3. Make it a group date. Convince your couple friends to go on a scratch off lottery ticket crawl. Everyone has to be willing to sacrifice $10-20 and some gas money and a couple of hours of time. You stop at a place that sells scratch offs and purchase some. If someone wins or has any money left, you drive to the next place to purchase more scratch offs. You continue to do this until everyone is out of money, your two hours is over, or someone wins enough to treat everyone to drinks, to dinner, or to a movie. If someone wins BIG, be a good sport and celebrate with them.
4. Go play BINGO.
5. Watch a “lucky” movie like one of these: “The Joy Luck Club,” “Just My Luck,” or “Lucky”
7. Workout together by running in a St. Paddy’s Day 5K like the St. Paddy’s Dash Down Greenville in Dallas, TX on March 14th.
8. Find a festival near you in the month of March. Challenge yourself to go to one you wouldn’t normally go to. Who knows, you might end up having an amazing time. https://www.everfest.com/march-festivals
9. Have money to burn and some vacation time to spend, go on a trip to March, United Kingdom.
10. Make it a night at home full of romance and intimacy.
Last weekend, we decided to go on a spontaneous day trip. We needed out of the city. But when you live between two metroplexes that isn’t always easy to do, so we just ran away from home in search of an escape from all the stressors in our lives.
At first, we didn’t have a destination in mind. We just got in the car, decided how much we were willing to spend, and started driving. We wound up in Weatherford, Texas which is about 50 minutes from where we live. We didn’t really know what they had to offer, but we decided to make the most of whatever was available. Here’s our adventure in pictures.
We will go back when the weather warms up and the gardens are in bloom. The lake is also near by and we will want to spend some time checking it out. There are some neat antique shops and a lot of the local artist have their work for sale in many of the little shops. It’s a neat place.
I love waterfalls! Well, truth be known, I love water. I enjoy finding waterfalls, especially when I find out there is one in a place I wouldn’t normally think to look – like the middle of a city. Richardson, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, has a really nice waterfall hidden away in a neighborhood park. It is a great place for a stroll around the park, a picnic, or a fun little photo shoot with each other. It’s a fabulous place for a romantic date.
When I found out about this hidden waterfall, I was told it was located at Prairie Creek Park at 2305 W. Prairie Creek Dr., Richardson, TX 75080. This is actually the address of the park, but it got us close enough to find some real gems at this park including the waterfall. I’ll try to give more specific directions for those of you who’d like to go find this beauty.
The first thing we discovered was an environmental educational experience across the street from Prairie Creek Elementary School (2120 E Prairie Creek Dr.). Rock seating and a stairwell down to the water make for a nature-lover’s paradise right down a short well-worn path.
Right across from the elementary school is a beautiful, little covered bridge. I’m such a sucker for a covered bridge, so I thought this was so cute.
If you go to the left of the parking lot, you will find . . .
Chocolates, roses, romantic candle lit dinner out, sexy lingerie, and a fancy stay at a hotel or resort are all great ideas, but if you’re looking for some other ideas, here are some things to consider.
1. The first 14 days of February leave your love a special note. Maybe it’s always in the same place each day or maybe you place each one in a new place each day. Give them 14 reasons you love them, 14 special memories you’ve shared together, or 14 dreams you want to share with them, or mix it up. Have fun with it! It’s sure to make your love smile every day.
2. Find a recipe on Pinterest together, go to the store together, prep together, cook the meal together, set out the fancy dishes (or at least not the paper plates), light a candle, play some romantic music, enjoy the meal together, and clean up the mess together.
3. Want to workout together and a get a good laugh? Go do yoga with the goats.
4. Go on a cultural walk through the city looking for all the art that expresses love in some form or fashion. Take lots of selfies.
5. Take a pottery class, a painting class, a glass blowing class, a cooking class, or any other kind of class offered in your area. Just do it together.
6. Make chocolate covered strawberries together. Then enjoy them with a bottle of champagne, wine, or sparkling juice.
7. Check out the events going on in your area the week of Valentine’s Day. Pick one out together and commit to going. Have a great time!
8. Do a photo shoot together. Go to a place that’s special to you or one that will make a great backdrop for photos. Set the timer on your phone or camera and laugh through all those shots. Capture some priceless moments to last a lifetime.
9. Spend the evening planning a romantic getaway during the not-so-expensive off-peak times. Light candles. Play romantic music. Select your budget. Pick your dates. Plan your trip with romance in mind. Book it on Valentine’s Day to actually enjoy on a different day.
10. Create a playlist of songs that are special to both of you. Go for a drive and listen to them. Stop somewhere and take a walk hand in hand. Enjoy the sun setting together. Go find a place to gaze at the stars or enjoy the city’s skyline. Kiss under the moon. Look each other in the eyes and tell each other how much you love them. Just be present and together.
Winter isn’t my favorite time of year, but there are some pretty romantic moments to be had during the winter. Before we know it, everything around here will be budding and bursting with the first signs of spring. Before winter passes us by, challenge yourself to go on some amazing winter dates with the person you love the most.
1. Play in the snow. Build a snowman. Make snow angels. Go skiing, snowboarding, tubing, snowshoeing, or snowmobiling. Have a snowball fight. No snow? No problem. Plan a trip and go see some. Too expensive for your taste? Crumble up your junk mail and have a “snowball fight” in your house. Just make sure both of you are willing to clean up the mess when the game is over.
2. Sit by the fireplace and share the things you love about each other.
3. Brave the cold. Build a fire in the firepit. Sit around it (even if you have to bundle up in blankets around the fire), and share your favorite memories.
4. Find the best hot chocolate place in town, and go enjoy a cup together. Sit in the back corner of the café, put your phones/technology away, and get lost in conversation.
5. Go ice skating. Hold hands. Keep each other from falling down. Laugh. Have fun.
6. Go to the theater and enjoy a show together.
7. Snuggle up in your favorite blanket, and go on a movie date in your living room.
8. Pull out your favorite card game or board game and enjoy some friendly competition.
9. Go to an indoor rock climbing place. Get a great workout. Work on your trust for each other and be great communicators as you coach each other up the side of the indoor cliff face.
10. Become like children and build a blanket fort. Take your flashlights inside and enjoy a romantic moment.
11. Play music and dance around your living room or dress up and go dancing at a local club.
12. Bake bread or dessert together. Not your idea of a good time? Go out for dessert.
13. Go on a chocolate tour or find the best place to eat chocolate near you.
14. Do a yard project together. Turn your yard (or patio, or balcony) into your own slice of paradise by spring.
15. Go somewhere warm together. Can’t afford an exotic trip to the tropics? Enjoy a hot shower together.
Jonathan and I love to go on adventures. Some days those adventures take us on little road trips to places not far from where we live. In the month of January, one of our dates in our Date Box was to go experience Hico, TX. We had ten things to conquer during our trip which was part of the fun.
#1 – Take a walk around the historic downtown area. It’s not much of a walk either. I think the central section of the downtown area would equate to about two full city blocks, maybe three. You won’t get your 10,000 steps in, but it was still a beautiful little stroll.
I loved the Old West feel to the downtown area. Each little shop and restaurant played off the theme adding to the quaint, little place.
#2 – Walk through the Mercantile. The Mercantile is about a block away from the main downtown area. It was apparently the Opera House in 1890, which is kind of cool. It wasn’t what I was expecting. It’s actually a shop full of specialty vendor booths. Some of them had antiques, others boutique-like clothing, a variety of art things, and then there were the ones with farmhouse-like items, overly crafty things, and décor you might find at Magnolia in Waco, TX. It would be a great place to shop for that perfect gift for the person in your life that has nearly everything or something to add to your own home décor, but we just walked around and looked at all the neat little things they had to offer.
#3 – Billy the Kid Museum and Gift Shop. This is a tiny little spot in the downtown area of Hico. The woman at the front desk is very knowledgeable. To go to the gift shop, which is in the front of the museum, is free. Although, you might want to spend a few dollars on some good ol’ fashion Dublin soda while you’re in here. To walk through the small museum, they do request you leave a cash donation so be sure and take a few dollars for your walk back in time. There are some interesting things to read about Billy the Kid whenever he was an orphan and a kid as well as some other artifacts to enjoy.
#4 – Eat some fancy chocolate from The Wiseman House. The Wiseman House is inside of a Victorian home on the edge of town outside of the historic downtown area. I love all things Victorian and chocolates, so this was my kind of place. Inside, the smells of chocolate welcome you, and it is lovely! There are four different rooms inside with all things chocolate along with some unique and charming gifts. All the glass jars with tiny pieces of chocolates are samples worthy of tasting. Have fun with it. Try them all. It’s part of the experience. Besides, the toffee is to die for (my favorite.) We didn’t get to experience a tour, but we found out they have those available as well as chocolate classes. If I were to go again, I’d give them a call at 254-796-2499 and see if we could arrange something before we arrived. I think it would have added to our day in Hico. If the weather would have been nicer, I think we would have eaten our sweets outside as they had a wonderful little area set up for enjoying their chocolates out on the front porch. It really was a lovely little place. Fitting for our date day, we picked up one of their passion chocolates. How perfect was that for our adventure?
#5 – Go to the tasting room at the Silver Spur Winery’s Tasting Room. The tasting room for the Silver Spur Winery is in the downtown area of Hico. I don’t drink, so I wasn’t as excited about this part of our adventure as Jonathan might have been. Truth is, I really enjoyed this experience, and we both learned so much. There were about 7 or 9 of us at the bar for the tasting. It doesn’t matter when you arrive. The server will just add you in where you are on the list. The tasting menu contained 6 different types of wines. Because I don’t drink, we only purchased one tasting. I enjoyed reading the descriptions, smelling the different wines, swirling them around to see how thick or thin they were, and truly just enjoying a small taste of each one where you focus on the front, middle, and back flavor profiles. I’ve decided I’m a much better wine taster than I am a wine drinker.
Towards the end of our wine tasting experience, the owner of the winery came in from working on pipes. This impressed me more than it probably does others, but I loved knowing that the owner actually works at his own vineyard and shows up at the tasting room to gather feedback from customers. He asked each of us individually what we thought of the different types of wine. Then, he began telling us about his two newest wines. He disappeared to the back and brought out two new bottles and let us try both of them. I enjoyed learning about the different processes used to harvest, create, and bottle the different types he sells. It was also interesting to hear about how the flavor profiles come to be in each bottle of wine.
#6 – Buy a Christmas ornament from Blue Star Trading. This is a Texas style kind of shop in the downtown area. They sell clothing, art, décor, jewelry, and unique gifts. We came here in search of a Christmas ornament though. The availability of Christmas décor in general was pretty small which isn’t surprising seeing how it is the end of January, but we were able to find a very unique Christmas star made out of animal hide. The exciting thing about this purchase was the price! It was on sale for 60% off, so we got out of there for under $2 and will remember our trip to Hico each Christmas season when this ornament is added to our tree.
#7 – Eat at a local restaurant. We love to find places to eat that aren’t chain restaurants whenever we go out of town, so this was right up our alley. There are a few locally owned places to choose from here. We picked Flacas Fitness and Brews for a couple of reasons. One, it was part of the historic downtown area. Two, the thought of fitness, art, food, live music, and craft beer all being in one place was . . . well, interesting.
A couple of guys were in the front of the restaurant playing their guitars and singing away. Several people gathered around to listen to them. Jonathan ordered their special smoky hamburger with chips, and I had their “famous” street tacos. They carry Dublin soda, wine, and craft beer here to add to your Mediterranean/Latin inspired meals. We ate in the art room since the front of the house was full. Local artist have their artwork on the walls listed for sale in this part. The very back room of the restaurant is the yoga studio where classes are held quite frequently, I believe.
The chicken tacos were pretty dry to be honest, but the flavor was alright. On the other hand, the pork street tacos were very good. One taco ordered is really two tacos by the way, so I had four tacos which was more than plenty to eat. Jonathan enjoyed his burger and chips as well. We could have bought one meal and split it and still left full. It definitely was an unique little place.
#8 – Take an amazing selfie. Well, I don’t know if we ever take “amazing selfies,” but we always have fun taking them. This one was taken in the middle of the downtown area in the metal gazebo.
#9 – Buy a postcard from the visitor’s center. Google told us there was a visitor’s center. We walked to the address of said visitor’s center. We did not find a visitor’s center. We did buy a postcard for $1 at The Wiseman House though just so we could mark this off our list. Close enough, right?
#10 – Take a funny picture with a statue in town. We found the Billy the Kid statue across the street from the main section of the downtown area, so it seemed like the perfect statue funny picture moment. Jonathan said he would be the photographer, so I was stuck reenacting the statue.
We found some other interesting things to photograph while in town.
Hico made for a great little road trip. It’s a perfect little town to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Take a few hours and enjoy the quiet and the slower pace. For about a half tank of gas and less than $50, we had a wonderful date day. When you go, enjoy the shopping in the local boutiques. There’s plenty of other things to do while you are here that we didn’t even list. There’s a popcorn place, trails along the river, a steak cookoff competition in May, several other local eateries, a Pecan drink shoppe, and Sugar Moon Antiques. Explore and go on your own adventure. Leave us a comment and share your favorite experiences in this little place in the big state of Texas.
White powder swirls and twirls in the howling wind. Air that’s barely there and dry as old bones cuts through multiple different types of fabric layered one upon the other to try and protect my skin from this brutal environment as I stare out into the miles of blinding snow. Movement. A black speck in the vastness jolts me as I spin my head around. I squint my eyes before covering them with high powered glass allowing me to enhance the image until I make out the white, furry creature plastered against a background one shade lighter than it seems to be. His back bows up like a furious cat about to strike out in revenge as his small legs prance beneath him. It’s like a cross between a rabbit and a deer with ears plastered back against his head, nose pointed, and despite the wind pummeling its face with ice crystals, his black, beady eyes are focused on whatever lies ahead.
He slows his trot. At a snails pace, he comes to a standstill, turns his head back in the direction in which he just came, and lifts his nose up just enough for me to notice. Another step here and then there. I wonder what’s caught his attention. His nose twitches a bit before he pounces again and again at the frozen ground. Front legs crash down as he claws at the ice, snow, and solid earth in search of something, anything, that might fill the gnawing stomach crying out to him.
My heart stops when another white creature many times larger than the one previously captivating my attention comes into my viewfinder. I fear for the snowfox, or perhaps for my own life, but the polar bear doesn’t seem as interested in the two of us as we are in him. Once the threat is gone, I watch as the snowfox curls tightly in a ball and wraps his long, black-tipped white tail around his bundled up body like a comforter. I find myself jealous of his God made shield from the ruthless beating of nature as I search out my own shelter while trying not to lose the ball of life I came here to find.
Defeat does not quiet the fox for long. Warmth brings back another surge of energy. That or the grumbling of his tummy interrupts his slumber. Regardless, he is back on the move. I watch the swirling white powder and wonder in which direction the wind will blow my scent. Leave too soon, and I will spook him away. Stay back too far, and I will lose sight of him with no guarantee of another sighting this season. He’s a mere speck in the distance when I step away from my own resting space. My legs are numb and heavy, slowing my stride. Anxiety creeps up and tries to strangle me driving me forward while trying to hold me back.
The glass brings him closer and closer to me until it seems I can reach out and touch him. He creeps as if he’s in slow motion before he comes to a stop with one paw resting barely above the snow. His back legs stiffen and his tail seems to flatten out behind him as his front legs get closer and closer to the ones behind them. Like a sudden explosion, he springs through the air like Tigger in the classic, Winnie the Pooh. His front legs crash into the hard ground with a thud before he frantically starts clawing and scratching the surface away.
Suddenly, he stops the madness. His nose sniffs the ground first and then the air. He’s on the move. His quest to hush his stomach far from over.
The next half hour is quite comical. He bounds through the air with all his might only to crash face first into the soft snow burying his face along with his front feet. His back legs and tail lash out in distress, frantically thrashing about in an attempt to save himself. He rolls out of his own disaster, but it doesn’t stop him from trying again and again. This time he springs feet above the ground only to smack his face into the hard, frozen soil. He shakes his head back and forth as if he’s recovering from a concussion. His nose seems to recover first. Then, his instincts kick in second. After that, he bounces feet above the ground again. First, he plants his face into a snowdrift before somersaulting out of it as if he does it all the time – which he does. Over and over again, he springs through the air only to slam his feet into the ground beneath him, or bury himself into the blanket of softened snow, or face plant into the frozen earth. I laugh deep within myself but maintain the control needed to keep the melody from ringing across the artic plains.
Instantly, something changes. Not like a dramatic change. But a quiet and nearly unnoticeable change. Pinks and purples begin swirling in with shades of white glistening in the jewels of this cold haven. The fox stops jumping. He quickly sniffs here and there and moves along a straight line. His stomach has to be yelling at him by now as he cocks his head one way and then the other as if he’s wondering where his dinner has gone.
I watch as he prepares himself to liftoff. He flies up into the air and comes crashing down. His entire face is buried beneath the snow, but this time he doesn’t seem to panic. There’s something unique about all of this. His legs wave in excitement instead of fear. His tail wags with zeal. I know before I ever see it with my own eyes – today’s going to be a great day. I can feel it!
There it is – the lemming hangs limply from his mouth. A smile of pride and gratitude lighten the mood and calm the wickedness of the wilderness. The hunt is over for today, but in order to survive, he will have to hunt again tomorrow. But today . . . today, he beat the element. Today, he won!
I put away my binoculars and grab my camera. I snap the picture of white creature against white canvas and know whenever I get home, I will be on my own quest to find the reason for my adventure and subject of my laughter. I’ll squint into the blinding whiteness of the photo in search of this magnificent creature, the reason I stand frozen in the empty, silence of this quiet section of the world.
Our cabin is tiny but sturdy. My grandfather and father fell the trees from the property in which it stands. They labored to prepare the logs to be chinked together. Years have passed by. My husband and I have raised our boys here. The mountains that stand tall and majestic behind us our well-known. The kids wore trails from the back door to the top of Mt. Saint Claire, our name for it only, of course. But overnight the mighty mountains disappeared. Perhaps the fog stole them or maybe the snow. But the hands of time will bring their return.