re great on their album, it’s really nothing until you’ve seen them in person. If there’s one band to check out – it’s these guys. Talk about authenticity!
If you’re looking for a little relaxation during the most stressful time of the year, look no further. Taking a couple hours to unwind on a vintage train and enjoy some local flavor is one of the best decisions you can make. It’s so totally worth it.
If you’ve followed my blog, you would know I’m a huge fan of the Texas Steak Cookoff in Hico. This year, I was asked to be a judge and I couldn’t have been more honored (and stuffed). Every year it seems like this event grows a little more but some of the faces are still familiar for those competing. My suggestion, go to eat (all day), bring your own beer and if you’re a good cook – just sign up and join in on the competition. Seriously, can’t go wrong! Plus it’s affordable and the whole family will love it!
Looking back, I can’t believe the opporutnities that I’ve had in 2012. I feel truely blessed and am so excited to see what’s to come in 2013! Wishing you, your families and loved ones the very best in 2013! Get out there, check out what there is to see and by all means – please let me know what you run into along the way or if there’s a certain place that I should check out! I can’t wait to hear about your adventures!