Uniquely Romantic Lofts for Two that are Perfect for Valentine’s Day

Everyone’s favorite romantic holiday is less than a month away! Have you and your significant other started making plans for your next romantic getaway? Thankfully, this year, Valentine’s Day falls on one of the most perfect days of the week. Sunday. For those of you with children, this allows you the perfect time to let the kids spend the weekend with their grandparents and have a romantic weekend getaway with just you and your spouse/partner. Matt and I have done some digging on Airbnb and found some unique lofts that are within a 4 hour drive of Frisco.

Rose Capital Studio

This uniquely decorated studio gives you the urban conveniences of home, yet with a rustic flare that makes you feel like your are in Marfa (without the 8 hour drive)! This cozy loft includes some fun features such as projector and screen for watching some of your favorite romantic comedies, an open reading nook, a standing desk, and even some smart lights. If you and your significant other like to go out, there are plenty of things to do while in Downtown Tyler. For the foodie couples some great places to visit include: True Vine Brewing, Culture ETX, Rick’s on the Square, or the Janie’s Cakes. For shopping, there are a few boutiques and salons in town including a couple antique shops and a flower shop 😉 .

Downtown Tyler | Directions

Travel Time: 2 hours

Loft ZaZa

Now, this is a rather large loft with 3 beds, 1.5 baths and it can fit up to 10 guests. However, this loft should not be written off solely based on the number of guests it can accommodate. The fantastic Loft Zaza is located just above the Boutique One Eleven in Downtown Gainesville. For those who like to shop there are a couple of unique boutiques in town, including: Boutique One Eleven, Cahoots Handbags, Amelia’s Attic Antiques, Kinne’s Jewlers, and Bungalow 123. There are also a few unique eateries in the area like: Fried Pie Co. & Restaurant, Sarah’s on the Square, and the Red Fox Lounge.

Downtown Gainesville | Directions

Travel Time: 1 hour

Nid d’Amour

If you do not want to take a road trip, then definitely consider having a staycation in the beautiful Wilson Building in Downtown Dallas. As always, there are plenty of things to do for couples in Downtown Dallas. For example: there are plenty of great events going on in the Arts District! On Friday, February 12th, Titas/Dance Unbound Doug Varone and Dancers will be performing live at the Winspear Opera House. Also, within a few blocks of the Wilson Building Apartments, there are several restaurants including: The Woolworth, Chop House Burger, and Porta Di Roma. For some other romantic ideas include a couples massage at the Spa at the Joule Dallas or shopping at Neiman Marcus.

Downtown Dallas | Directions

Travel Time: 30 minutes

Recess on Cypress Creek and Wimberley Square

Just a few minutes Southwest of Austin, in the town of Wimberley, there is an adorable bohemian styled loft that is perfect for a romantic weekend! This loft is in an old home, but fully up to date with a kitchen, private bath, and living area. Of course this loft was furnished with the environment in the forefront owner’s thoughts, the accents in this loft include live indoor plants, 100% cotton towels, bamboo blankets, and hand made wooden accents. There are a few great little places to see while you are there, including: Ino’s Brew & Chew, Community Pizza & Beer Garden, and Wimberley Cafe.

Wimberley | Directions

Travel Time: 4 hours

Artists Loft in San Antonio

Granted San Antonio is a little over a four hour drive. However, the city of San Antonio is every bit worth the extra 30 minutes. After all, between the unique sites along the Riverwalk, Rich Texan History, and amazing Latino culture; what is there not to like about San Antonio. This Artist Studio is every bit as unique as the city itself. It is decorated with stunning area rugs, beautiful antique furniture, live plants, and one of a kind art work. For those who are unfamiliar with the Southtown Neighborhood of San Antonio, there are some great small businesses in the area. While you are there, be sure to visit: The Friendly Spot Ice House, La Frite Belgian Bistro, and Maverick Texas Brasserie.

Southtown Neighborhood of San Antonio | Directions

Travel Time: 4 hour 30 minutes

Loft on 6th Street in Austin

This loft is absolutely perfect for anyone who loves the nightlife! If you choose to spend your romantic holiday here, you will find that you are within walking to distance of some of the greatest venues that the Live Music Capitol of the World has to offer. The best part of this loft is the floor to ceiling windows on every external wall (except in the Bedroom) which allows the loft to be filled with natural light during daylight hours.

Downtown Austin | Directions

Travel Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Windmill Loft

It does not sound like there is much in the city of McGregor, TX. However, it is a very small town about 20 minutes Southwest of Waco. Therefore, you have access to all of your favorite locations in Waco, including: The Silos and Baylor University. But if you and your significant other are just looking for some quiet, private time; the Windmill Loft is the perfect place your the two of you to spend your Valentine’s Day. This lovely loft is inside the newly renovated Historic Masonic Building in Downtown McGregor. All of the hardwood in the loft (including the cabinets, floors, and wainscoting) are all original to the building and has a large TV, comfortable beds, couches, and 14 foot ceilings.

McGregor | Directions

Travel Time: 2 hours and 20 minutes

The Urban Cowboy Loft

The Green Door Lofts is a really cool renovated building in the heart of the Historic District of Waco. This spacious and airy loft allows you and your life partner to relax and spend a great night in watching Netflix or Direct TV. It is also worth noting that there is a heated pool on the grounds of the the apartment complex, in case the two of you would like to go for a late night swim. However, if you would like to go out and see the sights; the Hippodrome Diner Theatre is right next door. Other options in the area for food and entertainment is the Dr. Pepper Museum, the Waco Farmer’s Market (only open Saturdays 9am to 1pm), and Union Hall.

Downtown Waco | Directions

Travel Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Behrens Lofts Downtown Waco

This is another beautiful loft right in the heart of historic Downtown Waco and within walking distance to the Silos District. The Behrens Lofts are located in the recently renovated Behrens Warehouse. The owners of this loft have kept the brick exposed brick walls and industrial air vents that have added a wonderful antique, urban flair to the property. If you are looking for a quiet night in, this is the perfect place to eat some of your favorite comfort food, lounge on the couch and watch your favorite movies on the 70-inch Smart TV. There are plenty of fun places to visit (all within walking distance) during your stay in Waco, including: Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits, Ninfa’s Mexican Restaurant, and the Clay Pot Restaurant.

Downtown Waco | Directions

Travel Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

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Where to Stay While Honeymooning in French Polynesia

Prior to writing this article, Matt and I would like to send our special thanks to Rhonda who was our Travel Agent with Park Cities Travels. With the Covid pandemic, Matt and I had absolutely no idea where to start or what to do when the time came for us to start planning our Honeymoon. Rhonda was an excellent travel agent and has a worldwide network of resources (literally), she was such a huge help to us as we planned our trip. We highly recommend booking your next big trip through Rhonda at Park Cities Travels!


We started planning our wedding and our honeymoon prior to COVID-19 pandemic. Originally, our plans was to take a small trip a few days after the wedding and a BIG trip to New Zealand later in the year. Then the COVID pandemic arrived and like many things our hopes on going to New Zealand were thwarted. To further complicate our goals, many other countries (like New Zealand) had also closed their borders to tourists. At that point we were stuck in a quandary and did not know what to do or where to start. Our Travel Agent, Rhonda, was such a huge help. Once we finally decided where we wanted to go, we just gave Rhonda our final budget and she did all the rest. She booked our hotel, transportation, excursions, meal plans and more! What is better, is she also was able to meet all our needs and desires and still come up a few hundred dollars under budget!


InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa

The Lagoonarium

On the Island of Tahiti Nui, we stayed at the InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa. First, my absolute favorite feature of this resort was the Lagoonarium. This lagoonarium is an artificial (man-made) lagoon that is fed by sea water and is filled with some of the most colorful fish that are native to the area. So when you go to swim in the Lagoonarium, you are literally swimming with the stunning fish that are native to the area and some of the most beautiful coral in the world. I highly recommend bringing a snorkel and goggles when you visit the Intercontinental Tahiti Resort & Spa, so that you can observe these sights as you swim! There are also two other swimming pools on the complex. One pool is right next to the Lagoonarium. Then there is a smaller infinity pool that overlooks the South Pacific and includes a swim up bar as well.

Overwater Bungalows

Two of the overwater Bungalows at the InterContinental Tahiti with a view of Moorea Island.

The InterContinental Resort & Spa in Tahiti does have amazing Overwater bungalows available to rent. They also have a few different types of Overwater Bungalows so that you can pick the perfect one for you. The smallest bungalows are called the Jr. Suite Overwater Bungalow Lagoon. the prices for these start at ~$520.00/night. This bungalow is a perfect location as it is right next door to the lagoonarium and has fantastic views of Mo’orea Island. However, if you are looking for an overwater bungalow that is a little more high end get the Overwater Motu Villa Suite. This suite can sleep up to 4 people and includes a balcony with stunning views, a luxurious bathtub, and is perfectly secluded. The price of Villas start at ~$650.00/night.

Early Check-In & Courtesy Rooms

It is also worth noting that most flights coming from the United States arrive in Papeete either early in the morning (ours arrived at 5:04 am) or late in the evening (around 09:00pm). Also the hotel is only about 10 to 15 minutes away from the airport. Therefore, if you are arriving early, be sure to request an early check in. The hotel does have courtesy rooms (which include toilets and showers) for their guests who arrive earlier than the check-in. I highly recommend making use of these courtesy rooms while you are waiting to check-in. These courtesy rooms include showers (with shampoo and bodywash), towels, toilets, and sinks. However, if you are arriving late. Check-in is a 3:00 pm. Be sure to call the front desk before you board you flight to Papeete and let them know that you will be arriving late in the evening.

Manava Beach Resort & Spa Hotel

Mo’orea Island

Image by VIRGINIE DUBOSCQ from Pixabay

Island as a whole reminded me of the French Polynesian version of a small sea side town in Florida, USA (like Seaside or Key West). While Tahiti Nui had more of an urban feel, Mo’orea was more quiet and felt more rustic. Due to the size and slower paced lifestyle of the island, Matt and I found the that we more and better access to beaches and the ocean. So if you wanted to go for a swim in the ocean, it was definitely much better.

Rooms and Bungalows:

Manava Spa and Resort (compared to the InterContentental Tahiti) was also smaller and and more quaint. However, Matt and I really enjoyed our time here! There are plenty of different styles of bungalows and rooms. While the Overwater bungalows seemed wonderful; they were not what Matt and I really wanted. We felt that they were a little too close to the other overwater bungalows around them. We also did not think that they gave us the privacy that we really wanted. With it being our honeymoon, Matt and I really needed something with much more privacy than what the Overwater bungalows could provide. Instead, we stayed in the Garden bungalow. These bungalows were fenced off and had a small private dunking pool. This bungalow ended up being everything that we needed it to be. If you are travelling with a family with kids, the Overwater and Beach Bungalows would be better suited for your needs. For couples definitely go with the garden bungalows during your stay.

Dinner and a Show

Photo by Vincent Camacho on Unsplash

When booking your trip to Manava Beach Resort & Spa, be sure to make sure you are there on a Saturday night. Every Saturday night at 7:30 pm there is a show featuring Traditional Polynesian dancing! Dinner is included and but it is by reservation only! Make sure to be sure to make reservations as soon as you can for dinner on Saturday.

Paraoro, Mo’orea

In town there are a few restaurants Restaurants, a Tahitian Black Pearl shop and a small grocery store. Also if you are searching for a second home in a stunning destination there is a Sotheby’s Reality office just a five minute walk away from the Resort. Other souvenir shops are also in town.

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Rainy Day on the Island of Tahiti Nui

The following photos were taken during my honeymoon to French Polynesia this past December. I will be writing another post talking all about this trip including itinerary and other details. But first I wanted to show you some of the incredible photos I was able to take while on the trip. In fact, these photos are so incredible that I did not even need to add any filters, presets, or other touch ups on Lightroom.

One of the Caves at Maraa Grotto
A fantastic roots of a tropical tree.

Airbnb’s Perfect for your Thanksgiving Holiday

Thanksgiving is only three weeks away. This Thanksgiving Holiday, after everyone has been confined to their homes for nearly seven months, we are all in desperate time away. With the Pandemic this year, it has become clear that we all need to spend more time with those we love this Holiday Season. One of the best ways to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Frisco Metroplex would be by renting a relaxing Airbnb home to retreat to this Thanksgiving holiday. We have specifically chosen great rentals with great views and are perfect for you and your family (or group of friends) to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.


Arrowhead Lodge (Montana)

What better way to escape the insanity of Dallas life than by heading West out to Yellowstone Country, Montana. The Arrowhead Lodge is a perfect location for anyone who wants to escape to the Rocky Mountains for Thanksgiving. This rental property is a great option for any family get together because it has spacious rooms each with landscape windows and amazing views. The kitchen could comfortable fit five adults working to create an amazing Thanksgiving meal. For day trips, Yellowstone National Park is only 1.5 hour drive South. There are also some fun little shops in Downtown Livingston, including: The Obsidian Collection, The Gourmet Cellar, and Neptune’s Taphouse and Eatery.

Number of Guests: 16

Cost (for 16 guests): $57.75/night/person

Travel Time: 3 hour flight (DFW to BZN) + 45 minute drive from airport

Eagle Lake Estate (Idaho)

Who would have thought to vacation to Idaho would be a good idea? But really, Idaho does have one of the prettiest landscapes in the Continental United States. In fact, Idaho was listed among the top 20 most beautiful states in the USA by Thrillist. This stunning Airbnb property in Idaho is definitely no exception! The Eagle Lake Estate is on a beautiful, yet secluded property in the small town of Hailey. Along with five large, wonderfully decorated bedrooms, the property also has a naturally lit living/dining room with floor to ceiling windows and high vaulted ceilings, a very comfortable media room. The kitchen is large enough to allow a few people to work on the Thanksgiving feast. If you would prefer to do other things on Thanksgiving day, a Chef (or two) can be provided to you for an extra cost. For day trips, lodge is only five minutes away from Sawtooth National Forest.

Number of Guests: 12

Cost (for 12 guests): $166.67/night/person

Travel Time: 5 hour flight (DFW to IDA) + 2.5 hour drive from airport

Heartwood Lodge (Wyoming)

Photo Courtesy of Airbnb

The Heartwood Lodge is great for any family who is looking to spend some time in Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Teton National Park. Both of these parks are just a short drive due North. Not only is this six bedroom lodge just outside of the second oldest National Parks in the world; it is also perfect for anyone who is an avid skier, as it is within walking distance to Après Vous. Other fun accommodations include: an outdoor hot tub and fireplace (for the adventurous few in the group), a large media room (perfect for football fans) and a pool table. Other features available for an extra cost include various members of household staff (chef, butler, driver, restaurant concierge, or childcare), Villa pre-stocking, activities and excursions.

Number of Guests: 18

Cost (for 18 guests): $444.45/night/person

Travel Time: 3 hour flight (DFW to JAC) + 22 minute drive

Movie Star Mansion (Utah)

This is another great option for any group that loves to ski or snowboard, as this rental has a ski-in/ski-out feature. For those who would do not like to ski as much, Historic Park City is just a short drive away and has many fun shops like Atticus Coffee Books & Teahouse, No Name Saloon & Grill, and La Niche. Or if you are looking more for a night in, there are some wonderful activities available at the house to engage in. These activities includes: a pool table, a poker table, fully equipped exercise room, media room, jacuzzi, a sauna, a wet bar, and seven very spacious bedrooms. If you and your group are planning on making your own Thanksgiving dinner; do not fear, as the kitchen in this lodge is large enough to accommodate at least six people. However, if you find that you are in need of some extra hands on Thanksgiving day, some additional services are provided to the group for an extra fee, including: food pre-stocking, household staff (chef, driver, food and beverage services, housekeeping, childcare and a butler), car rental, and restaurant concierge.

Number of Guests: 18

Cost (for 18 guests): $225.95/night/person

Travel Time: 3 hour flight (DFW to SLC) + 1 hour drive

“Our Place” (Idaho)

Photo Courtesy of Airbnb

This is a great option for a very large family or a family would like to have lots of space during this Thanksgiving season. You are guaranteed extra privacy and quiet as the property has no neighbors. Never fear though, there are plenty of activities while at the lodge including ping pong, pool, a jacuzzi, an outdoor firepit which is perfect for making s’mores. If you are looking to get off the property for the day, both and Idaho Falls and Jackson, Wyoming are only an hour away. For those looking for a quiet night in, the lodge has three fire places, a jetted tub in the master bathroom, and a TV. On Thanksgiving day, do not worry about the size of the kitchen as it can comfortably fit six to seven people.

Number of Guests: 22

Cost (for 22 guests): $54.55/night/person

Travel Time: 5 hour flight (DFW to IDA) + 1.5 hour drive from airport

****All photos (including Cover photo) courtesy of Airbnb.


What to do with 24 Hours in Washington D.C.

My husband is a pilot for a commercial airline. While there are many benefits to his job, one of my favorites is being able to travel so that I can meet him in for some of his longer layovers in a few American cities. I love traveling and seeing local sites and I love getting to be with my husband. I have been to Washington DC twice (once on a solo trip and once with Matt), it is a wonderful city to visit for anyone and for any reason.

Granted travel restrictions are continuously changing on a daily basis. Unfortunately, those traveling from Texas (as well as 30 other states) will need to quarantine for 14 days after their arrival. Just know, that this will not last forever, I fully suspect that Washington DC to completely open up soon. However, if you are traveling from Maryland or Virginia you are exempt from the order.


Union Station

Photo Courtesy of Architecture Digest

Granted, Washington DC is best known for being our nations capital. DC has many beautiful site and many beautiful government buildings. However, it would probably surprise most people that one of the prettiest buildings in the city is not a government building at all. Union Station is one of the prettiest buildings in Washington DC. It is open to the public (as opposed to just Amtrak and Metro Passengers) there are quite a few shops and restaurants to try including: Magnolia Bakery, Potbelly, Aloha Poke Co., Blue Bottle Coffee, and more. The best way to get there is to take the Metro subway.

Hiking in Rock Creek Park

Photo Courtesy of the National Parks Conservation Association

Funny story, my discovery of this park was purely accidental. The first time I went to Washington DC was a solo trip. I had some time to kill between checking out of the hostel and arriving at the train station to depart the city. So I rented a car and drove around. At the time, I had no direction and no map, I just decided to take my self on a self-guided driving tour of Washington DC. It was during this driving tour that I stumbled upon this lovely park. This is a great location to get out and enjoy the beauty of nature.

National Mall

It does not matter what you plan on doing, the National Mall is a great place to visit! Of course, if you have never been to the the nation’s capital definitely take advantage of all the free tourist attractions that are there (because there are so many)! If you are traveling with a group of people, this is a great place to do something that will ignite the excitement in every member. For those who love history, you can enjoy any one of the government buildings, monuments, or memorials. The foodie in your group might really enjoy the tons of food trucks and restaurants within walking distance. You could have a picnic on the lawn for the calm, introverted, nature-lover in the group. For the person who wants to dive into culture, there is no better place to go than the Smithsonian Museum.

Stay the Night at Highroad Hostel DC

The Living Room – Photo Courtesy of TripAdvisor

Yes, I realize this is a Hostel and not your typical hotel. However, compared to some of my hotel stays in Washington DC, I enjoyed the Highroad Hostel far more. First off, this hostel is located in a really fun DC neighborhood (Adams Morgan). There are so many fun quirky shops, restaurants, and bars all within a two-block walking distance. Some of these shops and restaurants include: the Amsterdam Falafelshop, Bossa, District of Columbia Arts Center, and Mercedes Bien Vintage Clothing and Decor. Also if you are looking for a cheap ride to drive around Washington DC, there is a Zipcar Parking lot right around the corner (not even a 5 minute walk). Finally, there are several different room options for travelers. For anyone who just wants a cheap place to crash, I would recommend the 14 bed-multi shared dorm. If anyone is traveling with a group or with their children, I highly recommend the 4 bed multi-shared room.

Eat at The Hamilton

Photo Courtesy of TripAdvisor

The Hamilton is a beautiful restaurant and live music venue on the corner of 14th St. and F St. NW. Fortunately, even with the Covid restrictions, The Hamilton is allowed to have live concerts (just at a reduced capacity). In the coming weeks and months patrons will be able to enjoy live music with their dinner. This fall season they have some really fun concert options to the public, including: Della Mae, Kat Edmonson, Cris Jacobs Band, and a few more. Otherwise, if you are just looking for a great place to eat, The Hamilton offers dine-in, take-out, online, and to-go orders. While you are there, be sure to try the Lobster Shephard’s Pie, No Bull Burger (vegan), or Fire Cracker Sushi Roll.

Espionage has always been a topic from some of our favorite movies, novels, TV shows and even conspiracy theories. Some young children dream of eventually becoming International spies. This museum is perfect for any child (and even children at heart) because it provides their visitors with an immersive and semi-hands on experience regarding espionage. During your visit you will get the chance to learn all about the Culper Spy Ring, the Code Breakers of WWII, the Enigma, and more. The International Spy Museum is open Monday through Friday (even during Covid). They also have some fun programs and workshops for their patrons. For families, they have other fun events including the “Covert Couch Challenge” which is a family game night designed to test your family’s skills at tradecraft.


4 Cozy Texas Treehouses to Snuggle up in this Fall

September has arrived! It is hard to believe this month is finally here! Although the first day of fall is not until the end of the month (September 22nd), in my mind Fall is already here. With the arrival of this colorful season come some of my favorites things of all time including: relaxing rainy days, brisk sweater weather, the crackling of wood burning in the fireplace, scary stories and more! What better way to celebrate the arrival of Fall 2020 than by planning a fun and cozy staycation(ish) in a Texas Treehouse! Here are options I found on Airbnb that will allow you to escape the monotonous (and sometimes hectic) routines of life at home, so that you can focus on some of your favorite things during the Fall season.


The Treehouse on Lake Travis

While this quaint treehouse is great for the summer, we also thing it will be a fantastic place to relax during the Fall! For anyone with family that is in desperate need of spending some time away with a Birdseye view of Lake Travis, this is the place for you! The Treehouse juts out over the bluffs and among the trees on Lake Travis (near Austin). This awesome rental getaway can comfortably accommodate 4 guests; and includes some fun amenities including: a hot tub (which is looks out over the lake and is perfect for cooler days), a cozy fireplace, Park n’ Play/travel crib (for the very little ones), and amazing views of Lake Travis. Also if you are able to work remotely and you are looking to take an extended vacation, The Treehouse on Lake Travis had wifi and is available for long term rentals.

Southern Dream

Just a little over an hours drive East of Dallas, is luxurious treehouse that can fit up to five guests. However, this romantic little rental is best for couples or solo travel. Our favorite aspect of this of this cozy getaway is that it can perfectly accommodate the needs of any traveler. The Southern Dream has wifi, which is great for anyone who is wanting to log in for a little while and do a little bit of remote work during their getaway. Anyone who is looking to dive into local culture or do some shopping Canton is just a 10 minute drive away. For this Fall, the Canton Flea Market is open on the following days (Oct. 1-4, Oct. 29 – Nov. 1, and Dec. 3-6). Downtown Canton also has some fun attractions and restaurants. Or those who are looking to relax and truly escape, other features of this includes a private entrance, a hot tub, a patio/balcony, and a garden/backyard.

Ryders Treehouse

Ryders Treehouse is the the perfect place for any romantic couple that is wanting to get away from Dallas this Fall! What better why to relax than going out to West Texas and sharing some ghost stories or roasting marshmellows with your significant other on a secluded ranch! In fact, anyone who is planning a wedding during Covid and looking to go on a honeymoon should consider booking Ryders Treehouse. It is nestled away on a ranch near Baird, Texas (roughly 2 hour and 30 minute drive West of Dallas) and provides all the necessities that you need to relax. The treehouse itself is two stories, with the kitchenette on the first floor, and a bedroom/loft on the second floor. However, that is not all, other fun amenities of this treehouse include: indoor fireplace as well as an outdoor fire pit, fishing, Lake views, and a perfect perch for sipping wine as you watch the sun go down.

The Extraordinary Treehouse

When it comes to the essence of the Fall Season, we cannot think of a better place to spend your staycation than in the Extraordinary Treehouse. You do not have to go very far to enjoy a quiet cozy fire while also enjoying the lovely view of the forest scenery in the floor-to-ceiling windows of the living room. This stunning treehouse is two stories, a small foot bridge and gravel paths leading to the front door, and an over-sized Jacuzzi bathtub which is perfect for a warm bathe for two 😉 . For those who are looking to take a working staycation, wifi is included in this rental. While this treehouse can comfortably sleep four people, please note that the owners do have an age limit for their guests. They ask their guests are no younger than 27 years old. However, the owners will make exceptions depending on the inquiry.

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***Unless otherwise noted: all the photos in this post and cover are found on Airbnb.


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5 Reasons why your next Girls Only Spa Retreat should be at the Hotel Crescent Court

I have been in a total of five weddings, including my own. During my time as a bridesmaid, I have had a few awesome experiences and some experiences that were not as great. So, when the time finally came for me to be a bride I knew exactly what I wanted to do to show my appreciation for my bridesmaids, mother, and future mother-in-law. I have also come to realize that days leading up to the wedding are almost always the most stressful (for everyone…including some of the guests). Therefore, as a gift for my bridesmaids and the moms, I wanted to gift them with an experience rather than a tangible gift. For this gift, I chose to have a spa getaway the day before our wedding at one of the most best known and most luxurious 5-star locations in the area, Hotel Crescent Court.

Our experience having a spa weekend getaway at Hotel Crescent Court did not just meet; but rather exceeded all of our expectations! We all loved every bit of it. If I was forced to redo any aspect of my wedding weekend, I would not change a single thing. Here are my five reasons why I would book another girls only Spa Getaway at Hotel Crescent Court in a heartbeat.


Great Prices for the Quality of Service

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

There are quite a few luxury 4-star and 5-star hotels in Dallas, TX. All of which offer elegant suites and most of which offer great spa amenities. After doing some research, I found that Hotel Crescent Court offered the spa services I wanted to give my bridesmaids and mothers at a more reasonable price than other hotels of the same (and sometimes lower) caliber. Because their prices were so reasonable, I was able to pay for even more spa services that I was originally planning on purchasing. I ended up giving everyone a 50 minute massage, a 50 minute pedicure, a 25 minute manicure, and a 50 minute facial.

The prices for the rooms are also more reasonable than expected. I was also able to afford an the astonishing Uptown Suite on the top floor for an overnight stay. But more on this awesome suite later.

The Spa is Amazing

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The award-winning spa is located in the lowest level of the Hotel Crescent complex. As we arrived in the 22,000 square foot spa we were immediately greeted by an associate who gave us a tour of their state of the art facilities. These facilities include: steam room, dry sauna, hot tub, cold tub, showers, lounges, and a weight room/workout facility. Of course the Hotel Crescent Court offers a wide variety of spa services. But we highly recommend the Rose Grand Cru Facial, the French Clay Detox Body Therapy, and the Stone Therapy Massage.

A wide variety of wellness/fitness classes are offered at the Hotel Crescent Court Spa. There are a wide variety of fitness classes for all levels of fitness. We recommend the Yoga Stretch, Body Balance, and the Core and More Sculpting classes.

The Uptown Suite

Courtesy of Kailey Quine

In previous weddings, other members of the bridal party and I stayed have always stayed at a hotel the night before. However, often times there was never really enough space or beds for everyone, so a few people had to sleep on the couch. Trust me, it is never fun when you are staying in a suite at a 4-star to 5-star hotel and end up sleeping on the couch. So, with my wedding, I wanted to avoid this situation at all costs for my bridesmaids.

The Hotel Crescent Court stood out to me as I was doing my research; because when compared to other hotels of the same caliber in the area, the Crescent had more affordable suites. To top it off, compared to the other hotels, I found that Hotel Crescent Court had suites that were more like apartments. When I read about the amenities for The Uptown Suite, I knew this was the suite that we needed. This amazing suite is two stories and includes; 2 bedrooms (each fully equipped with King sized beds and TV’s), 2.5 bathrooms, a large dining table, living area, a sun room, butlers’ pantry, coat closet, and exquisitely large landscape windows. If you are looking into a nice staycation with a few of your girlfriends, we highly recommend you look into the Uptown Suite (get the one on the 7th floor).

It’s so quiet

Photo courtesy of Hotel Crescent Court

Not enough can be said about how much I appreciate quietness. There have been so many times at other hotels where we could hear people in the halls, arguments about “lack of communication” in the room next door, and even noise from outside. Despite it’s location in the middle of Oak Lawn, we had no trouble at all with ambient city noises bothering us during the day or waking us up in the middle of the night. As far as noises in the hallway, we never heard anyone in the hallway. Really truly, the only ambient noises we could hear, were the sounds that other members of our party made as they moved around in the suite taking care of their own business. It is easy for us to conclude, that the lack of external noise was the absolute linchpin for our wonderful stay at the Hotel Crescent Court.

Stunning Interior Design

Photo courtesy of Hotel Crescent Court

Picture stunning 1920’s Art Deco Design but with a more Modern twist. You have just imagined that lovely interior of Hotel Crescent Court. The interior designer (waldrop+nichols studio, llc) has truly outdone themselves with creating one of the most welcoming designs we have ever seen. The natural lighting in the grand foyer and the guest rooms offers guests with a sense of genuine happiness as if the weight of the world has momentarily been lifted off your shoulders. We can honestly say, that (until our stay at Hotel Crescent Court) we have never experienced a hotel that has a genuine ability to call us in with its interior design saying “Come, get away from all your worries of the world and sit with us. Relax, all will be well.”


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Where to Eat, Drink, & Play on the Lake Lewisville

Something I have noticed about living in The Colony is that the communities of Little Elm, The Colony, and Western Frisco living revolves around Lake Lewisville. After a long winter, warm weather is finally upon us. With the warm weather comes our ability to enjoy the outdoors and spend lots of time on the lake in our back yard, Lake Lewisville. This will officially, be Matt’s (and mine, to a certain extent) first summer with easy access to the lake. While I am very much looking forward to spending some much needed time on the lake, I am also looking forward to spending time on the shoreline. Here are some fun places that Matt and I are looking forward to visiting during the warm weather.


Eat & Drink (Lakeside)

Fair Winds Bar & Grill

Photo Source: Fair Winds Facebook

Fair Winds Bar & Grill is a located at Pier 121 Marina. With great views of Lake Lewisville on their Dog-Friendly patio, we cannot think of a better place to wind down after a crazy day at work. While enjoying the warm weather and lovely scenery of a sunset on Lake Lewisville, be sure to have their Frozen Margarita paired with their Mahi Mahi Tacos, Fried Elotes, and Texas Cowboys’ Bowl.

Directions

Angelina’s Don Frisco’s

Photo Source: Angelina’s Don Frisco’s Facebook Page

Granted, there is a little bit of a distance between the patio of Angelina’s and Lake Lewisville. But nevertheless, you and your group will still be able to relax to the lovely Texas Scenery with distant lake views. While you are being soothed by the tranquil breeze coming from over the water, be sure to order a pitcher of the Aqua De Laguna for you and your adult friends! This cool drink pairs well with the Fiesta Supreme (for the table) as well as Taco Dinner (for yourself).

Directions

Lakeview Drafthouse

Photo Courtesy of Lakeview Drafthouse

Lakeview Drafthouse is the perfect place to gather with a few of your adult friends, sit on the patio and socialize while sipping on your favorite craft beer. They have Happy Hour daily! On Monday through Friday it is from 3 pm to 6:30 pm. Or you can celebrate your weekends with a Happy Hour from 11 am to 7 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Some great items on their menu that pair well with the warm weather and cold beer are Fried Shimp Po’Boy, Fried Chicken “Funnel Cake” Sandwich, and Guacamole Cheese Burgers.

Directions

Rockin’s Bar & Grill

Photo Courtesy of Rockin’ S Bar and Grill

This cool Rock-n-Roll themed restaurant is located in The Colony at Hidden Cove. As the first day of Spring 2020 quickly approaches, we cannot think of a better place to spend a Parent’s Night Out with your friends. There are a couple options for you and your group. You could spend the evening at the bar watching your favorite baseball team, or your group could spend the evening on the patio watching the sun go down. While you are there, be sure to grab yourself a frozen margarita which pairs well with Roast Beef French Dip, Chicken Ranch Wrap, or the Sliced Flat Iron Steak Sandwich.

Directions

Hula Hut

Photo Courtesy of Hula Hut Little Elm

Mexican cuisine, with polynesian twist and great views of the water! This restaruant is perfect for anyone who is looking for some island time, but without having to travel to Polynesia. Hula Hut has a great patios and sitting areas with perfect views of Lake Lewisville and other bodies of water. This is a great place to bring your family or meet up with friends! While you are there, be sure to try the Polynesian Pescado Platter or the Huli Huli Luau Platter which are perfect for large groups!

Directions

Sneaky Pete’s (Eat, Drink, and Play)

Sneaky Pete’s has everything! Going to Sneaky Pete’s can easily be a all day affair. It’s a restaurant with a patio and a pavilion (both have lakeside views). But they also have a pool, an outdoor stage for live music, sand volleyball courts, and boat parking. If you are just looking for finger food to share, be sure to order the Bacon Cheese Fries for you and your friends. Or if you and your family are looking for dinner try the Combo Seafood Basket or the California Chicken Entree.

Directions


Play

Lakefront at Little Elm

Photo of Little Elm Park Courtesy of Lake Lewisville

The Lakefront at Lake Lewisville has so many things to do for adults and children alike! Little Elm Park is open 24/7 and includes eight sand volleyball courts, a large beach, fire pits, Lakefront Grill and more! For water sport, there are a few options including Cottonwood Creek Marina, DFW Surf, a Boat Ramp and Hydrous Park. There are many local options for food Little Elm Park; including Hula Hut, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Jim’s Pizza, and Towers Tap House. Finally for adults only groups include Little Elm Crafthouse and Margarita Hut.

Directions

Hydrous Wake Park

Photo Courtesy of Hydrous – Lake Lewisville

Hydrous is the a great place to learn to wake board or to perfect your wake boarding talents. If you have never wake boarded before, or if you do not have the proper equipment, Hydrous Wake Park has everything you need when learning to wake board. They rent out wakeboards and kneeboards, offer lessons, and have other equipment for more experienced boarders. For those who are not into the wakeboarding or kneeboarding scene, Hydrous Wake Park also has an inflatable giant obstacle course! The park is also right next door to the Towers Tap House, where you can join your friends for a few beers after spending a few hours on the water.

Directions

The Tribute Golf Course

Photo Courtesy of The Tribute

Based in the developing community of The Tribute in The Colony, this new Golf Course is perfect for anyone looking to try their hand at the British Open but without the cost. The Tribute Golf Course has a few holes that are Replicas of some famous British Open holes. Of course, you will be golfing with added benefit of the natural beauty of Lake Lewisville in the background.

Directions

Old American Golf Club

Photo Courtesy of Matthews Southwest

The Old American Golf Club is also located in the developing neighborhood of the Tribute Lakeside Golf and Resort Community. This golf club is perfect for any one who is looking to relax in a more casual environment. The Old American Golf Course also offers golfing on the banks of Lake Lewisville. They have dining and other social events that their members can enjoy including: wine tasting, Father’s/Mother’s Day Brunches, Mystery Dinners and more. Or for those who enjoy LPGA Tournaments, The Old American is the hosts the Volunteers of America Classic on a yearly basis.

Directions


On the Water

Dinner Cruises

Photo Courtesy of Sam’s Dock Boat Rentals

Sam’s Dock Boat Rentals is located at Pier 121 on Lake Lewisville. The boat pictured above is Miss Gloria which features two walk-up bars, large sun deck for open air dining, 5 large TV’s, and a commercial kitchen for caterers. Sam’s Dock has many fun themed cruises through out the season, including: the Easter Sunday Brunch, Pre-Cinco de Mayo, and Memorial Day Weekend Fireworks Cruise. Miss Gloria is also available to rent for anyone looking to host a floating event!

Directions

Cover Photo Courtesy of Sneaky Pete’s

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8 of the Most Creative Margaritas in Dallas

The following post was originally written for and published on Dallasites101 Blog. To read the full version click here.

One of the best parts about living in Texas is the artful adoption of Mexican cuisine into our daily diet. The margarita is (of course) an essential piece of that. While there isn’t a lot that beats a traditional margarita on the rocks (or frozen) there are also a lot of creative takes on the margarita around town that allow you to have some fun and mix it up!


CHAMPAGNE PRICKLY PEAR MARGARITA

TWO MULES CANTINA AT TEXICAN COURT HOTEL

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CHAMPAGNE PRICKLY PEAR MARGARITA: TEXICAN COURT HOTEL

Is there any place more perfect to celebrate National Margarita Day (or month) than at the Southwestern-themed urban retreat hotel, Texican Court? Their Two Mules Cantina is serving up a Champagne Prickly Pear Margarita to pay homage to the month of love. Made with Milagro Silver Tequila, Cointreau, prickly pear syrup, fresh lime juice, agave nectar and topped with champagne, the raspberry-watermelon-like taste of the prickly pear is sure to make anyone fall in love.

They top it off with a glass rimmed with sugar for a sweet ending to your sip! And if you’re looking to celebrate both Valentine’s and National Margarita Day, make a staycation out of it by booking a room overlooking the retro pool! You can sip on margs all night long!

IRVING | DIRECTIONS


BIG RED-RITA

MIA’S TEX-MEX

photo courtesy Eater Dallas

BIG RED RITA: MIA’S TEX-MEX

If you are looking for a really great dive Tex-Mex restaurant, look no further than Mia’s Tex-Mex, but don’t expect it to be a hidden gem with no wait- it’s a beloved Dallas institution serving the community for over 40 years. Do expect excellent margaritas, and for those who are fans of Big Red Soda, Mia’s Tex-Mex has a treat for you! They serve a huge goblet of frozen margarita with an entire bottle of Big Red Soda tipped upside down inside. This unique margarita costs about $12 and perfectly complements the one taco that Mia’s is famous for: their Brisket Taco.

OAK LAWN | DIRECTIONS


HIBISCUS CHAMPAGNE MARGARITA

MIA DIA FROM SCRATCH

Courtesy of Mi Dia

HIBISCUS CHAMPAGNE MARG: MIA DIA FROM SCRATCH

The Hibiscus Champagne Margarita has been created by the Mixologists at Mi Dia from Scratch to give their patrons a really cool “Wow” factor as they enjoy their meal. Served in a large martini glass, the bartender pours the Margarita Mix over the dry ice, followed by an entire tiny bottle of Champagne! Because of this fun presentation of this sweet and flowery cocktail, this specialty margarita is perfect for any celebration (especially birthdays and bachelorettes). It will also give you the perfect footage for any Snapchat or Instagram story.

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS


MAMBO TAXI

MI COCINA

Courtesy of Mi Cocina

MAMBO TAXI: MI COCINA 

How could we write an article about  margaritas and not include the Holy Grail of them all – the Mambo Taxi?! Mi Cocina has been around for decades now, opening back in 1991. When we first arrived in Dallas, we were told we needed to go immediately for some classic Dallas Tex-Mex. Upon arrival, we spotted a frozen swirl of yellow and purple on every other table – that was the  Mambo Taxi, one of the most popular margaritas in all of Dallas! It’s made with Sauza Silver Tequila, lime juice, housemade sangria with Pinot Noir, brandy and juices, giving it that Instagrammable swirl look to it!

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS 


ACTIVATED CHARCOAL MARGARITA

RESIDENT TAQUERIA

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ACTIVATED CHARCOAL MARG: RESIDENT TAQUERIA

Using his knowledge from his unique culinary background, Chef Savoie is able to create an amazing fusion of flavor in his tacos and margaritas. Think a Pecan Smoked Chicken, Glazed Pork Belly, Caramelized cauliflower, and Slow Cooked Mushroom. All of these tacos go well with their signature Activated Charcoal Margarita. Do not let the name fool you! It tastes like lemon (sort of) and makes you feel healthy, while still indulging in a margarita!

LAKE HIGHLANDS | DIRECTIONS


AVOCADO MARGARITA

MESO MAYA

Courtesy of @mesomaya

AVOCADO MARG: MESO MAYA

Meso Maya has some of the best upscale Mexican cuisine in DFW, with a focus on the interior regions of Mexico. Between the delicious food and Latin atmosphere, we love taking out of town guests to Meso Maya, but a meal wouldn’t be complete without the Avocado Margarita! Think muddled avocado, pineapple and lime juice, Cointreau and tequila. If it sounds like it would taste like a non-sweet smoothie, think again. It’s light and refreshing and it a surprisingly amazing treat!

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS


MATCHA GARDEN

JINYA RAMEN BAR

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MATCHA GARDEN MARG: JINYA RAMEN BAR

Another unique feature about Dallas, that we love is the amazing Asian Fusion food. Jinya Ramen Bar is one of the best locations that serves Asian Fusion in Dallas. Restaurant founder, Tomonori Takahashi, does a fantastic job at fusing Japanese Ramen with our favorite Mexican flavors. The Matcha Garden includes house-made Matcha tequila, prosecco and basil Green Tea Margarita is no exception and is sure to please. This refreshing cocktail goes best with the Slurp Up Cilantro Ramen, Spicy Creamy Vegan Ramen, and the Salmon Poke Mini Tacos.

VICTORY PARK | DIRECTIONS


THE RIMY RITA

THE RUSTIC

Courtesy of The Rustic

RIMY RITA: THE RUSTIC

One of our favorite cocktails is the Margarita Sangria swirl, but the Rustic puts a really fun and upbeat twist on this fantastic cocktail. Their version? The Rimy Rita which includes a goblet of traditional margarita and a sangria in popsicle form. You can either eat the popsicle and drink the drink separately, or you can allow the popsicle to melt and stir it into the margarita. But no matter what you choose, the Rimy Rita is bound to stimulate your taste buds and pairs perfectly with a warm summer evening on the Rustic’s huge patio and live music!

UPTOWN | DIRECTIONS


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5 Fun Places in The Colony that are Great for Family Activities

I have spent an overwhelming majority of my life living in Plano, Texas. But now, my Fiance has moved to The Colony (November 2019); and in July, I will be moving in with him as his wife. Over the 25 years of living in Plano, it has been amazing to see how my hometown has grown as well the areas surrounding it. Recently, I have decided to change the focus of my blogging so that I can learn more about Frisco, The Colony, and Plano and to share what I learn about this wonderful community that I will be moving to in six months. The more I learn about The Colony, the more amazing it is to see how this community grown significantly and has become very family oriented with many fun activities. Even though Matt and I do not have children yet, we are hoping to have a few children in the future. Here are some great places I found for anyone of all ages to visit (specially families with children).


Top Golf

Photo Courtesy of Visit Dallas

There are so many fun and distracting things to do at TopGolf that we cannot possibly think of a better place to spend time with your family and friends. For the avid golfers in the group, there are about 13 golfing related games for you to play. These games include TopDrive, TopShot, and Quick 9. TopGolf also has other non-golfing games that member of your group can play; including billiards and fooseball. For those who are looking for a space to celebrate something such as a birthday or graduation, TopGolf provides packages starting at $44 per guest.

Directions

Lasertag – DFW

Photo Courtesy of Visit The Colony

If you are worried about your little ones running around in a dimly lit area with special effect fog and flashing lights, worry no more! Lasertag – DFW is entirely outdoors and they have 22 acres that is divided into five different lasertag courses. That way you and your family have plenty of space to play and five different fields to choose from. Don’t worry about age, anyone ages 4 and up can participate in this fun activity! If you are looking to go with a larger group prices (10+ People) prices start at $160 and include one attendant and access to their picnic tables.

Directions

Truck Yard – The Colony

Photo Courtesy of Plano Magazine

We love the Truck Yard in Dallas; which is why we were elated to learn that they have opened up another one closer to our home in The Colony. The Truck Yard is a great place for you and your family for many reasons. First, with the regular rotation of food trucks that are parked at the Truck Yard there is guaranteed to be a different selection of food every time you go. Another great reason to visit this awesome location is because it is the home of Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum. The museum is full of toilet seats that have been turned into pieces of art work, which is bound to amuse the children. The final reason that your family is will love this eatery, is that there is plenty of room for your children to play around or dance to some of the live music from their featured artists.

Directions

Nature Trails

(The Tribute Shoreline Nature Trail) Photo Courtesy of AllTrails

Nature trails are always fun and there are always new and exciting things for kids to learn while outside on nature trails. You and your family could go hiking or biking on nature trails. Or you could pack some picnic gear and have a picnic on the shoreline of Lake Lewisville. But no matter what you decide to do, there is only one thing about nature trails that we absolutely love: Nature Trails are 100% free! There is no admittance fee and you do not have to buy anything while you are there! There are a few Nature Trails here in The Colony, but Matt and I have three favorites. Be sure to try The Colony’s Shoreline Trail, The Colony Five Start Hike & Bike Trail, and the newest one (The Tribute Shoreline Trail).

The Colony’s Shoreline Trail

The Colony Five Star Hike & Bike Trail

The Tribute Shoreline Trail

The Shacks at Austin Ranch

Photo Courtesy of CultureMap

In a nutshell, The Shacks at Austin Ranch are six eateries and a dog park all connected by a large patio. I love this location for many reasons. First, the entire family gets to go (of course when I say entire family, it means that your dog can join you on this outing). Another reason to love the Shacks, is the freedom to choose. If your family cannot decide on what to eat there are six different options that each family member can choose from. For those in the family who love Japanese ramen should try TEN Ramen. Mom and Dad can get adult beverages at Grrrowlers or coffee at Turbo. If anyone wants street tacos they can go to OMG Tacos. Tacklebox sells some great seafood; and Dirty Burger sells your favorite American Cuisine.

Directions

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