Category Archives: Travel and Dining

Miller Brewery Tour

Image result for miller brewery tour

The Miller Brewing Company is an American beer brewing company headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The company has brewing facilities in Albany, Georgia; Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin; Fort Worth, Texas; Irwindale, California; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Trenton, Ohio. On July 1, 2008, SABMiller formed MillerCoors, a joint venture with rival Molson Coors to consolidate the production and distribution of its products in the United States, with each parent company’s corporate operations and international operations to remain separate and independent of the joint venture.

Believe it or not I was born and raised in Milwaukee and never attended this tour, until I had family in town for my wedding. I am not a big beer drinker, but I enjoyed learning the history and other interesting fun facts. While you’re on the tour plan to do a lot of walking, taking a lot of steps, and you may be subject to very warm or cold temperatures (temporarily).

Tour Overview
In Miller Valley you will experience an indoor/outdoor guided walking tour of over 160 years of brewing history. Experience everything from Fredrick Miller’s arrival in Milwaukee to the high-speed production lines used today. Your tour seamlessly blends the rich history of Miller Brewing Co. with the modern technology of today’s brewing process. Our tours begin with a beer because… why not? We will immerse your senses as we take you back in time to our famous underground caves and historic, Bavarian-Style Miller Inn. Don’t worry, you will rejoin us in the 21st Century as we move on to our modern operations including our Brew House, Packaging and Distribution Centers. Ice-cold refreshing samples of our finest brews will be served at various stops along the tour (and after!) for those 21 and older.

Miller Brewery Tour – $10

Miller Brewer Company Historical Tour – $21.50

Southfork Ranch

 

History at Southfork began in 1978, when Lorimar Productions chose the North Texas showplace as the site for the CBS TV series Dallas. The hit series, which counted millions of viewers across the United States and in 95 countries as fans, was originally broadcast in the United States from 1978 to 1991. The series continues to be broadcast in syndication and still is in first-run status in many countries around the world. Because of the ranch’s high profile on television, the beautiful white mansion, the pool, the barns and surroundings quickly became a tourist mecca. – Southfork Ranch

I recently visited and toured the Southfork Ranch and had a blast! I wasn’t a fan of the Dallas show, because it was slightly before my time. However, after the tour I found myself watching older episodes as well as the newer episodes because I was so intrigued. I had no idea the actual show wasn’t recorded in this house, but instead in a studio in California. The owners of the home wanted their children’s lives to be as normal as possible. Which after the show gained popularity was pretty hard to do. The cast was able to shoot certain shots and scenes, but had many restrictions. One of the restrictions being, they could only record in the summer.. While the kids were not in school. If you know anything about Dallas they have consecutive 100 degree weather days. So kudos to the actors, because they truly acted as if they weren’t burning from the heat. Once the owners of the home grew tired of the crowds, they sold the mansion for tourist reasons. Now you can visit the mansion for tours throughout the year. The property is also used for special events.

Check out my video of my time there.

Punch Bowl Social

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Punch Bowl Social was imagined by Robert Thompson after an extensive career of conceptualizing and operating both large-format entertainment brand and independent boutique restaurants. Following the successful openings of nine different restaurant concepts, Robert began to actualize his vision for Punch Bowl Social early 2010 but it took three years of real estate searches, design iterations and funding discussions before the first location opened in Denver’s historic Baker neighborhood in November 2012.

Prior to me patronizing this establishment  I had never heard of it, I simply did a search on Open Table in Austin for American restaurants.  I really enjoyed the atmosphere, service, and the food.. Reason behind the 5 stars.  I was mostly attracted to the layout. It was a great environment to have a night out with friends. You can have dinner, as well as enjoy bowling, darts or billiards. I even saw a place for Karaoke!  I wasn’t expecting any of that. I went for Brunch, but I plan to visit another location for dinner. I’m sure you’ll be able to find a location in your city, if not check out all the cities Punch Bowl Social will soon be. I’m mostly excited they are building locations in my current city, Dallas.. And my hometown, Milwaukee.

Current Locations:  Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, and Schaumburg.

Coming Soon To: Arlington VA, Dallas, Fort Worth, Milwaukee, Miami, Salt Lake City, Washington D.C, and St. Louis.

Concrete Cowboy

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

SoClutch Group owns Concrete Cowboy and they have several locations. SoClutch specializes in modern, upscale restaurants, bar and nightclub entertainment. Each brand is uniquely crafted to provide exceptional customer experiences through design, atmosphere and superior service.”  You can find Concrete Cowboy in the following cities; Dallas, Austin, Houston, Chicago, and Frisco.

I decided to host my birthday dinner at this restaurant based upon rave reviews from friends, and I definitely concur. I provided the 5 stars for the overall experience. The food was great from the appetizers, to the drinks, and finally the main course. The restaurant has the feel of a sports bar, and the staff was dressed in sports attire. I had my reservations about stepping in to Cowboy nation as a Packer girl, but it was ok. 😆

As stated I went for dinner, but a brunch menu is provided as well.  I have every intention of checking out their brunch sometime in the near future. If you are in any of the cities listed above I highly recommend you check out Concrete Cowboy.

Menus:

Brunch

Lunch/Dinner

Black Walnut Cafe

20110916_dsc3246_bwc_hdr__large.jpg

Black Walnut Cafe

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

With an inventive, extensive menu and a put-you-at-ease atmosphere, Black Walnut Cafe emerged in 2002 as a contemporary destination for hungry Houstonians. Since then they have expanded to the Dallas metro area, and a newer location in Atlanta, GA. I absolutely love this place! I have a few requirements for brunch including a menu that has pancakes (preferably) or waffles, and bottomless mimosas. This place does not have bottomless mimosas, but the menu makes up for it and I am always satisfied.

The restaurant has the cafeteria atmosphere. My first time visiting I was completely confused, but caught on quickly. You have the option to come in, and check out the menus. Once you place your order you pick out your own seats, and you are given a buzzer to alert you when your food is ready… No servers here. The silverware and condiments are out in the open, and as a germaphobic I thought I would be uneasy. To my surprise I am not, due to the restaurant always being cleaned to standards.

This is my go to brunch spot, and I it is always the first place I recommend to friends. If you are in the area of a Black Walnut Cafe I strongly encourage you to try it, you will not be disappointed.

I do not own the rights to these photos

Welcome to Cancun! 

 

Royalton Riveria Cancun: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

Royalton Riviera Cancun is a modern luxury resort in the popular vacation destination of Cancun. This new-generation all-inclusive hotel offers discerning travelers a family-friendly vacation experience, where guests of all ages are captivated from morning to night.

The accommodations I received while staying at this hotel were magnificent! The reason behind my 5 stars. I opted for The Diamond Club, and I wasn’t disappointed. My Butler was very friendly and knowledgable. I didn’t have to make any dinner reservations, which was a plus! Upon my arrival I had to wait a little bit for my room to be ready. So I relaxed in the area that was designated for me, and I enjoyed my time. Food, drinks, and wifi were included. I would say the time went by fast before I was in my cozy room.  I was impressed by the staff overall. Not once did someone pass me in the hall without a nice smile, and greeting. I would recommend anyone staying at this resort. I, myself may return or definitely visit another Royalton chain.

The resort is family friendly,  so their were a lot of options for adults, teens, kids, and combined fun. I would say the best of both worlds. For the  younger Kids, they have the Splash Pad, and the Clubhouse Kids Club.  The Teens have a cool lounge, on-site activities, and non-motorized water sports to stay engaged.  The resort has 4 pools total, and a great beach! If you’re looking for indoor activities, you have many shopping and food options. A great spa and gym, to keep you fit.  The list goes on and on, if you have the opportunity check it out!

I made a video highlighting my favorites of the trip! I hope you enjoy. (The mosquitos weren’t my friend. 😩)

Grapevine Wine Tour

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“Established in 2010, get on board the Grapevine Wine Tour to sample vintages from three of North Texas’ most-acclaimed wineries, each with its own unique history and charm. We’ll shuttle you from one fabulous tasting room to the next in climate-controlled comfort, while your tour guide recounts the history of wine-making in North Texas. You’ll see Historic Grapevine Township, with its rich array of art galleries, shops & restaurants. Lunch & dinner tours are offered daily, year-round.”

Since I moved to Texas in 2013, Ive wanted to attend the Grapevine Wine Tour! I can say I wasn’t disappointed by the wait. I chose to do the tour on my birthday, and it was definitely the perfect time to participate.

As listed in the introduction we visited three wineries in Historic Grapevine, TX. I was slightly disappointed because I was under the impression I would visit an actual vineyard. Nonetheless, I had a great time. The first winery we visited was, Homestead Winery.  This was my most favorite out of the three. It could be, because of you could have all the wine you could handle within an allotted time. Or, It could be the history that the house held, I do have pictures of the house listed below. Even more cool we were able to sign one of the walls in the house and leave our mark. The next winery was also where we had lunch, Wine Fusion Winery.  As you can also see below, I opted for pizza, however the menu was far more extensive. I just love pizza, and it was delicious! We were offered three different wines with lunch, all red. I am not a fan of red wine, but I can offer the compliment we weren’t served anything unsatisfactory. The last winery on the list was, Cross Timbers Winery.  I enjoyed this winery as well, outside of the ghost stories! We were offered another three different wines of our choice, with cheese and crackers.

Needless to say I needed a nap after my afternoon, but these types of tours I highly recommend. Very ideal for team building, birthdays, bridal showers, and so on. If you have a free afternoon and about a hundred dollars or so, engage!

Welcome to LA

 

You may remember me mentioning I went out to Los Angeles a few weeks back. It was my first time in California and I had an absolute blast! Today I am going to take you through my journey and offer some recommendations. Enjoy! 😆

One of my favorite things to do is travel, and traveling with family is always a treat! The sole purpose of the trip was to attend The Ellen Show. We have tried for years to get tickets, and it was definitely worth the wait. I was chosen out of the audience to play a game, yay!!! AND, I won!! Check out the link below, to witness some pure comedy. 😂

👉🏾 Ellen TV

Also, while in LA we took advantage of the Hollywood Tour. I would recommend it if you have a few hours to spare, but want to get a lot of great sites in. Our tour guide was pretty awesome, and personable. I put together a video of all the main places we had the chance to visit.  The video starts with scenes of protestors at the airport. As you are all aware of the current Immigration ban going on. I was in LA the first weekend President Trump announced the ban, and a pretty large demonstration was going on.

A few places included in the video that may not be as obvious to you, but are super awesome to me… Remember one of the last scenes in Pretty Woman, the one where Richard Gear climbs the stairs of the hotel??? Yes, that one! Well you have a picture of that hotel, I was excited. We passed the school from the Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Pig N Whistle (Shirley Temple), Disney’s Concert Hall (Dope Architecture), Walk of Fame, Fancy Cars, Rodeo Drive, The Groove, and the infamous Farmers Market.

We had the chance to visit two great restaurants, which will both receive ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Reno’s Pizzeria and Restaurant –  I enjoyed this restaurant for the hometown feel. I love Pizza, which was great! I opted for a Caesar Salad, and the salad was delightful.

Big Boy – I haven’t been to a Big Boy restaurant in almost 20 years, and the menu is pretty much the same. The portions are pretty big, so plan to share.  Added bonus…. The lady in the picture with Big Boy is my beautiful Mom. 😊

Overall, I had a great time and I will definitely return to the wonderful city of Los Angeles.

 

Neighborhood Services – Village on the Parkway

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Neighborhood Services – Village not the Parkway is a new swanky restaurant located in Addison, a hot spot of Dallas,TX. It’s been described as an, “Easygoing New American fare that has the focus of an upscale tavern with a warm palette & hip bar.”  I’ve patronized this restaurant on several occasions, for lunch and dinner. Every time my experience was exceptional. I am typically a very picky eater, however our server was so convincing I tried one of his recommendations. I am definitely glad I stepped outside of my box. I opted for the Short Rib Pot Roast Enchiladas, YUM!! A few more popular items include; BBQ Spiced Alabama Shrimp, Chicken Fricassee Pot Pie, and Dry-Aged Chicken Fried Steak! All great items. 😃

In addition to the amazing menu, you get a very warm and comfortable feeling while there. The patio outside is perfect for the fall temps. I can say also,  the patio has always been clean and presentable. The atmosphere is perfect for a night out with friends, or date night! I definitely recommend checking it out if you’re in the Dallas area, thank me later. 😆

 

 

Saint Ann Restaurant and Bar

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

timthumb-php

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.saintanndallas.com

Originally built in 1927, the historic school has been transformed into a modern environment that boasts the largest garden patio in Dallas and is consistently voted as “Best Patio in Dallas” by D Magazine and “Best Outdoor Dining” by OpenTable. The restaurant’s refined yet casual atmosphere and extensive menu has made it a favorite among patrons.

It is open Monday through Friday for lunch, every day for dinner and drinks, and brunch on Saturday and Sunday. The first level of the two-story red brick building is Saint Ann Restaurant & Bar.

I recently Fancied this establishment for a friends birthday dinner, and my expectations were blown away. Everyone I came in contact with was very professional and courteous. I agree with the introduction, the patio area is breathtaking. I personally order the Grilled Salmon with Lemon Garlic Spinach. I can’t say I was crazy about the Spinach, but the Salmon was divine! The Salmon had a vibrant color, impeccable seasoning, and nice and tender. The appetizers, drinks, and main courses for the group were impressive.

Brunch is my favorite weekend activity, I will definitely return to try out their brunch menu. Hopefully this time, I can snag a seat on there beautiful patio.

*Valet Parking is available at no cost to you

14355674_10154416879819765_6289025499711857990_n