Wow, we seriously had no idea this was in TEXAS! A friend told us about this park + we decided to head to it. We actually winged our whole trip, and didn’t plan a thing! Which maybe wasn’t the smartest idea considering we had no service at all in the park to research anything we wanted to do. So old fashioned paper maps & word of mouth recommendations it was! It was actually refreshing not over researching something ahead of time! If you follow us on social media you know that we are on a long road trip right now and if you know me you know i’m a serious planner. I over plan & stress the whole time to accomplish everything. Which stresses Zach out, so I decided to do the opposite of what I’m accustomed to on a trip and wing it all. It has been so nice not having any plans. If we want to change and go in a different direction its not a big deal, because we didn’t have anything planned anyway. I’m actually loving living this way and may never plan again. haha doubt it, but I am loving it for the time being.

Upon first entering the park we knew our first stop was going to get a permit from the park rangers. Since you have to have a permit to stay at the primitive campsites. It was only $12 that was good for 2 weeks. This was our fist time ever doing anything like this, so to say we were naive is an understatement. You’re suppose to know which campsites you want ahead of time to book, because you book each night in advance with the park ranger. There are a lot of good primitive campsites, but some of them you have to have a 4X4 car & high clearance. We don’t have either, so there wasn’t many to pick from because it was spring break season. They didn’t have any permits available the first night we were there, so we stealth camped in an overflow parking lot. Which is never easy with kids, because they are so loud! We woke up to amazing views though. Before we found our spot for the night we did drive down Dagger Auto Trail road & man we just got a taste of how beautiful this place is. Its about a 8ish mile drive down a dirt road. We had no problems with our van.

So like I said we planned nothing, but we knew we wanted to hike. So we looked at their map and saw a 3 mile hike named Emory Peak in Chisos mountains. We thought perfect 3 miles round trip is a great first hike and the other ones looked way longer. We drove around for a while to find the trailhead to park. We didn’t have any luck, but we saw a big parking lot and it looked like an area where all the trail head signs were. So we parked there & got all our stuff together. We walked where everyone was and saw a sign that said Emory Peak 5.3 miles with an arrow pointing the way. We said hmm, maybe the map was wrong and its 5.3 miles round trip. Which wasn’t a big deal. We saw a ranger on mules and we asked him if that meant 5.3 miles to the trailhead or round trip. He said round trip. So off with our hike we started. Let’s just say we had NO IDEA what we were about to get into. We just kept walking and admiring all these beautiful mountains around us, still having no clue we were about to climb the tallest mountain peak there. We kept saying to ourselves surely the trailhead will pop up soon. So we kept going. It wasn’t until we got over halfway up we realized it was 5.3 miles to the trailhead then 1.5 miles up to the peak, 1.5 miles down & another 5.3 miles back to where we started. At this point our brains weren’t thinking logically because we kept going. We couldn’t give up, haha. It was funny because we had so many people stop us and tell us how admirable it was for us to hike with kids on our backs. We kept thinking its just 3 miles, LOL see how naive we were. I will say it was totally worth it for the beautiful views. I’m thankful we didn’t know where we were hiking, because as we were looking at the top of mountains passing us by we would have stopped if we knew we were going to the top. We actually only made it to the trailhead and didn’t finish the last 1.5 miles up to the peak, because we just ran out of time. We started hiking at 10:30am and knew we had to have enough time to get back before dark since we were in mountain lion + bear country. lol I still feel like we accomplished a lot because we did this with two heavy kids and back packs. Thankfully I thought I over packed on water, but we had just enough. I would deff recommend this hike, even if we were sore for 7 days after HA.

After the hike we made our way to our first official camp spot. It was nine point draw & so far our favorite camp spot. The area was huge and we didn’t have to worry about snakes as much with the boys. Somehow I got the energy to cook dinner after the hike. Let’s just say we slept good that night.

The next day we headed down to the south part of the park. We tried to go to the hot springs, but it was in the middle of the day and packed. I’m so thankful we decided to skip it and try again the next morning. We decided to hike Boquillas Canyon trail, and boy did it offer some beautiful views!

Our camp site this night was called Paint Gap 2. It offered beautiful scenery, but wasn’t as open as our previous campsite. The bushes were extremely tall, so we were cautious watching the boys playing outside. We woke up and decided to head out to the Hot Springs. We were trying to beat the crowd and we went at the perfect time. We got there around 10am and had the place to ourselves for a little bit!

After the Hot Springs, we decided to hit the road. We accomplished so much in Big Bend in just a few short days, but already planning our trip back! We definitely think we came at the perfect time- the weather was perfect! At night it got down to mid to low 40’s and days around 75. We could not have asked for better weather! It’s such a big park you could easily spend 2 weeks in this park exploring everything it has to offer! Who knows, you might even come across a bear or mtn lion!

Memphis, Tennessee

We’ve always been close to Memphis, but shied away from coming here because of everything you hear about crime. I actually imagined everything about Memphis to be horrible. Well, I’m happy to report that is NOT true! We absolutely fell in love with Memphis + we are not really city people. We much prefer mountains, but we will definitely be coming back.

Here’s a recap of our trip. Hope you enjoy!


First Evening:

We arrived at out Vrbo in downtown right across from AutoZone Park, the Memphis Redbirds stadium, around 6! It was the perfect location- you can see the ball field, you’re a half mile walk to anything you want, and our place had parking! We walked to Beale street and I was really impressed. Growing up in Louisiana we visited Bourbon a couple times, and living there as a young adult we went to party in Nola. And y’all, Beale is soooo much cleaner + nicer than Bourbon. Don’t get me wrong there’s things I love about Nola, but Bourbon isn’t one of them. After our walk down Beale we found an amazing ice cream place called Margie’s 901. Wow, talk about a lot of ice cream that they give you, but oh so yummy!! Ezra got the sprinkle cone with cotton candy ice cream, Zach and I got the pyramid which was a mixture of chocolate and Carmel goodness on a heath cone and white chocolate dipped cone. Then we walked back home. We never felt weary of our location or scared at any point. While I’m sure crime is still all around us and it’s always best to travel in groups, we were pleasantly surprised.

Day 2:

First things first MEMPHIS ZOO. Y’all this was the best zoo we’ve been too. It was huge! Older, but super clean. Walking along the trail it had a good mixture of outside and inside things to explore which was nice because it’s been getting in the triple digits lately. We even got to ride a camel! We highly recommend putting this on your list! For lunch I got bruschetta balsamic waffle fries.. and y’all it was soooo yummy. Waffle fries, mozzarella, tomato, basil, + balsamic glazed fries!

Our plan was to come back to our apartment chill out in the a/c then go grab a yummy dinner. Everyone told us to go to central BBQ, but when we got there the line was so far outside we decided to skip it that night. We drove back to our parking and walked to find something to eat. We stopped at Blues City Cafe on Beale and waited for 25 minutes before we gave up and ended at Hard Rock Cafe because there was no wait! Journey + Def Leppard were in concert that night so Memphis was extra packed! We loved Margie’s ice cream so much we went back for dessert after Hard Rock. Then we walked back to our apartment and crashed.

Day 3:

We woke + went to the Bass Pro at the Pyramid. This place is amazing! We strolled around and ended our time taking the long elevator ride to the top! The views up top are spectacular! I will say though, glass as the flooring is a little intimidating! I was the last one to walk to the edge. But after I conquered my fear the view was amazing.

After Bass Pro we tried again to eat at Central BBQ and this time we finally beat the crowd! The food was so yummy! Zach got their pulled pork sandwich. My in laws split the bbq platter, Ezra enjoyed a grill cheese, & I got a mixture of sides (Mac and cheese, green beans, & bbq beans). Then we went back to our apartment, got the stroller, and walked all around downtown. Our favorite street was S. Main St! We walked all over & visited the MLK museum.

There are so many cool and old buildings that are still being used down S. Main St. After exploring all S. Main had to offer we went back to the room to change and walk back to Aldo’s Pizza Pies. This place was amazing. We chose to sit outside on the patio and ordered a Margherita and the Bring out the Gump pizza. It fed 4 adults 1 child and we still had leftovers! We walked off all the pizza we ate to AutoZone Park for a baseball game. I honestly couldn’t even tell you what team played, but it was the best experience we’ve ever had at a game. Normally, we get seats during the game + surprisingly Ezra loves baseball so much he stays still. But this time we decided to get tickets on the Bluff(lawn) section down the right field line and Ezra was in heaven!!! The second his foot touched the grass he started to roll down the hill like the other kids were doing. He ran around pretty much the whole game. We couldn’t stop him if we wanted. He had a BLAST!! One cool feature about the game was that after every Saturday home game they have a fireworks show. And I must say, this fireworks show is a must see! You definitely get your moneys worth. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at the game and will definitely be back again. By the time the fireworks ended we were all wiped! So back to the apartment we walked, maybe like 200 yards if that, to zonk out.

Day 4:

This day was our day to head back home. These days are always dreadful because: 1- you have to pack up, 2- you have to drive back home, and 3- you have to go back to reality. Since it was our last morning we decided to go eat breakfast at the oldest café in Memphis, the Arcade Restaurant. This neat little gem had some amazing breakfast. I am so glad we chose to eat breakfast there. This diner will throw you back in time with all the old portraits of downtown Memphis and vintage wall art. We each enjoyed our meals and even though Ezra wanted pancakes he barely touched his. But hey, thats what kids do. If you haven’t seen the video of him trying to wake Harvey up to go eat pancakes and blueberries go check out our youtube video of this Memphis trip. Its pretty hilarious! 

Needless to say, we enjoyed ourselves in Memphis and will be back soon. I strongly encourage you and your family to visit Memphis and see all it has to offer. 

XO The Cashio's

memphis tn


Gulf Shores, AL is one of our favorite beaches just because it has a lot of fun activities + it’s the closet- decent beach to us! It’s 9.5 hours away, which is never a fun car ride with kids! On our way we stopped twice for the kids to stretch their legs + eat. As soon as we arrived at the beach Zach started unloading while the kids + I ran to the beach. This was Ezra’s second time at the beach + Harvey’s first out of my tummy. It was a rainy trip, but it was nice to have overcast skies with kids! The kids had a blast playing in the sand + Ezra’s favorite thing was to build caves for his Dinos.

We brought food to make at the condo, but we did venture out to Picnic Beach, which was new from being there last year. We went back three more times, because the food was so amazing + fresh. Our favorites were the tuna poke bowl, bison burger, brisket bowl, chopped salad w/ salmon, bbq beans, + sweet potato fries. The gulf punch detox drink was AMAZING! This place is a must if you’re in Gulf Shores. 

Our next favorite place in Gulf Shores is Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. It is such a nice zoo + our favorite part of it is getting to do the kangaroo + lemur experience. The kids absolutely LOVE it! 

We visited Adventure Island arcade + omg the kids AND Zach had a blast! 

Up next we visited Gulf State Park Pier. The kids loved running down the pier! Someone let the kids touch the fish + crabs they caught.

We rode bikes twice + it was so nice riding on flat ground. I love riding in Arkansas, but its more of a workout than enjoyment. We rode a 7 mile loop at the Gulf State Park + rode all around our condo. It was so fun!

gulf shores al.jpg

We decided to take the kids to play putt-putt golf, but didn’t want to go to a popular place since we knew it would be a disaster with the kids. They had the best time + it was nice going to a place less crowded because we could go as slow as we wanted/needed!

The last night we ventured to Orange Beach for a wedding at Cobalt, The Restaurant. It was such a nice environment with great food!

We made a daily vlog during our trip, here's the link to check it out!

DAY 1 -

DAY 2 -

DAY 3-

DAY 4 -

DAY 5 -

DAY 6-

And below is a full recap, not day to day! 

Hope you enjoy the slideshow below of random pictures from the beach!

XO The Cashio's








Branson, Missouri | The Extended Stay

We had a blast exploring Branson this past weekend. Our original plan was to stay one night + attend the hot air balloon festival, but at the last minute it got canceled. I was so bummed, but we ended up having a blast anyways. We extended our stay an extra two nights and marked a ton of things off our list to do. Hope you enjoy our recap video! We can’t wait to go back! Below the video I’ll have a break down of what we did each day. Also, I got a huge response on instagram asking if going forward everyone would like me to break down how much we spent so they could see what all we got to do for how much. I understand some people are weird about sharing money, but I have no problem with it. My hope is sharing people will see that you can go and have a fun time no matter how much you spend. Pick one or two splurges you want to do on a trip and try to save money where you can.

Trip break down - *Please note, I'm not including gas getting there OR hotel expenses. Just because everyone could be traveling from a different location and you can spend as much or as little as you want on lodging. We normally love to find VRBO or AirBnB, but we went with a hotel this time just because we used points on the room. Also, Harvey being one years old means normally he’s free on excursions and Ezra being 3 means he’s a lower price than adults. Just to keep in mind.

Day 1:

Day 1 total: $162

Day 2:

Day 2 total: $296

Day 3:

    • LUNCH: $50 | Cantina again, it’s always yummy + Ezra wanted to build another car when Granny came to town.

    • TRAIN RIDE: $75 | (so fun, but IMO only worth it during the fall when the leaves are pretty. If you do this ask us about the best seats/car for the ride.)

    • ICE CREAM: $18 | This is our favorite ice cream place EVER

    • ARCADE: $10 | such a cool place!

    • DINNER: $24 | We were super tired of fighting kids at restaurants so we chose Chick-fil-A + brought it to the hotel room.

Day 3 total: $177

Day 4:

On our way home we stopped in Springfield to check out a possible new project and ate at the best place for lunch.

And as always with any trip you could come here and spend way more or way less! This is just what we did just to give you an idea of what all we got to do. Since we stayed at a hotel we ate breakfast there every morning + got coffee from there so that was an area we were able to save money!

Let me know if you enjoyed this break down + if you want us to keep doing it for future trips