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
XOXOXO
Casey

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.
XOXOXOXO
Casey

Soul Connections

Have you ever had people in your life that you instantly connected with? People that after a while of being around each other, you developed an intense connection? Not just the surface level friend connection, the kind of connection where you can sit and talk for hours, have in depth conversations on life, feelings, the meaning of things. Those friendships/relationships that you see lasting a life time, the ones where you talk about growing old together or living next door to each other and raising kids together. I firmly believe that these type of connections are a necessity to us. With the advancement of technology we have anyone we could ever want to talk to right at our fingertips but how many of those people do you actually have a connection with? A conversation through text messaging is nothing compared to a conversation in person. To sit with someone and feel the energy, to watch as their eyes light up when they get excited about things. To embrace and cry together when things are not okay, that is a true connection.

I have had some amazing best friends in my life. Friends that were there for everything. The good, the bad, and the really really hard stuff. The battles that on my own, I wasn’t sure if I would have made it out. Unfortunately, life has a crazy way of happening, moves get made, jobs change, and one day you wake up and realize you haven’t heard from your friends in a while. Next thing you know, six months, a year, and then two years have gone by. That connection that you once had, it fizzles and dies. If you both aren’t actively putting energy into the relationship, it is hard to maintain it, especially when it is long distance and over text messages. I speak as someone who has lost most of their connections along the way. As someone who is really terrible at communicating when it comes to maintaining those relationships that are long distance. As someone who watches posts and follows along with their friends life from afar.

Soul connections are a rare find. When you find them, don’t let them go. Water them, nourish them, and grow together. Be there to pick each other up, an ear when it’s needed, a sounding board, and someone that gives honest feedback even when it may hurt. One of the greatest things that I have learned this past year, is how precious true friendship is. You don’t know what you are missing until you don’t have it anymore.

Me, I have a big heart, I am a big time lover, I am all about connecting with people. However, I have been hurt deepest by some of the people that I was the closest with. Not everyone is meant to stay in your life forever though. Some people are only there for a season, to teach you something you needed to know. While it hurts, after you get through the pain, the reflection, I guarantee you will come out a stronger person. Those connections serve an even better purpose, helping you get to the person you were meant to be. We need connections now more than ever, so don’t let seasonal connections deter you from making new ones.

I have recently started something new and it has been really good for me. If I am with those important people in my life and we go to dinner or hang out, I disconnect from my phone. I put it in my purse, leave it in the truck, or just keep it out of sight. This way, I can truly give my undivided attention to those people and there is something special about that. We need more of that.

Never stop being open to making new connections, you never know who may change your life.

Share some love, we could all use a little more love

XOXOXO

Casey