Best of The Best: Galveston, TX

Galveston, TX – Mandy Seymour, Best Rated Reviews

If you are looking for a memorable summer vacation, we recommend a visit to Galveston, TX. Located 1 1/2 hours away from Houston, TX, there are many enjoyable places to stay, visit and enjoy R & R.

For a memorable hotel stay, we recommend The Lasker Inn. The Lasker Inn is an elegant, private and upscale venue for intimate and unforgettable vacations stays. The Inn’s gourmet chef serves a scrumptious, hearty breakfast.

The Lasker Inn is also one of Galveston’s premiere wedding venues. The Laster Inn provides wedding guests with “The Laster Inn Experience,” an all-inclusive package which includes every detail for wedding and reception planning and caters to even the most particular guests. Proprietor Richard Conner is the consummate host. He takes great pride in making arrangements for his guests so they may have the most enjoyable stay and event possible. Find out more at

Several delicious restaurants are located just a 10 minute’s drive away from the inn. We enjoyed dining at Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar. The establishment serves scrumptious gumbo and hot-and-fresh beignets. One of the islands most formal restaurants is Rudy and Paco. An ice cream shop, coffee shop and specialty shops are located within walking distance of these Galveston Nightlife eateries.

Galveston, TX

When visiting the beach in Galveston, beaches are usually packed densely with tourists June through early September. From mid-September through May, the beaches are quieter and less packed.

When you visit in the summer, we recommend also making plans to visit in December (during Dickens on The Strand) and in February (during Galveston Mardi Gras).

Galveston, TX Nightlife – Best Rated Reviews

Hi-Tec Hiking Boots

Hi-tec hiking boots are made with a one-of-a-kind amazing material that is waterproof but breathable.  Houston’s local rep, Bob Oliver, actually told us about a time during a demonstration of the boots’ ability to stay clean no matter what happens to them, whether a walk through sludge or a coffee or wine spill or anything else.  A woman who was watching the demonstration of how remarkably clean the boots stayed suddenly ran out of the room with a shriek.  They couldn’t imagine what had happened.  When she came back in, she explained that her husband had been wearing this brand of boots to work for a few years now, and she had come to think he wasn’t really going to work but must be having an affair because the boots were never dirty!  So once she realized the boots were truly water and dirt-proof, and that he really was going to work and not to an affair, it restored their marriage! 

The Hi-tec hiking boots are made with “Ion Mask” technology developed by the British government.  You can read more about this amazing material at <a href=””></a> and find out how you can get a pair of these amazing boots at <a href=””></a> Also, check out <a href=””></a> to see what the police are wearing these days and you can, too!  We especially enjoyed talking to Bob Oliver, who has a real passion for his products!We sampled the Altitude Ultra.  They work great!

Pendleton Clothing: 100+ Years of Heritage in The Making

Long-standing quality and British style give this company a reputable position among wool clothing manufacturers today.  When you put on a piece of Pendleton wool clothing, you feel both warm and prestigiously-dressed at the same time.  That is always a great feeling to have!  Our Pendleton favorites for women’s wool apparel for the season include the Double Face Collar Persimmon Jacket and the mock neck turtlenecks.  The turtlenecks are some of the best available today.  They are soft and not as constricting as most turtlenecks.  Pendleton also makes reversible clothing.  We think the reversible plaid Jacket is snappy.  Pendleton clothing’s best attribute is that it is very warm, but lightweight, stylish, and not bulky.  To buy Pendleton is to invest in quality that will last you a lifetime.

Pendleton is celebrating 100 years.  They have posted an inspirational and interesting history of the wool trade on their site at the link “Pendleton Heritage”.  You can read all about it at for the company’s main site and catalog of wonderful products.

Pairing Knife by Kuhn Rikon

We recently discovered a paring knife that never needs sharpening. We found it at, a great company from Switzerland. It’s called the “Non-Stick Colori Paring Knife”. They have several colors to choose from. What makes this knife special is that it has a carbon steel blade that stays sharp. We also like that it has a sheath which keeps it sharp and covered. Here’s a direct link, although you can also find the knives for sale at local gourmet specialty shops.

The Nap Collection

Are you ready to take the best nap you’ll ever have? You can with The Nap Collection by Brookstone. (  The Nap Collection is bliss in a box! The Nap Collection includes a cuddly blanket, cuddly matching booties, and a comfortable matching pillow.

It comes with the Brookstone “nap blanket” that by itself is a great luxury. The nap blanket is plush and snuggly. It weighs a not-too-lightweight, not-too-heavy weight. If Goldilocks had found The Nap Collection at the three bears’ house, she would not have cared that the bed was too big or small. When you surround yourself in the cuddly bliss, you can nap anywhere. We think this would make a great Christmas gift or anytime gift for you or anyone who is special to you. We also think this is a great set to take with you traveling to use during long layovers.

Wigwam Super Socks

When is a sock not a sock? When it’s a Wigwam! For years, when we needed socks, we treated them just like any other basic necessity: nothing special, just necessary. So we bought them at Wal-mart, Target, and similar stores. But the problem we always encountered is that after awhile, the socks began to wear and tear. And they always made our feet sweat.

At the suggestion of an R.E.I. hiking boots salesman who told us we needed to figure out socks before boots, we  tried Wigwam ultramax hiking socks. I spoke with Bob Wolleber a representative for Wigwam in Houston, Texas. He was filled with well-appropriated enthusiasm for the sophistication of techology in the world of socks. He said, “The techology of the world has finally come to socks.” What surprised us the most is that Wigwam socks are made from shellfish! Okay, let us clarify. They are made from a natural synthetic material called “chitosan” which comes from shellfish, wicks away moisture, and also has anti-bacterial properties.
They are our favorite at The Best of The Best because they are comfortably soft yet made to last.  Wigwam is an American-owned company located in Sheboygan, WI. All of their products are American-farmed and American-made. You can find these excellent socks at

Best of The Best: San Antonio, TX Christmas

If you are looking for a “best of the best” Christmas vacation in San Antonio, we have several recommendations for you.  Attractions on the top of our list include the San Antonio Riverwalk, Go Rio River Cruises, the Alamo, Market Square, and the San Antonio Zoo.

San Antonio Riverwalk

During the Christmas holidays, the San Antonio Riverwalk is transformed into a magical array of twinkling lights and festive holiday cheer.  It is one of the most memorable places to spend Christmas and New Years in Texas.  We recommend enjoying a leisurely stroll down the San Antonio Riverwalk.  There are many restaurants and other venues to enjoy the memorable ambiance of the San Antonio Riverwalk.

Go Rio Riverboat Cruises

If you are looking for a memorable experience, we recommend Go Rio Cruises.  Taking a scenic sightseeing tour on a boat gives a first-rate experience of San Antonio’s festive holiday decor as guests enjoy passing through the canopy of lights and seeing the river from a different perspective.  The Go Rio captains are also skilled tour guides who narrate a memorable introduction to San Antonio’s rich and varied history. Go Rio Cruises features a variety of cruises to choose from, including Narrated Cruises, River Shuttles, Dinner Cruises, and Private Charters.  You can find out more at

The Alamo

A visit to San Antonio is not complete without a visit to The Alamo.  This historic venue is a cultural icon.  During the holidays, the surrounding plaza is decorated with a beautiful Christmas tree and an adjacent magnificent oak tree covered in lights is the twinkle of the town.

Market Square

Market Square is San Antonio’s best shopping experience for anyone looking for Mexican handicrafts and imports.  Market Square features many colorful shops as well as the legendary Mi Tierra bakery and restaurant.  During weekends and other special occasions, mariachis serenade visitors and the area hosts occasional traditional dancing and music.

San Antonio Zoo

The San Antonio Zoo is a special place rich in animal experiences for children and adults alike.  The San Antonio Zoo features interactive animal experiences, which include petting a kangaroo, feeding colorful birds, and during the holidays, even camel rides.  There are many interesting animals to see here and the rocky, limestone landscape backdrop gives a Hill Country ambiance to one’s zoo experience.

Tower of The Americas

During the holidays, a visit to Tower of The Americas provides an opportunity to view the city’s many colorful lights.  Dinner or dessert at the Charthouse, the Tower of The America’s spinning restaurant, adds an extra memorable experience to one’s visit.  We especially recommend the Chocolate Lava Cake.

San Antonio is a city which enthralls visitors with a “best of the best” travel experience every time.  We highly recommend it during Christmas and any other time of the year as well!

Texas Renaissance Festival: 1001 Fairies Weekend

The Texas Renaissance Festival hosted 1001 Fairies from October 16-17, 2021.  The 1001 Fairies Weekend is an enchanting weekend of all.  Beautiful fairies wafted through the festival, enchanting little girls and people of all ages.  

The Texas Renaissance Festival is one of Texas’ “best of the best” events in the Houston area each year.  Families and individuals enjoy a variety of foods, live entertainment shows, and shopping.

We recommend dining on a turkey leg, visiting the petting zoo and live carousel, letting the little ones ride the butterfly ride, taking a nice walk in the enchanted garden forest (where you can get your picture on a unicorn and meet a mermaid at the rock shop on the way out of the forest.)

The Texas Renaissance is a memorable and exciting event for all!

Rating: 5 Stars! 

“Best of the Best!”


Best of The Best: Texas Hill Country

Best of Texas Hill Country

If you’re looking for a memorable couples Fall Getaway, we recommend the Hyatt Hill Country Resort in San Antonio, TX.  The Hyatt Hill Country Resort immerses guests in the “best of the best” of the Texas Hill Country.

Located just a 20-minute drive from The San Antonio Riverwalk, the property offers a one-of-a-kind golf course, upscale and causal dining, natural-themed pools, and a daily calendar of events and activities.

The Hyatt Hill Country Resort is one of San Antonio’s premiere destinations to experience and enjoy one of the finest spas in the area.  We felt rejuvenated and refreshed by a Hill Country facial, deluxe pedicure, and luxuriating swim in the spa pool.  The Hyatt Hill Country Resort offers high-quality spa services.  Our pedicure lasted for many weeks with no chipping.

We want to give a special Best Rated recognition to the Hyatt Hill Country’s resident naturalist who leads the guided nature walks.  He led us on an expert nature walk through the property.  His passion for the flora and fauna of the Texas Hill Country was contagious.

After our memorable visit to the Hyatt Hill Country Resort, we enjoyed lunch on the iconic San Antonio Riverwalk.  We visited the Historic Market Square, which is the best source for Mexican handicrafts and apparel in the area.  

The next day, we drive west to Garner State Park where we hiked and swam in the Frio River.

We enjoyed a refreshing dip in the Frio River at sunset.  I took this photo just as the sun had set.  The beauty of Garner State Park and the Frio River provided an enchanting river swim and sunset moment I’ll always remember.

That night, we stargazed and saw the Milky Way (which is visible July – October, especially on moonless nights).

The next day, we headed to Enchanted Rock where we camped under the stars.  If you are looking to visit nature and hike but you do not desire to camp, we recommend a stay at Trois Estate.  It is an Albuquerque-themed bed and breakfast with unique vistas and a special getaway feel.

En route to Enchanted Rock, we meandered through the Texas Hill Country.  We stopped half way for a home-cooked Chicken Fried Steak and some of the best mashed potatoes we have ever had.  We enjoyed a delectable homemade peach cobbler and shopping in Fredericksburg, TX en route to Enchanted Rock.

That night, we enjoyed the panoramic vista of stars and Enchanted Rock’s designation as a Night Sky destination.  

The next day, we drove to Austin and enjoyed a high-protein breakfast at Casa de Luz.  We finished our 4-day road trip with a swim in Austin’s Guadalupe River.

The best time is quality time. When you visit these places with the one you love, you’ll have a “best of the best” experience and cherished memories to last a lifetime.

  • Mandy Seymour and Sarah Seymour, Mother-Daughter Travel Duo

Tanzania by Mandy Seymour

I visited Tanzania during The Great Migration. It was a wondrous sight to be hold! Witnessing the migration of thousands of wildebeests, zebras, and birds as they traverse the Serengeti is a “best of the best” travel experience of a lifetime.

During my photo journey, I encountered many amazing and wondrous animals! I met deep and prevailing peoples. I experienced animals and nature in their splendid glory of being fully alive, enjoying the vast and varied terrain upon which they live.

Here are some of the animals, people and places I visited on safari in Africa. I encourage you to make the trek to Tanzania. It’s worth it!

Lion Sleeping in Tanzania by Mandy Seymour, Best Rated Reviews

Lion Sleeping

I saw this lion sleeping on a rock next to his majestic brother. He was resting so deeply.

Elephants in Tanzania by Mandy Seymour, Best Rated Reviews

Two elephants caress with their trunks in Tarangire National Park in Tanzania, Africa. While witnessing The Great Migration is a sign to behold, visiting Tarangire National Park was my favorite experience on safari in Africa. It is a wonderland of elephants. We spent three days watching, enjoying, and photographing hundreds of elephants – who all went about their daily lives as if we were not there.

Hotel Maisha, Tarangire – Mandy Seymour, Best Rated Reviews

I stayed in a treehouse safari tent and enjoyed writing in my tent while I was there.

Colorful Bird in Tanzania – Mandy Seymour, Best Rated Reviews

Tanzania is home to colorful birds.

Cheetah in Tanzania by Mandy Seymour, Best Rated Reviews

This cheetah stared at a zebra in the distance for an hour. She did not run after it (which was okay with me because I had actually prayed I would not see an animal get killed and God answered my prayer the entire safari!)

Maasai by Mandy Seymour, Best Rated Reviews

The Masai people are noble and fierce. They are warriors who guard their people and livestock and protect them from lions and other predators.

Maasai Jumping by Mandy Seymour, Best Rated Reviews

The Masai can jump very high. They can make fires by hand.

Maasai Women by Mandy Seymour, Best Rated Reviews

Masai women make beautiful, intricate necklaces.

Safari Picnic in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

Safari Picnics are memorable on the Serengeti!

My stay at Kitela Lodge was magical!

Hot Air Ballon Ride Over Serengeti by Mandy Seymour, Best Rated Reviews

No safari experience is complete until you’ve ridden over the Serengeti in a hot air balloon.

Sunset in Tarangire National Park by Mandy Seymour, Best Rated Reviews
Tanzania with Maasai Warrior by Mandy Seymour, Best Rated Reviews