Since spending most of our time at home this year, my husband Michael and I were thrilled to pack up our kids and head to the mountains! A month of skiing, snowboarding and hiking in between remote work and school was exactly what we all needed. So, we loaded up the car and made our way west toward our New Mexico cabin. Luckily for us, the drive is as scenic as it is vast and halfway to the slopes lies the perfect pit stop, Lubbock, Texas.
As the “Hub City” came into view and the kids started talking about what they wanted for lunch, nostalgia hit me hard. It seemed like yesterday that Michael and I had met at Texas Tech University. Now, we were back with our three children, eager to enjoy new West Texas experiences as a family. But, first, lunch!
Flipper’s Tavern offers a familiar, funky dive vibe with pinball machines, which the kids loved, and the gourmet hot dog menu. Between the five of us, we each tried the Cubano with pulled pork, the pizza-themed Cosa Nostra and the Cajun-style Bon Temp with crawfish fondue. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
While the kids were finishing their hot dogs, Michael thought a little adventure would help the kids burn some energy. We piled into the SUV and headed down the Marsha Sharp Freeway. When we pulled into the lot at Adventure Park, the kids were thrilled to do some go-kart racing!
We could have spent the whole day racing and playing games at Adventure Park, but Michael had reserved a tee box at 4ORE! Golf for a driving-range match-up with our longtime friends, Robert and Rosie. We found them waiting for us when we got there, and traded elbow bumps excitedly. The four of us used to double-date in college, so this felt like old times even though so much had changed since we last hung out, including the city!
Working up our driving skills at 4ORE! Golf worked up an appetite and Rosie knew exactly where to take us!
Dirk’s is a new old-school diner. Chef Cameron West, a Lubbock local, puts a delicious spin on comfort food like shrimp and grits, fried okra and fried chicken. The rotisserie chicken was a crowd favorite among our little group.
The décor includes cartoons of Texas Tech’s “Raider Red” by Cameron’s grandfather Dirk West, whose work used to run in the local paper. It was fun seeing those drawings again and sharing them with the kids.
After finishing our fair share of chicken, we decided to call it a night. Robert had suggested the Cotton Court Hotel because he knows Michael likes fire pits and cornhole and this place has both. Like Dirk’s, it’s a new variation on a classic theme—a recently built hotel that looks like it’s always been part of Downtown Lubbock. Designed to replicate a vintage cotton gin that was in use at Lubbock’s inception, each square-foot of the property pays homage to Lubbock’s rich agricultural and music history. With Buddy Holly thoughtfully placed in the smallest of details, guests are immersed in the culture of the city.
The next morning, we got up early to shop for our stay at the cabin. We knew shopping in Lubbock would get us the gear we needed without paying resort prices. First, though, we needed breakfast.
We wanted something hearty, so we went to the Cast Iron Grill. Their breakfast menu is amazing—western omelet, French toast, biscuits and gravy, and huevos rancheros. Don’t forget to leave room for homemade pie! They sell out quickly. Our favorite is the blueberry banana split one!
On our way out of town we stopped at Troy’s Ski Lubbock to replace the snowboard boots and pants my son had outgrown. We also needed new goggles and ski jackets. Troy’s and Ski Lubbock were two different outfitters when Michael and I were in college here, but now they’ve combined to serve West Texas ski and snowboard enthusiasts. We also decided to pop into Mountain Hideaway Outdoor Outfitters for hiking gear, a new pair of gloves, and of course, plenty of handwarmers!
With our shopping done, there was one more stop on the way to the slopes: Monomyth Coffee, a modern, airy coffee shop tucked away in a cute converted old house near Texas Tech’s campus. Our online search for coffee shops in Lubbock made Monomyth’s chai latte sound fantastic, and all three kids wanted hot chocolate. They also convinced us we should get chocolate chip cookies for the road.
As we hit the interstate with our coffeehouse treats, we enjoyed reading the messages the baristas wrote on our to-go cups. I liked mine the best: “When we change, we grow. When we grow, we’re really living.”
My kids are changing because they’re growing up. Lubbock is changing and growing, too. My family, like the city where Michael and I met, is really living. And we can’t wait to visit Lubbock again on our way home.Plan your Lubbock winter getaway today.