Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I love Alpine, TX! And a new giveaway!

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that I travel three hours away from my hometown of Stanton, Texas to the Big Bend region of Texas to attend grad school at my alma mater Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. Find out more about Sul Ross by clicking HERE.

Most of the time if I mention Alpine it is usually to bellyache about all the homework I need to get done or projects that are due. Hey, life as a single Mom grad student isn’t easy, so I get to bellyache just a smidgen I think!? Every once in a blue moon I will show you a picture or two of Alpine,Texas but for the most part you don’t really know about my favorite place in the world. I love Alpine. It makes my soul and heart happy to be there.
Today I’m going to take you on a tour of Alpine, Texas and show you where I stay, where I eat and all the groovy and cute things that make Alpine such a wonderful place to visit. It’s a long post, so grab a cup of coffee and get ready!
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Texas is the experience of being transformed by another culture without ever leaving the state. I am lucky enough to just drive a few hours and arrive in an entirely different culture and landscape.

Once I cross the Pecos River I know it won't be long before I start seeing mountains in the distance. I actually learned to swim in the Pecos. Pretty neato, right?
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When I hit this part of the highway on my trip to the Big Bend my heart starts beating faster. See the mountains? When I start seeing those beauties in the horizon I know I’m almost there!
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When I stay in Alpine, I stay at the Antelope Lodge.
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I have stayed there every single visit and I adore the owners and everyone who works there. I feel like I’m at home when I am at the Lodge.
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They have individual cottages with kitchenettes and even a desk for someone like me who brings their entire office and kitchen with them while traveling.
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I even bring my own coffee pot, because I have coffee issues. I also bring my laptop, printer, photography lights, props and everything else I might need for school and for any photo shoots I may have while I’m in Alpine. Yes, I’ve even done photo shoots in my cute little cottage!
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Speaking of coffee -- my favorite thing to do (when I have time!) is to drink a cup of coffee on the porch of my little cottage and watch the sun come up.
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They have a magnificent gift shop too, featuring rocks, minerals, jewelry and a wide variety of marvelous gifts.
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You can find more information about staying at the Lodge or the gift shop by finding them on Facebook HERE. Tell them I sent you!
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My favorite breakfast spot in Alpine is Judy’s Bread & Breakfast. It’s a SUPER cute café. Find them on Facebook HERE.
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Everything is homemade and absolutely delish! I actually bought a loaf of the wheat bread (pictured) to take home. It’s full of grains, nuts and yummy goodness!
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They also feature a different artist each month in the café. While you are munching on homemade cinnamon rolls, pastries, breakfast or lunch, you can scope out some fantastic artwork by local artists.
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For dinner, the girls and I from class LOVE to go the Reata. It’s absolutely superb.
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We love the atmosphere, the drinks, the food and the people. I crave their tortilla soup and can never wait until it’s Reata night! We go at least once every trip, but we’ve been known to go twice in a weekend. It’s that GOOD!

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The Reata offers unique cuisine such as a Field Green Salad with Texas Goat Cheese with San Saba Pecans and Sherry Wine Vinaigrette or the Chicken Caesar Salad with Asiago Cheese and Sourdough Croutons.
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Pan-Seared Pepper Crusted Tenderloin with Port Wine Sauce or the Grilled Salmon with Boursin Cream Sauce…
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and Alpine Black Bean & Chicken Nachos….
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Check out their entire dinner menu, reserve a table and/or learn more about the Reata by clicking HERE. Find them on Facebook HERE.

And as if that isn’t magnificent enough, you should see their dessert entrees. How does a chocolate chunk bread pudding tamale served with dulce de leche sound? Or what about dutch oven apple crisp with cajeta? Maybe molten chocolate cake with drunken berries and vanilla cream? Tres Leches Cake? Are you in heaven just thinking about it? Well take a look at this…
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The best part is you can indulge in all this fabulousness and enjoy a West Texas evening on the patio.
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If you plan on dining at the Reata, making reservations ahead of time is your best bet for large groups.
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Shopping in Alpine is as unique as the eating experience. There is something for everyone! I most adore that there are a lot of shops that feature local artists. I may not have a huge budget, but I try to support local artisans in any way possible. One precious artist that I met on this trip is Georgia Waller.
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She is a beautiful and talented artist who creates these one-of-a-kind earrings and jewelry pieces.
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Each piece is handmade and completely unique. There are even hand painted details on some of the feathers.
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Georgia calls them “Solos” and they are not meant to be worn in pairs.
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If you can’t make it to Alpine to get your own gorgeous jewelry from Georgia, you can visit her online Etsy shop to order one by clicking HERE. All proceeds actually go to help rescued horses which you can read more about HERE.

Downtown Alpine is full of unique shops and venues. You are sure to find something you like!

Another one of my favorites is the homemade bath salts found in the Desert Divas boutique. Find them on Facebook HERE.
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It is also a cute boutique and tanning salon, offering clothes, jewelry, hand bags and crafts.
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My favorite thing to do for relaxing when I’m in Alpine is to drive around and catch a gorgeous sunset. You can drive in any direction and watch the sun set in the mountains. There is something magical about fresh mountain air and a sunset.
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On this particular trip, my friend Jennifer and I drove in her convertible on the Scenic Loop drive to watch the sun set.
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It was absolutely MARVELOUS!
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On a previous trip, I drove toward Marathon, Texas for a few sunset shots.
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As you can see, Alpine and the Big Bend region is a wonderful place to visit. Everyone is warm and friendly and there is something here for everyone. I feel like there is so much more to share about this great place. I might have to do a few installments just to cover all the wonderful features.

If you plan to visit, let me know! I’d love to hear all about your experiences. If you visit any of the places featured, let them know you read about them here!

Have a wonderful day!

$100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

Travel Texas and BlogHer are sponsoring a great giveaway to one lucky reader. Please leave a comment telling me where you'd like to visit in Texas. You can request a free Texas Travel Guide from the TravelTex.com website where you can get lots of great ideas!

Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.

Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.

You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 5/1/2012-6/1/2012.

Be sure to visit the Discover Texas page on BlogHer.com where you can read about other bloggers' adventures and find more chances to win!

105 comments:

Rebecca @ Time to Organize said...

I would love to travel to Big Bend. My mom went a few years ago and loved every moment of her trip. She told me we have to make the trip at least once.

Mami2jcn said...

I visited Houston as a little girl. I would love to see Austin, since I've heard such good things about it.

mami2jcn at gmail dot com

Mami2jcn said...

tweet:


https://twitter.com/#!/mami2jcn/status/197319564248358913

mami2jcn at gmail dot com

affectioknit said...

Oh my goodness! Alpine sounds like just the place for me...and that lodge is where I want to stay! My Daddy was a truck driver and he always loved Texas...I think he and Mom even talked about moving there once when I was about 9 or 10...

affectioknit said...

Tweeted

https://twitter.com/#!/AFFECTIOKNIT/status/197346732298878977

Have a lovely day!

leigh said...

Hi. I have a friend who lives in Alpine but I've never visited. I would love to go there or Austin. I have another friend who recently moved there and haven't had a chance to visit yet. I love the southwest landscape!

Anash said...

i want to visit Lake near Balmorhea


My email: anashct1 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Ashley said...

I'd like to visit San Antonio.

hewella1 at gmail dot com

David said...

I am trying to take my wife to Austin this summer, and this would really help. Your pictures were amazing. Thank you so much for this chance!

dvdgossett915@gmail.com

David said...

I tweeted:)

dvdgossett915@gmail.com

@DavidGossett1

https://twitter.com/#!/DavidGossett1/status/197527497955475456

Rosa said...

Austin is a beautiful city, I would love to visit some day.

Courtney B said...

i would like to visit austin to see all the museums and parks

vanitizebaby at yahoo dot com

Courtney B said...

tweet

https://twitter.com/#!/MeandBells/status/198074733282082817

vanitizebaby at yahoo dot com

Jamie said...

Austin looks like a beautiful place to visit!
jamievillari@yahoo dot com

Jamie said...

TWEETED:
https://twitter.com/#!/JamieVillari/status/198081841910124545
jamievillari@yahoo dot com

B. Wilson said...

I'd love to visit Austin for the music scene and amazing food.

--Brandy
fosterbrandy(at)msn(dot)com

DeniseL said...

Never heard of Alpine, but it looks absolutely gorgeous. I'd love to visit Austin. I have a close friend who lives there and I'm dying to go out on the town to soak up that music scene.
dmarie824 at aol dot com

DeniseL said...

Tweeted!
https://twitter.com/#!/dmarie824/status/198135652175458304
dmarie824 at aol dot com

tara1965 said...

dallas

tara1965 said...

tweeted
https://twitter.com/#!/kj20082006/status/198540297909698562

Rebecca Graham said...

I would like to visit Dallas.

rhoneygtn at yahoo dot com

Rebecca Graham said...

Tweeted: https://twitter.com/#!/rhoneygee/status/198625143491276800

rhoneygtn at yahoo dot com

Amy said...

Buc Days Rodeo, Festival and Carnival in Corpus Christi Sounds like fun. I think my kids would love it.
Amy [at] utry [dot] it

Amy said...

tweeted about this giveaway: https://twitter.com/#!/uTry_it/status/198686941733068801

Amy [at] utry [dot] it

cw said...

I'd love to visit funky austin or san antonio...I've heard the Riverwalk is amazing.

Tabathia said...

I would love to visit San antonio
tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

Tabathia said...

tweet
https://twitter.com/#!/ChelleB36/status/199352840878178304
tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

Elena said...

I would like to visit San Antonio

elena150980@yahoo.com

Elena said...

https://twitter.com/#!/ElenaIstomina/status/199362217639018496

elena150980@yahoo.com

JC said...

I'd like to visit Houston.
tcarolinep at gmail dot com

JC said...

https://twitter.com/#!/tcarolinep/status/199376739791675392

wigget said...

corpus christi to visit a friend

AubreyLaine said...

I'd love to visit Dallas b/c I have family that lives there.
family74014 at gmail dot com

Sunnymay said...

Thanks a lot for showing the dessert tray loaded with decadant goodies that are plated pretty nice. I remember being at a fancy restaurant,Truffles,at the Four Seasons in Toronto and they brought me two desserts because I couldn't make up my mind. On ach table was a sculpture and the entre was Chicken Veronique (Chicken with Grapes). Texas seems to have quite a handle on food with BBQ, Chili and plenty of spicy seasonings.
amwiden at aol dot com

hclehnig said...

I grew up in Alpine ! Things sure have changed... I need to take a trip back ! Thanks for sharing, the mountains are the very best kept secret of the Big Bend Area !!

Shannon said...

We just moved to the Dallas area last year and we still haven't made it to the Ft. Worth zoo. It's next on our list! I'd also like to check out Austin!

Shannon said...

tweet https://twitter.com/#!/SweepsMama/status/200018139185033216

FreeIndeed said...

i want to visit San Antonio
thepryfamily@gmail.com

FreeIndeed said...

https://twitter.com/#!/thepryfamily2/status/200269802705666048

thepryfamily@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

id like to visit san antonio! scg00387 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

https://twitter.com/#!/DesMoinesDealin/status/200414572933419009 scg00387 at yahoo dot comm

Having Fun in the Texas Sun said...

Thanks for all the great suggestions! I am going to have to stop at the Antelope Lodge next time we are in Alpine!

MANDY83 said...

I would love to visit Austin for amazing food, great music and a great time!

pokergrl8 at gmail.com

MANDY83 said...

https://twitter.com/#!/aes529/status/201002368840630272

pokergrl8 at gmail.com

The Sunshyn said...

We used to drive through part of Texas on our family trips out west, but we never stopped anywhere for long. I'd like to visit Houston to see the sights and visit some friends who live out there.
chainmail (at)iwon (dot) com

The Sunshyn said...

I tweeted this
https://twitter.com/#!/The_Sunshyn/status/201036559208812545
chainmail (at)iwon (dot) com

Angel Jacklyn said...

I'd love to see the 110 mile long Padre Island National Seashore (Beach) in Corpus Christi

... among many other places!

kytah00@yahoo.com

Angel Jacklyn said...

2nd entry tweet! https://twitter.com/#!/kytah00/status/201494356639748098

Tina said...

I'd like to visit San Antonio.
merleandtina@yahoo.com

Tina said...

https://twitter.com/#!/HappyTina0115/status/202041758199197696
merleandtina@yahoo.com

Karina said...

i'd love to go to San Antonio

karinaroselee at gmail dot com

Karina said...

https://twitter.com/#!/karinaroselee/status/202092851721539584

karinaroselee at gmail dot com

akronugurl said...

im planning on going to see family out there

freebiel0ve@yahoo.com

akronugurl said...

https://twitter.com/#!/akronugurl/status/202109003633926145

freebiel0ve@yahoo.com

chambanachik said...

I would love to visit Corpus Christi, where my husband spent much of his childhood. I've never been there!

chambanachik@gmail.com

ms-texas said...

i'd like visiting San Antonio

debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com

Jen Price said...

Being a Texas native, I love every part of Texas! I've never been to Big Bend, though so I'd love to go there.

amy beth marantino said...

i would go to Houston

amy beth marantino said...

i tweeted - https://twitter.com/#!/onitnaram/status/202913816869220352

KPage said...

I would love to visit Big Bend and So. Padre Island.

sakjb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sakjb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sakjb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sakjb said...

blogged about it! :o)

http://fourbs1g.blogspot.com/2012/05/something-little-different.html

stuamy0306@gmail.com

sakjb said...

I LOVE going to Fort Davis. I haven't really done much in Alpine, but thinking we just might have to do so!!

stuamy0306@gmail.com

Kelly Massman said...

I would love to visit San Antonio! I
Thanks for a chance to win and have a great day!
kmassmanATgmailDOTcom

KaHolly said...

I visit TX every year to stay with family and friends. Next year, I'd like to visit your area and do some extraordinary birding!

Melissa O. said...

I'd love to go back to Austin and San Antonio.

wolverina401 at gmail dot com

Judy B. said...

I'd like to tour the Hill Country

Judy B. said...

tweet
https://twitter.com/#!/BBirdie2/status/203977805409697792

Suburban Correspondent said...

Austin, of course. I've heard great things about it, and it supposedly has the most bloggers per capita of any other US city.

Tiffany Winner said...

South Padre Island, i didn't even realize texas had any islands until i saw it online
thismomwins@gmail.com

Such The Spot said...

What a rustic little slice of paradise. Very cute! You did a fantastic job of posting about all those cute little aspects of a little known Texas town.

I'm more a big city kind of gal myself. If I were to visit Texas, I'd most want to visit Austin for it's foodie fun and live music scene.

ms-texas said...

i tweeted here:

https://twitter.com/bellows22/status/204751797452144641

debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com

Kim said...

We moved to Austin a little over a year ago. I would love to take my kids to see the ocean though. So, I would love to visit South Padre!

Gina M Maddox said...

I would love to visit Dallas, where a couple of my cousins live! Thanks for the chance to win!

gina.m.maddox (at) gmail (dot) com

Gina M Maddox said...

tweet-https://twitter.com/#!/CrazyItalian0/status/204958496104521729

gina.m.maddox (at) gmail (dot) com

sy said...

I want to see the water and botanical gardens in fort worth and the zoo. Thanks for the giveaway.
songyueyu at gmail

sy said...

tweet: https://twitter.com/syytta/status/205589186919669760
songyueyu at gmail

Deb said...

My son did his State project on Texas this year and desperately wants to go to San Antonio to visit the Alamo!

Annette Doggett said...

I would enjoy visiting Austin!

Tiffany Winner said...

my tweet https://twitter.com/thismomwins2/status/206476515981017088
thismomwins@gmail.com

Dee said...

I'd love to visit Austin!

deeg131 at gmail dot com

Heather H said...

Alpine looks beautiful! I'd like to visit Fredericksburg. In my college days I drove through a few times, but never got to really explore.

Dee said...

tweeted http://twitter.com/DeeGee13/status/206837341996847105 :)

deeg131 at gmail dot com

Christina said...

I would like to visit Houston the biggest city in Texas and visit the 1940 Air Terminal Museum as well as the Bayou Bend Collection of the Fine Arts: 28-room Latin Colonial Structure.

ctong2[at]gmail[dot]com

Christina said...

I tweeted about this giveaway: https://twitter.com/ctong2/status/206977797409869825

ctong2[at]gmail[dot]com

Betty C said...

I've always wanted to visit San Antonio and the surrounding area.

willitara [at] gmail [dot] com

Amy said...

I'd love to visit and explore Austin. My husband and I have been to Houston and San Antonio, but I've heard a lot of wonderful things about Austin. :-)

niftyfoodie at gmail dot com

Michelle Hudak said...

The Alamo for sure. My husband is a history-buff and has said for years we have to visit. I'd love to see all the artifacts people have found.
shel704 at aol dot com

Michelle Hudak said...

https://twitter.com/auntiethesis/status/207361185153171456

shel704 at aol dot com

angie lilly said...

Welder Wildlife Foundation Park is in a fantastic part of the state right by the sea and in-between two bays. I bet it would be a great place to visit for a nature nut like me!
Angie
14earth at gmail dot com

angie lilly said...

I tweeted here: https://twitter.com/MsTofuFairy/status/207487359053344768
Angie
14earth at gmail dot com

MCantu1019 said...

I would like to visit Houston. My niece lives there and it would be a good place to start.
MCantu1019 at aol dot com

♡♥♬ Carolsue ♡♥♬ said...

I'd like to visit Port Aransas on the Gulf of Mexico
Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

samantha said...

I'm from the Midwest and have never been to Texas but have always wanted to go. Alpine would be a good place for me to start! :-)

Samanthajocampen at gmail

Jammie said...

I want to visit the Alamo! sweepmorey at gmail dot com

Jammie said...

tweeted https://twitter.com/mommysdizzy/status/208352033307238402

jwfong said...

I would love to visit the Dallas Fort Worth area and check out a Cowboys game!

jfong1130 at yahoo dot com

jwfong said...

I tweeted! https://twitter.com/jfong1130/status/208404330414485505

jfong1130 at yahoo dot com

ewhatley said...

I love the beach so would love to visit Galveston.

mybeachylife at gmail dot com

Tamara said...

Your pictures are amazing, and the landscapes at sunset really capture the Texas air. I'd like to take a trip to Galveston someday myself for the beach. It would be a cool experience.
westiemks5@yahoo.com

Tamara said...

Tweeted:
https://twitter.com/Pixel_Berry_Pie/status/208658115728637953
westiemks5@yahoo.com

Mari said...

I’d like to visit Austin, Texas to attend the SXSW festival.

runningmatey at hotmail dot com

Mari said...

https://twitter.com/LuckyDuckyToo/status/208675081805766656

runningmatey at hotmail dot com

 
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