Hi friends! How have y’all been? Well I hope!

This last week was our spring break at school and I want to share all the fun adventures we had!

One of my roommates, Rachel (we call her Ray Bay,) and I traveled to Mercedes, Texas, where her grandparents live at a senior citizen park as well as South Padre Island and Mexico. It was a ton of fun, so let’s get started! Warning: this is a long one, but there are lots of pictures!

We flew out on Friday evening from Indy. Funny enough, the 2018 NFL scouting combine was going on that week in Indy, so there were a ton of football players in the airport flying back home. There were several on our first flight to Dallas. They were huge!! One of them had to help me get my carry on down from the overhead bin because it was stuck lol. We arrived in Dallas a few hours later and then caught our connecting flight to Brownsville, TX. It was a little before 1am when we arrived and we still had a 45 minute drive to Ray Bay’s grandparents’ house. It was around 1:30 when we went to sleep, but it was really 2:30 in our minds because of the time change, so we were exhausted!!

The next day we basically spent the entire day by the pool. The weather was beautiful – not too hot, but definitely spring break weather. Of course, being a ginger, I burn easily so the first day out I got a little red. We went to Cheddar’s for dinner that night. Ray Bay and I both got Monte Cristo sandwiches and they were delicious! I had never tried the raspberry preserve with it before, but it was so good! Such an unexpected combination. I think I drank like 8 sweet teas while I was there – they were sooo sweet, just the way I like it.

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Beautiful day at the pool

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On Sunday we went to church and then to a flea market nearby. There were all sorts of vendors there. They had fresh produce, t-shirts, sunglasses, and more. They have the best oranges I’ve ever tasted here! They’re so juicy. We got to try some while we were there. Almost all of their fruit is so much bigger and better down there because that’s where it’s grown. There were orange trees all over the place near Ray Bay’s grandparents’ park. Ray Bay found an Army Nurses Corp hat and a pair of sunglasses for $10 each. I didn’t buy anything because I was saving my money for the outlet mall and Mexico. After we got back, we went to the pool for the remainder of the day and ordered pizza for dinner that night.

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Flea market
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Flea market
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The delicious oranges!

Monday morning we had a yummy breakfast of pancakes and scrambled eggs with fresh squeezed orange juice. To top the pancakes, we had “strawberry syrup”. It’s not actually syrup, it’s just strawberries mashed up combined with sugar – it’s delicious. We were spoiled and had a home cooked breakfast almost every day! We spent almost the whole day at the pool again – no complaining here! Later that night, we went to a Tex Mex place for dinner and it was so good!!

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The “strawberry syrup” I mentioned

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This was called the “Yasss entree” and I can see why. It was delicious!

After dinner, we went back to the park for beanbag baseball. I had never heard of beanbag baseball before, so I thought we were literally going to be hitting beanbags and running bases. But that’s not what it is at all lol. It’s similar to corn hole, but there are multiple holes in the board labeled “Out, Foul Ball, Single, Double, Triple and Home Run.” You get three bean bags to toss and the “bases” are chairs set up around the board. Apparently I discovered my new hidden talent because I hit the home run hole about 7 or 8 times! All the residents loved it. Whenever anyone was about to score, two people had to meet them at third, link arms with them and escort them to home plate. It was so great. My team won both games.

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Beanbag baseball board
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Linking arms to go to home plate

The weather for Wednesday was cloudy and rainy, so we went to the outlet mall for the day. There was one store there that I had never heard of called “Papaya,” which is similar to Forever 21. Ray Bay and I hadn’t even made it halfway through the store yet and we already had armfuls of clothes to try on. Everything was so cute and really cheap! I bought a denim dress, denim utility shirt and two pairs of jean shorts. We stopped at Forever 21 as well where I bought a pair of short overalls and a white and black t-shirt to wear underneath. I must really like denim because I realized after I got back and laid everything out that almost everything I bought was denim! Ray Bay bought a really nice green Nike quarter zip, a really cute pair of jean shorts with embroidered flowers on them, a top with a funny saying on it, a pair of flowy navy blue shorts with a white design on them and a blue romper with floral design on it.

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My armful of clothes to try on
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Ray Bay’s finds
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My finds

For lunch we decided to get Whataburger because neither one of us had had it before. It was pretty good! Nothing too fancy, but I’m glad I got to experience it!

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We went to Olive Garden for dinner that night. I got the lasagna and it was delicious.

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Every Tuesday and Thursday the park has a Texas Holdem night, which we were planning on going to. I had never played before though, so Ray Bay and her grandpa gave me a 5 minute crash course at Olive Garden of how to play haha! The waitress was laughing at us. After we got back, we went to poker. I was so nervous because I still didn’t really know what I was doing and most of the players were older, intimidating-looking guys who had been playing for years. However, I did fairly well! I got some beginners luck and finished 3rd out of 9 at my table. Ray Bay won high hand that night and won almost $40!

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Ray Bay with her winning pot

Wednesday morning we got up early to go to Mexico! I had never been before so I was really excited. It was only about a 10-15 minute drive from their house.

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The Rio Grande River. It’s much smaller than you would think!

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The sidewalks are filled with vendors selling authentic Mexican crafts, pottery, and food as well as (most likely knock off) purses and clothing. Ray Bay and I both bought a hand made, hand painted mug for $5.

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Hand painted using spray paint
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Hand painted using spray paint
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Beautiful hand made, hand painted mugs Ray Bay and I bought

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One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen is the street artists that paint pictures from spray paint using things like plastic bags and magazine paper as their “paintbrushes.” The paintings are truly beautiful and I was mesmerized by how they did it. I bought a small painting for $6.

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The guy who made the painting I bought
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The painting I bought – so beautiful!

Ray Bay and I both bought (again, most likely knock off, but who cares lol) Michael Kors purses for around $20. Hers was a dark brown full size one and mine was a beige smaller, shoulder bag. I really enjoyed the time in Mexico and would love to go back some time.

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The purse I bought

After we got back, we ate some sandwiches for lunch and headed to the pool! We were there for several hours before going to Texas Roadhouse for dinner. I got the pulled pork sandwich and it was giant! It was way bigger than I was expecting, but so good – definitely worth it.

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I brought a few books to read with me while at the pool
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The pulled pork sandwich was amazing!

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Thursday morning we left early to go deep sea fishing off of South Padre Island. I had never been fishing before, so I was excited. However, it wasn’t very successful for any of us because we didn’t catch anything. When we were trying to get the boat back onto the trailer, one of the ropes accidentally got caught in the motor, so Ray Bay had to come to the rescue and jump in and untangle it.

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Filter courtesy of Snapchat lol

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When we got back, we just chilled for a while until dinner – we made tacos! Then we were off to poker again. My beginner’s luck didn’t help me out much this time – I placed 7th out of 9 haha.

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On Friday we went to South Padre Island. We stopped at a sea turtle rescue center first. It was super neat! They rescue sea turtles that are injured or stranded and help rehabilitate them until they are ready to be returned to the ocean. I had never seen sea turtles in person before so it was such a cool experience!

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We were so close to them!

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This is Allison. She is the first sea turtle to get a prosthetic flipper!

Afterwards, we stopped at McDonald’s for a quick lunch and went exploring along the shopping strip of the island. Most of the stores were the stereotypical touristy island stores. They all pretty much had some of the same clothing items, but were all different prices. So we went to almost every store twice. We would see a shirt we liked at one store, but had to see if it was cheaper at another store. We went all over that island. Ray Bay and I both bought ombre long sleeve shirts and crew neck sweatshirts. After we shopped til we dropped, we stopped at Dairy Queen and got ice cream cones. For dinner that night we had jumbo shrimp.

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Saturday the high was 93 degrees so we hung out at the pool the whole day. It was a great way to spend our last day of break. I was pretty burnt by the end of the week so I had to spend most of the time either in the pool or in the cabana. I literally went through an entire can of sunscreen and still got burnt.

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My view from the cabana

For dinner that night we went to a place called Stefano’s. It’s a really nice Italian/pizza place located in an old house. They automatically give you these delicious rolls with marinara sauce, but we also got mozzarella sticks and spinach artichoke dip for our appetizers. Apparently we love carbs. I ordered the chicken alfredo pizza, which was delicious. After we were throughly stuffed, we headed back to get some sleep because we had to get up at 5am for our flight and were going to lose an hour because of Daylight Savings Time.

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My chicken alfredo pizza

The next morning came way too early. Our first flight left at 7am and after our connecting flight and driving back to school, we got back go school around 6:30pm. I was so tired and starving. I hadn’t eaten since 11am so my boyfriend, Austin, and I went to eat at Cracker Barrel as soon as I got back.

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Isn’t he cute? 🙂

It was a great trip and I’m so glad I got to go! It was full of lots of first for me and I would love to go back some time. I’m so thankful Ray Bay invited me to go and for her grandparents’ hospitality.

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Hope y’all are having a great week!

xoxo,

Alyssa

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