DFW Weekend Plans 9/22-24

One of my favorite things about Dallas is how much there is to do! It’s impossible to be bored! This weekend is jam packed with so many events, the hard part will be choosing which one to go to!!

All Weekend

Friday

  • White Rock Coffee’s Lab Open Lab (5-7) (Free): Taste handcrafted coffees, see new classes, and meet the team
  • Bubbles and Ballet (7:30-9:30): Sample food and wine from around the world and meet the dance community from the Sammon’s Center for Arts
  • ANDA! Andalucia-Zarzuela(8-10PM): In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month join the Latino Cultural Center for Flamenco music and choreography

Saturday

  • The Ballet Burn (9AM-10AM) (Free): Free ballet fitness class with AT&T Performing Arts
  • Stylecon (9-5): For the fashion obsessed. Includes fashion experts speakers, yummy snacks, and free beauty goodies

Sunday

  • Dallas VegFest (11AM-4PM)(Free): Yoga, Zumba, Cooking demonstrations, giveaways

 

Know another cool event going on this weekend? Comment below!

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Weekend Trip To Fredericksburg, TX

I recently went to Fredericksburg and had a blast. I was so excited to go and I spent hours researching where to go (and areas to go to take a brake from the July heat) and I wanted to share how to get the most out of your trip to Fredericksburg.  I’ve already put a comprehensive list of wineries to visit here.

We started our first day in Downtown Fredericksburg and I found the BEST German bakery. Grab kolaches from the Old German Bakery. I got a sausage and cheese kolache which was A-mazing and a blueberry kolache with the freshest blueberrie I have ever tasted. I ate it so fast there was no time for pictures.

Take it to go so you can walk to the park which has a cute watermill, a butterfly garden, and a really inspiring Native American statue. Afterwards we walked around the stores which was a lot more fun then we expected even though we didn’t buy anything. There were so many cute boutiques, kitchy Texas shops, jewelry stores, and even a year long Christmas shop!

I have a terrible sweet tooth and can’t turn down ice and as soon as we walked past ClearRiver I knew we had to go in. They have so many different flavors such as lavender, and chocolate chocolate, and of course peach. I ended up going with a Mexican Chocolate Espresso shake and I was in ice cream heaven. From there we went to look at more shops.

Afterwards we spent time visiting some of the wineries (as mentioned above) and went to WildSeed Farms which was filled with… well… field of WildFlowers! It really was a gorgeous site.

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The next day was filled with a lot more adventure. We started off our trip with a stop by Marberger farms where they let you pick certain fruits during the season. Unfortunately, this winter was so warm that most farms only had a 5% yield (crazy!) and so we weren’t able to pick peaches, but we got to pick blackberries! They let you eat as many as you want while you are picking at no extra cost so my breakfast consisted of blackberries!

From there we went to Das Peach Haus. A cute shop filled with local yummies and peach flavored everything! They also had this gorgeous lake in the back where we relaxed in the shade to escape the Texas heat!

We ate at this amazing restaurant, Pasta Bella. I don’t know what it is about Fredericksburg, but all their food is so good and at a reasonable price!

We finished off our weekend with a trek up Enchanted Rock. Rock is definitely an understatement! We went once it started getting dark so it wasn’t so hot. The park says it closes between 4-6, but that’s just the office so you’re still able to go and hike. It can get packed so make sure to check their FB page, but in the early morning or evening you shouldn’t have a problem getting in. The hike up is a lot of fun, but the view of the countryside when you get to the top is stunning!

We started our first day in Downtown Fredericksburg and I found the BEST German bakery. Grab kolaches from the Old German Bakery. I got a sausage and cheese kolache which was A-mazing and a blueberry kolache with the freshest blueberries I have ever tasted. I ate it so fast there was no time for pictures.

 

Fredericksburg TX Wineries

Who new that here in Texas we have our own little wine valley and a pretty good one at that! Between Austin and Fredericksburg is a road known as Wine Road 290 filled with more wineries than I thought possible! Now I highly recommend that you only do 4-5 in a day (which means you will have to come back!).  When I was in Fredericksburg there were a lot of other things to do on this road (berry picking, wildseed farms, and others to listed in a future post) so we did space out some of our tours throughout the 3 day weekend. However, I’ve listed some of the ones we were able to visit!

Texas Hills Vineyards

This was a great first stop! For $10 you get 6 tastings and $1 for each additional tasting. If you buy a bottle of wine you get $10 off. They have a good selection of wines from their vineyard, Texas wines, and other places. You can usually walk through their vineyards as well.

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William Chris Vineyards

This one was one of my favorites just because of how gorgeous it was to walk through the vineyards! It’s best to get a reservation in advanced for this one. You get to try 5 of their wines which tend to be on the drier side. Make sure you grab your last glass to wander through the vines! This one is on the pricier side, but I forgot to record how much!

Fat Ass Winery

This winery was a lot of fun! It’s a lot more chaotic than regular wineries and you’re not going to get the sophisticated feel, but it’s cool to try a lot of “flavored” wines.  For $10 you get to try 5-6 wines and you get a glass. Their wines included a peach, strawberry, and apple pie wine.

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Becker Vineyards

Right across from Fat Ass is Becker. This place includes a vineyard, a lavender field, and a tour of their brewing rooms. For $21 you get 7 tastings and a glass. They had a mixture of drys, sweets, and ports. The staff get busy, but they are friendly.

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Wedding Oaks @ Wildseed Farms

This winery is located at Wildseed farms, which is exactly what it sounds like. In between the fields of flowers is a tasting room. It’s from a vineyard about a hour north. They also have a small amount of wine made there. For $12 you get 6 tastings. The Wedding Oaks wines are more dry while the Wildseed wines are sweeter.

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Barons Creek Vineyard

This place is a hotel and winery in one. While we didn’t get the chance to stay here, it looked like an amazing place to stay. We went there early, but it gets packed fast. For $18 you get 7 tastings and chocolate!

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Fiesta Winery

This place is actually a complex with 4 different wineries (which featured wines from other wineries). On one walkable plaza there was Fiesta Winery, Six Shooters Cellars, Armadillo’s Leap Winery, and the Vintage Cellar. For $12 you get 6 tastings and a glass. This is also a great stop if you don’t want to drive since you can try 4 different places just by walking to the next shop.

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There really is not enough time to try all the wineries and most of them change their stock. Next trip I hope to visit some of the ones I met.

If you don’t get the chance to drive down wine road there are also several wineries featured in downtown Fredericksburg.

 

 

 

Olive Tour In Granada

When people think of olive oil and olive trees they usually think of Italy and Greece, while Greece may export the most olive oil, Spain actually produces the most olives. Additionally, Andalusia produces the most in Spain. So if you’re in Granada I feel like an olive oil tour is very worth it.

http://www.oliveoiltour.com/

My friends and I found this one and got to learn all about olives. I feel like such an expert!

They picked us up from Granada, which was great,  and took us to see olive trees. We got to see how olive oil used to be made and then we went and had olive/olive oil tasting. We got to pretend to be experts trying out all the different flavors. 2015-09-30 17.01.54.jpg

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(One of my favorite parts about the olive oil testing- the bread!)

After that they have a wine tasting. You get four different decent sized cups. I didn’t feel like shelling out the extra money for it, but you do have to sit there while everyone else enjoys their wine. I just happily nibbled on more bread with orange olive oil and brown sugar (I didn’t know that was a thing before but it’s amazing!). You can also buy the oils you try there which is nice because you got to taste it all, but I waited until I got back to Granada and went to a local gourmet shop there to find cheaper ones.

 

Rutas de Senderismo- Hiking in Granada

The Spanish love to be outdoors which is why they are so healthy. One of my favorite things to do in Granada was go hiking. I didn’t get to do it enough, but here are two of my favorite hiking paths.

Los Cahorros

 This trail is about a 30 IMG_3886min bus ride from Granada, but definitely worth it. With hanging bridges, little waterfalls, and ruins from who knows (Moorish century?), this is definitely a unique hiking path. Monachil, where the path is located is cute city. 

You can go here to find all the information. http://www.treksierranevada.com/cahorros.html Definitely download the guide. Just to get to the path took about an extra 30 minutes and while there are signs, sometimes we got confused. The map and instructions helped us not get lost.

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After checking out the hanging bridges. We hiked around this mountain where people were rocking climbing until we came to an open space, ate our bocadillos, and turned around.

After that we climbed up and attempted to take artsy photos on top of the mountain!IMG_3914

 

 

El Reloj de Sol

 

This hike, about 8 miles total, is up a decent sized mountain and along the way you get a beautiful view of the city. Starting from Plaza Nueva this is about a 3 1/2-4 hr hike round trip. If you have a smart phone just use google maps and put in reloj de sol. Even once you lose wi-fi as long as you’ve already put it into maps you should be able to find it.

From plaza Nueva head up towards the Alhambra. Once you get to where the main entrance is keep walking past it cross under this stone over-hanging.

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Take a left and head up the hill. You’ll run into another little fortress where you get this awesome view of the city.

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It’s definitely worth checking out, but afterwards head past on the right and walk on the path for a while and you’ll see a sign for El Reloj de Sol. Pass this little hobbit house.

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Almost there! And finally!

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I couldn’t figure out the time, but it was pretty cool and it was the highest I had ever been!

A Day in Granada

First off. One day in Granada is not enough. It may seem small, but there’s enough to keep you going for at least two weeks. I’ve never had a dull moment in my 3 1/2 months here. But if you must only be here for 1 day this is what I suggest.

What to do:



Alhambra! Seriously, do this first! If you didn’t actually go inside the Alhambra why did you even go to Granada! The Alhambra is an incredible palace renovated by the Moors as it is known today in the 13th century. Just make sure to get your tickets in advance. I suggest at least a month before. Then set aside 3-4 hours to see the Palace and the Generalife Gardens.

 

 

 

Lunch Time: Couscous, lamb, tagine, oh my! Moroccan food is one of my favorites. Head over to Arraynes for some typical Moroccan food. On your way you’ll be able to walk by some of the markets. And after lunch why not look through them? Like I’ve said, I’ve lived here for months and I always find something cool with all the bright colors and unique and sometimes handmade items. And then after that head to one of the teterias nearby for some Moroccan mint tea.

 

 

After with a full belly work it off by heading to the Albaicin. The Albaicin is full of white washed carmens with all their beauty behind those walls. It’s easy to get lost and wander for a while, but if you ever want to get out, just walk downhill. But if you continue to go up you will get a great view of the city and the Alhambra as the sun sets. You can either sit on the ledge at the San Mirador where a lot
of people watch the sunset with music or go a little bit further down where are the restaurants with the same view where you can enjoy a glass of wine.

 

Finally, end your night walking through Paseo de Los Tristes near Plaza Nueva full of cobblestone pathways and bridges. Stop at a bar and enjoy tapas (free with a drink!). Look at the Alhambra lit up at night and then cancel your plane ticket because you know you need more time in this picturesque city.

That time I decided to jump off a cliff for fun…

So I’m pretty much a chicken. I like to believe I’m adventurous, but when I think of it, I don’t really know what I’ve done that’s “adventurous”. I don’t even like roller coasters and I’d never go sky-diving. However, in my Spanish class, someone was talking about going paragliding and suddenly everyone decided to join in. I had never thought of doing something like paragliding, but apparently it’s a lot cheaper in Spain compared to the US.

So I thought. Why not. We call the place, sign-up, hike up a mountain, and next thing I know I’m a couple thousand meters up looking over Granada and to the Sierra Nevadas. I don’t know if you’ve ever gone paragliding, but you literally just start running and towards the end of the mountain and then suddenly the air just picks you up and you’re off.

If you want a different way to see Granada I definitely suggest this. Plus our guides were terrific and very friendly.

If you get the chance check out: http://www.andaventur.com/