Glen Rose, Texas Road Trip

First official stop: beer. Granbury, Texas is only 25 miles (roughly 20 minutes) away from Glen Rose and 53 miles (a little bit over an hour) from Dallas. Both Southwest ish from DFW. We left Dallas, stopped at the outlets located in Grand Prairie, and got to Revolver Brewing at 1 PM. They are only open to the public on Saturday, 12-3 PM. $10 gets you a wristband, glass, and 4 tastings per person.

On site, but not affiliated food vendors are always available. Along with live music and a few activities for children and adults. It was a hot day, but indoors it felt fine, and the grounds are so spacious, it is easy to find a place to chill. 

With a few beers in us, we made the short drive to Glen Rose, and checked into our suite at the Comfort Inn. Our first choice is always Holiday Inn Express for adventure type road trips, but they were all booked up so we slummed it for a night.

Right down the road is Dinosaur Valley State Park. I had never been, it was the centennial anniversary for state parks, my birthday, and an excuse to take a mini trip with my husband to hunt for dinosaur tracks. It still feels a little strange calling Zach my husband.

Below is Blue Hole #1 and the only place we found dinosaur tracks. We were super ill prepared and did not bring bathing suits. We only pack those when we go somewhere where the water is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. But we rolled up our pants, took off our shoes, and went exploring anyways. I like to think the rocks digging into my feet were also giving me acupressure treatment and releasing toxins from my body.

So the Comfort Inn, Dinosaur Valley, and the next few places are all VERY close together. It was perfect because we got to do so much in less than two days.

Our visit to Rough Creek Lodge and 3 course meal in their dining room was absolutely the highlight of the weekend. We got there a little early to have cocktails, and ended up exploring the grounds. It was absolutely beautiful. I also witnessed the bartender squeezing fresh lemon juice on the spot for my Tom Collins, and let me tell you, that goes a long way in my book.

There were so many activities available, and neither one of us had ever even heard of this place. It was recommended by a coworker of Zach's, and we did not get a chance to look it up and learn more about it before our arrival. We made a last minute reservation and just hoped for the best. It exceeded all expectations, and to top it all off, we saw the most spectacular stars I have ever seen lighting up the sky before ending our night.

The lighting was low and the food pictures blurry, but the whole experience was incredible. We opted for the $75/pp three course which allows you to pick from all of the appetizers, entrees, and desserts. Their red wine was not chilled, but most places don't properly do that anyways, so I can't really hold that against them.

Something we kept seeing over and over was a s'mores kit the guests staying at the lodge received to roast over an open fire on the deck once it got dark outside. We had an after dinner cocktail and bubs by the fire instead, but if we ever get a chance to stay there, s'mores it is for sure.

The service was incredible, and it was one of the better dining experiences I have had in a very long time. I feel like I really got in touch with the Texan in me after a few short hours.

Sunday morning, bright and early, we arrived at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center right when they opened (8:30 AM). You drive your own car through the park and receive one bag of food only because apparently the animals were being overfed. You pay per person plus a bag food. You are instructed not to feed the animals (except Giraffe) by hand. However, most of them come right up to the car and gently eat out of your hand anyways. I would only advise you to hand feed the first two pictured and Giraffe. The others are questionable. Do not even get me started with the ostrich. A fear I never knew I had came to life right before my eyes when that ostrich approached the car.

The whole drive takes around 2 hours. There is a pit stop at the half way mark to use the bathroom or dine at their cafe.

We had bbq on our minds, so we stopped by Big Rocks Park, which was basically right behind the restaurant, before going to lunch. Apparently there is a place called "Flat Rocks" where the locals go to swim. But we still did not have our swimsuits or time to look for it.

Hammond's BBQ is where we landed for all the meats. I actually really liked the fact that we got to sit down to order instead of going through a line. We both got a 2 meat plate with 2 sides, and they give you all of the sauce you can hope for in that plastic container at the top right. It was all very good, and I've eaten some serious bbq in my day.

The weekend was pretty, pretty, pretty good. Everyone we came in contact with were incredibly nice and helpful. It was a very pleasant and refreshing way to get away for a couple of days and celebrate my golden birthday.

Spaghetti Squash Roasting Method

Having to roast a good amount of spaghetti squash over time led me to the method of roasting it whole. I no longer wanted to kill myself splitting it in half and determining whether I liked it baked skin down or face down, skin up. Or how much olive oil to use. Or anything else that came with cooking this thing.

So I set the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and put it straight on the rack. After 30 minutes or so, rotate it a full 180 degrees. After an hour, I would check on it, and if it isn't brown, just leave it for another 10 minutes. At this point, I take a knife and stab it once to create a little vent.

Basically, cook it until it looks the way it does below.

It makes it so much easier to cut into.

The squash is cooked through, and not crispy.

As an added bonus, I will toss it in a pan with a little olive oil, or butter when I am consuming dairy, salt and pepper, and saute until it gets a little crispy before serving.

One hour at 375° F (rotating once) is a good starting point. Then maybe 10 minutes more, then turn off the oven and leave for another 30 minutes.

Generally, I use the spaghetti squash as a replacement for spaghetti. This time served with turkey in canned tomato sauce, spinach, and spaghetti squash sauteed with asparagus.