The Polar Express and Moody Gardens – Galveston, Texas

Who has gone on The Polar Express train ride? Was it in Palestine or some other location? I recently did The Polar Express in Galveston. I will admit that I did not do any research on this beforehand. The family was going and I said sure, I will go. I think I was expecting a little more than what it actually was. For one, I don’t think the train actually went anywhere, I am pretty sure we just went back and forth on the tracks at the museum. Mattie is at the age where she was probably a little too old for this but her little cousin loved it. They had some dancing and singing, then served hot chocolate and cookies. It wasn’t a bad experience, and maybe my expectations were too high, but I was just expecting a little more. Everyone else I have talked too said the one in Palestine is really good.

Even though the weather was chilly and rainy we got to do the Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens, this was pretty interesting. They had a tent called Ice land, where everything inside the tent was made of ice. They even handed out parkas when you went inside because it was that cold in there. I had on pants, a sweater, a sweatshirt, a jacket, the parka, a beanie, and some gloves and I was still a little chilly. They even had an ice bar in the middle of the tent. This was really cool, although I did feel bad for the worker having to work the bar.

Next we did the light tour. I will admit, I have gotten a little spoiled riding the hay ride to look at lights at Santa’s Wonderland. This time, we had to walk, which exercise is good. Just know that it is roughly a mile walk. If you are unable to walk, they do have golf carts that you can sign up for that will take you around. As we were touring the lights, we found the highlight of the whole trip, the skating rink.

We arrived at it just in time for Mattie to be able to skate some. That 15-20 minutes of skating, made her whole trip. I even got out there and joined in on the fun!

Overall the trip was a lot of fun. If you like the coast and enjoy the sea, this is definitely a place to check out. I also think everyone needs to try The Polar Express at least once, you never know, it may be the highlight of your trip!

Besides Santa’s Wonderland, does any body else have any Holiday Traditions that they partake in or go too?

As always share some love, we could all use a little more love

Galveston, Texas

Oh, how my soul was calling for the coast? Do you ever get that? That longing to be somewhere else? To recharge, to feel at peace once again? Do you have a special place that does that for you? This year I have discovered that mine is the coast. There is just something so peaceful about sitting on the sand and listening to the waves crash. Don’t get me wrong, if I could get away to the mountains as quickly as I could get to the coast, I would be there as well.

Despite it being rainy and cold, while waiting for a table at a restaurant, Mattie and I made a mad dash across the street and walked down the stairs at the seawall to the sand. We watched the the waves crash in and she even picked up a sea shell. While it was only a few short minutes by the water, it was all I needed. That time was even more special because Mattie was there with me. I hope that I am teaching her to follow her heart and do things that bring her joy.

One of my favorite things about traveling is eating at places that are new and unfamiliar to me. I got in two new restaurants the last couple days in Galveston.

Riondo’s Ristorante – we stumbled onto this restaurant while doing the Polar Express. They had a truck serving drinks while people were waiting to get on the train. The owner gave us a 15% off card so we decided to check out the restaurant for dinner. It is located in historic downtown Galveston and offers Northern Italian Cuisine and sources their ingredients from local farmers’ markets, fresh seafood from The Galveston Shrimp Company, and beef from 44 Farms.

I went with one of the specials for the night. A filet topped with crab meat, served with your choice of scallop potatoes or vegetables…. of course I went with the scallop potatoes. Disclaimer… I am not the biggest seafood person but I have been venturing out and trying new things and I am so glad that I did. While, my steak was a little overcooked, it was still very tender. The crab meat, delicious. No other words for it. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with potatoes, they were great as well. Did I mention, they serve bread as well? While I did not get a picture of that, bread is practically the way to my heart.

Shykatz – I was looking for a good breakfast place on our way out of town and found this one. It is on the East End and they serve baked goods, breakfast and lunch. We hit the jackpot with this one. Not only was the outside adorable but so was the inside.

I tried one of their croissants, talk about melt in your mouth, it was so good. For my meal, I got the Benni’s Breakfast Tostadas. It was a tostada with beans, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, onions, bell peppers, cheese, avocados, and salsa. Have I mentioned that I love Mexican food? This was the first item listed on the menu and I looked no further. The tostadas were crispy! The toppings topped off with salsa, best breakfast I have had in a while.

There are restaurants galore in Galveston, I am just glad to have stumbled upon these two. Great experiences with great food. I will be sharing all about my Polar Express trip in the next blog, stay tuned!

As always share some love, we could all use a little more love.

Resilience – Book Review

I ordered this book a while back and it has been sitting in my stack of to-read books. I have no doubt that God, the Universe, whatever you believe in, has a way of putting things in your lap when you need them and this book for me, was one of those things.

This book is letters written to a fellow Navy Seal that has been going through some hard times. It is about resilience and how to work through the hard times and keep going. If you are into philosophy, he shares a ton of additional books to read (which have all been added to my running list of books to read ;).

“Resilience is the virtue that enables people to move through hardship and become better” After reading this line, I knew there was a reason I was reading this book at this time. Hardship is not supposed to hinder but only make us better, it all comes down to perspective and how you look at things.

“Don’t expect a time in your life when you’ll be free from change, free from struggle, free from worry.” I needed this line. For so long, I had thought, okay if I can just make it to here, things will be better. If I can just do this, I won’t struggle as much. Knowing that there will always be some kind of struggle, some kind of worry almost eases the pressure. Allows you to be more in the moment and to keep creating the life you envisioned for yourself.

“The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken place” – Hemingway

“Wonder at what you don’t know is the source of the wisdom you might achieve one day” I loved this, learning for me is something I never stop doing. From books I read, to podcasts I listen to, to courses I take. I never want to stop learning.

“Start copying what you love. Copy, copy, copy, copy. At the end of the copy you will find yourself” – Yohji Yamamoto

For someone who is starting something new and doesn’t know where to start. Start by finding someone in the same field you admire. Copy their work, do what they do, and before you know it, you will have put your own spin on it and “you will find yourself”.

“If you want to live a purposeful life, you have to create your purpose” This part of the book was a little mind blowing for me. I have read books and listened to podcasts on finding your purpose. What is your why? I always wondered, how do you find your purpose? Is this just something you are born knowing? Eric put a different spin on this, instead of finding your purpose, he said create your purpose. Reading it from this perspective, it was almost like a lightbulb going off. Create your purpose.

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how” – Nietzsche

“With the right reflection we learn to turn our experience into wisdom that shapes how we live. The way you see the world is shaped by the reflection you are willing to do”

There is not a single hardship that we as humans have faced that has not been faced before. It is what you do with that hardship that determines how your life will go. Are you reflecting on it, are you growing from it or are you wallowing in it? You will get knocked down, time and time again, but will you keep standing up?

Reflection has been good for me this year, the hardship chapters have closed and this new phase of finding myself has emerged. Become a resilient person, you never know what kind of life is waiting on the other side.

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