Vacation Observations and Treasures Show and Tell

As promised, here is part two of what I did on my summer statecation otherwise titled Vacation Observations and Treasures Show and Tell.  My blogging routine is suffering from a case of the I’m ready for summer to be over and fall to get here slowdown blues.  Taking time to hunt and gather images, ideas and inspiring notes of design and decorating interest for fall and home for the holidays sharing benefits both author and reader. It’s gonna be good!

Summer whispers into the ear of the normal day-to-day routine let’s blow this gig.  You’ve got places to go, people to see, ideas to develop.  Summer didn’t have to tell me twice it was time to book a five day statecation to the Shreveport/Bossier City area.  Antiquing and vintage shopping is a big part of the vacation equation, and traveling by car makes it super easy to load that baby up with finds, treasures and home goods.  My must shop list includes Dillard’s, Belk, Marshalls and T.J. Maxx.  For good while we’re here measure I threw in a let’s stop by the new Whole Foods Market Shreveport.  Try, try as I may to figure out what the whole Whole Foods hullabaloo is all about, I don’t get it.  Take it away, Josh Baskin.

Perusing the East 70th Street retail and restaurant offerings, I noticed a peppering of construction crews and roll offs.  Curiosity leads inquiring minds to need to know info.   Look what’s coming to Shreveport.

At Home

at-home

Home Goods

home-goods

La Madeleine

la-madeleineShreveport has hit the all things house that make a home jackpot.  I am decorating and dining happy.  Happy to

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and beyond!  I do love a good game of wordplay.

architectural-detailsOur Home away from Home- Horseshoe Bossier City

One up way too early for a vacation day coffee call served up one what do you want to do today round table discussion.  Antiquing it is.  Wifi connected us to six shops of interest and roads to follow.

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Treasures Show and Tell Observation #1

Change is the only constant in today’s antiques marketplace.  When Dave and I were actively “in the biz,” the proprietor of the antique mall we were in required dealer inventory consist of at least 80% antiques with an allowance for 20% vintage collectibles.  An antique by law is an item at least 100 years old.  Vintage collectible refers to an item at least 50 years old.   We advertised as an antiques shop, and the inventory reflected that.   Assuming (you know what they say about assuming) all antique shops adhere to the same truth in advertising rule, when the sign says antiques I brake for antiques.  On the other hand, if a shop’s name has the word or words curiosity, vintage, thrift, trading, collectibles, junque or consignment in it I know what’s in store.  Out of the six antiques shops visited, only three fit the bill.  Two featured vintage finds and curiosities, and one is nothing more but a shadow of its former antique mall glory.

ironstoneTreasures Show and Tell  Observation #2

It dawned on me after viewing booth after booth of painted pieces that I have an issue with the trend that in my opinion has stayed too long at the party.  It’s a disgrace when an item is touted as an authentic painted piece picked and plucked from an old farmhouse, feed, hardware or general store when in truth it is fresh off the chalk paint, font and Pinterest bandwagon.  Many an unsuspecting and trusting customer gets duped by this practice, and I think it is absolutely shameful.  Buyer beware.

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Good advice and odd artwork caught my attention.

Treasures Show and Tell

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Dave the Builder, always clever in his delivery, exclaimed for sale as in fore sale! upon the sighting of this Louis Vuitton golf bag.

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Treasures Show and Tell Observation #3

I’m kicking myself for not buy this St Francis garden statue.  The best time to buy an antique, collectible, vintage treasure or in the case concrete garden statue is when you see it.

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Restaurant china creamers and syrup pitchers are my collecting thing, and when priced under $5 call these sold!

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A small print and a steamboat saucer rounded out my big haul.

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Treasures Show and Tell Observation #4

Small finds can make big impacts in the grand decorating and color scheme of things.

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Our summer statecation is in the rear view mirror, and I’m already checking rates and availability for a quick late fall getaway.  In the meantime it’s back to work, decorating ideas and the holidays are right around the corner plans.  In blog housekeeping news, I am currently in the middle of attempting to migrate my existing site to a new and improved cPanel hosting platform.  This, my friends, should be good. Technical blah, blah, blah but necessary to keep things up to speed.  I’m about to lose my mind and my religion over this, but I’m determined to do this.  If I don’t break the site, Places In The Home will be back up running and loading lightening fast next week.  Have a lovely rest of the week.

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It’s That Summer Vacation Time of Year Again

Summer vacation let’s hit the holiday road getaway, treasure hunting, taste testing delicious cuisine, unplugging if only for a few days, reconnecting with Dave the Builder.  It’s that summer vacation time of year again.

summer vacation time

Vacation ~ Go Go’s 

Vacation
All I ever wanted
Vacation
Had to get away

Talk (type) to you next week.

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Auctions, Estate Sales and Antiques Treasure Hunting

Auctions, estate sales and antiques treasure hunting expeditions write the latest chapter of my how I spent my summer vacation story.

Auctions, estate sales and antiques

Antiques auctions are my thing.  From start to sold, I love the workings of the antiques auction machine.  Dave the Builder and I have clocked many an hour in old barns, metal buildings, old storefronts and convention halls in hope of acquiring antiques and vintage furniture and accessories up for auction.  When live and in person isn’t in the bid cards, absentee bids are in order.  One of my very favorite auction houses, Gallery Auctions, Inc.  invites absentee bidding, offers quality merchandise and is known for superb customer service.

cutting-boards

In the market for an antique bread or cutting board, I searched the listings with gotta have it success. I placed absentee bids on several boards to cover the spread, and was thrilled to receive the phone call that I won the bid I really, really wanted.  The board is big, aged, perfectly worn and rich in patina and provenance.  Score!

bread-boardAttending the highly anticipated local estate sale recently held less than one block from the Places In The Home abode turned out to be a good decision.  This particular estate sale was a treasure hunting must- one where quality meets quantity.  The bamboo light fixture immediately caught my eye, piqued my interest and held my attention.

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First day sale prices can send a wave of sticker shock throughout the antiques dealers, estate sale aficionados and interior design and decorating community.  The word on the tree-lined street signaled high prices ahead.  The price I was comfortable paying did not square with the sellers initial asking price.  I told myself if it is meant to be it will be, and waited for the next day price negotiations.  Holding firm with an offer does not always work out for the best, but in this case it did.

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Dave the Builder rewired the fixture, applied two coats of gloss white lacquer spray paint and here we are.  You’ll see this image again in a post I’m working on detailing more decor updates.

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Horseshoe Bossier City Hotel and Casino

He said, “I need a vacation.”  She said, “Can we go auctions, estate sales and antiques treasure hunting?”

dare-day-clubDo we dare take a gamble on basing our vacation destination on past antiques inventory buying successes?  I’m willing to roll the dice if you are, Dave. He said, “make the reservation.”  She said, “win, lose or draw, I’m ready to go.”

vintage-book

The who, when, where and what anticipation of discovery is the common thread between vacation getaways and treasure hunting .

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First stop on the treasure hunting train: Kings Antique Mall.  The gotta have it list for our auctions, estate sales and antiques treasure hunting trips includes requests from clients as well as items for my personal collections.  A hold tag on the two drawer chest dashed my hopes for ownership, but it gave me an idea for a piece already in inventory. Inspiration is everywhere.

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applique

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I am always fascinated by the nouns of life and how we draw home decor inspiration from them.  Violets remind me of my maternal grandmother, and memories drive the antiques business.

violet-plate1I almost overlooked this small violet adorned dish while shopping at Antique Shoppes at 1100 Barksdale, but luckily spied it sitting pretty atop a dusty shelf.  It currently resides on my bedside table as a holder for my reading glasses.

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Hitting the copper jackpot at Antiques on Gladstone.

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I love when an entire city block is home to antiques shops.  Kid meet candy store.  Finding the hotel silver dome put the cherry on the treasure hunting cake.

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face-vasesWe are home sweet home again.

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Now comes the fun part.

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A Most Fetching Friday: The Summer Vacation

Today’s A Most Fetching Friday is all about the summer vacation.

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Tourism thrives on it, houses are built to entertain around it, school teachers wait all school year long for it to get here, kids of all ages celebrate it, and memories made on the summer holiday road stay with us for a lifetime.

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Texas Hill Country

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Lake Keowee Lake House Cabin, South Carolina

Palm Springs Hotel

Summer In Color at The Saguaro Palm Springs

the summer vacation

What story will your summer vacation tell?

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Sanibel Island, Florida

Dave the Builder and I have been on a mini vacation for a little over a week.  Reality will soon call us back to our normal routine, but for now the pace has slowed and the summer vacation life is good.

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Tagged for Travel

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Get Your Kicks and Your Gas on Route 66

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Sunny Days and Cool Waters

Summer Sounds

Have a lovely weekend.

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Not Too Far But Far Enough Away From Home: Travels to Small Southern Towns

August was a busy month of celebrations and milestones around Places In The Home.  Our son’s graduation from Louisiana State University, commencement ceremony and subsequent celebration(s) made for a busy first part of the month. When Dave the Builder suggested a regroup and recovery getaway for two I could not make reservations fast enough.  I’ve come to enjoy and appreciate the not too far but far enough away from home travels to small Southern towns.  These travel gems brimming with history, old houses, antiques and townsfolk who invite you to take in and be a part of the local flavor make a great weekend getaway destination perfect for recharging one’s battery.

St.-John's-Episcopal-ChurchSt. John’s Episcopal Church – Washington, Louisiana

Our long and winding road travels (well, our straight line I-49 travels) placed us center stage among the small Southern towns of Washington, Scott and Lafayette, Louisiana.  I learned a long time ago not to categorize our close to home jaunts as a non-vacation.  Trust me, these  just roll with the flow discovery excursions can pass a good time and pass for a real vacation.

Travels to Small Southern Towns

Washington, Louisiana is as sleepy as it is Southern, a small town full of history from steamboat days gone by.  Narrow streets shaded by mature oaks, magnolia trees, historical architecture, quintessential Southern homes ranging from the wow to the weathered, and an old high school full to the gills with antiques and vintage goodies seasons the local flavor.

old-houseBeauty does not always strike a pristine pose. This abandoned abode on a shaded street in a small Southern town piqued my interest, struck an architectural chord and became the subject of a subjective experience.  

You know you love antiquing when the indoor temperature almost matches the oppressive outdoor temperature ( 95+ degrees).  Note to self: antiquing in old buildings, warehouses, outdoors and in old high schools is an activity best enjoyed in the fall.  On this particular Louisiana summer Saturday, the Old Antique School Mall was full of hot air and hot finds priced fairly and in shop or home ready condition.  I didn’t have a clue what I was looking for, but something told me I would know it when, and if, I saw it.

Antique-School-Mall

Our visit to the school was timed just right for a super sale.  I have been working on a kitchen gallery wall, and no respectable kitchen gallery wall is complete without the all important touch of copper.

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I couldn’t resist the lidded copper pan and mold.  Grand total: $10 for both.

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That ladies and gentlemen is a copper bargain of the very best kind.

PM-corbel Dear Santa…

The method to my retail madness is simple- pop into shops, boutiques, markets and retail outlets not available in the retail deficient corner of the world I call home.

The Haul~

Lafayette-goodies

A familiar sign became a beacon of biscuits and cornbread in the South Louisiana night.

Cracker-Barrel-signIt was a biscuit and cornbread kind of evening. 

I planned our next trip the Southern life fantastic on the drive home. November can’t get here soon enough.

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Colors Along The Bayou

We Louisianians are a patient people.  We are aware our neighbors to the North actually get to experience seasonal foliage and fall colors before mid to late November. Fall takes it time getting down to Louisiana, but when it does it stunningly shows its true colors along the bayou in perfect fall form.  I’ve yet to find a better way to take it all in than to hit the road with camera in hand, Dave the Builder at the wheel, and the words from the song “Drive South” defining the moment.

Come on baby drive South
With the one you love
Come on baby drive South

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You can be guaranteed if it’s late November the locals are asking, “Are the leaves in color on the bayou Ginkgo?”   This famous landmark Ginkgo tree has served as the picture perfect photo backdrop for generations of  local residents.  This picture does not do justice to just how beautiful these colors along the bayou really are.

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Decades old iron bridge railing has aged gracefully through the years. Brick-lined streets, decorative ironwork and historical homes make a drive though the garden district a trip through time.

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Further South down the road we go to another small town favorite, Lea’s Lunch Room. Lea’ s is known throughout the United States as the place for pie. It’s a standing game day tradition to stop at Lea’s for one of their famous ham sandwiches and a piece of pie on the way to Tiger Stadium. Recently, Lea’s Lunchroom was listed in the USA TODAY Travel article “10 best: Delicious Pies around the South.”  All that driving and photographing works up an appetite, and it is the best excuse I know of to order up a sandwich and a slice of coconut pie with sky high meringue to-go, of course.  On the road again…

Lea's-Lunchroom-LeCompte-1

The Mary McCoy Big House stands steeped in history on the Solomon Northup Trail. The story of Solomon Northup was the subject of the film, 12 Years a Slave. The Bayou Boeuf community and the parishes of Central Louisiana historically factor into the life of Solomon Northup.  When I was in college at LSU I used the Mary McCoy Big House as my thirty minutes to home mile marker. Lots of history and beauty associated with this local landmark.

bunkie-house1Click on image to enlarge

Like the leaves, the colors of the season are changing from browns and oranges to brighter reds and traditional greens. This much needed road trip was all the detour needed to help me collect my thoughts and take a breather before the next phase begins. December 1st signals the official Christmas season kick off.  Here we go!

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An Admired Treasure Comes Forth From The Myrtles Plantation Mystery Tour

The door has opened on Part III of  The Myrtles Plantation Mystery Tour : Inspiration, History and Mystery.  The final portion of our story involves history, haunts and Houston.   Here we go!

myrtles-plantationThe Myrtles Plantation ~ Tara Marie Photography

The furnishings inside The Myrtles Plantation include four-poster tester beds, crystal chandeliers, ornamental frieze work, and ornate English, French and Italian architectural attributes. Most impressive to me was the backstory, explanations, insights, legends and lessons of lifestyles, customs and ceremony of the period.  Miss Hester told of how etiquette and ceremony were heavily emphasized.  It was considered in poor taste and bad manners to broach the subject of how long guests would be staying at The Myrtles. When the owners decided the time had come for their guests to be moving on, the center bed finial would be removed while the guests were out of the room.  An immediate departure was expected.  Another story of interest revolved around the main staircase.

antique spindles and newel

A mortgage button (decorative plug) in the newel post of the foyer staircase proudly signified the mansion mortgage was completely paid off. It is believed the property note would then be rolled up, placed in the hollow post, and capped with a decorative plug.  Some historians totally debunk this theory. There are others who say the practice of the time would have been to burn the  property note, therefore, placing the ashes in the hollow post.  Of myth and mystery comes tales that may not be long on historical accuracy,  but make for interesting and intriguing parts of the evening.  The history of The Myrtles and its legend of murder, mystery and sightings is detailed in this short video from The Travel Channel.

I was really into the spirited vibe of the evening for the sake of  the adventure. Far be it from me to discount the tales of tugs and ghostly reflections that others claim to have felt or seen. Miss Hester took me to the side and told me that the children like to show themselves to other children.  She told me of the pull described in the video, and that our son could be visited during the tour.  Dave was freaking out, our son was prepared for paranormal activity with a ghostbuster attitude, and I was dead up (pardon the pun) in the middle of all the mystery and mischief. Could this be what was in store for us this evening?

MyrtlesPlantationGhostvia

Everyone on the Mystery Tour was hanging on Miss Hester’s every word, braced and ready for impact. Between the ghosts and the thrill of what could happen I almost forgot I was on silver lazy susan lookout. When we entered the dining room I immediately saw the lazy susan prominently displayed in the center of the dining table.

Myrtles Interior Dining Room

Even though we immensely enjoyed every moment of the Mystery Tour, I’m sorry to report that  no sightings, tugs, pulls or sounds emerged from the house or the grounds.  We gave it our all trying to get that ghostly feeling, but it was a no-go.  We met a couple from Baton Rouge who were staying in the General David Bradford Suite on the first floor of the main house.  We stood on the back porch comparing our Mystery Tour notes. They invited us to join them for a post mystery tour spirit.  We all got to laughing at the very animated Dave the Builder.  Dave mustered up a shot or two of liquid courage, and in doing so was quite determined to wake the dead.  I reminded him it was probably best to let sleeping spirits lie.

chloe

Of course my brother could not wait to find out how we liked St. Francisville, New Roads, and The Myrtles. The conversation began with two to the point questions.  “Did you see the lazy susan?”  Yes.  “Can you find me one?”  Yes I can.  I filed his request away for a future antiquing trip.  Three months after our Myrtles excursion my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and another road trip of a very different kind was the plan.  We moved to Houston, Texas for six weeks for my mother to receive cancer treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center.  My mother successfully completed her treatment, and thankfully remains cancer-free.

Antique Center of Texas

One afternoon while my parents were resting, Dave and I set out to explore the Westheimer and Buffalo Speedway area of Houston. We lunched at  La Madeleine in Highland Village (now closed) and did an abbreviated version of a shop crawl beginning at Pottery Barn.  I called to check in on the parents,  who informed me they were rested and heading out to have dinner with a dear Houstonian friend of ours.  That’s a go for more shopping.  Three guesses what king of shopping I wanted to do!  Oh, boy, is this great!

Flounder

Carolyn Thompson’s Antique Center of Texas was hopping, and the finds and deals got my attention. I was thrilled to find a Pheasant mount, a black and brown English riding derby, and a large copper bowl.  I was shocked when I flipped over the price tag on the bowl to see a super responsible price.  The reason for the great price?  The entire center of the bowl was covered with a poorly done free handed inscription.  Where one person sees a problem another sees a solution. I simply hung the bowl with the center facing the wall. It is one of many items still packed in storage from the move, but as soon as I locate that bad boy I will post a picture.  On our way to the check out Dave happened to spot a booth brimming over with vintage silver pieces. Well, well, well, what do we have here?  We simultaneously spot the silver lazy susan and make a beeline for it.  The dealer approached us with a smile and a dealing mood. I put my best broker face on and played the will you take $$$ game for right under one hour.  Now comes the dance.  I call my brother with the price, he would counter, Dave would pace, I would shop some more, Dave would continue to pace, the dealer would counter- it all goes with the territory.  A fair and final figure was agreed on by all,  and everyone came away a happy camper.  That’s the true definition of a good deal.

silver lazy susan

I hope you have enjoyed the tale of  how an admired treasure came forth from The Myrtles Plantation Mystery Tour.  All roads leading to the lazy susan hold a special meaning to me. In the middle of the fun, the fright and the fight stood family.  Speaking of family, can a brother get some silver polish?

 

images via Southern Living,  Flickr

 

A West Coast Treat, A Turquoise Chair, A Designer’s Tips, And One Sensational Tenor: A Dallas, Texas Vacation

Do you trip report?  I like to keep the fun and memories of a memories of a getaway alive with a trip report.  Long before Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, I was reduced to archaic methods of recording and reporting trip buffoonery.  A 35mm camera, a honking huge video camera, and a written trip report got the job done.  I definitely don’t miss the the video camera, kinda still like the pics from my 35mm camera, and will keep on keeping on with the trip reports.

Dallas, Texas vacationCity-Data

After running across pictures from our trip to Dallas last year, listening to one of my favorite singers on Spotify, and getting a big old Texas kick out of the new Dallas on TNT,  I’ve got memories from last year’s Dallas trip on my mind.

American Airlines Center

Our son called from the Great White North to inform us he was coming home for a visit.  We will now be three for the trip over to Dallas to see the performer I refer to as  “the voice”  in concert at American Airlines Center.

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The son quickly informed the mother he would be sitting this one out- the concert, not the trip.  In spite of how health conscious and diet minded he is, he had his taste buds set for a west coast treat recently new to Texas. More on that later.

Josh-Groban-May

“The Voice” is the incomparable Josh Groban.

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On our 25th wedding anniversary trip to Las Vegas,  I had the pleasure of being introduced to the beautiful song “February Song” by Josh Groban.

Josh-Groban

Chill bumps!  When he announced he would be touring in 2011, I kept my eye out for the dates.  I zeroed in on a Dallas, Texas vacation, waited for the tickets to go on sale, and starting planning the trip.

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The concert was fantastic!  The pictures not so much, but you get the general idea.

I discovered a love of turquoise cowhide chairs while we were in Dallas. When in Rome and Dallas, as they say. While watching Good Morning Texas, I learned Vern Yip of HGTV’s Design Star and Bang For Your Buck was in Dallas on a promotional tour.  Our schedule was not permitting me to attend, but my ever handy notebook and pen got an early morning workout.  I sipped strong Texas coffee, paid close attention, and jotted down his home decor advice, suggestions, and tips.

HGTV

From my notes :

Design don’t: do not buy things in sets.

Trend: vintage salvage.

Hot colors of summer 2011 will be turquoise and honeysuckle.

Curtain lengths should hit the floor.

Hang pictures at eye level.

Good interior design and home decor information. I knew I liked that turquoise cowhide chair.

California based In-N-Out Burger was the reason for our son’s excitement about our Dallas trip. Yes, they are that good!  One of our favorite Saturday night Vegas traditions was seeing the show Mama Mia at Mandalay Bay, followed by a gourmet dinner fit for a dancing queen and her man at In-N-Out Burger.

Our trip to Dallas satisfied our son’s In-N-Out Burger craving, marked seeing Josh Groban live in concert off my bucket list, and gave Dave the Builder the opportunity to brush up on his tour guide skills.  Load ’em up! I’m ready to hit the holiday road to the Big D again.