Road Trip: Bryan, Texas

by Rachel Staggs
( April 1st, 2014 )

the queen theater bryan, texas

Last weekend we drove roughly two hours to the small town of Bryan, Texas.

grand stafford theater bryan, texas

Friends of ours were performing at the Grand Stafford Theater and we thought it would be fun to see them in a smaller venue.

I had no idea how adorable Main Street would be and that Bryan actually uses its downtown area, unlike many small Texas towns.

carnegie public library bryan, texas

After the show Saturday night we walked a block over to the wine bar and purchased a nice Priorat. Everything we needed was within walking distance.

la salle hotel bryan, texas

Our plans were very last minute and I literally spent minutes booking a hotel. I pulled a rare move and booked it through Priceline at 5pm the day of arrival. We stayed at a Sheraton property and our room was basic, but comfortable.

I wish I’d made time for hotel research during the harried packing moments, trying to leave before sunset, but I didn’t. If so I would have found La Salle Hotel, which was a couple of doors down from Grand Stafford Theater. I would’ve rather stayed in a historic Texas Landmark!

art deco building bryan, texas

Let my adventure save you from ever having to drive into student territory and stay across the street from Texas A&M University! Downtown Bryan is a world away and the architecture is beautiful.

In the morning, we came back to Main Street for brunch at The Village. After a bite to eat, while taking photos of Main Street, we stumbled into Harvest Coffee Bar. I had one of the best almond milk cappuccinos of my life there!

May your journey be your muse,

Related links: Road Trip: Mojave Desert

Road Trip: South Padre Island, Texas

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International Women’s Day: Olivia Perez, Jim Hogg County Treasurer 1933

by Rachel Staggs
( March 7th, 2014 )

olivia perez jim hogg county texas

I come from a line of strong and adventurous women.  Before my Mom retired she was an entrepreneur, starting several businesses, including a brick and mortar. I wrote about my Grandmother and how she’s a big travel inspiration. This is my Great-Grandmother, Olivia.

I am lucky enough to have memories of spending time with her in my childhood. She lived to be 96. She never drove a car and walked to get fresh produce from the farmer’s market to make her meals. She was fun, spunky, and sometimes had lavender hair.

She was also the County Treasurer for Jim Hogg County in South Texas in 1933! Her certificate is signed by the first female Governor of Texas, Miriam Ferguson.

olivia perez count treasurer certificate

I want to honor her and the women who came before me. They have all had an impact on my life and how I see women in the world. Basically, I don’t see any limits.

Happy International Women’s Day!

May your journey be your muse,


Road Trip: Mojave Desert

by Rachel Staggs
( February 28th, 2014 )

cabazon california dinosaurs

A few weeks ago I went to Los Angeles to visit my brother. We took a weekend road trip to experience a sound bath at Integratron, a dome built by a Ufologist in the Mojave Desert.

We stopped in Cabazon, California for snacks and to photograph these dinosaurs, which were featured in the film Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.

cromagnon man

Inside the belly of one of the dinosaurs sits a gift shop and this young fellow, Cro-Magnon Man. You can browse a variety of toys, including dinosaur-themed toys, and the essential postcards, which I purchased for overseas friends.

kate's lazy desert airstream trailer

We each booked a vintage airstream trailer at Kate’s Lazy Desert for the night. Brr, it was cold. Really fun, creative place to stay though. Another time of year, I’m sure it’s perfect. The beds were more comfortable than other trailers I’ve slept in.

integretron building

Finally, it was time to experience a “sound bath” in this historical structure built by George Van Tassel on “an intersection of powerful geomagnetic forces that, when focused by the unique geometry of the building, concentrate and amplify the earth’s magnetic field.” (from Integratron)

inside integretron

Everyone lies backside down on the floor, in a circle, with blankets and pillows. Heads are pointed toward the center of the dome.

integretron sound bath bowls

These quartz crystal singing bowls are played. They resonate, “each one keyed to the energy centers or chakras of the body, where sound is nutrition for the nervous system.” (from Integratron)

It was amazing! Seriously. If I lived anywhere near this place, I would do this monthly, possibly weekly. I enjoyed it so much, I went to the first and second sound baths of the day.

I think each person experiences it differently. My eyes were twitching when I closed them for the first sound bath. Within five minutes of being enveloped in sound, they relaxed and didn’t twitch the rest of day. See the Integratron website for details and directions.

 joshua tree panorama

After our sound bath(s), we headed for Joshua Tree National Park. We were lucky enough to catch the magic hour and I took loads of film photographs that I have yet to develop. Stay tuned!

joshua tree national park

May your journey be your muse,

Related links: Road Trip: South Padre Island, Texas

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