PW Book Signing Tour Is a Huge Hit!

So Pioneer Woman, AKA PW, AKA Ree, AKA Ethel Merman, AKA Lucille Ball, I could go on...has been on this big book signing tour for the past few weeks, promoting her new cookbook. She has hit major metros all over and will keep touring for the next few months or so...check out the tour to see if she is in your city here You should be so lucky! I was not. She doesn't have West Texas on her list. However, if you are like me and have a super duper Sister in Law that lives in Dallas and happens to be really into book signings and loves you enough to stand in huge long lines with crazy people who drool over PW, then you too can catch a glimpse thru a texted photo and hopefully get a signed cookbook for Christmas. I am truly living vicariously through my faithful Sister in Law, who didn't even know who PW was until I showed her the cookbook at Barnes n Noble a few weeks ago and sweetly mentioned, more like begged her to go to the book signing for me.
She texted me all along the way. See this is a girl who stood in line for the Twlight series, so she is no newbie to long line book signings. However, she said and I quote "These Mom's are crazy!" I really owe her, big time. She mentioned baking her a Chocolate Cake. I'll have to whip up PW's Chocolate Sheet cake, which is crazy good and super simple. Can't wait until Christmas and I unwrap my signed Pioneer Woman Cookbook. Absolutely Thrilling and a labor of love from my Sister in Law! Thanks Ren! Love ya!

PW's Beautiful Girls!

It's Time to start planning that Beach Trip!

When the temp begins desire to go find the sun and warm water starts to rise. I love to leave out from a cold place and land in a warm sunshine drenched water loving local. When I think of the prime beach's definitely Hawaii. It's just all about relaxation. Now is the time to start planning...even if you aren't going until February or March. Start shopping now. Begin by reading reviews on locations, hotels, activities. Trip Advisor is a good place to start. Then from there you can learn what other people deem a great place. Then go to that specific hotel website and view great pictures and all the amenities. This will help you make a decision. Happy Beach WebSurfing!

How Old People Have Fun Traveling! So Funny!

Smilebox will make you Smile!

Check out this new way of sharing your photos. I just love it....

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Colorado 2009
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Keurig Mini

We interrupt this program to bring you a much needed advertisement for the Fabulous Keurig Mini Coffee Maker. Or as I have decided to call it "Fergilicous Coffee." Something about the spelling of Keurig that reminds me of Fergie...Call me weird.
No, I don't get any payola from Keruig of any kind, but I'm all about creating THE FABULOUS VACATION...and this little baby came through for me. Perfect size for the RV, we had delicious coffee every morning. The best part, each of us could pick our own flavor and there was no leftover. Now granted, if you are a 8 cup family, it might not be the most economical for you. But with what I bought it came out to be about .50cents a cup for us. The choices are amazing and even include Hot Cocoa and Hot tea for the kiddos or non coffee drinkers. This little machine works so quickly and so charmingly, that when we returned home, I took it out of it's new home in the RV and brought it in the house for it's rightful place on my kitchen cabinet. Keurig makes all sizes, so check it out on the link above. Just another way to create a Fabulous Vacation. Enjoy!

Tiger Run RV Park - Breckenridge Colorado

Tiger Run Luxury Park is our choice when we come to Breckenridge. Perfectly located approximately 3.75 miles out of town and adjacent to the bike path, Tiger Run has all the amenities you need for a Fabulous Vacation. All concrete RV pads, full hook-ups, indoor pool, tennis courts, playground, game room, laundry and so much more. Two rivers run through this park - the Blue and the Swan River. Their are RV sites and chalets for rent. The Bike Path is easy to access and we ride the almost 4 miles into town, spend the day and ride downhill back to Tiger Run. It's a great work out and a wonderful way to take in the river along the bike path.

Wasabi - Japanese Restaurant Breckenridge Colorado

One of our favorite lunch places is right on the river in a tiny indoor mall on Main Street in Breckenridge. With only 20 or so tables and 3 outside, lunch time can be crowded. The happy couple who own Wasabi have been in Breckenridge for over 13 years and run a quick service, delicious, cozy atmosphere little place. The menu includes Sushi, Udon Noodle Soup, Terriyaki Rice Bowls and more. Great Food! Great Prices! A must for a Fabulous Vacation.

The Little Diner - Vail Village Colorado

Quick, Simple, Hearty! That's what you get at The Little Diner in Vail Lion's Head Village. Open for Breakfast and lunch only. This tiny kitchen offers an array of choices, prepared before your eyes as you sit at the counter and visit with the cooks.

The Details on the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek

Summer time is off season for ski resorts and a fabulous time to check out the places you are interested in and get a super value at the same time have the place practically to yourself. Hyatt's website boasted a $111 for a weeknight stay at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek. In addition the hotel restaurant 8100 is currently offering 30% off their entire menu. Too boot, I happen to stay at the Hyatt Tamaya resort in Bernalillo New Mexico a few weeks ago and upon check out received a coupon for my next stay at any Hyatt that boasted $150 off lunch and dinner. The code offer is DELISH - you might check it out on the Hyatt site under specials when booking. There are specifications for qualifications, but it's worth checking into.

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek is beautiful and what you would expect in sophisticated mountain decor. The Lobby is large with plenty of room for families to have their space while enjoying the gorgeous views as they relax in comfy chairs and couches. It's a perfect option for the skier, as the Buckaroo lift is right outside. Ski in and out is the way to go. Every evening between 4pm and 5pm they offer complimentary Smore' Roasting in the large fire pit out back. The resorts boasts a great workout facility with Kinesis and Yoga classes. Allegria Spa offers a full menu and great products. The pool area is pretty with plenty of chairs, poolside menu service, 5 Jacuzzis, decent size pool and the best view of the mountains. Their is just something about laying out by the pool soaking up the sun, while gazing out at the gorgeous Rocky Mountains. Pure heaven.

8100 the hotel restaurant is beautifully decorated with a sophisticated pottery barn style. The service is good and food is marginal. They do have superb sourdough bread that comes to the table once you order. They make an excellent Bloody Mary, made with pepper infused vodka. The New York Strip is also excellent. The sides and appetizers are lacking and very small in portion size. This is the mountains people - support the active hungers of your patrons. My past two experiences with Hyatt restaurants - Beaver Creek and Tamaya have both been disappointing. However, Hyatt Maui was terrific. My advice - always try the hotel restaurant - but don't feel like you have to eat all your meals in the hotel. Beaver Creek Village - right out the door of the Park Hyatt - has a huge array of places to eat. From Thai to Mexican to Italian and Mountain Fare. So spread it out a little and you won't go wrong.

The Village offers outdoor ice skating even in the summer (evenings only). Plenty of comfy seating with outdoor gas fire pits. Plenty of shopping and eating. A beautiful place to spend an evening. Over all, we would stay again at the Park Hyatt and would even consider staying in the winter for some skiing. Keep in mind - in the winter- this place is packed.

Beaver Creek Village

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Colorado

Here is a sneak peak at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek in beautiful Beaver Creek, Colorado
A beautiful place winter or summer. Here are a few highlights!

One of the 5 hottubs by the pool

Slopeside - Buckaroo Gondola - For Quick Skiing Fun!

Grand Lobby

8100 Restaurant in the Hotel

San Marcos, Texas

So our latest getaway was in San Marcos Texas. It's our place. Lots of history here for us. So we know it well. The San Marcos River runs through the Texas State campus and is 72 degrees year round. It makes for a refreshing and exhilarating treat from the hot weather. San Marcos also hosts the BEST Mexican Food on the planet at Herbert's Taco Hut. So I know I normally take pics of our food for you to salivate over, but I was so thrilled that we were at Herbert's, I totally forgot until after it was all gone. So as you can see by the empty plate, I really enjoyed my Guacamole Chalupa Dinner. You just can't go wrong with any plate. The hot sauce is unlike anything anywhere else. It's not tomatoey, but a hot deliciousness of jalapeno goodness.

The owner and her son Mrs. Herbert.

You hungry for a Chili Dog? Then head of to Chili Dog and get 5 for $6.25. Need a little retail thereapy? Head to the gargantuan outdoor Outlet Shopping Mall. Actually there are two. Just in case you couldn't walk your legs off at one. They are side by side and one can find any store in the world there. My faves - Coach, Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, Restoration Hardware, Ralph Lauren - to name a few.
We stayed at Canyon Trail RV Park while we were there. Definatley close to the action, but no shade and no cool amenities. Would only stay here again if I really had no other option. Which in San Marcos, there are many options.

Ruidoso New Mexico

A Fabulous place to vacation for a weekend or a week. For a small town, Ruidoso has so much to offer. We like to camp when we go to Ruidoso, but before we began RVing, we stayed many times in a cabin in Upper Canyon. From private cabins rented throughout the year, to commercial cabins, to hotels, to Bed and Breakfasts, Ruidoso has tons of options. We now like to stay at our favorite little campground just outside of town towards Alto called Little Creek RV Campground. Owned by the Varnadore's, it's a friendly, quiet and beautiful setting that we have been frequenting for over 3 years. Plenty of deer come up in the evening for our viewing pleasure. There is a small putting green for some practice time. A large grassy area to throw a Frisbee or football. Plenty of room for the kiddos to ride their bike's. It's a laid back kind of place with friendly travelers as your neighbors. Wide spots that make it easy to back in your Rig. They also have pull through spots, if that's your preference. You will pay around $35 a night for a spot with full hook ups, including cable TV. Make your reservations early, the word has gotten out about Little Creek and it's often full all summer long. Partly our fault, as we tell everyone we know about our favorite little campground.

We love to eat when we go to Ruidoso. Green Chili is the thing to have when you are in New Mexico and Ruidoso doesn't fail to live up to this reputation. Lincoln County Grill is our breakfast spot. The Huevos Rancheros call out to us. It's two eggs over easy perched on top of two soft corn tortilla's, with pan fried potatoes, pinto beans, two sausage patties all covered in Red Chili or Green Chili or if you feel Cheery, Christmas. That's both Red and Green chili. Delicioso! Our son loves the Buttermilk Pancakes with hot maple syrup. Our favorite snack is at Farley's and it's the Fried Green Chili Wontons. It's a hangout for locals and tourist. Sort of a Sports Bar/Apres Ski Joint. Family friendly, so don't worry about taking the kids. It's totally fine. For good, straight up New Mexican Fare - try Casa Blanca. It's our go to place when we bring first time Ruidoso visitors with us. It never let's us down. Hungry for some Pizza? Try Casa Rio right in the heart of the town on Suddereth. Total local joint, the pizza is great. Great prices too! If you are feeling way more Italian - go to Michalena's. It's got your pizza and so much more. Great pasta dishes and great ambiance.

Enough on food. Although I can never get enough. Walk off that chow with a little shopping. One of my favorite stores of all time is right in the heart of midtown - J. Roberts. Sooo Cute! They have the most fun fashions. Great prices and things you can't find everywhere. The owner is a talented buyer. I always find something or somethings I want when I go in there. She never lets me down. This time I found cutie patootie green flower earrings, a sexy dress and a peacock essence t-shirt.
After you get your shopping on, you can burn off more calories with all the outdoor activities. With an outdoor park, bike and walking trail, tennis courts, golfing galore, hiking, fishing, you name it. Winter time brings skiing. Summer time brings jeep and hiking trails. Got more time? Take the hour drive up to Cloudcroft for a whole new experience. Feeling lucky? The Inn of the Mountain Gods Hotel and Casino offers breathtaking views, golf, a lake, more good food and gambling. Owned by the Apache Indians, this Hotel and Casino sits on part of the reservation and is operated by the Natives themselves. A top notch outfit with some of the most beautiful scenery you will find in all of New Mexico.

For the less active and outdoorsy type, head on over the the Hubbard Museum of the American West. Located in Ruidoso Downs, it offers different exhibits throughout the year ranging from artists to movie making exhibits like Tombstone. Also in Ruidoso Downs is it's namesake the Horse Race Track itself. An experience unlike many others, you can enjoy the sport, people watch and place a bet. A real trip.

I'm only hitting my highpoints. Ruidoso has so much more to offer. Check out the Chambers site for a calender of events. There is always something going on. You really can't miss.

Up Next Breckenridge Colorado in the Summertime!

Next post will review for you all things Breckenridge.  If you like to ride bikes, this is the place for you.  I'll review Tiger Run - Luxury RV Park, Breck Bike Path, a few restaurants and more. 

Check back later in the week....

More on Maui!

Okay, so here's the scoop on Maui:  (I'll post pics later)

Hotel - Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa - Great hotel! Beautiful grounds, pool, restaurant and plenty of space.  You never feel like the hotel is crowded.  Rooms were good sized and came w/ great hotel amenities.  The lotions and shampoos are terrific.  I always take home some of those goodies because when I use them, the smell takes me back and I'm in Maui again in my own bathroom.  Then of course, I open my eyes and I'm so not.  But it's worth the quick mind trip.  
The pool is huge and has plenty of fun for the kids, with their own safe and shallow place to play.  My favorite thing about the hotel are the rental lounge cabanas.  We picked one that was close to the kiddie pool and yet looked over the ocean.  They brought us food and drinks.  When the sun was too much, we raised our cover shade and took naps.  We spent at least 3 days renting one of these babies and it was well worth it.  Breakfast each morning came with our room rate and it was a huge buffet with plenty of fresh fruit, normal breakfast fare and typical Japanese/Hawaiian fare as well.  We had 3 dinners at the hotel in all three restaurants.  We recommend them, as each had their own style and menu.  Very tasty food.  

Activities- We rented a jeep during our stay and ventured all over the island.  That is how you really get to see what Maui is all about.  I must say that around the airport and along the beach front areas, I was disappointed that it was so commercial, but if you spend sometime and get away from all that, you get a real treat.  Maui is very diverse and beautiful.  We spent one day at Napili beach enjoying body surfing, turtles and great sand.  Also enjoyed breakfast there at the Gazebo.  Be prepared to wait an hour, but it's so worth it.  Where else can you get Fried Rice for breakfast.  Omelette's as big as your head.  Great view and so fun!  

If you keep driving West then North then East you will eventually be around the West side of the Island.  You will see gorgeous cliff lines, farm land and blow holes.  Amazing views and a quaint little village called, well I forget the name, but keep driving on this narrow road around the cliffs and you will come to it.  Chickens cross the road.  Small taro fields and ladies selling fresh pineapple and delicious homemade banana bread and to die for coconut candy.  Absolutely my best memory of Maui!  

Blow Holes are so intriguing!  You must go on a blow hole adventure of your own.  It's easy, just get a map and start driving.  You don't need a guide.  The power and extreme force of that water is "WOW'!  

We did also do a little shopping around the Kaanapali area at Whaler's Village There is a cute outdoor mall among all the nice hotels.  Also a huge outdoor mall about 10 miles away with everything you could ever think of, called The Shops at Wailea.  It's like your typical mall in any metro, but just being there outside smelling the scents of Maui and enjoying the weather, makes this shopping experience even fun for the men in the family.  

The best part about a vacation in Maui or Hawaii in general, is the relaxed nature of the people and atmosphere.  If you are in need of a laid back, total relaxation, then Maui is your place.  The people are wonderful and the scenery is gorgeous.  Just do it.  Go to Maui!

Chil-lax in Maui Baby!

The weather is warming across the country, except for those hold out areas that still have to get a few freezes and snow storms in before Spring swings in full tilt. Those snow storms just make us hanker for sunshine even more and fantasize about warm beaches and turquoise water. Last April we had the pleasure of visiting one of the most diverse islands in the world. Maui has much to offer those seeking The Fabulous Vacation. From high end retail shopping, food experiences galore, to the laid back slow paced side of the island where you see one or two people in a few hours. Glorious beaches, crystal clear blue ocean water, whale watching, blowhole spraying, sun like crazy and just a chillaxin way of life. You want to slow down - this is the place to do it. The locals are so friendly and warm. They make you feel to welcome and have this "surfer dude" way of just spreading the "No Worries Dude" approach to everything. The two words you will use often are "Aloha" which are used for hello and goodbye and "Mahalo" which means thank you. So get them down, cuz it's fun and it's polite. When in Rome.....
More on Maui later...

Upper Crust Pizza in Santa Fe New Mexico

Ya gotta hankering for some great pizza pie? Well, if you are ever in Santa Fe New Mexico, you must make a stop at Upper Crust. Right off the Plaza, this place has Fabulous Pizza and Salads. The dough is amazingly thin and crispy w/ a soft and bubbly crust. The large Meat Combo is a great choice along with the Spinach Salad and enough to feed 4. Good atmosphere and reasonably priced, make sure to visit Upper Crust!

Harry's Roadhouse in Santa Fe New Mexico

Harry’s Roadhouse in Santa Fe New Mexico

Located at 96B Old Las Vegas Hwy about 8 miles out of town, you will find a truly Fabulous eating experience. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, locals and tourist alike find eating at Harry’s a delicious experience. American and Southwest fare will tempt your tastebuds. The baked goods are a special surprising treat. Displayed in a case to get your attention, you can’t help but try a sampling. On our date we tried both the Pecan Pie and Chocolate Cream pie. Very tastey indeed. Our entrees that night included The Roadhouse Tostada, Blue Corn Turkey Enchiladas and the kid’s Grilled Cheese. All delicious and different from the average fare you find anywhere else, Harry’s puts their twist on each dish. For breakfast we tried the Miga’s, Chillaquiles and Chocolate Chip pancakes for the kiddo. All delicious and a super friendly waitstaff. A must try when you are in Santa Fe. Photos below tell the story of our two visits to Harry’s. Enjoy!

Ski Santa Fe

Skiing Santa Fe in the Spring is a smart move and has the makings for a Fabulous Vacation.  One would think that during Spring Break, it would be mobbed, but they would be wrong.  The sun was shining and the snow was hanging on for a few more weeks of fun on the hill.  No waiting in the lift lines and plenty of room to tear it up on the slopes.  Adult Lift tickets are $29 for half day and $58 for full day.  $22 rents your gear for the day.  The days of cutie pie snow bunny are over as many of us have  become sensible and wear helmets.  They aren't great for the hairdo, but are so worth the safety they provide.  Snowboarding has made helmets even more cool, so get one on your little noggin.  It's the smart thing to do.  You can rent them for $8, but I highly recommend purchasing your own.  I'm a germ freak and I like knowing only my head has been in that helmet.  

We utilized the Chipmunk Center for our 7 year old.  He skied all day, had lunch, snack and made new friends all on a hill that was perfect for his ability.  Cost of this was $98 and it gave us freedom to ski at our pace and feel great that he was taken care of and having fun.  

Food at the resort is the typical fare and typical prices.  Decent tasting and quick to get.  Again no lines.  Green chili cheeseburgers, chili dogs, pasta, etc are on the menu.  

Ski Santa Fe is great for a family trip, new skiers and quick weekend getaways.  With 7 lifts, the average 1x a year skier, will feel like they got there skiing fill and their money's worth.  If you are looking for glamour, high tech and a huge mountain then head farther North to Colorado.  

Santa Fe in the Springtime!

After searching around for something to do for Spring Break, we finally settled on Santa Fe New Mexico.  We didn't want the crowds nor the cold.  But also thought it would be fun to ski a little.  Santa Fe's weather this week is amazing.  Beautiful blue skies and mid 60's.  Can't beat it.  Head up the mountain to Ski Santa Fe and the temp drops to mid 40's.  Perfect shortsleeved Spring skiing.  Crowds aren't heavy and the snow is hanging on for those final runs.  I've skied in blizzards and though that makes from some fun and challenging skiing, there is nothing like Spring skiing.  One could almost wear shorts.  Who says you can't get a great tan in the mountains.  Just don't forget to remove the goggles every so often so you don't look like a raccoon.  I'll blog again on the specifics regarding Ski Santa Fe in a few days, so check back.  

So we RV'd at the KOA just outside of Santa Fe about 11 miles.  (Specifics to follow) Can't really call it camping when we stay in a large Fifth Wheel trailer with three slides, a fireplace, full kitchen and a king size bed.  But for those purist, KOA was a great little campground for this trip.  We paid about $33 a night for 2 adults and one kiddo, who happened to be free.  (all kiddo's under 13 are free)  Full hook ups, a game room, laundry room, playground.  For those who need it there are also kamping kabins, tent space and restroom/shower facilities.  Very quiet and spacious enough.  Each site has a picnic table and a BBQ.  Trees are sparse in some spaces, but the weather was so great that we didn't really need shade.  We stayed in D1.  Plenty of extra space for hanging outside the trailer.  This campground is about 1 hr from the Ski Base.  But really that's because it takes a while to get through the little windy roads around Santa Fe and the trip up the mountain.  

The food in Santa Fe is great.  Lots of diversity to choose from.  First on the agenda was some chow.  We headed to Maria's.  I would rate this experience marginal.   We hit them in between lunch and dinner and were only serving appetizers, which suited out needs.  Now I have spent many years in the San Antonio area, so I have a high standard when it comes to Mexican food.    So Maria's was marginal at best.    I had read in reviews that Maria's had the best Guacamole.   I should preface this by saying humbly that I do make the best Guacamole this side of the Rio Grande.  So again, I have high standards.  A huge plus for Maria's is that they give a man's sized portion of Guacamole.  Not those meezly little tablespoon helping.  For $6 you get a full heaping lunch plate of this mighty green stuff w/ chunks of tomato and onion.  They even sprinkle a little grated cheese on top for fun.  The taste was pretty good and I'd say that the average joe would love it.  Again I'm biased.  We also ordered the Combination Appetizer for $9, which came w/ Maria's specialty BBQ beef ribs, two minis tacos, cheese nachos and a oversized pork tamale.  With the complimentary chips and hot sauce, we had plenty of food for the 3 of us.  It really could have been enough for 4.


Can I just say, I LOVE WHOLE FOODS!  I have been to several Whole Foods across the country and I go on sensory overload the minute I walk in the door.  It just tickles my fancy to see all those beautiful veggies perfect prepared for me to take home and do great things to them.  The fruit is a feast for the eyes and the taste buds.  Mind you, this place ain't cheap.  But it's a fun experience to do once a year.  We got a medium tub of pineapple and a large tub of various berries and we paid $15.  Frightening I know, but so fun on our Fabulous Vacation.   Besides the fresh produce, the cheeses galore, seafood and meat market and so much more, the best area is the Health and Beauty Aides.  WOW!  So much to choose from.  Things you can't get anywhere else.  Just do yourself a fun favor and go visit a Whole Foods.  It's a downright blast.  $109 later, we were out the door with our new little green Whole Food bags to take home and show off when we buy our groceries at our local grocery store.  Who says you can't have an experience, eat and get a souvineer in a Supermarket?


For lunch the next day we went to Yummy Cafe.  I had read online that this was a local place with great Chinese Food.  My online search paid off.  This place was so cute.  Clean and charming, the food was fantastic.  Udon Noodle Soup, Moo Shu Pork, Fried Rice and Potstickers where on our table within a short amount of time.  Great service, so friendly.  Lots of local art on the walls.  Just a great place.  Highly recommend.  

Well sightseeing in Santa Fe, we visited the oldest church building in the USA - San Miguel Church.    We did visit the local mall for some ski gear (ours flew out of the back of our truck) and we had the entire place to ourselves.  I'm telling you, nobody came to Santa Fe for Spring Break.  We had the place to ourselves.  

If you are anywhere close and want a few days to visit art galleries, museums, shop til you drop, ski, hike, mountain bike or just chill.  Visit this adobe riddled land.  It's uniqueness will leave you feeling like you experienced true New Mexico.  The contrast desert mountain area has much to offer.  Go visit Santa Fe, New Mexico.