Monday, June 16, 2014

[travel] Lone Star Court Review: Austin, TX

For our anniversary, Nathan & I hit the road and traveled 1.5 hours to Austin, TX. We stayed at the beautiful Lone Star Court: get ready, there are a ton of pictures! (p.s. this is not an official "review", this is just my opinion!)

Every room has a small sitting area. The decor is very retro/vintage-esque. We had never stayed anywhere like this before.

Every room has a refrigerator... a classic "Smeg", fully stocked with beverages (for a fee, of course). Lots of Texas classics.

Look at this bed. So comfy, which is totally a prerequisite for any hotel stay. Crisp, white sheets. Cushy mattress and pillows. And those lamps! Be still my heart.

The lights were on a dimmer, which allowed for appropriate lighting at the appropriate times ;)

And these radios! So fun!

The dressers. How quirky is this? They were meant to look like this. I actually saw someone on Trip Advisor criticize how the hotel's furniture was "unfinished". Ha!

A sliding, barn door lead the way to the bathroom. Loved it! I now want one in our house.

 Look at this?! Gorgeous.

The bathroom was a great size. Nice mirror, great natural light (and light sconces on either side of the mirror for the evening), a separate "potty" nook, and this gorgeous shower covered with subway tile.

Even their shampoo, conditioner, and soaps were packaged with the hotel's logo (and they were in varying shades of MINT, which is precious).

I forgot to get a shot of the light fixture in the sitting area. It looked like it was made with yarn. Love it!

Now to the outdoor area of the hotel. Between every two rooms, there were two, orange rocking chairs and a small table. Very quaint and relaxing, plus the space was shaded which is always appreciated in the Texas heat. And did you notice the MINT DOORS!

The hotel rooms opened up to a courtyard space containing the pool and Texas-esque landscaping (rocks, greenery). So relaxing (and you would never guess this area was right in the middle of a very hip, shopping area).

The hotel bar was called "The Water Trough". Such a great name to go with the eclectic, Texas vibe. This area was where the bands played each night, and where a complimentary breakfast was served in the mornings.

At night, we enjoyed the live music coming from the bar. Our room was conveniently located across the pool, which was across from the bar. We had a perfect view, and plus we weren't committed to the "bar" scene... which isn't really our jam, anyways. We read and listened to the music (okay, that makes us sound like grandparents, but it was so relaxing) from afar! At 10pm, they shut the large, garage/glass doors that are usually open, so as not to disturb the guests who are already asleep.

Day two: this hotel had a classic car sitting outside of the front. How fun! (not sure of its intended purpose or if it's just for looks)

We spent the afternoon relaxing by the pool. Loved the yellow chairs! Comfy and classy.

When in Rome... Nathan, not me (I'm not a beer fan: it must be fruity and/or frozen in order for me to drink it without making a funny face).

We stopped at The Water Trough to pick up a couple of drinks to take to our room while we got ready for our anniversary dinner. His & Hers beverages... mine was a fruity concoction, not sure what it was called though!

Another sweet evening of relaxation and music! 

This is what the hotel looks like from the outside: you'd never know of all the retro, vintage-y quirks that await within!

All in all, I'd give this hotel a 9! We would definitely stay again. The two things we noticed that were less than appealing were #1) Squeaky doors... so much so that your neighbor would open their door, and you would think someone was coming into your room, which leads me to #2) Paper thin walls. This made you think someone was coming in your room, and/or gave you unwanted insights to your neighbor's 9:30am activities... which I do not want to further discuss! Both of these were extremely minor, and did not ruin our stay at all. I just say those things so people do not assume I'm all rainbows and sunshines about my reviews!

SO, next time you go to Austin, I HIGHLY recommend this hotel! I know many of my readers aren't Texans, so where do you all go for an out-of-the ordinary hotel stay? Nate and I love to stay in unique places when we travel vs. the standard Holiday Inn, etc.

Have a great week! Whatever you are doing this week (working or playing), do it for the glory of God!

"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men..." Colossians 3:23

Sunday, June 15, 2014

[love] Five Years

This past Friday (6/13), Nate and I celebrated five years of marriage!

We celebrated by spending the weekend in Austin: nothing extravagant, Austin is only 1.5 hours from our home, but we wanted the weekend to be carefree and relaxing (hence why I did not post my Friday Favorites: we were too busy relaxing! So this is my "favorites" post for the week... favorite photos of US!). And it definitely was. I am so blessed to be Nathan's wife: the foundation for everything he does is in Christ, he leads our household, keeps me safe, loves me unconditionally, and treats me as such. I love, love, love you Nathan! I am so proud of you for all of you have done, both personally and professionally. You are HOT, smart, strong, courageous, determined, and loving. Thank you for all you do for us! Love you!

Here are some snippets from our past five years as husband and wife:

2009: First vacation (besides our honeymoon) as husband and wife to Disney World in Florida!

2010: First snow (with our first pup, Chloe) at our apartment complex in Euless!

2011: Favorite pastime of ours... watching the Texas Rangers!

2012: Another favorite of ours... traveling by cruise ship (this specific trip was in celebration of our three year wedding anniversary)

2013: Road trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico for a wedding. It was beautifully decorated for Christmas (and freezing cold and snowy)!

2014: Enjoying the sun and water in Honduras

“Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God." Ruth 1:16 (our wedding vows)

How do you all celebrate anniversaries? Dinner? Vacation? Party? Do tell. I'll be sharing our anniversary trip this coming week: a review of the hotel we stayed at, and the different things we did/ate while gone. Have a great Sunday (and Happy Father's Day)!