Monday, May 30, 2022

June Happenings

 June is looking like it’s going to be filled with lots of great family activities. The city has started family movie nights on Friday and the Celebration market every Saturday night.

Of course the Hopkins County Dairy Festival will kick off this month with two weeks of amazing activities. But before the Dairy Festival kicks off there are few things going.

June 3 - Ms. Hopkins County pageant 
NETX dressage show all day at the Hopkins County Civic Center

Every Friday night the city will host a  family movie night on the square 8pm.  Bring your lawn chairs and family for wholesome entertainment. 

Every Saturday night the Celebration Market will be start at 5pm.  Come out and support local vendors and listen to local bands perform on the square. 

June 10 kicks off the Dairy Festival excitement.  The first event up will be:

June 10 - hot air balloon rally and glow - 6pm

Community players present - "Trifles" 7pm and 2 pm June 10-12 and June 17-19

June 10-11
Hunt county Horse association will have their monthly show at the Civic Center.  Be sure to stop by and to see those talented riders at work. 

Danna's and the Buffalo Girls will be hosting a summer market at the Civic Center, right alongside all the Dairy Festival activities.  

June 11 - has all day fun, starting with the hot air balloons launching at 6 am 

Dairy show & parade 10 am
Dial club “Cow patty” bingo 2 pm
Milking contest 3 pm
Hot air balloon rally 6pm

June 13 - VR social moon telescope view 8:30 pm

June 15-18 - Dairy festival Carnival - out at the Hopkins County Civic center.

June 16 - VR social glow bicycle ride 8:15 pm

June 16-18- Lone Star Beefmasters, at the Civic Center 

June 18 - Juneteenth celebration 8 am - 10pm Pacific Park

Dairy Festival pageant will be held at 7pm at the High School auditorium. 

June 25 - hill productions - roping

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Travel East Texas ~ Greenville


    Every downtown is a little different from the next.  From the shops, dining options and other businesses surrounding the area each downtown has something different to offer.  Greenville is among those cities who is continuing to improve their downtown and have realized that this area is a place of growth and could be a draw for visitors who want to get off the freeway and explore more of the local flavor. 

    Our stop this month for "Travel East Texas" is to Greenville to explore a little and get a feel for what there is to do in the downtown area.  Of course if you are looking for "corporate" restaurants and shopping look no further than the highway, but if you want to explore a little more of the local, small business scene then be sure to stop by downtown Greenville. 

    Greenville's downtown is unique in that it is not situated like a typical Texas city downtown with a square, but is rather a long strip, consisting of two main streets, which have a few shops, that are open at various times and a couple of restaurants.   

    Mary of Puddin Hill made the move downtown from off of the freeway, and now has a cute little shop with a wide variety of gifts and Texas themed items.  They feature items from the Sweet Shop in Mt. Pleasant, mini Bundt cakes and monster cookies.  Be sure to stop in and check out all their goodies.


     As you make your way around downtown be sure to check out the amazing mural art on the buildings.  It's not quite like Deep Ellum but it sure is making strides to bring art to a location where there is not any.  The murals are each unique and interesting to look at.  I think every downtown should have a few.

    Another unique stop is the Uptown Shopping Forum, where we found Cheesebrough and Campbell Specialty Chocolates.  Each of the amazing chocolate treats from their store are made by hand.  You can find chocolates shaped as tools for Father's Day, purses and heals for Mother's Day, and a few others that can fit that special person on  your list.  Be sure to check out all their offerings, and take a look at the other shops inside the Uptown Forum.

    For lunch we decided to eat home made pizza at Fatto A Mano, located right next door to where the Greenville Farmers Market is located.  They have a varied menu for pizza options.  But if you are not feeling like pizza be sure to check out their pasta and salad selections.  They have indoor and outdoor seating available.  The outside seating is covered and has cute herb gardens located close by so you know when your food has fresh ingredients.  

    Last but not least a great stop downtown is Landon Winery.  Sample a flight, have some antipasto or sit and enjoy a full glass and soak in the space.  Landon also has indoor and outdoor seating for your party.  It's a great spot to venture to with a group or a special date night.  Their staff is very knowledgeable about the wines they offer and are willing to help you find your favorite.  Of course you can join their wine club and have their wine delivered directly to your house, where available, or come to your closest location and pick up your bottles.  

    Of course Greenville, is not just located downtown.  There is more to see else where in town depending on what you are looking for.  Greenville use to boast, that they were the "Cotton Capital of Texas."  In honor of that proclamation they have the Audie Murphy Cotton Museum, which is fun for the whole family.  Step back in time to learn about the cotton industry and see the exhibits on cotton and the military in one location.  Start your day in Greenville at the museum and then wander downtown, for the evening.  

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Let's Eat ~ Redneck Bar and Grill


    I feel like only in East Texas or somewhere in the South would you have a restaurant named Redneck Bar and Grill.  The restaurant's reputation lives up to its name and serves steak, chicken or fish smothered in a gravy or grilled.  

    Redneck is a great downtown dining experience if you are looking for large portions that will fill you up and make your taste buds water in anticipation of what to expect in your dining experience.  We often ask our guests who stay with us at The Oaks, what they want for dinner and direct them to the right options.  Never has anyone come away from Redneck disappointed.  

    In our last visit into Redneck, we both ordered a salad with steak or tuna as our protein option.  Maybe not the best option, for dining at Redneck but both meats were cooked to order and met our expectations. I would have liked the addition of a mixed lettuce selection rather than only iceberg, for a good quality salad.  

    All the other offerings are just what people would expect.  Top Sirloin cooked to your desired finish, smothered hamburger steak, or grilled chicken.  Daily specials are served anytime a patron desires that option.  For example one guest ordered a Risky Chicken, which is a grilled chicken covered in sautéed mushrooms, onions and swiss cheese.  A definite pleasure for the taste buds.

    Redneck also offers a variety of bar drinks, for their patrons to enjoy.  There is a good selection of beer and wine options as well for those who don't want to mix it up.  Since portions are so large they only offer plain cheese cake for dessert.  However, they encourage patrons who want something a little sweet, to walk around the corner to another local option, the Magic Scoop.  

    If you are in need of a space for a larger group event, Redneck has a semi private room available for those functions to utilize as well.  Call ahead and make sure it's available for your special occasion.  Be sure to stop in for lunch or dinner the next time you are downtown.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Scarborough Renaissance Fair


    We are taking a little detour this week and checking out the Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, Texas.  The festival runs April - May on the weekends and is fun for the whole family.  No need to wear a costume but if you have one please feel free to wear one.  We personally love to dress up and participate in that small way when visiting the faire.  

    Tickets for faire entry can be purchased at the gate or on-line from their website. Be sure to bring a mix of cash and credit cards, some vendors take only cash but many more are moving towards credit cards as well.  Plus it's always nice to have a few dollar bills for tipping the entertainers and food vendors at the end of a show or purchase.  

    Enter the realm of mid-century England, where there are knights, ladies and pirates abound.  Explore the artisans who have created hand made items for your purchase.  Watch a show about a juggler, a falconer, or a pincushion.  The Renaissance festival is never short on entertainment.  

    One of the best parts about the faire is to see all the costume and just people watch.  It's worth the price of admission to see the creativity and detail people take into creating a costume that fits the desired character they want to display.  Wood sprites, lords and ladies, pirates, and commoners.  Over the years the period costumes have changed to add in more mythological creatures, different fantasy genres, and more as people create costumes that are no longer just medieval in time frame.  

    If people watching is not enough entertainment you can enjoy a sword fight.  There is always a part of the faire where someone is attacking someone else with a sword.  Do not worry no one is harmed in this sword play.   There are foam swords for the kids to try, plastic swords with leather armor and of course, metal swords and armor carried by the actors and used to "play" out a scene for your entrainment.  So pick your poison and enjoy a round or two with your friends and family.  Take out some of your frustration on them in the form of sword play.  

    After you have taken your frustration out on your family or friends, pull up a bench and watch a show.  There are many to choose from and it's a come and go type of participation.  You can come in late and catch up to the display or plan your arrival and watch the show from the start.  Be sure to tip your artist before leaving, it's how they make their money.  You can plan your day based on what show you want to see or just wander around and find someone to enjoy.  

    As you wander be sure to stop in to the artesian booths to find something to take home.  There is something for everyone at the faire.  Add a part to your costume or buy a whole new one.  Hats, jewelry and armor of all kinds.  Leather, metal and cloth to cover or uncover a person as they desire.  There are toys to purchase as well, such as swords, bows and arrows and juggling sticks.  Add to your ladies hair style by purchasing a crown of flowers or having one of the hair braiding booths create a hair style for you.  Face painting and henna art are available as well.  There is something for everyone at the faire.  


If you are not interested in bringing home items to keep, there is always the food to enjoy while at the faire.  Turkey legs are still probably the number one seller at the faire, be sure to stop by and grab one.  You can almost travel the world just by food; gyros, crepes and fried items are available.  I really feel like that the faire has come a long way in offering a better variety of food to patrons who might not want to eat meat or have allergies.  There is something for everyone to enjoy, including fresh fruit and sweet roasted nuts.  

    You can't forget the drinks.  Most vendors offer some type of bottled drink, but there are also booths that will sell beer, wine and mead.  Save your bottles from water or fruit juice to refill from water fountains stationed around the park.  Since the faire is during months that can be hot, be sure to stay hydrated and move around to shaded areas.  First aid is available on site, but no one wants to have to use their services, for dehydration or heat exhaustion if they don't have to.  

    You can't forget the games.  Try your hand at archery, "jousting," ax or dagger throwing, and there are plenty of games for kids.  As well as rides, such as swings, rock climbing, pony, camel, or elephant rides, and more.  The entertainment goes one depending upon what you want to experience.  The atmosphere is truly like a festival every weekend in a mid-century village.  

    We hope that you will take a trip to Waxahachie and explore the Scarborough faire with your friends and family.  It is well worth the trip and such a fun adventure, that you do not want to miss.  Check out their website for more information on themed weekends so that you can find your favorite.  Plus they offer special food , and drink experiences as well, for advanced purchase.  Just one more way to enjoy the faire and gather memories that will last a life time.  

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Herb Infused Cocktail ~ Mint Julep


    May has just started and with the beginning of May comes three amazing sporting events the combined, entitled the Triple Crown.  In recognition of one, the Kentucky Derby, our herb infused cocktail this month is a mint julep. 

    The mint julep is now know as the staple drink for the Kentucky Derby but truly had it's start in the south as a morning drink.  The light and refreshing flavor of the mint combined with the bourbon helped to carry people through the day right from the start.

    This drink is truly simple to make.  With just three ingredients you can make this drink more about presentation, and let the taste speak for it's self.  The use of a copper or silver cup, helps to keep the drink cold long after the ice has melted. 

Mint Julep

8-10 Mint leaves, muddled

1/4 ounce simple syrup

2 ounces Bourbon

crushed ice

    Muddle your mint leaves in the bottom of a silver or copper cup.  Add in your crushed ice to the top of the container.  Pour over your simple syrup and bourbon.  Add in additional crushed ice, then garnish with mint leaves.  Enjoy!

    The simplicity of this drinks makes it even more enjoyable with a crowd while watching the fastest two minutes in sports go by, while cheering for your favorite horse.  We used Evan Williams for our drink, but you can use your favorite bourbon to mix this cold and refreshing beverage for your next event.  

    We hope to hear about how you mixed your drink.  Drop us a comment on here or social media and tell us your mixing journey.  As always please drink responsibly and have a designated driver.