Thursday, July 28, 2016

::Visiting the Valley~Summer Road-trips:: Part Three

One of our last days in McAllen we visited the McAllen Nature Center. Filled with terrain and local plants. Some of my personal favorites are cactus and succulents. And, a reminder. Walk do not run. Life is filled with so much busy work, hastily decisions, and constant motion. What a perfect place to slow down, take in nature and family and remember to slow down. Life isn't always about the go, go, go, at times you should learn to listen to your heart, mind, and body and just relax. We have tried to do just that this summer. Relax and take it all in. Our road trips calm us and make us happy. 

On this day we truly enjoyed nature, it's creatures and of course one another's company. Family is so important during trying times, it's always great to have the memory of all the people who truly love us and whom we love. 

When I am in the Valley time tends to stop or slow down for me and I feel like I am at home. Because well I am. I wasn't born in South Texas but I spent my entire childhood and young adulthood there and it's my home. 

We also visited the Hidalgo Pump House, but I didn't know we needed a permit to take pictures, so I only got to take a couple. This was one. It's a great little area to learn about the water industry and it's history in the Valley. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

::Wordless Wednesday, Kinda:: McAllen Wall Art

On our last few visits to McAllen my Hubby had been wanting to take Santiago to a comic book store. My cousin, Alfredo, who lives there is a huge fan as well. So, just like a scene out of the Big Bang Theory, kinda, HAHA, we walked into Kaboom Comics in McAllen.  It was so much fun, plus they have an uber cool wall with Super Hero art, another one of my cousins {yes, I am Mexican, I have a ton of cousins.} drew one of the super heroes seen here. Pretty neat huh? 

On one of our drives back to our hotel we found this awesome sight, a beautifully lit building which we then found out was an art gallery and part of the McAllen Artwalk

I want to go inside on our next visit. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

::Visiting the Valley~Summer Road-trips:: #WeekendSnapshots

::This is a link-up post with Ari and Jessica on this week's #WeekendSnapshots::

Some of the best memories from when I was a kid, were when my parents would load us into the car to make a 7-hour drive to Reynosa, Tamaulipas & South Texas. With homemade tortas, bags of chips, and canned sodas. These days we want to recreate these moments and memories of family time to visit family with our kids. We may not cross into Mexico anymore but we have visited South Texas, the last 4 years, it's become a bit of a yearly trip now. {You can see our trip from last year ::HERE::}

We have gone not only to visit family but to celebrate life, with the birth of one of my nieces. It's been the best "excuse" to make the 6-7 hour long trip to McAllen every year which then turns into a mini-vacation destination for us. Last year we visited the best little museum in Edinburg and then we headed off to South Padre Island for a few days. This year we decided to make our trip a little shorter but still managed to visit some awesome local sites. 

First place was Quinta Mazatlan and then there was the McAllen Nature Park, which was right next to a local eatery called La Lomita which has some great gorditas! We also visited a local comic book shop, where my cousin drew one of the superheroes! Pretty neat, I know.

Quinta Mazatlan is just that a beautiful Quinta set right in the heart of McAllen near the border with Mexico. It is known that the original owner of the Quinta was a writer and adventurer. The Quinta is perfectly set for both, a serene and quaint place to explore and get away from it all. The Quinta has so many wonderful areas to explore and learn about nature and the local habitat. If you have never been it's worth the time and heat to get to know the area.

According to the Quinta History:
"Composer, writer, and adventurer, Jason Chilton Matthews (1887-1964) traveled the globe collecting artifacts and stories while serving in 11 countries during World War I and even fought alongside Lawrence of Arabia. When he finally settled in 1935 with his affluent Pennsylvania wife, Marcia Jamieson (1891-1963), they built Quinta Mazatlan at what Matthews called the “Crossroads of the Western Hemisphere.”"

We had a wonderful time and the kids enjoyed exploring. The day we went it was hot, humid and rainy but it didn't stop us from wanting to learn more about this great Valley treasure! In all my years living in the Mission, I never knew about it. Goes to show how fast life can speed by you without you realizing the beauty that you grew up with. I sure am glad that now as an adult I am taking the time to seek out these places for my kids to enjoy. Also, that my Husband is uber talented at googling local attractions. Ha.

One of my favorite rooms in the house was a pink room filled with Calaveras, Mexican paper dolls and a ceiling covered with amuletos. I want to live in that room. Ha. The kids loved all the trails and finding live creatures as well as very life-like steel recreations of local animals.