First Trip as Family of 3

One Cute Cowboy and I both grew up taking trips to Red River, New Mexico with our families. In fact, we probably passed each other on the sidewalks of the small mountain town, when we were just 10 or 11 years old, and never knew we were within arms reach of our future spouse and soul mate. We both love Red River and have gone just about every summer since we started dating.

This year we made kind of an impromptu trip up there when I decided to take vacation at the last minute. This was our first vacation as s family of 3!

“Red River you say? Very interesting!”

We loaded up Lil’ Cute Cowboy and all 90 of the different supplies we thought we needed! Haha! I really should have gotten a picture of the way the pickup was packed. We might have overpacked a bit, not knowing what we would, and wouldn’t need for this little turkey.

I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous not knowing what he would do going to a place with higher elevation. We live at 4,167 ft. above sea level. Red River is another 4,500 ft. at 8,671 ft. above sea level. But he was a complete champ and did amazing on the drive up!

We stopped at our favorite little roadside stopping place in Gladstone, NM for a bottle break. There was a nice, cool breeze so we decided to have our bottle outside. It’s the cutest little rest stop this side of the Mississippi, and has out of this world baked goods, every day!! We never ever drive by without stopping. We always end up leaving with at least one bag of oatmeal raisin cookies (One Cute Cowboy ‘s) and one bag of chocolate chip cookies (mine!). Not to mention she has homemade loaves of bread. *Swoon* One Cute Cowboy grew up stopping and eating here often. As a young boy he’d day work for people around the area and got to know the owners well, so he especially likes to stop so he can be sure to say “hi!”

Since One Cute Cowboy and I have been together, we’ve never stayed in the same place twice at Red River. Always trying out new (to us) places to stay and trying to figure out where our “spot” will be in years to come. Well, this year, I think we’ve found it! Hotel Ryland! This is a place neither one of us had ever stayed. The newly renovated room was perfect for our small family of 3. It was definitely a smaller room, but worked out great for us. It was clean, updated, and cute. Upon arrival an older gentlemen led me up to our room and told me he was glad for us to be there. He was so nice and sweet and Riley enjoyed talking with him the next day before we left too. He was very welcoming and sincere, and that just made us feel good, and definitely made us want to come back and stay.

Once we unloaded our things we decided to go across the street to my favorite place in Red River–The Bobcat. This place has been my turquoise sanctuary since I was 9 years old! The A-frame building welcomes you in, with its wind chime lazily dancing in the breeze. You walk in and can feel the warmth of the owner, Sherri. We’ve gone for so many years she knows our faces when we walk through the door, and she immediately greets us with a warm smile and a “You’ve added to the family!” She came over to see Little Bear and quickly says, “I have a gift for you!” She went to the back, with her sweet dogs following her, and she came back with a beautiful sterling silver baby rattle that she said to use when he starts to teethe. She said to just stick it in the refrigerator and get it out once it’s cool to soothe his little gums. It was such a sweet, and beautiful gift.

Then she told her helper, a woman I’ve never seen before, to get out the pawn/antique stuff because she knows that’s what I’m there to see. She has the most beautiful and unique vintage turquoise, not to mention a slew of other different stones. We start out looking at the rings, then the squash blossoms, then the cuffs. Most handmade by Native Americans. I ended up with a “Fred Harvey” cuff and ring set. It’s hard for me to ever leave without getting something.

Lil’ Cute Cowboy was fascinated with everything in the shop and I was so proud of how well he did! After that we decided to stroll down Mainstreet.

It was a little warmer than usual, but there was still a nice mountain breeze that made it perfect. It was pretty quiet in town, being the middle of the week, there didn’t seem to be as many people as there usually are, which was really kind of nice. It felt like we had the place to ourselves.

Little Bear absolutely loved it! We’d stroll around and he’d just look at all there was to see, taking it all in. Then we’d stop and hang out for a little bit in the shade and he’d just hang out and listen to the birds or the wind chimes clinging around town. He’s a mountain kid for sure!

We worked up quite an appetite and decided to try the brand new brewery that opened in town just about a month before. We’d walked by earlier and it looked fun and the food they were serving looked delicious! When we got there we could tell the music was really loud but hoped maybe there was an area where it wouldn’t be so loud, but we walked in the doors and Little Bear had a look of terror on his face, seconds from a complete meltdown. We quickly walked back outside and decided we’d better try some place else. So we decided to go to the nice little Mexican food restaurant in town, The Sundance. It was Lil’ Cute Cowboys first time in a restaurant.

He did pretty good as long as he could see all that was going on. He was completely worn out by the time we got back to our room. He’d had a huge day!

The next day we ate at our favorite breakfast place, T-Bucks, and did some more walking around and visited our favorite little coffee place The Way Coffee. I ordered my go-to, a London Fog, and Riley ordered himself a latte. They were so delicious! We just sat and watched passerby’s for awhile and enjoyed our beverages and breathing in the mountain air. It was so relaxing and peaceful.

“Best Seat in the House” by Kenneth Wyatt

One of my favorite places to stop in Red River is Kenneth Wyatt’s art gallery. Photos on the internet cannot do his incredible paintings justice! This is one of my favorites of his. He is truly gifted and I always enjoy walking through his gallery to see what’s new and to see the ones I’ve seen 100 times over again. He’s currently 88 years old, has painted over 9,000 paintings, and paints every single day. Did I mention he didn’t even start painting until his 40’s?! If you ever go to Red River, do yourself a favor, and walk through his gallery.

We tried out the Smokehouse before we left, and parked beside this pretty little stream to eat our chopped beef sandwich. Little Bear loved to watch and hear the small stream. It was finally time to head home. We said goodbye to the mountains, and pointed our pickup east, back to the flatlands. It was such a nice trip and went great for our first mini-vacation!

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Check back in for the newest “Ranching on the Ponderosa” that will be up in the next few days!

*ASpottedHeart

Rockies Baseball

This past weekend One Cute Cowboy and I went to Denver to go to a Colorado Rockies’ baseball game. It’s one of our absolute favorite pastimes. Since our first game, we’ve been hooked and Rockies’ fans for life. We’ve figured out a good little routine for a seamless trip to Coors Field, today I’d like to share those tid-bits of information.

  1. Take a taxi, Uber, or hotel car to the game.

One thing we’ve definitely figured out it is impossible to get around in a big ‘ol ranch pick-up in downtown Denver. Not to mention, parking is unbearable. That’s why we’ve always found it best to call a car to take you to and from Coors Field. The plus side is, you don’t have to worry about driving if you want to have a drink at the game either. If your hotel has a shuttle service or a town car, it’s usually best, and cheapest to have them take you. (This is a great question to ask when booking your hotel room.) If not a Taxi or Uber work just as well, just usually end up costing more. One thing we’ve definitely figure out is establish a good pick-up spot! I can’t stress this enough, once the game lets out it’s near impossible to find your pickup vehicle, so we’ve learned that establishing with your driver before the game, a good area to be picked up, is key! ” When the game is out, please pick us up at 20th & Market!” Trust me on this one.

     2. Get stair seats

When booking your tickets to the game (I always suggest booking in advance) look for rows with several seats open and if possible get seats beside the staircase. This makes it so much easier when you want to get up to go to the concession stands, bathrooms, catch the beer guy, etc. Also, if you pick a row with fewer seats booked that means less traffic for you at the end of the row. Granted those seats can get booked after yours, but it still leaves some space for not having a full row and you don’t feel as crowded.


    3. Notice where you’re sitting 

One Cute Cowboy and I have figured out a specific section we like to book our seats in, but realized this last time maybe we should rethink where we sit, depending on the month. Let me explain, we love to sit anywhere between sections 131–138. These are on the west side of the stadium, and you have a perfect view between 3rd base and home. This last game we went to was an evening game and was fairly chilly with the sun still out and only got cooler as it started to go down for we were already in the shade, and realized those on the east side of the stadium were still in some sunshine. Now let me tell you, when we first chose this side we’d gone to games in the heat of the summer and the shade was more than welcomed. But we’ve decided that next time we got to any game before the middle of June, we should try to get seats somewhere between 120-124 on the East side of the stadium, so on those chilly game nights we’ll have the warm sun a little longer. Granted I don’t think these seats would be as exciting, but still good seats none-the-less. 

We ended up having to buy a blanket in the souvenir shop.


    4.  Always bring cash

In this day and age, it’s easy to forget to get cash because I feel most everyone has a debit/credit card now and just don’t carry cash anymore. I’m pretty guilty of this myself. But it’s kind of essential for you to take cash to a baseball game if you are planning on eating/drinking. Sure the concession stands have debit card machines, but what’s really great is when those food vendors, or hawkers (that’s what I call them) that go up and down the aisles selling popcorn,peanuts,beer,cokes,snow cones, etc. Those guys are awesome and only take cash. It’s nice not to have to miss anything during the game. Also cash is always good to have for tips. Whether it’s your bartender at the game, or your hotel shuttle driver, it’s always good to have a little cash for tips.

     5. Always get a fruit kabob

Okay, so this one isn’t detrmanetal, but man are they good! They’re these kabobs that have either banana and strawberries dipped and drizzled in chocolate on a kabob, or you can get strawberries and brownies dipped and drizzled in chocolate on a kabob. They are divine! Also something those handy hawkers carry up and down the aisles. 😉 One Cute Cowboy says you also need a Rocky Dog, you can bet you won’t be disassappointed. 

There you have it! Those are just a few things One Cute Cowboy and I have learned about going to the Rockies games. If you’ve never been to a MLB game we both highly recommend it whether it be a date night, a family vacation, or like us, just getting out of town for awhile, they are a blast! #gorox

Do any of you have tips and tricks on going to an MLB game? As always, I love hearing from my readers!

The Merc

This weekend One Cute Cowboy made a sweet gesture and loaded me up to go to the Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile in Pawhuska,OK. I’ve been wanting to go since she opened but we’ve been so busy with cattle it’s never worked out to go. I’ve been following along her blog for years and continuously like her more and more as she goes out on her adventures from books, to a cooking show, to her own line of products. She’s funny, she’s smart, and she just makes you feel like you could be buds. She’s truly an inspiration to me!

It was an extremely rainy day across the Panhandle (praise the Lord!) and we ran our windshield wipers for at least 4 hours straight on a 6 hour drive. It was a nice dreary day. Personally my favorite kind of day for traveling. We got to Pawhuska just a little after 1:30. It was perfect timing, for my sister and her husband were pulling up at the exact same time. The sun was shining, though it was a little cool. There was a long-line waiting to eat at the restaurant, but what I was more interested in was getting inside the Merc, which there was no line for, though I’m told on some days it’s one in, one out.

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It was everything I could have hoped for! They had the cutest trinkets, dishes, jewelry and really just about anything you could think of. My brother-in-law came up and said, “I heard Ree is upstairs at the bakery!” So we walked up the beautiful staircase, and there she was…with a huge line wrapping around the whole upstairs! My brother-in-law said he’d get in line while we grabbed something yummy from the bakery. Shortly after, he came over and said they’d already cut off the line because she was needing to take a break.

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This is the best I could do of getting a picture with her. 🙂 It was pretty cool just getting to see her. The thing that most surprised me was she’s a lot taller than I thought she was, and her hair is the perfect shade of fiery red! It was fun getting to see her, even if it was from afar.

I got several cute little things. I finally got my hands on some of those floral enamel cups I mentioned in this post, a pair of beautiful beaded earrings, and a few other little knick-knacks. It was so fun looking through all the stuff in her shop. OH, and not to overshadow the things from her bakery were absolutely delicious! All-in-all it was a great day at the Mercantile. Though I never did get to meet her (missed the cut-off in the line again, it was truly sad) it was fun getting to see her from a distance and to just be there seeing all her ideas come to life. That would be a dream come true to me. Having my own little mercantile (though hers is by no means small) with a coffee/tea shop. It was inspiring and just a good ‘ol time.

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Before we left we saw Chuck, Lad’s dad, standing outside chit-chatting with some of the people waiting in line for the restaurant. My sister and I wanted to go speak to him because back in the 50’s-60’s he knew my Papa Sam, my mom’s dad. So we walked up and introduced ourselves and told him we were Sam Bratcher’s granddaughters. A smiled came across his face and he said, “I knew Sam real well. He ran cattle from Alva to Enid. Heck of a hand. Yes, I knew Sam real well.” It was really neat. It’s not often I get to hear people talk about my Papa Sam, so that was really special. We chit-chatted a little longer and he thanked us for coming up and introducing ourselves. We got a quick photo and went on our way.

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We moseyed around Pawhuska a bit, went to a place called The Bucking Flamingo where they told us they had a swinging bridge in town, so we decided to go check it out. It was maybe a little sketchy, but One Cute Cowboy and my brother-in-law were brave enough to venture across it and back.

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After we saw what there was to see, we headed back towards Tulsa, to go eat and head to my sister’s house.

It was a really fun time, and I’m so glad we went and got to spend some time with my sister and brother-in-law. I can’t wait to go back sometime!

Have any of my followers been to The Mercantile yet? I’d love to hear about it!

 

*ASpottedHeart

The Pioneer Woman

The Mercantile

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