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A&A Celebrate 6-Months On The Road With Surprise Guests

Updated: Feb 18

End of Week #26


North Texas Jellystone Park, Burleson TX


Miles traveled since last week’s post = STILL 0


Total miles traveled to date = STILL 4,570 with trailer


Our last full week here in Burleson and my last blog post to you from Jellystone Park. This time next week I will be coming at you live from the sandy beaches of Galveston Island – and I can’t freaking wait for it! We are ready for the OCEAN, the change of scenery, and I for one am ready for the chaos of traveling again. (I really miss it!)


I’ve been spending a lot of time working on our route for 2020 and places to stay in January throughout the east side of Texas and into New Mexico. I’ve also been scoping out Arizona for February and March and I’m just getting really excited to be on the move again and see so many more amazing places in the United States!


Did you miss my updates from Friday??


1.) I posted a new TRAVEL REVIEW of the CO National Monument and our visit to Grand Junction. You can find the link here. (Remember to FOLLOW the blog to never miss a post!)


2.) I officially launched a YOUTUBE channel (Spark Fire Swan) and posted my first introduction video. I hope to share a few videos a week to get things started. Here is the link!


Originally, I planned to just do some casual life updates today, with it being a Holiday week for everyone. But after the random weekend that Adam and I had I now am going to share more about how we spent our 6 MONTH NOMADIVERSARY with my MOM and her friend KAE!


Surprise, SURPRISE!


We. had. no. idea. this was happening. None. There aren’t many times I can recall in life that I’ve been completely thrown a surprise that I had not even a slight idea about, but this weekend was one of those moments! (Another moment from 2019 was when Adam turned our ‘See You Later’ party in June into our Engagement party!)


It was Thursday morning, just after 10 AM. I was sitting at the desk, the same place I’m sitting now – working on some personal development actions. Adam was at the recliner drinking his morning coffee. There was a knock on the door, and I honestly just assumed it was UPS because my mom had told me to expect one last package from her here on Thursday. They usually come in the morning and knock once and leave. I told Adam not to get it because that was probably what it was. But then they knocked again…

He got up to see what the deal was, and all I could hear from the desk was, “OMG. What the f@%! are you doing here!?” Honestly the first thing that crossed my mind was that it was someone random we encountered on the road before that recognized our van and must have wanted to say hello. I was still in pajamas and figured I’d just stay over here while Adam dealt with it. 🙂


But then he said, “Amanda, I think it’s for you…” WTF. Who on earth could it be!? I walked over to the door and there was my mom’s face peeking around the door… MY MOM, WHAT!? I believe I also said something like, “what the BLEEP!”… “What are you doing here!?”… and then I saw her friend Kae’s head off to the other side of the door too. I was stunned – completely caught by surprise in the best way possible! The overwhelming emotions followed as it all sank in that she was really here.

They were laughing at our reactions and proud of themselves for pulling off the biggest surprise they could have ever gave us. And I honestly still can’t believe she made it happen either. I had been taunting my mom for a MONTH that she should ditch everything and come visit us for Thanksgiving this year and she had every excuse in the book for why she couldn’t. She would frequently change the subject on me and I had honestly given up on the whole idea… and then THERE SHE WAS. Incredible!


The two of them had been conjuring up this plan for weeks and I can’t believe she was able to keep the secret that long. I’m pretty proud of her for doing so and thankful to her friend Kae for really pushing to make it all happen too! I think after they got there we all sat outside for at least an hour just trying to come out of total SHOCK that they were actually here in the flesh.


Adam was still planning to work his cash job that day so he left for a few hours and I took them around the campground and showed them where we have been living for the past few weeks. Then at 3 PM when they could check into their hotel, which was just about 5 miles down the road, we went with them to get them settled in.


Visiting Waco


My mom’s cousin Rusty lives in Texas, I can’t remember the town but it’s a little north of Austin. We had thought it’d be fun to try to meet up with him and his wife Chris on Friday, and were trying to come up with a place “halfway” to meet up at. Kae had already done her homework and knew of the town of Waco, just about an hour from each of us, and had it all planned out to be the perfect meeting grounds.


My mom, Adam and I had absolutely no clue what the town of Waco meant and what we were about to be experiencing. Kae told us we were going to some place to eat called Magnolia Table, and the 3 of us did not think anything of it at all. We quickly found out the significant reference to where we were going and it’s relations to Chip & Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper and whatever else they have claimed their HGTV fame from. Needless to say we were extremely out of the loop and a bit embarrassed that we had never heard of these people before. (I won’t go into more detail about explaining who they are because you all probably know MUCH more than me and I don’t want to waste my time researching the finer details right now when they would just be for me. Ha!)


There was an hour and a half wait at Magnolia Table, but they had a wonderful outdoor coffee shop and heated seat area for us to hang out. We spent time catching up with Rusty and Chris, and drinking some Texas Pecan coffee. Inside the restaurant the tables were HUGE and built to seat mixed groups. People were all over the place taking photos of the establishment – even in the bathroom. LOL.

After we ate we headed over to Magnolia Marketplace – The Silos and the Magnolia Bakery. The area was made up of a huge warehouse shop, a bakery, an outdoor gathering space, food trucks and decorations. It was super beautiful in an otherwise super industrial/run down area. There were a LOT of people there, but I can imagine it gets even more packed at times. We definitely had to wait in LINE to get into the bakery, but it was so very worth it!


[Adam and I both agree that we now want to figure out a way to watch Chip & Joanna’s show and learn more about them so we can have more appreciation for what we experienced! Everyone seems to speak so highly of them, which is awesome to hear! I received a lot of shocked messages from friends that were stunned to hear I have my head so far buried under a rock, ha! We even had HGTV on in my mom’s hotel whenever we were there, just waiting for it to come on, but ironically it didn’t until the morning they were packing up to check out.]


Fort Worth Stampede


Every day, twice a day, the Old West comes to life in Fort Worth with a cattle drive called the Fort Worth Herd, down the middle of the street. Real Texas Cowboys control a herd of Longhorns in the Stockyards National Historic District. All of the details are authentic, from the cowboys chaps and boots to the people who come dressed up from the 1800’s. The entertainers and announcers are dressed up, and the whole area has a lively feel of history to it.

The streets are lined with shops, restaurants, bars and BEER TO GO. Longhorns line the sides of the street with saddles for people to take their photo sitting on top of them, something that I personally don’t agree with but crowds of people seems to really enjoy it.


This was another one of those things we would have never known about or thought to explore while we were here, and thanks to my mom and Kae being here we got to have that experience. We spent the afternoon roaming the shops and walking around the town. It was neat to see the longhorns when they went down the street, but their “stampede” was much more of a jaunt – almost a dance as their heads swayed from side to side because of all the weight of their long horns. It was it’s own kind of adventure nonetheless!

Eats & Celebrations


Throughout the few days my mom and Kae were here we did a lot of celebrating for Adam and I’s 6 month Nomadiversary. They didn’t plan the dates in knowing that was our milestone weekend, but it just so happened that way and it was a perfect way to celebrate! #DivineTiming


Here are some of the places we ate (& drank) at over the weekend, and what we thought about them too!


Lone Star Bar & Grill – This was in Burleson, in a fairly built up/newer area. The menu wasn’t super expansive or impressive, but I ordered a few different vegetable sides and had a pretty decent margarita!


Magnolia Table – This on the other hand, was very impressive! From their outdoor setup to their indoor decorations and large family gathering tables. They also had cloth baskets on the walls to put your cell phones in to be more present. The menu was smaller but had wonderful choices. We all got something different and everyone said their meal was excellent! This was located in Waco.


Magnolia Bakery – I could have easily ate one of every treat in there! We each ordered a cupcake, and I got a cookie too and everything was super decent sized. The cupcakes were very fresh and the frosting was killer! I would go back again just for more treats. This was also located in Waco!

Mr. Jim’s Pizza – Delivery pizza to my mom’s hotel, and it honestly was pretty good stuff! One of the better pizza deliveries I’ve had in a long time, and it had really good sauce.


Riscky’s Barbecue – A restaurant in a shopping complex at the Fort Worth Stampede. They had a screened in and heated patio area and a large indoor dining room. There were a TON of people here. We just ordered some fried appetizers off of the menu and they were okay, but they were just your standard fair.


Fresco’s Mexican Food – I really liked this place for our “last supper” Saturday night! Great mexican food menu and we definitely shared a pitcher of margaritas too. Adam and I each got different kinds of tacos that came with a choice of side and my mom and Kae got combos of enchiladas, tacos and tamales. Everything was awesome! This was also located in an area near the Lone Star Bar & Grill.


McAlister’s Deli – A really nice lunch spot in a built up area of Burleson, sort of like a Brueggers or Einsteins, but a bunch of different sandwiches instead of bagels. They had a pretty extensive menu and salads and side items too and all of the sandwiches we got were really delicious. The place is always busy so it must be a local favorite!


Thanksgiving in the RV


It will definitely be weird this year, and it will feel a bit lonely and out of place. Our normal routine for Thanksgiving is to go to 2-3 family gatherings, from Stillwater to Maplewood and even Lino Lakes! This year will be … quiet. It will be calm. It will be just us, and the bengal babes, and we will miss our families dearly, but we will bug them all on video call and do our best to enjoy and celebrate the time together too.


We still plan to feast! We just talked about our menu tonight actually, and we plan to make a turkey breast outside on the grill at our site. We will also whip up some mashed potatoes, a yam, some dressed up green beans, and for sure a pie too! (& who knows what else we come up with!) Then we can enjoy the leftovers Friday and through the weekend and still feel like we created our own new tradition this year too. 🙂


I think it will be quite the experience to see what it is like in the RV park that day. The park filled up more than it has the past 3 weeks over the weekend, and it seems as though a lot of families are here and settled for the week. (The local schools must have off or something?) I will be curious to see what kind of activities and socialization we see around the campground, and if there is anything we can join in on I’m sure we will explore that too! & if it doesn’t rain we might have one last bonfire here!


Memorial day, Fourth of July, Labor day, Halloween and now Thanksgiving! Making new memories this year and living life differently than we always have.


6 months In


It is always hard to process how fast the time has been going. I’m sure it would feel just as fast in our old life in Minnesota, but it just feels more significant when you are living fulltime in a wobbly box, moving your way across the country, instead of having the comfort of your 2 level townhome in Woodbury.


The weekend came and went incredibly fast, and again we are left with that lonesome feeling of not knowing when the next time we will see a loved one is. But I’m so grateful for their surprise appearance, for the change of pace, for the celebrations, and for the excitement they brought us with their familiar faces!

I’m also so proud of us for how far we have come, and for all that we have built and accomplished for ourselves this year. It’s definitely been one heck of a year! And I can’t wait to see where we will be and HOW we will be, in another 6 months down the road. My predictions put us in Oregon or Washington, and I can only imagine what it will be like then in knowing that we are on our way back to our home state for another pause next fall.

Every day of this journey is an experience all in it’s own. Every day we learn more, we grow more, and we make this lifestyle more of our OWN. We are paving our own road. We are doing things differently than we have always been told to. And we are thriving at it more and more all the time!


NEXT WEEK:


The best tips for you to live a minimalist lifestyle! It’s nearing the end of the year and it’s a great time to declutter your life. Get rid of things you don’t need and that aren’t serving a purpose or lighting up your life. Downsize. Donate for the holidays. Give things to others. Get rid of your attachments to things! Maybe instead of getting a bunch of useless stuff this year for Christmas you could donate to people in need or spend more time being present with your family instead of opening gifts.


Next week I will give you all of our best tips for minimalism!


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For more reviews, content, and other adventures, be sure to follow me on Instagram at Spark Fire Swan.

xoxo





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About Me

Hi, I’m Amanda. Thanks for visiting my page!

I was born & raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. I lived there for 30 years of my life, and always dreamed of warmer winters, mountains & palm trees, and life outside of what I always knew. 

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