Local’s Guide to Downtown Pensacola

 

There are so many things to do in the Downtown Pensacola area.  I compiled this list based on the places we like to visit and places we would tell our friends and families to go.  If I didn’t include a certain place, it’s because we haven’t been there or haven’t been there enough to give a review. Read More

Breckenridge for a Florida family of Seven!

As our kids are getting older, and time together to make memories is becoming few and far between, we decided to take a big family trip to Breckenridge, Colorado in March 2017.
This was a huge deal!  Mostly because we are a family of SEVEN – and traveling gets expensive for us!  First and foremost I will say this:  We would not have been able to take our family on this trip if it hadn’t been for the “miles and points” we accumulated over a long period of time!  Just about 50% of our expenses were covered because of those miles and points.  Score!

This was Ethan’s first plane ride and his excitement shows!!  We flew into Denver and stayed the night before we headed to Breck.  We also stayed the night before our flight back to Pensacola at the end of our trip.  I recommend this 100%!  It gives you the opportunity to enjoy a full day instead of cutting things short.

After a two hour shuttle ride across the Continental Divide and some amazing scenery we arrived in Breckenridge!

The snow was beautiful and captivating, the kids had such a good time playing in it I could hardly get their attention for this picture.  Poor Ethan is soaked from being bombarded with snowballs from the older brothers.

We checked into the Grand Timber Lodge, dropped our bags and headed to the town to find some lunch.  We chose Grand Timber because of its location to the Town and to the nearest lift area, Beaver Run at Peak 9.  Grand Timber is listed as a “ski-in/ski-out” lodge.  In certain areas of the resort I could see an experienced skier taking advantage of this.  For snowboarders, definitely…. new skiers – leave your skis at the rental shop and take the path to the sidewalk.  Otherwise you’re carrying your skis for a 5-10 minute walk…. in ski boots.  You can always wait for the free shuttle.   For a large family who’s condo is already full of everyone’s ski jackets, etc…. leave skis at the rental shop for sure!

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I prefered walking to see the sights… I didn’t realize how much downhill walking we would encounter!  Definitely taking the free shuttle back to the Lodge.

The Town of Breckenridge is adorable!  It’s buzzing with life.  Restaurants and shops line every block of this circa 1800’s Victorian village.  We settled in at a burger place and plotted our next move, Ski Rental and grocery shopping!!

img_6493 We planned to cook breakfast every morning and 3 dinners, lunch would be found on the mountain – expensive, yes but we balanced it by not going out for every meal.  We bought snacks and drinks that could easily travel on the mountain.

Kids went back to lodge and we hit the grocery and wine store.  I love that you can call the shuttle to pick you up from the store.   Carrying all that crap to the room was a huge challenge.  A luggage cart would have been a good idea but none could be found.

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While we fixed dinner, the kids went exploring.

A snow man was the priority for these Florida kiddos.   Just look at the eyelashes!  So cute!

A shoe was lost during this adventure…… seriously!  I wonder how many shoes they find on the property when the snow melts – haha

 

 

Look at that view!!

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The next morning we suited up and ventured out around 9AM. With just a short walk to the Beaver Run Resort area, picked up our equipment and were on the lift in no time.

We made a plan up Peak 9, after dropping 3 of the boys at snowboarding school,  had lunch mountain side and made our way back around 3PM to meet up with the kids finishing up their lessons.

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Ethan was stoked!!   We was ready to tackle the mountain!   So ready in fact that he jumped on the BIG lift BY HIMSELF!  The plan was that he was supposed to get on the shorter lift and I would wait for him at the base.  This is NOT what happened.   I was kinda freaking out.  Thankfully Scott was able to hop on the lift within seconds of the last run.  (The lifts close at 4PM)

Waiting for them seemed like an eternity.  Finally they arrived together.  Whew!!  We had a serious talk about NOT going by yourself and I got the typical “I’m fine, mom!” with the accompanying eye-rolling tweens do so well.  ugh.

The evening was relaxing and we talked about day #2 Plan and navigating to Peak 8!  Maybe you remember this clip….. a snowboarder filmed a moose running behind her!! It went viral a week before our trip.  So amazing!  Would we be on the same run with a moose?!?!?!

The next morning we lost two of he kids.   Not really “lost them” but one decided snowboarding wasn’t for him and Ethan fell and hurt his wrist… on the first run.  Poor guy.  We walked down to the base and after assessing his wrist he decided to walk back to the room and hang out with his older brother for the day…. another great reason we chose a the nearby lodge.

Onward and upward for the remaining 5 ……

 

If you’ve been in the snow, you know that sound….. It brings back great memories of gliding down the mountain.   Ahhhh.

The next two days went pretty much the same.  Planning our trek up, lunch stop, back up, final stop.  Peak 7 was probably our favorite.  You have to do some serious planning to get there.  but absolutely worth it!

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On our last day we let the kids sleep in while we went in search of the best Bloody Mary in Breckenridge!  We found it, along with the famous Crepe a la Cart food truck…. yum!

Best Bloody Mary award goes to:

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Angels Hollow!  A Bloody with so many extras they give you a plate.  I heard about this work of art libation online.  The description read “…topped with an army man because they couldn’t add a kitchen sink”,  I concur!  Time to head back up to the Lodge to collect the kids and pack up.  We had time for lunch and a little shopping before our shuttle to Denver arrived.

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Our 2017 Breckenridge memories will last forever!!

What BIG trips have you been on lately?  Will you go back or try somewhere new?

December in New Orleans – Part 3 – Brennan’s, Jackson’s Sq, and Napoleon

The next morning was warmer but still chilly, I think I pretty much wore the same outfit each day, haha.  Thank goodness for the boots I found at Target!!   More on what I packed for our trip here.

We packed up and had the front desk hold our bags…… we had important business to take care of…..  BRUNCH!!!   If there was a secondary experience in New Orleans that we look forward to it’s a fantastic New Orleans style Jazz Brunch.   Brennan’s was highly recommended by the concierge (who made a reservation for us on the spot) and BAM, we were on our way.

Our table was waiting on us when we arrived but we decided to sit at the bar for just a few minutes and order a Bloody Mary.   We had a few appetizers and a delicious breakfast.  The table next to us ordered the famous Bananas Foster.  There’s not many things you can compare to flaming brandy within 3 feet of your face!  Think Hibachi table flame – okay? Okay.

Brunch was just sooooo dang good.  I love the smaller portions and the fact they have a brunch appetizer menu.  Once again the service was impeccable.  In fact just about every where we ate or drank, haha, the service was 100%.

The couple next to us lived in the City, I was instantly jealous.   What a great place to live!  To have the option to experience all that NOLA has to offer at any time you feel like it was really exciting to me.  I was thinking to myself, if only we had one more full day.

From Brennan’s’ we walked towards Jackson Square.  The square is lively enough for entertainment on any day but I still had The List and we still had two hours!

Time to get in a museum!
The Cabildo is a Louisiana State Museum that originates back to the late 1700’s.  So much history has taken place in this building including the Louisiana Purchase transfer ceremony.  Among the hundreds of artifacts that call this museum home, the relic that I wanted to see……. Napoleon’s Death Mask!!  Yep, it’s there.   Oddly enough Scott and I kept losing each other!  This building is 3 stories with each floor mostly open concept but we both got so engrossed in the information and artifacts displayed we got seperated.  Make the grand staircase your home base if you get lost -mkay?

Keeping with the Napoleon trend, we ventured to the Napoleon House in the midst of the French Quarter.  Their signature drink is guess what? A Pimm’s Cup – haha   Yep, I needed to compare it to the others I had consumed.   It was good – a little different, but good.   We ordered a Shrimp salad Avocado knowing this was our last stop.

The List was 35% complete but I felt like we were able to experience enough of NOLA and I was satisfied.  As always, its a learning curve and the main reason I like to repeatedly visit places we have been to before.   Until next time New Orleans!!!!

December in New Orleans – Part 2 – Cemeteries, Tree of Life and Black Sludge

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The Cafe au Lait…… I wish I knew exactly what magic is performed to create such a perfect cup of coffee.  Trust me, I’ve tried but nothing compares to the cup of goodness you’ll find in New Orleans.

On Day#2 of our weekend getaway, this was our breakfast.  Since our first day was compromised by crazy weather, “The List” was still hanging around with so much still needing to be accomplished. Read More

December, New Orleans and SNOW! Part 1

Loooong post here…… grab a glass of wine or a bag of chips and sit back.

Ahhh New Orleans!   My year is never complete with out a weekend in NOLA.  The lights, the feels, the music and SNOW???!!!   Yep, this year we experienced something in New Orleans for the first time…. SNOW!!!!  Crazy, I know but yeah… it snowed on us, more on that in a minute. Read More

The sun, moon and a WIN!

My hubby is a die hard FSU fan. Actually, he’s a die hard anything sports related fan.

We took two of the boys to an FSU game recently. It was a gorgeous day for a little trip to Tallahassee.

We had a bit of a drive…. getting up and leaving the house….( on a Saturday…. earlier than I usually leave on a weekday) wasn’t too terrible. The sunrise made it totally worth it!

Yes, I was having a little fun with Snapchat… it was early!!! 

The campus was a buzz, as usual.  Davis and Ethan enjoyed the sights and sounds…. and the cheerleaders 🙂

Thankfully our seats were in the shade and we WON!! Woo-hoo!!

The drive home wasn’t eventful until we noticed the MASSIVE full moon following us home. It was amazing, truly the biggest moon I’ve seen in a while.

After our 16hr round trip we basically hit the sack as soon as we got home. Whew!

What an adventure and what a day!! GoNoles!