A Birthday Weekend At The Beach

Happy Monday everyone! This weekend was definitely one for the books, so I have a feeling that I might be dragging a little bit this morning and wishing that I could be back at the beach instead of in the office. But alas we all must adult, so instead of being at the beach I’ll be reminiscing about it with Biana for some weekending!

The Wandering Weekenders- A Birthday Weekend At The Beach

Friday

Since my birthday was so close to the weekend, I knew that I wanted to get out of the city for a quick weekend getaway. We knew that we wanted to go somewhere close that we could drive to, and somewhere that would be easily accessible to dogs as well so that Dart could go with us. We tossed around a few ideas, but when we started talking about how Chris had never been to Galveston before, the idea of quick weekend at the beach sounded perfect!

Chris picked me up from the office on Friday and then after a quick hour drive we were out of the city and on the small island of Galveston. While there are a ton of hotels to choose from on the island, Chris and I opted for a VRBO rental that was literally right off the beach. When we first arrived, the wind was really starting to pick up and there was a chance for rain, so we opted to stay in for the night, cook some dinner, and just relax. It was the perfect start to the weekend!

Saturday

The bedroom that we were in faced east, so we were up bright and early Saturday morning. Dart had never been to the beach before, so we were anxious to get him out there to see what he would do with all the sand and the waves and all the seagulls!

The Wandering Weekenders- A Birthday Weekend At The Beach

The beach was very busy that morning, and we enjoyed a couple of miles walk and watching Dart going insane over all of the new sights and smells and of course the ocean. If you follow me on Snapchat, you might have seen the video of Dart when he was standing in the ocean and then got scared by the waves coming in. It was so funny! Needless to say, Dart definitely prefers the sand to the ocean!

The Wandering Weekenders- A Birthday Weekend At The Beach

The Wandering Weekenders- A Birthday Weekend At The Beach

The Wandering Weekenders- A Birthday Weekend At The Beach

The Wandering Weekenders- A Birthday Weekend At The Beach

The Wandering Weekenders- A Birthday Weekend At The Beach

After our morning walk, we headed back to the house, made breakfast, and then packed up our stuff and headed to the beach. It was very windy on Saturday which meant that we had trouble setting up our tent to begin with, but once it was setup we enjoyed the cooler weather that we got with the wind. It was a beautiful and relaxing day, despite a little bit of rain for about 10 minutes, and I loved just sitting at the beach and reading a book and planning part of our Europe trip. It was perfect!

The Wandering Weekenders- A Birthday Weekend At The Beach

The Wandering Weekenders- A Birthday Weekend At The Beach

At around 4:00 we had our fill of the beach so we headed back to the house and relaxed for a little bit before eating dinner and then going on another evening walk on the beach. That night there weren’t nearly as many people on the beach as there had been that morning, so it almost felt like we had it to ourselves.

The Wandering Weekenders- A Birthday Weekend At The Beach

Sunday

We had an early checkout time at 11:00 Sunday morning, so Chris and I made sure that we were out of bed early enough to get a walk in with Dart before eating breakfast and packing up. Sunday morning felt a lot like Saturday evening in the fact that there weren’t that many people on the beach, so Chris and I let Dart off his leash for a little bit and he absolutely loved it! The wind wasn’t as bad as Saturday, but that also meant that it got a lot hotter than Saturday as well. After our walk we cooked breakfast and then we hit the road to get back home.

The Wandering Weekenders- A Birthday Weekend At The Beach

The Wandering Weekenders- A Birthday Weekend At The Beach

The Wandering Weekenders- A Birthday Weekend At The Beach

The advantage to going on a weekend trip so close is the fact that we got home so quickly! Before we knew it we were back at home and getting started on laundry, grocery shopping and just getting ready for the week. Our little weekend trip to Galveston was perfect, and I’m so glad that we got to continue my birthday celebrations at the beach!

Have you ever visited Galveston before? Have you gone on a birthday weekend getaway?

One more thing before I go, March means the beginning of Spring and the start of something new. To get you fresh and ready for the new season, I’m teaming up with Emelia and a few other blogger babes to gift one lucky person a $75 Sephora or Ulta gift card –winner’s choice and a bunch of Emelia’s tried and true favorite products including a GlamGlow mask, BECCA Highlighter and more. The giveaway ends Sunday April 2, so be sure to check back on the blog next week to see if you’re the winner!

The Giveaway Gals:

 

 

 

 

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A wonderful 30th Birthday Weekend spent in Galveston, Texas. Sand, sun, the ocean, and family, there's nothing more that you need!

A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List

Today is the day, I’m officially 30 years old. 30. Thirty. The Big 3-0. The Dirty 30. THIRTY! Even typing this out feels so incredibly weird. I know that 30 isn’t that old, but for some reason this year has gotten me so incredibly freaked out. I think that 30 is the age that everybody thinks that they’ll have things figured out, they’ll have accomplished something in their lives, or they’ll at least know where they’re going.

The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List

When you’re young, you think by age 30 I’ll have done x, y and z. I know that 30 really isn’t that old, but I got almost a little depressed thinking about the fact that I’m 30 because I thought that I’d have done more by now. So to get myself out of that funk, I thought that I’d do a little reverse bucket list for my birthday to show myself how much I really have done so far in my life, and how I still have a lot of time left to accomplish even more things!

The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List

  1. So Earned a Bachelor’s Degree- I think that it’s easy to forget how not everybody has the opportunity to go to college, so I’m lucky that I was able to go and get a degree!
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  2. Earned a Master’s Degree- I might have taken a victory lap, but it was worth it to earn my Master’s as well as my Bachelor’s degree.
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  3. Became a licensed CPA- Definitely not the easiest thing to do considering it’s a 4 part exam that you have to pass all 4 parts within one year. I’m so thankful that A&M had such a great program and that I passed when I was in school!
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  4. Got Married- I found my person early on, and we decided to get married right after school. It was the most perfect wedding, in my opinion!
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  5. Owned a dog- Owning your own pet is completely different than having a family pet. You are their everything, and I wouldn’t change our time with Dart for anything!
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  6. Purchased two houses and sold one- We purchased our first house after we got married and then during the summer of 2014 we sold our first house and moved into our second. It was so stressful, but totally worth it!
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  7. Purchased my own car- As cute as my yellow bug was, I was so excited to trade him in for Quatro!
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  8. Skydived, twice- If you can believe it I was more scared to jump out of a plane the second time around than the first. But we got our pictures taken during the second jump, which was cool!
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  9. Rode in a hot air balloon- During our trip to Napa last year we got to ride in a hot air balloon, and it was one of the most extraordinary experiences I’ve ever had!
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  10. Rode in a helicopter over Kauai- I’m finally getting ready to write about our time in Kauai, and one of my favorite parts of the trip was the helicopter ride that we took around the island. We got to see some parts of the island that aren’t visible any other way than by air.
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  11. Took a gondola ride in Venice- When in Venice, you must take a gondola ride! While we didn’t get sang to, it was really relaxing and I loved getting to cruise through the peaceful canals of a beautiful city!
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  12. Drank beer and danced on tables at Oktoberfest- One of the main reasons that we visited Europe last year in September was because we wanted to go to Oktoberfest! A once in a lifetime experience, I’ll never forget how much fun we had, and all of the crazy Snapchat videos I took as well!
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  13. Visited the real life locations from the Sound Of Music- One of my favorit
  14.  movies of all time, it was so surreal to see all of the beautiful locations in real life!
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  15. Visited the land of my ancestors during a visit to Prague- My great grandparents immigrated from Czechoslovakia, so it was an amazing experience to walk around Prague last year in Europe.
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  16. Visited a real life castle- Neuschwanstein was the inspiration for Walt Disney for Cinderella’s castle, and we got to visit it last year. It was as beautiful as I had hoped that it would be.
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  17. Watched the cows being driven down from the mountains in Germany- Still a very big tradition in Germany and Switzerland, when we were riding up to Neuschwanstein we actually got to see the driving down of the cows from the mountains. It was so cool to see everybody decked out in their lederhosen and dirndls leading their cows with the huge bells down the mountains!
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  18. Wine tasted in Napa Valley- You know how much I love wine, and Napa Valley is the place to drink wine in America! I could go back time and time again!
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  19. Wine tasted in Italy- Our first day in Italy was spent wine tasting around the Vicenza area and it was such a dream! It was also really cheap too, way cheaper than in the States!
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  20. Seen the tree at Rockefeller Center at Christmas time- I view NYC as one of the most iconic places to visit during Christmas, and I’ve been lucky enough to visit twice during the Christmas season. I love being able to see the Rockefeller Tree all lit up at night!
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  21. Been on TV at the Today Show- This year is actually the 10th Anniversary of my very first trip to NYC, and one of the things that we did that first year was to visit the Today Show, and we were actually on TV! My friend’s dad took pictures when we were on!
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  22. Visited the top of the Empire State Building- One of the most iconic buildings in NYC, I loved to visit the top and to see the view!
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  23. Read a multitude of books- One of my favorite things to do is read, and probably the only positive to having a commute everyday is that I have the opportunity to read everyday. I’ve gotten to read so much over the years, and thanks to the Show Us Your Books linkup I have a never ending list of books to read!
  24. Biked across the Golden Gate Bridge- It was definitely an adventure, and a workout, but it was so much fun to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge. If you can believe it, Chris was more scared to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge than he was to bike across it.
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  25. Dined at the top of the Eiffel Tower, even if it was only in Las Vegas- I know it’s not the same thing as dining at the real Eiffel Tower, but for our first time in Vegas it was an extraordinary experience. Plus we had amazing views of the Bellagio Fountains!
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  26. Saw real life volcanos spewing lava- I totally didn’t appreciate it when I was there, but seeing a real life active volcano was really cool. I’m hoping that Chris and I will be able to make it there together one day.
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  27. Walked on a black sand beach- I don’t remember seeing a black sand beach the first time that I was in Hawaii, so I pretty much freaked out the first time that we saw one when we were there in 2015.
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  28. Walked through the White House- It’s not super hard to get a tour of the White House, but it is something that you have to sign up for before a trip to DC. When I visited with my mom in college, we really enjoyed getting to walk through an iconic part of the United States history.
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  29. Visited Washington DC during the Cherry Blossom Festival- Probably one of the busiest times of the year in Washington DC, we timed our trip perfectly a couple of years ago and got to see the Cherry Blossoms during peak bloom. They were beautiful and I don’t think that I’ll ever forget that experience!
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  30. Walked the Freedom Trail in Boston- While the United States might be a young country, we’re also a very proud country. It was a surreal experience to visit some of the places that our forefathers fought for their freedom from Britain.
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List
  31. Made it to age 30 with a loving family and a ton of friends that I love so much! While it’s freaking me out, not everybody makes it to the ripe “old” age of 30. I’m so very thankful that I’ve made it, even if I’m not super excited about it, and that I have great family and friends that have supported me in every way possible throughout the years. Thank y’all and I love y’all so much!
    The Wandering Weekenders- A 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List

And there you have it, my reverse bucket list for my 30th birthday! We don’t have any wild and crazy plans for my 30th birthday weekend, that was pretty much taken care of last weekend in Vegas, but Chris, Dart, and I are packing up the car and spending the weekend at the beach! Besides a quick day trip, Chris has never been to Galveston, so I’m excited to show him around!

My 30th Birthday is kind of a big deal to me so I'm breaking down everything that I've accomplished by doing a 30th Birthday Reverse Bucket List!

Show Us Your Books- What I Read In February

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books- What I Read In February

Another month has come and gone and it’s time to link up with Steph and Jana for the best day of the month, well except for my birthday later on, Show Us Your Books day! I seriously can’t believe how fast this year is going, and I also can’t believe how fast I’m reading and how many good books I’ve read lately as well! I think that has a lot to do with the fact that I’ve been listening to some books that my mom has on her Audible account, so even on the days that I’m not riding the bus, I’m still technically “reading”. Even though I’ve made some great progress on my overall reading goal, I still haven’t made much progress when it comes to Erin’s Book Challenge this time around, but hopefully I’ll push through and knock out some more of the books later on this month and finish up by the end of April. Anyways, let’s get on with the book reviews!

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books- What I Read In February

He’s Gone by Deb Caletti ★★ 3 stars

I was looking forward to listening to this book on audible, but I have to admit that it fell flat for me. I really think that the only reason that I finished it was because I wanted to know what happened and needed something to listen to when I drove in to work.

When Dani wakes up one morning after a big party for her husband, she discovers that despite the fact that all of her husband’s things are still at home, he’s in fact missing. As Dani herself tries to unravel the mystery of her husband’s disappearance, the police become involved and suddenly the fingers start to be pointed at Dani herself for the reason that her husband is gone.

Overall, the premise of the story sounded really interesting, but unfortunately I felt like the story was too slow and that it jumped too much back and forth between the past and nowadays and it all kind of ran together. Although that might have something to do with the fact that I was listening and maybe not paying attention the whole time. Overall, it was fine to pass the time, but not my favorite book of the month.

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books- What I Read In February

See Me by Nicholas Sparks ★★ 4 stars

If you’re a fan of Nicholas Sparks books, then definitely make sure to pick up See Me. It was definitely the same Nicholas Sparks formula, but with a little bit of a mystery to it as well. I liked trying to figure out “who done it” with the little bit of romance as well. I also always love the Carolina settings that Nicholas Sparks uses for most of his books!

I know that quite a few people thought that this book was written more like a script than a book, and I have to admit that I can totally see it. Most of Nicholas Sparks’s books are becoming movies, and it almost seemed like he took some of the extra work out of it for becoming a script later on.

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books- What I Read In February

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn ★★ 4 stars

This was a reread for me, and let me tell you, I loved it just as much as I did when I read it the first time! Chris and I were doing a lot of driving in January so we decided that we needed to listen to a book together. I knew that he liked the movie Gone Girl, so I figured that he’d be interested in another Gillian Flynn book.

While he kept on going back and forth about who he thought did it, he really enjoyed it and it kept him guessing until the very end. I think that Carolann said it when she wrote her review of Sharp Objects, but you can definitely tell the progression of Gillian Flynn as an author as her books go on. I’m anxiously awaiting another book by her!

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books- What I Read In February

My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella ★★ 5 stars

I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. 

Let me just start out by saying that I love Sophie Kinsella and have read all of her books and will probably continue to read all of her books in the future. I honestly thought that this book was going to follow the typical Sophie Kinsella formula and thought that I knew all of the different players, but it definitely didn’t turn out how I expected it to!

I loved the fact that Katie was a strong and smart woman that went after what she wanted and what she thought was right. Sometimes Sophie’s characters aren’t the brightest of girls, so reading about Katie was quite refreshing. I also liked that the love story wasn’t as central of a subject of the book which sometimes happens in Sophie Kinsella books.

I also loved that Sophie showed how social media can have a negative effect on our lives. Social media gives us the option to put a glamorous filter on ourselves and our lives, which most of the time isn’t true.

Overall, I rate this book up there with Can You Keep A Secret and I’ve Got Your Number which are my two favorite Sophie Kinsella books. Definitely pick this one up if you’re looking for a light and easy read!

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books- What I Read In February

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman ★★ 5 stars

This was the book that was selected for Beyond Words: A Bloggers Book Club for the month of January, and even though I didn’t vote for it in the poll, I absolutely loved this book and I actually wrote a full review of it here. It is quite simply one of my favorite books that I’ve read so far!

I read The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper last year, and while the beginning of this book felt a lot like that, it was clearly very different. While Ove might seem like the meanest guy on the street, once you get a look under his rough and mean exterior, you see the kind and caring man that his beloved wife Sonja fell in love with. I highly recommend this book if you haven’t read it already and I can’t wait to read more books by Fredrik Backman!

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books- What I Read In February

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman ★★ 4 stars

This was another book that was selected for my book club at work, and what I really love about book club is the fact that it makes you read books that you never would have thought to even pick up. Neverwhere was already on my list and I think that it was because of this linkup, but I don’t know when I would have had the chance to pick it up if it wasn’t for book club. This was my first Neil Gaiman book and I’m 100% sure that I’ll read another book by him.

When Richard Mayhew finds a young girl that is bleeding on the streets of London, he does what any human being would do, he decides to help her. What he doesn’t realize is that by helping young Door, he gets pulled from his normal life in London Above to the crazy and mystical world of London Below.

If you’re a fantasy lover, you definitely need to check this book out. I also loved how Gaiman took you on a tour of London in this book and it made me excited for my Europe trip this summer where I’m sure I’ll be using the tube and minding the gap and waiting for Door to appear.

Overall, this month was a very good reading month for me in number of books and the quality of books as well, but I feel like March might not be the same thing. Hopefully I’ll get some more reading done this coming month with the few trips that I do have planned!

Have you read any good books lately? Are there any books that you want to check out?

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Show Us Your Books- Book Reviews including He's Gone, Sharp Objects, See Me, A Man Called Ove, Neverwhere, and My Not So Perfect Life.

My Erin’s Book Challenge 6.0 Choices:

My Erin’s Book Challenge 6.0 Results:

5 points:  Freebie – Read a book that is at least 200 pages.
The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney (320 pages, 4 stars).
20 points:  (Submitted by Linda) Read a book by your favorite author.
My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella (400 pages, 5 stars).
30 points:  (Submitted by Peggy) Read a “Rory Gilmore” book.  The character of Rory from the Gilmore Girls was shown reading over 300 different books throughout the series.  Choose one of them from this helpful link:  https://www.buzzfeed.com/krystieyandoli/all-339-books-referenced-in-gilmore-girls
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (256 pages, 3 stars).
30 points:  (Submitted by Stef)  Read a book from a genre that you’ve never read (or rarely read.)
Are You There Vodka, It’s Me Chelsea by Chelsea Handler (264 pages, 4 stars).

PREVIOUS POINTS: 65
TOTAL POINTS: 85

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