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Deep in the Heart of Texas

May 5, 2012

Last week, Matt and I spent a long weekend visiting family and friends in Texas. I hadn’t been there in five years, so in addition to the people, I was super excited to eat some serious Tex-Mex and see the bluebonnets.

We flew out of Atlanta on Friday night, and arrived in Houston near midnight. Our wonderful friends from college, Marshall and Erin, came to pick us up from the airport and provided us with a place to stay. On Saturday, after picking up the rental car for the weekend, we ventured to Pappas Bar-B-Q so Matt could get a taste of Texas BBQ—beef rather than pork, which you’ll generally find in Georgia. Since I’m not a BBQ-eater, I had a salad with grilled chicken and a side of mac and cheese. Still delicious.

Then (you might have noticed a trend on our trips), we visited Saint Arnold Brewing Company in Houston. Neither Matt nor I had heard of it before, but all the beers we tried were very solid. I even tried the Endeavour, which is a monstrously hoppy double IPA. The brewery also provided free brewed root beer, which was tasty.

At Saint Arnold Brewing Company

After the brewery, Matt and I headed out to visit my mom’s cousin, his wife, daughter, her husband, and their four-year-old daughter. It was a fun time complete with backyard relaxing, catching up, and a cookout. I was so glad to see all of them because it had been five years, and I’d never before met the four-year-old. She even sent me home with one of her toys—how sweet. 🙂

Once we returned to Marshall and Erin’s place, we had a few beers on their patio to close out our last night in Houston. (We found some good beers at Whole Foods.)

On Sunday, we hopped into our rental car and hit the road for San Antonio. We only briefly stopped in San Antonio to see the Alamo and the Riverwalk. Then onward to the Hill Country.

At the Alamo

On Saturday evening, I finally got my Tex-Mex! My aunt and uncle took us out to a good Mexican restaurant in town, and I gorged myself.

So tasty, in the most unhealthy way

On Monday, we ventured to Stonehenge II, a replica of the monument. I’d seen it before, but it moved locations since the last time. (Read more about it here.)

Uncle Lynn and me at Stonehenge II

Then we headed to Bandera, the Cowboy Capital of the World, and Medina. In Medina, there’s a cute little cottage on an apple orchard (Love Creek Orchards) where we stopped for delicious apple ice cream, topped with apple cider sauce. Yum. I also purchased a Texas-shaped cookie-cutter. Can’t wait for Texas cookies.

When my parents visited a couple years ago, they also went here. The same cat who my mom made friends with was there, and we all became fast friends.

Views of the Hill Country

After traveling around the Hill Country, we were too tired for another meal out, so Matt and I picked up Tex-Mex take-out for one more indulgence. So good, but oh, so filling.

On the way pack from picking up the food, I finally got a photo with my bluebonnets. They were actually hard to come by because it has been so dry in south Texas this spring.

Even though the trip was a little exhausting, it was great to see everyone and visit my home state again!

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