Road Trip: Port Aransas, Texas

by Rachel Staggs
( July 25th, 2014 )

south texas seagull

Last weekend we took a spontaneous road trip to Port Aransas, Texas. My family made yearly summer trips to Port Aransas throughout my childhood. As an adult, I’ve only been back a few times, but each time has been beautiful.

beach port aransas, texas

sargassum on beach

This time, however, was absolutely devastating. The beach was covered in a type of seaweed called Sargassum. There are usually small amounts of seaweed on the beach and that’s never been a big deal to me. This was monumental.

sargassum port aransas

In addition to the Sargassum along the water, there were giant mounds of it all up and down the beach. It smelled. It was depressing. I left with a tear in my eye and we never went back.

bob hall pier north padre island

I reached out to a few friends who had visited earlier in the summer and they suggested driving to North Padre Island. I have no family memories there, but it was sure nice to create new ones without mounds of Sargassum. It was all along the waterfront, but nowhere near the amount found on Port Aransas Beaches.

north padre island

I was able to walk in the sand along the shore like I used to and look for seashells. I was gifted half a sand dollar.

port aransas seafood market

It was a whirlwind trip and we only stayed one night. If we were to do it again, we’d stay on North Padre Island. The lodging is cheaper and the beaches are much cleaner. It’s not as quaint as Port Aransas, but for such a short trip, I’d rather not do all that driving back and forth.

Take that tip and run with it. At least this summer. It doesn’t sound like it’s going to get better anytime soon.

Before we hit the road and headed back to Austin, we drove to Port Aransas once again to visit a few seafood markets. We went home with fresh caught Red Snapper.

May your journey be your muse,


Related links:
Road Trip: South Padre Island, Texas




New Mexico: Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

by Rachel Staggs
( July 16th, 2014 )

rio grande gorge bridge

When my Mom and I went on our first Mother-Daughter trip to Santa Fe, we also spent time in Taos. On the way to Taos, we crossed the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. It is the seventh highest bridge in the United States. With both of us having a fear of heights, this crossing was a bit intimidating.

rio grande gorge bridge

It was a beautiful day and we spent about 20 minutes taking in the river and bridge before crossing. We also stopped to use the restroom at the Rio Grande Gorge Rest Area. Pro tip: the bathrooms at the rest area were closed and didn’t look like they had been open for quite some time.

rio grande gorge state park

Another Pro Tip: Earthship Biotecture is only two miles before the bridge. I wish we’d had time to stop there, but we were running out of daylight and were trying to get to our house rental in Taos. They have a shop and education center. Next time I’m in the area, I’m going to stay in one of the Earthship rental properties!

Have you ever crossed the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge or stayed overnight at Earthship Biotecture?

May your journey be your muse,


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Royal Robbins: Discovery Skirt Review

by Rachel Staggs
( July 10th, 2014 )

royal robbins discovery skirt

The Royal Robbins Discovery Skirt is a lightweight, wrinkle resistant, quick drying garment with UPF 50+. The shape is similar to a pencil skirt, with a bit of flounce at the bottom.

I was able to spend the day hands free by utilizing the two cargo pockets and one side pocket. My sunglasses case was a bit bulky, but it still fit in the side zipper pocket. I also carried around my ID, credit cards, and cash.

This skirt would be great to wear on a travel day, to have all of your essentials within easy reach.

royal robbins review

I’ve worn it here with a blouse from H&M, necklace from Heyoka Leather, large turquoise ring made by Nick Garcia of the Santo Domingo Tribe, small turquoise ring that belonged to my Aunt Lydia, and Haflinger sandals.

What I Love

  • It dries quickly.

  • The nylon/spandex blend is soft and feels like cotton.

  • The fabric has a bit of stretch to it.

  • The pockets are plentiful without compromising the shape.

  • UPF 50+

  • It packs small and resists wrinkles.

Although Royal Robbins provided me with a sample of the Discovery Skirt, the opinions expressed within this post are entirely my own.

Related links: Tilley Endurables: Travel Jersey Flip Skirt Review

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