Sunday, March 19, 2023

Travel East Texas ~ New Boston


    In my recent travels I made my way before a soccer game to New Boston. It’s always nice when the stars align and I can visit a place on the way to a kids game. New Boston is the current county seat and at one point each of the three “Boston” named cities held that title. Old Boston, Boston and New Boston.

    New Boston use to have the railroad running right through the middle of the town and the current museum building. The Museum also houses the Chamber of Commerce office. While the Chamber office was not open when I visited the lady who ran the museum was very helpful and directed me to talk with the person in charge of the Entertainment District.

    New Boston is trying to drive more visitors to their downtown area and the pavilion they have for hosting various events throughout the year. Their largest event is Pioneer days in August. A city Mayor at one point wanted it to be to “Hottest Festival” in Texas which boasts a street dance, rodeo, and something different every day for a week. They have a Country singer, Josh Ward, planed to headline the event on August 11-22, 2023. This festival is bound to be fun they will feature a carnival as well, food trucks, concert every night featuring multiple genres of music such as rhythm and blues, local talent and an Eagles Tribute band. It sounds like this will be an event you won’t want to miss.

    Boston entertainment district goals are to have an event every month. So far they have 10 festivals scheduled including an April 8th Easter Egg-Stravaganza. A July 4 fireworks show with a BBQ cook off and live music, actually scheduled for the 4th of July.

    The best places to eat in town are Maria’s, and the Boston General Store. I didn’t have time to stop at Maria’s and the General Store was closed by the time I made it down there. Instead I found a coffee shop to visit for a pick me up before soccer.

    If you happen to be staying at The Oaks bed and breakfast, explore East Texas with us and stop by New Boston.  Plan your visit and be sure to check out their festival dates and see if you can join in the fun. The shops downtown are few but growing. We look forward to hearing about your New Boston adventure.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Herb Infused Cocktail ~ Irish Maid


    To help with the St. Patrick's Day celebrations we are sharing a cocktail recipe from our friends at Teeling Irish Whiskey.  If you remember we visited their distillery while in Ireland last year and really enjoyed the tour and tasting at the end of the tour.  We wanted to bring back their whiskey in our cocktail this month to help celebrate the day.  

    Teeling's shared this recipe for the Irish Maid from a local bar named the Dead Rabbit, and creator Jack McGarry. We added in the addition mint, since it is an herb infused cocktail.  I thought about dill but felt that would not be the best flavor combination with the St. Germain.  We love St. Germain, and would use it almost every cocktail if we could but alas we much change it up.  The elderberry liquor is just so pleasant to drink or mix.  

    Irish Maid

2 ounces Teeling Small Back Irish Whiskey

3/4 ounces Lemon Juice

3/4 ounce Simple Syrup

1/2 ounce St. Germain

2 Cucumber Slices

4-5 Mint leaves

    Muddle the cucumber and mint leaves in the bottom of a shaker cup.  Add all the remaining ingredients.  Shake and strain into a glass over ice.  Garnish with a cucumber slice and mint. Enjoy!

    This drink is simple to make and fantastic to enjoy.  Each of my taste testers wanted another glass, to enjoy. Make this drink for your friends and they might never leave.  Be sure to check out our video on YouTube and let us know what you think.   

    We hope you enjoy this drink, since it is quick and refreshing.  This is a single served option, adjust for larger batches for more drinks.  As always please drink responsibly, have a designated driver.  We hope you enjoy the Irish Maid this St. Patrick's Day. Slainte!

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Travel East Texas ~ Clarksville

Clarksville, Texas is the “Gateway to Texas,” and saw travelers such as Sam Houston, Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, cross into Texas via Red River County.  As the Red River County seat, it boasts a county boarder that reaches the Red River and the Oklahoma border. Instead of having their court house on the square it’s a block North. A beautiful, building, built out of sandstone, it anchors the street along. With other government offices such as the post office.

The chamber of commerce office was unfortunately closed when I stopped by so I navigated the city on my own. A cute little shop called C & T distributing on the square was a great find. They have an eclectic mix of items and are transitioning from clothing to gift items. As a coffee lover I picked up some tasty coffee to serve guests at The Oaks.

There were two restaurants on the square sprinkled in with real estate agent offices and another boutique. The central square part of the square is occupied by a green space that the city uses for special events, such as May Days and Christmas on Main.

Around the outside there are plaques that are meant to help you get moving while learning a bit about the wildlife you can find in the area. A QR code allows smartphone users to download the information for easy access.  I felt like this program was part of the NorthEast Texas Trail Coalition.  

Clarksville also boasts a fair grounds with multiple buildings for activities. A horse area, show barn, permanent structures for vendors during the county fair.

One of the most beautiful parts of Clarksville is the country club.  A nine hole course and a 100 acre lake, set up for a golfers day on the links or they are ready to host a special event. Be sure to bring your clubs during your stay and make the trip to the Clarksville Country Club for an afternoon of play.

The Red River Historical society has preserved and purchased the homes of “famous” residents to help preserve the history of the area for years to come. One such house is the Colonel Charles DeMorse.  Built by the acclaimed "father of journalism" who passed away while living in Clarksville. Another home is the Lennox house. Both maintained for visitors to drive by and take a look at. They should probably make some “real estate” signs to better denote the locations but otherwise the one is easy to find just off of downtown.

When you plan your next trip to Clarksville pack the golf clubs and bring your walking shoes. Be sure to check out the Chambers website for more dates on local events.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Let's Eat Food Truck ~ Sherry's Shack


    We visited with Sherry over at Sherry's Shack for our Let's Eat food truck series for February.  You may remember Sherry from the Potato House previously located in Downtown Sulphur Springs.  She decided she wanted to be able to better serve her customers in a mobile environment and opened up her food truck.  

    Sherry's Shack is located just North of the hospital at 1416 Church Street, in Sulphur Springs.  You can call, 903-951-3105, ahead your order and she will have it ready for pick up or she will deliver it to you.  If you happen to be having an event or employee appreciation day at your business, she will come to you and cook on site.  Be sure to give her a call to find out more information.

    Sherry's Shack is best known for their "Smashem Burger" so of course we had to order that.  Cooked fresh on the flat top, and topped with your favorite condiments, your burger will be filling and tasty.  I also picked up a grilled cheese with lettuce and tomatoes, and you can't forget the fries.  I always love to get a grilled cheese with items other than just cheese, so tasty.  We also picked up some Pittsburg hotlink's, fresh from Pittsburg, so you know they will be delicious.  A dab of mustard and you are ready to enjoy your lunch.

    Sherry has a varied menu and features a myriad of favorites including baked potatoes.  Add chicken, roast or brisket to your potato and you are sure to walk away satisfied.  She even makes up a dinner plate sized tostada for those who are really hungry and looking for something a little different.  

    Sherry is open Tuesday - Friday from 10:30 a. m . - 3 p. m. and Saturday from 11 a. m. to 3 p. m.  Be sure to stop by on your next lunch break and walk away satisfied.  You can enjoy your food onsite at the picnic tables behind the food truck, take it with you or have it delivered.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Herb Infused Cocktail ~ Guava Ginger Screwdriver


    This month's cocktail was a little unexpected for me.  I figured that it would have a more fruity flavor and be too sweet but it turns out the spice of the ginger beer mellows the sweetness quite well and brings about a satisfyingly, refreshing drink.  The Guava Ginger Screwdriver might have a few layers to it but is very easy to make. The tropical flavor of the guava melds well with the fruit flavor of the Hpnotiq.  Not being a big fan of fruity or tropical drinks, I know I'm probably one of very few people who do not like pina coladas.  I purchased the smallest bottle of Hpnotiq I could find since I was not sure about the flavor or the likelihood I would use it in the future.  

    While not a romantic drink,  it still fits well with the holiday season, as what I would refer to as a girly drink.  Fruity notes, and flavors, with a splash of pink family color.  This drink will satisfy all your flavor needs, from first taste to last taste.  As with all the cocktails we make, use your favorite liquors to create a drink that you will enjoy the most.  

Guava Ginger Screwdriver

1.5 ounces Vodka

1 ounces Hpnotiq

4 ounces Ginger beer

2 ounces Guava Nectar

Spring of fresh Thyme

Pour all your ingredients into a shaker cup that is filled with ice.  Cap it off and give it a vigorous shake.  Once the cup is extra cold to the touch, pour into a Martini glass, or glass of your choice and garnish with a fresh sprig of thyme.  

    It's that simple to be transported away from your everyday life to some place tropical.  You will not be disappointed with this cocktail.  Be sure to not over fill your shaker, otherwise it might get a little leaky when shaken.  Personal experience here, I think I was a little heavy on the ginger beer.  But that might have helped me to enjoy it more. You can enjoy our short video of how to make this cocktail on our YouTube Channel. 


    As always please drink responsibly and always use a designated driver when drinking.  Until next month please enjoy and let us know if you try this cocktail out. Cheers from the Oaks Bed and Breakfast. 

Monday, January 30, 2023

February Happenings


February will be upon us in just a few short days and here is a list of the acvitivies that will be going down in Sulphur Springs or the surounding area in the next month.  Book your stay at The Oaks bed and breakfast and then head out on your adventure from there.

February 3-4 - The Texas A&M rodeo will be held at the Hopkins County Civic Center

February 4 - Kids fishing day at Buford Park

February 4 - the Mother's Culture Club will be hosting their annual Father Daughter dance at the Civic Center

February 9 - Ducks Unlimited will be hosting their annual banquet

February 9-12 - USCHA is hosting their cutting tournament at the Civic Center

February 10-11 - Main Street Theater presents Savannah Sipping

February 16 - The Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce is hosting their annual Chamber banquet where they honor and acknowldge members in the chamber community

February 17-18 - Main Street Theater presents Savannah Sipping

February 17-19 - The Region 4 Rodeo will be held at the Civic Center

February 18 - The Kiwanis Club is hosting their annual Pancake breakfast

February 18-19 - Kirby Hill Roping will be held at the Civic Center

February 28-March 1 - Carden Circus will be in town, fun for the whole family

Monday, January 23, 2023

Travel East Texas ~ Cooper


    Just fifteen minutes North of Sulphur Springs and The Oaks bed and breakfast lies the bedroom community of Cooper, Texas.  The best part about Cooper is the State Park.  Before you hit the park be sure to pop downtown and grab a cup of coffee or cappuccino from Vetch.  Vetch is a cute coffee shop with a little bit of a farmers market vibe going on.  They offer fresh veggies and meat from local farmers along with condiments and other items for purchase along side your caffine option of choice. 

    There are just a few places to drop in for other shopping with in the square.  A little boutique called Rosie and Co, right off the square and an antique shop.  I would have missed Rosie's had they not set out maniquines on the sidewalk.  Rosie & Co, has lots of great options and styles that fit the season.  The Antique shop has a great selection of items that you could spend  hours browsing through to find exactly what you want.

    The dining options are very few, just the coffee shop and Tejano's Tex-Mex.  Tejano's was a popular stop for all the locals who happend to be downtown.  But make sure they remember you are there, otherwise you have to ask to be served.  I was suprised to see that they had a guacmole enchilada with a spinach enchilada option on the lunch menu.  It's always nice to be able to order food and not have to make changes to fit your needs.  I will say downtown Cooper does have a super cute, walking book "tour" to read while wandering around the square.  A children's book has been placed around the square on little podiums and made to be protected from the weather.  It's a cute way to keep readers engaged and provide a creative way to exercise while reading. 

    Cooper Lake State Park is the perfect spot to spend the day.  Pack a pinic lunch and hit the trails.  The State Park has great hiking trails and shore line for all your outdoor needs.  Plus the park is always hosting events that are fun for the whole family.  Be sure to check out their website for more information on activities and adventures you can have while staying with us at The Oaks bed and breakfast, while exploring the outdoors.  Grab a fishing pole, binoculars and lunch and spend the day exploring Cooper Lake State Park.