Fancy Pants

Chronicles of a simple girl in a sparkling world


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Giving Back with a Grateful Heart

These days, I’ve been spending nearly equal time between Houston and Austin. I am becoming a road warrior and not liking it. Marilyn doesn’t know what it’s like to stay in Austin for the weekend. Anyways, timing worked out and tomorrow we’re going to see REBA at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo! I am SO excited! She better sing “Fancy” and “Is there life out there?”!

But more than that, even though we all complain about the $8 beer, I’m excited to support an organization that supports SO many kids – whether through experiences or their financial contributions – in the Houston Metro Area. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know there are countless sponsors who fund these opportunities and hope they get the recognition they deserve, too. 
My senior year of high school, I was fortunate enough to receive a Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo FFA Scholarship, sponsored by The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation. I began to volunteer on the Junior Rodeo Committee when I was 16. Once I turned 21, I joined the Livestock Committee and the Barrow Subcommittee. This is the first year that I will not be volunteering because I just couldn’t make the time commitment and am bummed that I will only be giving back through the food and drink we’ll be buying. 
They are a part of the reason I graduated college debt free. As many of you know, this is a HUGE deal. Also know, they were NOT the only organization I received a scholarship from.
I hoped to be able to join a committee at the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo (Austin), but it ended up not working out. I’m ready to be able to start giving back to great organizations, even if I didn’t receive anything from them.
Don’t forget to give back when you can – somebody, somewhere will be appreciative. It doesn’t have to be money, but maybe your time. Support local organizations. And always remember volunteering isn’t always boring!
xoxo,
jenn
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Dress Code Enforced – Three Girls Adventure to Lake Charles, Louisiana

I apologize for the delay. This post is long overdue. Sorry, Kathryn. I think it was worth the wait. And I’m sure I forgot something…

If you missed it on one of my last posts, my best friend’s birthday was February 16. Since I was running a half marathon that day, I couldn’t join in on her real birthday celebrations. For years, we have tried to plan a trip to N’awlins (New Orleans for those of you who didn’t catch that) for Mardi Gras. This year, even though we all have well paying jobs, we are still too cheap to do that. So, we settled on Lake Charles, Louisiana the weekend after her real birthday. Only about 3 hours from Houston, and super cheap. So on Friday, me, Stephanie, and Kathryn took Marilyn, loaded down, on her first road trip ever to Lake Charles. 3 girls, 2 nights, 7 bags. Makes total sense right?! We need options, gentlemen.

Last time we were in Lake Charles, it was so fun, yet so out of hand. We stopped on a Thursday night on our way to the Ole Miss football game. It was me, Stephanie, Bernadette and Stephanie’s brother, Andrew. Well, our friend Chase (yes, the one who pops up regularly in all of my posts that are complete shenanigans) is from Lake Charles and worked in Beaumont at the time, so he came over for the evening. After gambling a bit, Chase took us to the local hot spots. One of them being The Wharf. Real name The Cajun’s Wharf. We know it well enough to call it by a nickname. 😉 Once there, we ran into one of his cousin’s who we proceeded to run around Lake Charles with. After a few more bar stops, we ended up in the hotel room at about, oh, 5 or 5:30ish. Just in time to make an 8 hour drive at 6 a.m. to Oxford. Bad idea. Actually, Bern and I slept much of the way.

This time, we planned to be a little more prepared in what we were going to do. We knew we’d eat fried seafood and a lot of it, gamble, drink, and go on a SWAMP TOUR.

As usual, I was running late, so we got to Lake Charles much later than planned. Kathryn found a place called Darrell’s that was famous for their po-boys, so we decided that would be dinner for Friday night. I don’t think I’ve ever had a real po-boy before this. I had the cajun shrimp poboy. IT WAS SO DELICIOUS. Obviously, we stuck out like sore thumbs among the young locals, but the waitress was so nice and the food was served very timely. And, it really tasted like everything was homemade. I HIGHLY recommend trying it out if you’re ever in Lake Charles.

Creeper Kathryn. Beer. Forgot to take a pic of the poboys.

While trying to find Darrell’s, we passed the Wharf. Since Kathryn hadn’t experienced the Wharf before, we decided we’d go there before heading to Isle of Capri to gamble. Once there, it was soooo crowded so we just had a drink and then headed back to the hotel.

Photobombed by one of Lake Charles’ finest at the Wharf.

We were being responsible and calling a cab. BAD IDEA. NEVER USE THE CABS IN LAKE CHARLES. I’m not saying to drink and drive, but someone just be sober. First, we called Yellow Cab. Figured it was pretty reliable since you can find it anywhere. NOPE. At least 20 minutes later still no cab. So, we call Fast Cab. They were not fooling that they are fast! Maybe too fast! Isle of Capri was only about 1.5 miles from our hotel but you have to cross a bridge that goes over the lake that’s big and scary. When the cab got there, it was a young guy and his friend, which was odd. How many cabbies do you know that pack a friend along?! He had to drive at least 90 the whole way. I know each of us said a prayer that we would make it there. For the total? $15!!!! 1.5 miles. That’s $10/mile!! WHAT?!?! After our adventures at Isle of Capris, where it was SO crowded there weren’t many machines, we called a third cab company to take us back to our hotel. Welp, 2 different people ended up getting in cabs that WE called for. RUDE. Luckily, there was a nice security guy who made sure we got one. While we were waiting, there was one person who literally kept disappearing from the security guard. It got pretty funny. Then, right before we got into the cab, some guys came out and asked us where we were staying. Uh, sir, I don’t mean to be rude, but I am not telling some stranger where me and my 2 friends are staying. Would you like the room number too? Then you say, I don’t have to lay the rejection on you. Ummm, should I remind you what’s on your left hand? And, no, it’s not really rejection, it’s called safety. Duh. This super nice cab lady took us SAFELY back to our hotel. The total? $20! Wait whattttttt?!?!?!?! We were broke just from the cabs! After getting in our jammies we went to bed because we definitely had to take advantage of the free breakfast!

Before heading down to breakfast, we called to try to get a reservation for the airboat swamp tour. We also needed to go to Walmart but did that after breakfast. I have been CRAVING those mini Mrs. Baird’s chocolate donuts and we needed mimosa supplies. Well, of course, we found Duck Dynasty Mardi Gras shirts we didn’t need, but bought them anyways 🙂 When getting the donuts, a random patron made the comment, “Champagne and chocolate donuts – breakfast of champions.” Check. Also, for the swamp tour, we needed bug spray. Well, I don’t know what kind of bugs are in swamps, and I was looking for “swamp proof” Off!. It would make it much easier to buy. They have deep woods. I don’t think it’s too much to ask.

Don’t kill me, Kathryn. We all look terrible. Yes, she has shorts on.

After Walmart, it was time to head to Grand Chenier, Louisiana for our swamp tour at Airboats and Alligators. This is like 40 minutes from Lake Charles so it was quite a hike. We found the MOST epic Zydeco/Rap station. Kathryn didn’t get near as into it as Steph and me! I think we forgot we were in Louisiana when we planned this. Haha. We get in the airboat, and I know this sounds really dumb of me, but it was on land. I wondered how in the world is he going to get this thing in the water. Well, airboats and work on land too. #blondemoment The owner was so nice and explained various things to us, like we were in a marsh not a swamp. Marsh’s are tidal so they can have fresh or salt water. The different plants that grow there. How the hurricane impacted the marsh – like there’s no snakes (seriously). What a muskrat nest looks like. Unfortunately, it was too cold for us to see any gators. But, anyone who is interested should definitely check him out!

So windy. So windy.

After we made it back to Lake Charles, we ate at Billedeaux’s. DELICIOUS jambalaya and sausage, boudin balls, but terrible service. They weren’t very friendly and it took probably 15 minutes for Kathryn’s cheeseburger to come out.

As we were laying in bed before getting dressed, I was on Facebook and saw a picture Aliesha posted. Wait, Aliesha is wearing the SAME thing I am planning to wear. Except she’s in Vegas and I’m in LC. You know you’re besties when you’re states apart and think the same 🙂 Miss your face, liesh!

P.S sorry for not putting the picture you like. I’m lazy 🙂

Saturday night. Oh, Saturday night. We didn’t really have many plans except going to L’auberge and eating at Steamboat Bill’s. We did know we wanted to go somewhere and drink. Well, after those two places where we ate far too much, we tried a pub by our hotel. FAIL. Finally, we made the decision. We were going back to the Wharf. When you walk in, the door says “Dress Code Enforced”. When you get in, you wonder what the dress code even is. Is it a shirt and shoes? Is it dressy? Is it camo? Is it pants? Luckily, we got there early enough that we got a table right next to the dance floor. BEST. PEOPLE. WATCHING. It seriously rivaled Vegas. The best way to describe the Wharf is “world peace”. There were ALL kinds of people. I mean ALL. There were young, old, black, white, gay, straight, men, women, no kids. There was an age limit. 🙂 And ALLLLLLLLL KINNNNNNDSSSS of clothing options. One way to describe it is as EVERY bar in the Bryan-College Station area in one. Gatsby’s, Foundation Room, Hookah, Harry’s, Daisy Dukes, Madhatters, the Chicken and I’m not sure where the guy in the sweater vest would have fit in, maybe Miramont. For those of you that didn’t catch on, there were guys in camo, girls in something I’d wear in Vegas, something I’d wear to the barn, something I’d wear to casual happy hour and some things I’d just never wear 🙂 Oh and it was Mardi Gras Ball weekend, so there were lots of fancy dresses. Then there was the poor girl and her mom. Not sure what they were trying to accomplish, but I’d describe her as “a boyfriend just broke up with her and she was going to show him what he’s missing out on”. She matched her leopard bra to her leopard wedges. NOT KIDDING. The bra could have easily been hidden, so it was definitely done on purpose. The most hilarious part? When she put her back to us the tag was still on the dress! So, immediately, we think oh she’s returning that sucker tomorrow. Well, the nice guy that came to sit with us, was trying to be helpful and told her then tore it off. Welp, so much for returning it! hahahahaha. It was so crazy because everyone there was dancing together to every genre of song, not cliquish at all! So amazing. Never experienced that before! Hint – where we got the “world peace” description. When we were getting ready to leave, the waitress kept bringing us shots from the guys next to us. Well, he finally came up to us. CREEP. Ugh. Why do people think it’s appropriate to ask why we don’t have boyfriends?! We came up with the perfect answer and that’s to tell them that only creepy people come up to us. Finally, he said he’d stop bothering me and I said ok. Hope that wasn’t too mean. Finally, we headed back to the hotel to get some sleep before the drive.

Elevator selfie – no my hand isn’t that large. Mine and Kathryn’s together is.

Fried shrimp, fried crawfish tails, french fries, cole slaw and Louisiana roll. DELISH.

Sunday, was full of driving and getting back to Houston, then home. It was such a fun trip. We didn’t lose too much money, mainly because we’re all too cheap and could think of other things to spend that money on.

Happy gambling. Happy crawfish season. Laissez les bons temp rouler, y’all.

xoxo,
jenn


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This Week in My Laundry: An Open Letter to Texas Weather

My dearest Texas weather,

Because of you, my load of laundry today consisted of shorts, tank tops, jeans, sweaters, flannel pjs, and Christmas fuzzy socks. Did I mention that I did laundry Tuesday? So, in 4 days you have covered 4 seasons!

This is ridiculous. I was WEARING shorts YESTERDAY and SWEATING! Today, it’s ugg boots, scarves, and not near enough layers and blankets. In 12 hours, we went from using the A/C to the heater.

The only person I know that likes this weather is my sweet Levi and his winter undercoat he won’t let me brush out! Ok, yes, I realize my dog isn’t a person, but only kind of not a person.

Where is my spring/summer?! Did you forget it’s March? Winter is supposed to be long gone. It is Texas, for heaven’s sake. I already did my spring cleaning and put all my gloves and hats away.

This winter has been long enough. How many “snow” days have we had? And sleet today?! This is like more than the past 10 years combined!

I tried to run the lake today. You put an end to that in about 30 seconds. Can you PLEASE help making my running scene a little better?!

I promise I will not be the person complaining that it’s “too hot” in July and August. Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated.

Happy cuddling. Happy hibernating. Texas forever. But, don’t forget to warm up soon.

Thanks and gig ’em.

xoxo,
jenn