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Monday, July 14, 2014

My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip

I'm back yall!  Did you miss me?  Well I hope so because I missed talking to you all!

The reason for me going MIA for a week was because I went on my annual family road trip.  This year, the family and I traveled to Memphis TN, San Antonio TX, Luling TX, and Houston TX, all in 8 days!

This trip was epic!  Although being on the road is tiring, I love the bonding my family and I has together while on the wide open road.

We rented our car through Avis using our Costco discount for our epic trip adventure and gotten a nice Kia Sportage to help us get to all of our destinations. 

My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #FamilyVacation #Kia via ProductReviewMom.com


Below is all the shenanigans we got into.

 

Memphis


Our first stop was in Memphis.  We go here every year because my dad's side of the family has their annual family reunion.  This year, the reunion was a bit low key than the previous years.  The years before my family rented out a spot at a local state park, but this year they had the reunion at Autozone Park where the Memphis's Redbirds (affiliate baseball team to the St. Louis Cardinals) plays.

My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #AutoZonePark via ProductReviewMom.com

We all were there for the 4th of July celebration to watch the fireworks.  My family reunion was 50 people deep and we were all scattered around the baseball park.  No one was really watching the baseball game, we took the time to greet family members and catch up on what we all been up to this past year.
My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #Familyphoto via ProductReviewMom.comMy Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #AutoZonePark #Memphis via ProductReviewMom.com

The girls had a ball playing at the playground and playing the games that the park provided.  But their fun turned into a nightmare once the fireworks show started.  They are afraid of fireworks and they cried like babies!  Thanks for my grandfather who took them and several other kids away from the show so Mr. M and I could sit back and enjoy the show.  I must say, those fireworks were very powerful!  I felt like I was watching fireworks from Disneyworld!  Smoke and debris from the fireworks was everywhere!  So much that it was getting all over my clothes and getting into my eyes.  Thank goodness I didn't wear white that night!


After the fireworks show, some of my family members and my family and I headed to my cousin's house to have a kick back.  It was loud talks, drinks, and laughter.

The day after the 4th of July, my Aunt had a BBQ at her house.  This BBQ was pretty mellow too since there was no music playing or games.
My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #FamilyReunion via ProductReviewMom.com
My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip via ProductReviewMom.com
My dad and I
My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #familyreunion via ProductReviewMom.com
My dad, grandfather, and the girls

Once it was night fall, the older kids started popping fireworks in my Aunt's field.  My girls wanted to pop fireworks too and for some reason they weren't afraid of fireworks anymore.  I didn't allow them because I feel playing with fireworks is dangerous.  And thank goodness I didn't allow them because one of the fireworks shot towards my Aunt's house and we all ran for cover!  That was extremely scary!  Thank goodness the fireworks didn't set anything on fire.



San Antonio


We spent two days in Memphis and traveled to San Antonio.  That drive took a full day.  We ran into some pretty bad traffic in Arkansas and lost two hours of our time.  During our drive to San Antonio, our air conditioner in our Kia started acting up and started to blow hot air.  Texas is too hot to not have air conditioning.  We almost had to return the car in Dallas but the cold air kicked back in during our drive.

We left Memphis at Noon and arrived to San Antonio about 2am in the morning.

San Antonio is scary at nights.  I don't recommend walking the streets at night alone.  A lot of homelessness and people tweaking out on drugs.  Plus a lot of gangbangers roaming the streets.

We did a Express Deal on Priceline and they placed us in the Sheraton Gunter hotel just one block from The Riverwalk.  The hotel is beautiful and luxurious!  I found out the hotel was built in 1909 and is the oldest hotel in San Antonio.

The lobby is breathtaking and reminds me of a ballroom that people dress up and start dancing the waltz.  The room that they placed us in was spacious and had a great view of the near by buildings and seeing San Antonio come to life during the day.

They had great amenities like, a barbershop, several conference rooms, wine bar restaurant, inexpensive restaurant cafe, rooftop pool, good size gym, and more!

My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #sheratongunter via ProductReviewMom.com
My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #SheratonGunter via ProductReviewMom.com

My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #SheratonGunter via ProductReviewMom.com

My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #SheratonGunter via ProductReviewMom.com

We had a chance to tour the Riverwalk and it is absolutely beautiful there!  A lot of history is there.  All the buildings and landscape is beautifully done and I felt at peace while out there.  So much to do at the Riverwalk like, restaurants, shops, river tours, a mall, cathedrals, museums, and more.  Also near the Riverwalk is the Alamo and the Missions.
My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #Riverwalk via ProductReviewMom.com
My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #RiverWalk via ProductReviewMom.com

On the strip near the Alamo, there are several family attractions like Ripley's Haunted Adventure, The Buckhorn Saloon & Museum, The Texas Ranger Museum, Ripley's Believe It or Not!, The Amazing Mirror Maze a 4D Experience, Tomb Rider 3D, Louis Tussaud's Waxworks, Ripley's Moving Theater 4D, and Guinness World Records.

We only did the Louis Tussaud's Waxwork and that one was a bit of a disappointment because almost all the replicas did not look like the celebrities. 
My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #waxwork via ProductReviewMom.com

The Alamo does not allow photography inside but I'll say there is not too much to see in there, but it is really about the history of it.
My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #TheAlamo via ProductReviewMom.com


The family and I got on a double decker bus that is like the ones in London and the bus drivers sidekick narrated and told us the history of all locations and buildings we drove passed.

My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #Busride via ProductReviewMom.com


During my time in San Antonio, I ate so much Tex Mex that I felt like I was going to exploded!  The best food I had out there was at Mi Terra.  That restaurant stays packed with people and stays open for 24 hrs a day.  It is a bit on the expensive side but well worth it!  A lot of locals kept recommending us to try Mi Terra's and I'm glad we did! 

My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #MiTerra via ProductReviewMom.com



Luling


During our San Antonio stay, we met up with some of my San Antonio family and my dad and grandfather rode down from Memphis too to spend several days in San Antonio as well.

We all rode together to take an hour drive to Luling to have some Texas BBQ at the City Market.  This is actually my second time eating there and the food is great!  The place look like a little hole in the wall but the food will have you requesting for more!  I love stepping into the dark smoke room and seeing how the people prepare the meats with huge bbq pits and black wood.  The aroma itself will get you instantly hungry!

My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #CityMarket via ProductReviewMom.com
The girls and I with our older cousin



Houston


Our time at San Antonio was coming to an end and we decided to make one pit stop in Houston since Mr. M had a business appointment to attend to there.

I hopped on Priceline and did another Express Deal and we were placed in the Westin at the Galleria.

The drive from San Antonio to Houston was about 3 hours.  Once we got there, Mr. M went to his business meeting while the girls and I waited on him.  Once his meeting wrapped up, we headed to our hotel.  The Westin was another beautiful hotel we had a pleasure staying in.  We didn't get a chance to check out all the amenities the hotel had to offer but the girls enjoyed taking a dip in their rooftop swimming pool.
My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #thewestin #rooftoppool via ProductReviewMom.com


Our room was also very spacious, even more spacious than the Sheraton.  I loved the rainfall shower in the bathroom!

My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #TheWestin via ProductReviewMom.com

Also, this hotel is attached to the Galleria Mall.  This mall is huge!  It has so many different stores to shop, including luxury stores.  I couldn't believe there was even a ice skating rink inside.

Near the ice skating rink, we ate at the Rainforest Cafe.  That restaurant was a huge disappointment!  We were going to go to the one at the Riverwalk but it had terrible reviews online.  The reviews for the one in the Galleria Mall wasn't that bad and I took the chance to judge for myself.  Our food took over an hour to arrive at our table and the food was cold and tasteless.  Also it tasted like it was sitting all day.  Only thing going good for this restaurant is the decor.  It keeps the kids entertained with the moving animals in the forest and the rain storm.

My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #RainforestCafe via ProductReviewMom.com


Our epic road trip has come to an end and we headed home!


I calculated our driving miles we done through the whole trip, and we drove about a total of 2,244.88 highway miles.  That is almost driving cross country!  During our trip, we drove through 6 states that includes, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana.    




Highlights of Our Trip


  • Being pulled over by a cop in Alabama on our way to Memphis.  Mr. M was doing 75 in a 45 zone.  Now going that fast could've landed him in jail!  The cop let us go without a ticket and told us to slow down.
  • I didn't get bit that much by bugs during the whole trip.  Almost every year the bugs enjoys feasting on me in Memphis.  I'm happy that I walked away on this trip with 4 to 5 bites on my feet only.
  • Seeing Hispanic Elvis at Mi Terra in San Antonio.  That guy scared the crap outta the girls and I because we thought he was a statue.  After we took a picture of him, he moved and smiled at us.  Pretty creepy!
    My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #MexicanElvis via ProductReviewMom.com
  • Going to Johnny Dang's Jewelry store in Houston.  If you're into hip hop music then you'll know who Johnny Dang is.  He is a famous guy that makes gold grills, chains, and more for hip hop artist and celebrities.  He became famous after being in hip hop artist's music videos along with Paul Wall.  Unfortunately, he wasn't at the store for us to meet him.
    My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #JohnnyDang via ProductReviewMom.com
  • There is an In-N-Out Burger in Texas!  A lot of you may know that I was born and raised in California.  In-N-Out Burger is one of my favorite burger joints back home and being able to eat In-N-Out Burger again gave me a piece of home I've been missing.
    My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #INNOutBurger via ProductReviewMom.com
     
  • BUC-EE'S is the best gas station ever!  This gas station is huge!  So much stuff you can get in there like food to order, clothes, bakery, toys, supplies, gosh I bet you can get just about anything in there!  Also, they have gas pumps for miles!  You'll never have to wait for a gas pump!  This gas station is only in Texas.
    My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #Bucees via ProductReviewMom.com
    My Epic Family Road Trip Vacation! #RoadTrip #bucees via ProductReviewMom.com
  • Texas is a beautiful state!  Although I've been to Texas once before, I didn't realize how beautiful the state is.  The skies are blue, grass is green, and everything is bigger and better.  It reminds me so much like California that Mr. M and I has been in the talks of moving there.  I'm very serious!  Don't be surprise if you see a post about me moving to Texas in a few years.
  • The food in Texas is delicious!  I can tell the quality of the food is much more better in Texas too.  I can just see myself eating myself sick being there.  I pretty much was doing that when I was there anyway.  I ate so much Tex Mex that I burnt myself out on Mexican food.

I can't wait for our next adventure next year!



For more pictures from our trip, check out my Instagram.


Have you gone on long distance road trips before?




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40 comments

  1. Welcome back, Louida!! Wow...just, wow!!! (I need a nap just looking at everything you guys packed into a mere 8 days!) Your pictures a fabulous, your dad looks way too young to be your dad (good genes!), and wasn't the Riverwalk in San Antonio awesome?

    Congrats on an awesome family getaway, Louida...and welcome back!

    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Courtney! We had such a great time during our trip! Now I need another vacation of just sleep...LOL!

      I get that a lot about my dad but guess what....he is young, he'll be 50 in Dec.

      The Riverwalk really is a awesome and relaxing place. It was hot down there but it didn't really bother me that much.

      Delete
  2. Wow so many pictures, looks like you guys didnt have much time to get bored. We went to the Rain forest Cafe for the first time on our vacation as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah we wasn't bored at all Natalie! We had something to do every day on our trip.

      Delete
  3. I want to road trip with your family! Looks like loads of fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was lots of fun Alli! Next time I'll pack you in my suitcase! Hehe!

      Delete
  4. I love In-N-Out burger, too! We don;t have them around here at all, but when I was in San Diego this past April, we went 4 times in the week we were there.

    ReplyDelete
  5. You look like you had so much fun! We go to Memphis every few months to go skydiving and we stay at the Hilton that overlooks the baseball field, I've always wanted to go over there! We just got back from Dallas and I was excited about the In and Out burgers too! It was my first time having them lol!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You need to go to Autozone Park someday Rachelle, it's fun! Looks like Texas is the place to be. So many people are taking summer trips there. I bet you've enjoyed In-N-Out too!

      Delete
  6. So glad that you loved my state! I love that you visited so many iconic Texas places. It makes me proud! ;) It looks like you guys had so much fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your state is wonderful Bailey! I really want to move there!

      Delete
  7. Anonymous6:40 PM

    What a beautiful family! I love the rainforest cafe... and I think Hispanic Elvis would have scared me, too!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Looks like you had a great time! Great photos! Amber N

    ReplyDelete
  9. Furthest i drove was NY to FL.. road trips are not my thing.. i like to take a plane or boat to m destinations..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah road trips are not for everyone. I like flying to my destinations as well. I don't know about boats though.

      Delete
  10. It looks like you had an awesome trip! I love your daughter's dramatic poses! Welcome back!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michelle loves doing dramatic poses for some reason. Thanks Anna, it's great to be back!

      Delete
  11. Anonymous9:59 PM

    Looks like such a fun trip! When I was 13 we drove cross country, from NY to California and back. Road trips are the best!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! Now that is a long road trip! I don't know if I could do a cross country one.

      Delete
  12. Looks like you guys had an awesome trip! I love in and out too!

    ReplyDelete
  13. it sure looks like you had fun! I've always wanted to go on a road trip!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should Menucha, they're fun!

      Delete
  14. Welcome back! It looks like you had a great trip. I love the highlights!

    ReplyDelete
  15. It looks like you had a blast. Love all the pictures. I am cracking up at that Dr. Phil wax figure. I love taking a lot of pics during a trip and reliving the trip. BTW - your dad and granddad look young. I wish I still had my grandfathers alive. I need to check out Texas one of these days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah that Dr. Phil and Oprah wax figures looked funny Yona! I love taking lots of pics and reliving our adventures.

      Both my dad and granddad are young.

      You should check out Texas, it's a great state!

      Delete
  16. Glad to have you back, Louida! That is a grand vacation and your daughters smile and joys are infectious! I would love to explore Texas soon. I just finished reading a novel by Fern Michaels set in Texas and it truly is fascinating state!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Texas really is a fascinating state Kero! Definitely add it to your bucket list of places to visit. Like the saying goes, "everything is bigger and better in Texas!"

      Delete
  17. Love the outfit you are wearing in the pic with your dad.

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  18. Wow! This was an EPIC road trip! Seems like you did more than 8 days the amount of fun you seemed to pack into it. I bet your family needs a few days to recover from all that driving. I've never been on a long road trip but we've been planning one. The most we've done is 7 hrs and that was with one kid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Girl...this was the longest road trip we have ever done. We sure did pack a lot in 8 days! I'm trying to recover from it now but since I have to work it's hard. Hopefully this coming weekend I can catch up on some sleep.

      You really should do a road trip, they're fun!

      Delete
  19. Welcome back. It sounds like you and the girls had an amazing road trip that was full of fun. I have never done a long trip like this with all of the kids. The longest I have done was a trip down to FL but I only had one son then.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Victoria! Yes girl this road trip was very fun! The driving part gets tiring after awhile but it's cool to see all the different states we drove through. I wouldn't recommend doing a road trip with younger children due to having to take a lot of stops.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous2:37 PM

    your dad looks so young! and I really like that hotel -- looks pretty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is because he is young, he'll be 50 in Dec.

      The Sheraton hotel lobby is so gorgeous! The best I've ever seen!

      Delete