All posts by lifebyheather

Life’s a beach

Several of our weekends in October were spent at the beach on South Padre Island.  The first weekend of the month we went to celebrate Ross’ birthday.  We enjoyed a lovely brunch at Pier 19, which included plenty of vegetables in our Bloody Mary’s balanced out by chocolate birthday cake.

A full serving of vegetables with breakfast!
Balance in your daily diet is important!

Next on the agenda was paddle boarding.   It was Ross’ first time out paddle boarding.  I had been twice before.  We both manged to stay upright on our paddle boards.  The current in the gulf was very swift.  Our goal was to paddle towards the bridge, but as soon as we stopped to take a short break we ended up going backwards.  Eventually, Ross had had enough paddling and attempted to bust out a few handstands.  Considering he doesn’t practice handstands on a regular basis, he didn’t do too bad.  It was very entertaining.

We were fortunate enough to catch the sand castle competition on South Padre Island at Clayton’s.  Sculptors from all over the world came to participate in the competition.  Seeing these sand castles made me think twice about the sand castles I’d built in the past.  All kidding aside, the detail put in the sand castles was amazing.  A lot of hard work and talent went into those masterpieces.  Unfortunately, they didn’t last as long as they normally do, as South Padre Island felt the effects of Hurricane Michael a few days later.

The next weekend, we headed back to South Padre Island to go camping on the beach.  Who knew you could drive on the beach? We drove all the way to the end of the island for what seemed like 25 miles on the beach.  Once you get to the end there is a jettie composed of gigantic pieces of granite (I think).  Anybody need a new counter top?  It was extremely windy the entire time we out on the jettie.  It was cool to see the waves crash against the all sides of the jettie.  Sometimes you forget how powerful and beautiful nature can be all at the same time.

Beware that on the way to the end of the island there is a section for no tan lines if you dare.

On the way back down the beach, we found the perfect camping spot.  We made shish kabobs and jalapeno poppers  with our friends and enjoyed a beautiful sunset overlooking the sand dunes. Once it was time for bed, we pitched our tents.  The idea of camping on the beach was really romantic, but in reality camping on the beach wasn’t all that romantic.  Yes, you could hear the waves all night, but that didn’t make up for the 25 mph winds, that didn’t let up as they whipped through our tent.  There is nothing peaceful about winds that strong when you are trying to sleep.  If there is another opportunity to camp on a beach, I’ll be sure to check the wind speeds first before camping in a tent.  However, I can now say I have camped on a beach.

Good times in South Padre

Date night at the Monster Truck Show

It’s good to do different things every now and then. Friday night we ventured out to the Monster Truck Show at the Ector County Coliseum. The arena where the show was held was close quarters for the monster trucks.


I was a little partial to Bigfoot since it’s from St. Louis, MO.  It was fun to watch Bigfoot maneuver the tight arena.


Fun fact, Bigfoot jumped a 727 airplane in 1999.  It wasn’t this particular Bigfoot truck pictured.

Each of the monster trucks in the show were very different.

Monster Patrol
Carolina Crusher
King Krunch

Between the monster truck rounds were the stock truck races which were equally as entertaining as the main event.

Wild Thing

The driver of Wild Thing was very animated after each run. Notice the actual Wild Thing on the hood of the truck. There was an added element to the truck as the animal would stand up as the truck went over the ramps.

Then there was the little red car that could with the smoke stack. This car was definitely one of a kind! It was barely hanging on as it zipped around the track, but it did manage to kick some butt. Best yet, if you are looking to buy a car for a new driver, this one could be the one!

The little red car that could!

The night was a lot of fun! It’s good to change things up and do something different.

Oh so tasty!

Last weekend (9/23/18) was all about the food. We have recently landed in Harlingen, TX. We haven’t had the chance to do much exploring, but we have sampled some tasty cuisine.  On Friday evening, we headed out to The Oyster Bar.  It’s not a fancy place, but the food is tasty and that’s all matters.  20180921_194100

Dinner was the stuffed shrimp plate and the 2 skewer fish dinner with beach drinks.  Fried food isn’t normally part of the daily diet and thankfully it wasn’t greasy.  Despite the meal being fried, it was very tasty.

Saturday morning we headed to McAllen, TX to run a few errands.  While we were out, we stopped by Rex Cafe and Bakery for breakfast.  It’s local diner that’s been around since the 1940s.  The place was packed, but there were two open seats at the counter.  Spanish was the language of communication.  Our limited skill level was put to the test when we ordered our breakfast.


The chicken migas I ordered was the best authentic Mexican meal I’ve ever had.  From my research, migas means tortillas.  The tortillas were homemade that morning and so good.

Being so far south means plenty of authentic Mexican food and abundant amounts of fresh seafood.  I’m a happy camper!

Paella Dinner

Tonight (9/6/18) I headed to The Basque Market for a Paella dinner. The Paella is made in a huge skillet outside. It’s a beautiful dish filled with great flavor and color. I dined at a community table and made friends with the people at my table.

Paella Dinner at The Basque Market

On the first Thursday of the month art galleries and shops are open late. It was a pleasant evening to be out and about in downtown Boise.

On a side note, I went to the Basque Museum a few weeks ago in Boise.   It’s an interesting museum that gives you a great overview of the Basque culture.  The Basque Country is a community in northern Spain and southern France, near the Pyrenees.

High in the sky

I ventured out of bed early to check out the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic,  last Wednesday and Thursday mornings (August 29th and 30th). The first day was for the kids.  The balloons were filled and tethered to the ground.  The kids got to “go up” for a quick ride.   I looked at the kids going up on their quick ride and thought that I might be able to do it.  For those that don’t know, I’m afraid/terrified of heights.  I struggle with climbing on a chair to change a light bulb.

Here are a few pictures from Wednesday.

On Thursday morning I went back to the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic.  I was there for all the opening festivities.  There was a call for volunteers and figured why not.  I stepped up to volunteer for the unknown.  I introduced myself to Tonia and was upfront about never having anything to do with hot air balloons.  She said as long as I could follow directions it wouldn’t be a problem.  Off we went to get everything set up.  I was tasked with the job of holding open the balloon so that the air could go into the balloon.  It was a little chilly and very windy as the fan was filling up the balloon.  2018-08-30-13-21-10

It was a sight to see all the balloons being blown up.  This was the first time I had ever seen hot air balloons being blown up.  Once the balloon was ready to be launched, I was asked if I wanted to go up.  Um, nope I’m afraid of heights, but thank you.  I opted to go with the chase crew.  I felt that was a safer option for myself.  We all piled into the truck and off we went to chase the balloon.  As a kid, I remember seeing hot air balloons flying over the fields by our house.  I had never really thought about people chasing the balloon so the balloon could be collected once it came down.  In our chase vehicle we had 5 people who weren’t from Boise.  It was an adventure following the balloon and following the GPS all at the same time.  While we were chasing the balloon, I was asking questions about going up and thinking, just maybe I could go up in a hot air balloon sometime.  Maybe, I will, it looks like it could be fun.  I was scaring myself, wondering how I could even think about going up in hot air balloon?  I’ll let you know if it happens.  I did have a fabulous time being  part of the Czech It Out crew for the day!

Here’s a few pictures from my day as part of the balloon crew.

Czech It Out Crew

Saturday at the Farmer’s Market

This past Saturday, I ventured out to the Farmer’s Market in downtown Boise.  I started the day out by waiting for the bus.  I learned the bus schedule on Saturday is different than during the week.  This means the buses don’t run as often and the bus line closest to where I am staying doesn’t operate.  I found the next closest bus stop and waited for what seemed like forever.  I probably could have walked to the market by the time the bus arrived.  I got to the market with an hour and a half to spare.  Plenty of time to wonder around and take it all in.  My goal for the farmer’s market was to get tomatoes and zucchini.  There’s nothing like fresh garden tomatoes in the summer.


I do enjoy wondering around a farmer’s market.  It’s so much better than going to the produce section at the grocery store.  At the grocery store you get what everybody knows, nothing too adventurous.  At a farmer’s market, you never know what you might discover, as I found a lemon cucumber, looks like a lemon.  The farmer told me it tastes just like a regular cucumber.  I have since eaten it and it does taste just like a regular cucumber.

After wondering around the farmer’s market I stopped to take a break and enjoyed watching kids and four-legged friends play in the water fountain.


I walked the streets of downtown Boise for the rest of the afternoon.  Here’s a few pictures of what I saw.  It was a lovely afternoon to be out and enjoying the day.

Until next time.