Wednesday, July 13, 2016


Sunset in Austin
We were remiss in getting this posted but arrived back in the USA at the end of February.  We arrived in Austin Texas and although we had had a wonderful time traveling around the world, we all felt excited and happy to be back in the good ol'USA.  We stayed at my parents' house in Austin and all of us were happy to see them.  My parents welcomed us with open arms and ended up spoiling all of us with great company, food and fun activities.  First off, my parents treated Justin and I to a romantic Valentines date at a wonderful restaurant, Truluck.  They had made us reservations, gave us a gift card and even spent the evening with the kids .  This was an extra special treat since Justin and I had not had a date night for the entire time we had been traveling.  The food was fantastic and the company was amazing.  During the rest of the visit we were all treated to a day at Austin's Park and Pizza.  This is a great area that has go karts, bumper boats, mini golf, laser tag, and amusement rides.  We all had a blast.  Justin slaughtered me in mini golf, much to my surprise!  We also went to a bounce park, where the kids had a great time jumping and bouncing.  They even tried the mechanical bull!  We ate at delicious places and my mom cooked the most amazing meals.  There really is nothing like your moms own cooking, and my mom is a fantastic chef.  High on our list was to go to a barbeque place called Rudy's.  We had all been talking about Rudy's for at least a month, and I will say that it did not disappoint.  During our visit my nephew, Thomas, had his 30th birthday.  My mom cooked the most delicious Moroccan  couscous with lamb and chicken.  It was so wonderful to spend the evening celebrating his birthday and visiting with my sister Nathalie, her husband Jeff and my niece Victoria.  It was great to catch up and share our adventure. 

Joel is intense in his go-kart!

During our visit, Justin planned on taking me up to Waco for a surprise visit to Magnolia Farms.  I am a huge fan of Chip and Joanna Gaines and their show fixer upper.  We, and I mean I, had a great time looking through their shop and visiting the silos.  They have a cute garden and even a fun play area for the kids.  We also took a drive over to their first shop and  went past the Harp Design Co.  During our lunch break, one of the restaurant staff told us of a house that was soon to be featured on a new episode of Fixer Upper, so after lunch we made a bee line to it and snapped a few pictures.  While in Waco we also took a tour of the Dr. Pepper museum.  This was a great day for me with being able to see things associated with my favorite show and favorite soda, win, win all around.   

Caroline at Magnolia Farms Store
House in Waco under renovation by Magnolia

Dr. Pepper Museum

Eden by the Dr. Pepper Man

Justin had also scoped out a place called Hamilton pools.  This is an easy 15 minute walk down to an amazing grotto where you can swim.  The kids tried to venture in but all of them except Eden, declared it too cold.  Eden on the other hand had a blast playing in the water.  Caleb, Joel and Danielle decided to explore the grotto and had fun building a fort with some logs they found lying around.  The grotto had a really pretty waterfall and Joel and Danielle went to stand under it. 

Hamilton Pools

Danielle Under the Waterfall

Eden testing out the water

All in all we had a truly wonderful time in Texas.  It was great not only spending time with my family but also being back in the United States.  

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