Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

The Saturday before we left Amarillo, TX Chris and I decided to go to Palo Duro Canyon State Park. It was about an hour drive from our RV Park. We heard it can get really hot there. Especially at the bottom of the canyon where the temperatures can get up to 15 degrees higher.

To avoid the heat we decided to get up at 6:30 am and try to get there by 7:30. Of course that didn't happen it was more like 8:30 when we got there. We enjoyed watching the beautiful sunrise on our drive there.

The price to get in is only $5 per person and we were given a map of the trails at the pay station. Upon entering we immediately drove to the visitor center but it wasn't opened yet. We are glad we stopped because the view of the canyon from there was gorgeous.

Palo Duro Canyon is 120 miles long, 20 miles wide, with a depth of more than 800 feet. It is considered the second largest canyon in the U.S. It's kind of sad we lived in Texas all those years and had never heard of it.

From the overlook at the visitor center we started our drive down the canyon to our trail. It was a beautiful drive and you can stop and get out at some of the overlooks.

The Lighthouse Trail is the most popular trail and the full hike is 5.75 miles. There is a warning sign posted at the beginning of the trail to make sure you bring a gallon of water per person because it gets so hot. We had already read about this before so luckily we had our giant water bottles.

Chris at the start of the Lighthouse Trail

The trail was pretty flat and there were no steep inclines. The temperature wasn't too bad at the beginning either and there was a nice cool breeze. We enjoyed the scenery.

Capital Peak
a cactus that look like a heart

As we continued our hike we could see the Lighthouse Rock in the distance.

We thought we were going the right way and then we got to this end of trail marker with no sign of the Lighthouse Rock in sight. Our phones weren't working and our trail map didn't really help us figure out how to get to lighthouse rock.

Chris decided to hike up a little further but  it looked as if we had actually gotten further away from the rock. It was at this time the giant horse flies started biting us. If you start to sweat and stand still too long they will get you. They are HUGE.

It was also starting to get hot by this point and we decided to hike back. These are our best pictures with Lighthouse Rock.

We felt like boobs. We were disappointed but still enjoyed the beautiful hike back.

We decided this was a house with a chimney

Chris liked this little seahorse. We might have been delirious.

It really did get really hot by the time we were leaving.  The hike probably took us about 3 hours or so.

If you have been on the Lighthouse Trail feel free to tell us what we did wrong. haha

Monday, September 5, 2016

Meow Wolf's House of Eternal Return in Santa Fe, NM

Today Chris and I went to Meow Wolf which is a multi-use Art Complex located in Santa Fe's Midtown Innovative District. It was previously a bowling alley that was purchased by George R.R. Martin in 2014. It is home to the popular interactive art experience, House of Eternal Return.

When you first walk in you see the front of a Victorian style house that you are able to wonder through and explore.

While you are walking around you are also trying to solve a mystery of what happened to the Selig's( a fictional family).

Chris looking through some of the Selig's paperwork

It almost feels like a chose your own adventure. You walk into one room and then there is a secret passage way to another one.

Chris coming into the kitchen through the fridge
Another secret passageway through one of the kids bedrooms.
There are things lying around in the different rooms you can look through like photo albums and diaries.

 There are some pretty trippy rooms. There are actually 70 total that were created by over 500 artists.

Seriously, if you go make sure you open doors and cabinets. Really look around because you never know what you will find in there.

I am trying to share enough photos so you can see how cool it is but trying to not ruin the fun of seeing it for yourself.

One of the things we both loved was that there is a free arcade inside with some old games. We played some Simpsons, Mario Kart and Street Fighter II together.

We thought the whole experience was awesome.

 It was $37 total for the both of us to get in which may sound pricey but it was definitely worth it. We were probably there for about 2 or 3 hours.

It is not just for adults either it looked like the kids and their parents were both really enjoying themselves.

Have you ever been? If so what did you think?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Precious Moments Park & Chapel, Carthage, MO

When I was 19(back in 2000) I worked at a Hallmark store in Houston. The Precious Moments figurines were by far our most popular at the time. I always thought they were cute but was never a collector myself.

I had no idea there was a grandiose Precious Moments chapel in Carthage, Missouri until we got here and started researching things to do.

We are not huge Precious Moments fans ourselves but the artwork was gorgeous and we can respect the hard work the artist Samuel J. Butcher put into creating it.

The visitor center, park, and chapel are all free to visit. There is also a cafe and a gift shop on the grounds. They have free tours hourly but we just did a self guided tour.

The fountain in front of the entrance to the visitor center
The visitor center looks like a little village inside. You can get to the gift shop and cafe from here. 

The statues and grounds were beautiful

The walkway to the chapel

The chapel opened in 1989
There are 84 intricate  hand painted murals on the walls
It took 4 years to complete the paintings

So what is Samuel Butcher doing now you ask? Why living in the Phillipines and making sumo wrestler art. This cracked us up. He also has a restaurant and gift shop there.  

If you are ever in or driving through Carthage I think it's definitely worth a visit. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

RV Park Review- Waldens Creek Campground - Pigeon Forge, TN

Check- in- date:  07/23/16
Check-out- date: 07/30/16
Type of Accomodation: Full hook up(50amp) back-in
Price:  $164.50 with Passport America

the spot was pretty tight but we did have  a table & chairs

Amenities:  This is a small campground with 34 RV sites that are pretty close together. They have a bathhouse and a laundry facility but we didn't use them. Cable was included but it didn't work at our site.

The office
The creek & tent camping area

Wifi/Cell Reception:  The cell phone reception was great but the wifi was unusable.

Favorite Restaurants/ things to do in the area:  There are tons of restaurants, music venues, magic shows, dinner theaters, arcades, etc. all over the place. I don't remember ever seeing anything quite like it. You could visit here a long time and never run out of things to do. If you want to check out our post of things we did in Pigeon Forge you can check that out here.

Recommended:  Yes, it was a decent price and so close to the Smoky Mountains.

*You can see all of Waldens Creek Campgrounds amenities, pricing and other information on their website

Our visit to Pigeon Forge, TN

We really weren't expecting much when we decided to stay in Pigeon Forge. We knew it was close to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Dollywood but we had no idea it was a giant tourist trap. There are tons of restaurants, museums, hotels, gift shops, dinner theaters, arcades, etc. all over the place.

I don't remember ever seeing anything quite like it. You could visit here a long time and never run out of things to do.

On the way in to town we came in on Parkway and we were stuck in bumper to bumper traffic for about 30 minutes. That pretty much happened any time we had to go down it.

We have already learned going to crowded tourist places really aren't so fun when you aren't on vacation.. Here are a couple of places we visited while we were there.

Great Smoky Mountain National Park

This was by far our favorite thing to do in Pigeon Forge and the reason we decided to stay there in the first place. It was free to visit and less than a 30 minute drive from our RV Park.

We previously did a blog post about our trip to the Smoky Mountains. If you are interested you can check it out here.
The Apple Barn and Cider Mill

the store
I'm so glad my friend, Bren, recommended The Apple Barn & Cider Mill. They have a large store that sells all kinds of goodies. We got apples, salsa, apple butter, muffin mix and soap.  I loved everything I got there.

They also have a candy factory, winery, bakery, ice creamery and a restaurant. The wine tasting is free and they had some tasty wines.

The Incredible Christmas Place

 I really LOVE Christmas and Halloween. So, I decided to drag Chris along with me to check out the Incredible Christmas Place. At first, I thought it was a little weird they had this giant Christmas store open all year round, but I enjoyed doing some window shopping. They even have a large Christmas Place Inn across the street.

A Christmas explosion

Chris writing out his Christmas list.

I think Chris ended up having fun too. haha

I was super proud of myself I didn't buy anything!


Where do you go in a tourist town when you are hungry and craving margaritas? Margaritaville of course. It was a little pricey but our food and drinks were good.

Everyone has to go to Margaritaville at least once...right?

This taco salad was super unhealthy but it was also delicious!

Sawyer's Farmhouse Restaurant

Chris in front of the giant rooster outfront
We noticed there were pancake houses everywhere so we decided to see what all the fuss was about. Sawyer's was #5 of top places to eat on Trip Advisor. I ordered the strawberry banana pancakes. They came covered in this super sweet strawberry sauce. It might look good but it wasn't.
Chris got the chicken and waffles. His wasn't so bad but he still said he wouldn't go back.

Three Bears General Store

When we went to Sawyer's they gave us a coupon for 1/4 pound of free fudge at the general store. Who could refuse such a thing? Where is the picture of the fudge you ask? We kind of scarfed it down too quick. It was good.
This store was gigantic and actually had live bears inside. You have to pay to see them and we decided not to do that. 
Chris enjoyed this giant bear seat inside lol
Yeah that's a pretty strange store front

Even though it was a crazy little tourist town we still found it amusing and managed to enjoy our time there. I don't think we will be going back anytime soon, though!