Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My trip to Dallas Part 1: On the road, Reunion Tower and In N' Out Burger

A fun road trip to Dallas TX

I’ve been meaning to write this post up for a few weeks now, but with school and other things keeping me busy, I’m just getting around to it. I have so many photos to share that I decided to divide the post into two parts. Here’s part 1:

Last month, (February 2015) I took a road trip to Dallas to see Maroon 5 in concert. It was probably the best concert I’ve ever been to. (Adam Levine, *swoon*) The night before we left, I took my two dogs to my parent’s house and I had so much anxiety about leaving them. L Anyone else get terrible anxiety when leaving their pets?

We left on Sunday at 6 am. It was still pretty dark out.

Road trip driving at dawn

My friend drove for about an hour and a half and then we switched so I could drive. It was on my bucket list to drive on a long road trip and I got to accomplish that in this trip. Dallas is about 8 hours away from the city where I live. It was a long drive and I think I ended up driving about 4 hours.

I wanted to be comfy but still presentable for the 8 hour drive, so I wore a pair of black leggings and a flannel shirt. Gas station bathroom selfie... 

Bathroom selfie on a road trip!

I made sure to pack plenty of healthy snacks and a cooler with water and I'm proud to say I didn't buy any snacks or junk food during the whole drive over there. My friend took over driving again in Austin and I grabbed some grapes, a yogurt and a bottle of water I had packed to snack on.

Healthy road trip snack

Packing healthy snacks like yogurt is key when trying to eat healthier!

 It was cloudy the whole drive over there, but it still made for some nice scenery.

Cloudy day during a road trip to Dallas, TX

When we got to Waco we were starving because we'd only had (healthy) snacks to eat the whole day. My friends wanted to stop at a McDonald's drive-thru so I ordered a Southwest grilled chicken salad.

Healthy eating during a road trip. McDonald's Southwest chicken salad.

It may look decent in the picture, but I did't like it at all. The chicken tasted weird and had a weird texture so I mostly ate the veggies and some more grapes. This McDonald's was right across the street from Baylor University. It's an amazing campus I wish there had been time to get down and take some pictures but sadly I couldn't. 

Finally, around 2:30 p.m. we reached the outskirts of Dallas and that city skyline was visible. 

Dallas Texas city skyline

I live in a small town, so seeing all the tall buildings made got me excited. (and made for great photos)

Dallas Tx roadtrip!

Dallas, Tx bridge

We stayed at a Best Western and it was actually really nice and close to everything we wanted to do. There were three of us so we just rented one room with an extra bed.

Best Western Hotel Dallas Texas

We rested for a while and watched some T.V. They were playing the first Sex & the City Movie. Then we got cleaned up and ready to go sightsee. These are some of the outfits I packed.

How to choose your outfits for a trip.

Outfit planning for a trip.

It was kind of chilly, so I ended up choosing jeans, boots, a cardigan and a statement necklace. I also like to wear a cross-body bag when I sightsee to have my hands free and my valuables close to me.

The first place we went to was the Reunion Tower at the Hyatt Regency. It's a 561 foot tower with an open Geo-Deck for viewing the city below. It's also home to a cafe and restaurant. 

Reunion tower in Dallas TX great place to see the city, especially at night!

View of the Reliant tower in Dallas

Hyatt Regency Hotel and Reunion Tower

Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dallas

The elevator that takes you up the tower has a clear glass wall so you can see everything as your'e going up.

We made it just as the sun was setting so we got to see the city view at night and it was spectacular. 

Night city view of Dallas

City at night in Dallas, a must see!

Lighted buildings in Dallas

It was amazing seeing the city from up there and I highly recommend you go if you're ever in Dallas. 

Wolfgang Puck has a restaurant at the very top level of the tower called Five Sixty. I didn't get to go up there but it was exciting seeing it, I remember watching Wolfgang Puck's cooking shows on the Food Network when I was a kid. The level where his restaurant is also rotates, how cool is that!?

Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck in Dallas TX

Wolfgang Puck's restaurant in Dallas TX at the Reunion Tower!

We were the only ones on our way back down to leave and the girl operating the elevator turned the lights off inside for us so we rode in the dark with a see through wall seeing all the lights in the city. It was a little scary at first but I loved it! I didn't get a picture because I was just enjoying the view.

After visiting the Reunion Tower we went to dinner at In N' Out Burger. I had never been but had seen it mentioned on Instagram and Pinterest many, many times. I got the regular cheeseburger and animal style fries. The fries had melted American cheese, grilled onions and their special sauce. I expected to like the fries the best but it was the burger that was amazing! I only had a few bites of the fries and ate all the burger. Best burger I've ever had hands down.

In N' Out Burger Dallas TX

Animal style fries at In N' Out Burger

After dinner, we went back to the hotel to rest after a super long day. They were still playing a Sex and the City movie marathon so I caught up with Carrie and the girls.

I'm working on part two of the trip (including the Maroon 5 concert!) and I'll post that soon!

Check out Part 2 here and Part 3 here.

What are some fun things to do in Dallas?

Sunday, March 8, 2015

30 Before 30 List: See The Sunset At The Beach

Panoramic iphone photo of the sun setting over the Laguna Madre in South Padre Island Texas

As I mentioned in my previous post, I created my 30 Before 30 List in October of last year. The first item I was able to cross off was seeing the sunset at the beach. This actually happened in October of last year, on the 26th to be exact, but I didn’t have a blog yet so I’m just posting about it now.

The nearest beach to me is South Padre Island in Texas. Maybe you’ve heard of it? It’s a really famous Spring Break spot, speaking of which I bet a lot of Spring Breakers are already arriving for a week of nonstop partying. I’ve actually never been to the island on Spring Break, anyway, it’s a beautiful beach that runs along the border of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s pretty peaceful (other than during Spring Break) and since Texas has fairly nice weather year round I was able to go in October and I enjoyed it immensely.

I have to mention, the actual beach is on the East side of the island. So that means that the sun sets on the side of the Laguna Madre. Technically I saw the sunset over the Laguna Madre but it was at the beach so I’m counting it anyway.

Even the sights during our drive to the island were beautiful.

blue sky green grass road trip

Blue skies and green grass during a road trip to South Padre Island Texas

Freud and Funfetti Lifestyle Blog driving to the beach beautiful blue skies

Welcome to S.P.I! 

Welcome to South Padre Island!

We got there around 5 p.m. and the sun was still pretty high in the sky.

sun over the beach at SPI Texas

30 before 30 list sunset

Can't you just feel yourself relaxing just looking at the pictures? I took all these pictures with my iPhone! 

Bird flying over the water so peaceful. On my bucket list of things to see!

I had packed some food for a little picnic before the sunset. Some fresh wraps and baked chips.

We parked our car close to the water next to some really colorful restaurants.

amberjacks and claytons beach bar, colorful restaurants by the beach!

The view was breathtaking.

I think the sun started to set around 6:30 p.m It was so nice to be able to see the progress of the sun setting and seeing the sky change color.

Cotton candy sky iPhone photography!

Bucket list item seeing the sunset at the beach!

Look at those candy colors!

Pink skies blue water, the perfect sunset photo

This is probably my favorite photo I took while I was there. That pier silhouetted against the sunset and the water, it's something I'll never forget.

The restaurants were bathed with light from the magic hour. We actually saw a sunset dinner cruise pass by while we were there. I definitely want to do that one day!

Until next time sunset!

After we saw the sun set over the Laguna Madre, we decided to head to the East side where the Gulf of Mexico is. We walked for a little while on the sand, it felt nice and cool on my toes. There were so many little see through crabs running around, my friend got scared and put her shoes on. 

Pathway to the beach, Gulf of Mexico, Texas

The perfect end to the perfect day.

Crossing this item off my list really made me feel like I had accomplished something. I think the feeling of satisfaction was more due to the experience of seeing the sun setting and spending some time in nature. That sunset is probably one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. 

I'm glad that I was able to have this experience and including it on my 30 Before 30 List made sure I got to go through with it.

What's the first item you crossed off your 30 Before 30 List?

My 30 Before 30 List!

30 before 30 list  maroon 5 concert #30before30 blog watercolor tattoo balloon sunset

I first heard about the #30before30 list on Instagram last year. I clicked on the hash tag, looked at some pictures and found out what it was all about. It’s like a shortened version of a bucket list or life list that you set yourself to complete before you turn thirty. I loved the idea and immediately set to work on mine in October of last year, which happens to be my birthday month. That means I gave myself one year to complete the thirty items on my list.

You can make this list with as much time as you like, for example you can make it when you're twenty or twenty-five or twenty-nine like me. I would of liked to have known about this list sooner but I think having a one year timeline is enough so that I don’t feel pressured, and at the same time I don’t slack off thinking I have too much time to complete the items on my list.

I chose to participate in this challenge because I, like many of you out there have a bucket list­­- a very long one. I’m sure I can cross a few things off of that list but when you don’t have a time frame you tend to not go through with things. This is a way for me to make sure that before I turn thirty, I’ll have accomplished some things I will be proud of, some things that will help me grow as a person and also add new experiences to my life.  

Oh and before I forget to mention, if you’d like to participate in this challenge you can do it within whatever age group you’re in. For example, 20 Before 20, 40 Before 40 and so on.

Let’s jump in to my list!

1. See the sunset at the beach.

sunset at south padre island Texas beach bucket list 30 before 30

2. See Maroon 5 in concert.

maroon 5 dallas texas concert adam levine att center bucket lst

3. Travel internationally. (Somewhere other than North America.)
4. Join a club or organization at my university.
5. Start a blog or YouTube Channel. (You are Here! <3)
6. Get my passport.
7. Volunteer for a good cause.
8. Get healthy. (In progress.)
9. Have a better wardrobe. (In progress.)
10. Do a color run.
11. Bake cookies from scratch.
12. Visit Stonehenge in England.
13. Make a wall art piece.
14. Go for a walk at dawn.
15. Go to a corn maze.
16. Watch a meteor shower or eclipse.
17. Attend an art exhibition at a museum.
18. Read 24 books. (3/24)
19. Start a journal.
20. Get a tattoo.
21. Shoot a gun.
22. Redecorate my room. (In progress)
23. Ride a double-decker bus.
24. Tie a message to a balloon and let it go.
25. Do 5 random acts of kindness.
26. Get a massage.
27. Try watercolor tattoos in the summer.
28. Get a tan.
29. Play paint Twister.
30. Try Gelato.

I also wanted to mention a quick tip for when you’re coming up with ideas for your own list. Try to include little things on your list that are easy to do and also include a few bigger things. If you only include really big things like flying a plane, winning the lottery or becoming President, chances are you won’t get to finish your list in the time you set for yourself. It might also make you feel like you won’t be able to complete the list so you might end up throwing in the towel and not doing any of them.

So have an equal mixture of things to do and make sure you take lots of pictures!

What’s on your 30 Before 30 List?