Wednesday, July 16, 2014

3rd Year: In Review

It all started three years ago! We've passed the official anniversary date of Jason's third year working for Southwest Airlines.  At this point, it's getting hard to remember the life of confirmed seats and advanced planning.

This past year was definitely the year of family and friends. We were able to go to so many weddings and other important events for so very little. All in all, we saved over $7,500 last year - although it's pretty much a certainty that many of those trips couldn't have happened at all without SWA.

We've been so blessed with the ability and resources to travel. Thank you to everyone that has made this easier, especially our faithful crew of puppy watchers! We couldn't do it without you!

Here's where we've been able to travel during the past year:

Orlando, FL
Simi Valley, CA
Portland, OR
Albuquerque, NM
Brooklyn, NY
Lawrence, KS
Oklahoma City, OK (2 times)
San Diego, CA
St. Louis, MO
Tampa, FL
New Orleans, LA
Austin, TX

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Mexico City, Mexico
Ambergris Caye and San Ignacio, Belize
Tikal, Guatemala

For our next year, our (always tentative) plans include Japan (Toyko and Kyoto) in the Fall, and Maui, Toronto and either Greece or the UK in the first half of 2015. Domestically, we'd love to revisit some favorites. Click here to see all of our plans.

Here's some of our favorite travel moments from Year 3:

 Wine Tasting near Portland, OR
Heather & Patrick's Wedding in Portland, OR
Exploring Malibu
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 
Jenna's Bachelorette Weekend in Brooklyn, NY
Jenna's Wedding in Lawrence, KS 
Anne Frank House in Amsterdam
Thanksgiving Trip to Amsterdam with John & Mal
Brittany's Baby Shower  & Meeting Cora in OKC
On top of the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan, Mexico
Running Torrey Pines' trails in San Diego, CA
Snorkeling in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Belize
Exploring Tikal, Guatemala 
ATM Caves in Belize
Our Day Exploring the French Quarter & NOLA
Exploring Austin with the family and pup

Thanks Southwest Airlines...we're having a blast! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Austin, TX

Austin is a pretty quick drive from Dallas and Houston, so we were able to meet up with my parents for a long 4th of July weekend with the pup!

On our way there, we had to pick up kolaches at the Czech Stop in West, Texas.

Our first stop in Austin was lunch on the patio at Javelina's. Next, we ventured up to Mount Bonnell for some awesome views of Austin. That night, we had a birthday/mother's day/father's day dinner of PF Changs...always yummy!

Fredericksburg is a bit outside of Austin, so we made a day of touring the wine country. It was a cute area with some country charm. My favorite part is that so many of the wineries allow dogs, so we made a strategic plan to hit as many of those as possible.

Our first stop was Becker Vineyards. It was SUPER pet-friendly. They even had a tasting area set up outside. Wonderful! The wine here was also really good! It was a beautiful day to relax on the patio with the pup.

Next, we drove to Chisholm Trails Winery. Again, super dog friendly with a fenced in patio. We got lunch at their pizza kitchen, the Open Oven. Yum! Horseshoes, wine and pizza, who could ask for more? Indy even got to meet a donkey (although he wanted nothing to do with it)!

Our last stop was at William Chris Vineyards. It started off as a pretty horrible experience, which was a shame, because the server and wine were both great! It's an Aggie-run business, so we TRIED to like it, but I wouldn't ever go back. Being dog-friendly was a positive, but man, we just couldn't get over the terrible service at the beginning of our visit.

That night, we went to Maudie's for some delicious Tex-Mex! Overall, it was a great weekend with the family and Indy was SO happy to be included. He was a perfect pup, so hopefully more trips are in his future!

Next up: I'll be trying to head to Albuquerque to see my grandpa this month and we have another trip to either LA or Sedona in our near future as well.