Monday, February 15, 2010

The bluebonnets are worth the drive...

For the '09 holidays Paige and I decided we would celebrate the new job by taking a break from the extremely busy tourist season in NYC and head to her home state of Texas.  Since we were both able to get a couple weeks off spanning Christmas and New Years we planned to visit her family for a week and take a week road trip ending in Austin for NYE.  The night before our flight out we received the first snow storm of the season here blessing us with ~16 inches of snow.  Luckily for us we were flying out of JFK as LGA was completely closed for 3 days surrounding the snow storm.  Regardless we were delayed most of the day and got into Houston much later than expected.

Since this post is already going to be lengthy, here are just a few highlights of the trip:

1. It is always a pleasure hanging out with Paige's family and meeting the new additions along the way. There was a sibling rivalry competition between Paige and her brother building gingerbread houses which I somehow got roped into judging.  We obviously know who one there, sorry Zach.

2. First stop out of Houston was San Antonio where we were able to hang out with a few of Paige’s college buddies, check out the River Walk (think a nicer/cleaner Savannah), and tour the Alamo.  I'm sad to say that middle school history classes didn't pay off on this visit as I had forgotten most of the Alamo other than “Davy, Davy Crockett, King of the wild frontier.” And I'm not positive that song is directly rated.

3. The next day we drove into Fredericksburg which is home to wineries, antique shops, and a heavily German influenced Main Street.  Being big fans of live music we were stoked to find out Cory Morrow would be playing The Auslander the night we were there.  Unfortunately for Paige, I am OCD when it comes to being late for events, especially when there is not assigned seating. When I called The Auslander to ask what time we should get there to assure a seat the lady kindly said “Sweetheart, for Cory Morrow you better get here EARLY.” Being one to follow instructions we arrived when they said we could, 6pm.  Paige won't let me live down that the next people didn't get there until roughly 7:15.  However, there are worse places to kill time than a Biergarten.  Our front row seats proved worth the wait, and we had a great time.  A small video we took -

4. Our next stops were in Luckenbach and Gruene Texas.  Prior to visiting Luckenbach all I knew of it was what Waylon Jennings had told me, that "out in Luckenbach, TX ain't nobody feelin' no pain".  It took us a few moments to realize that the "Pop 3" sign was literal and the town in fact is made up of only three people.  The next stop was in Gruene which is home to Gruene Hall. This is the largest dance hall I have ever stepped foot in and has hosted equal sized shows. This evening there was a gentleman performing mostly covers with a few originals to a packed house so we enjoyed a few Shiners and took it in.  For dinner we went to a place that Paige has frequented many times with friends on rafting trips.  It was a lot of fun being able to see the places she so fondly speaks of.

5. The next morning we toured New Braunfels, visited her Aunt’s almost ready for business Bed and Breakfast, and drove into Austin.  After a brief rest in the hotel we picked up our friends, and travel partners Jonathan and Lindsey, from the airport and met a few of Paige's friends out for drinks. When visiting Austin you have to consent to the notion of eating a lot of good, dirty food. We had our share of Tex-Mex and BBQ, and then more. We were in Austin for 4 days, including NYE, so a great mix of debauchery and outdoor exploring ensued.
Here I am with Jonathan and Lindsey on a Wine tour before experiencing the wonders of Salt Lick BBQ -

Paige said along the way that she was hoping this trip would show me the different sides of Texas and influence me to want to move there someday.  I can say she was successful.  It was a pleasant surprise to see areas of such history, towns very culturally influenced, and become part of something she represents so well.  It also could not have come at a better time than during the holidays in the city.  While on the trip, I was ready to pack up and make the move.  I began to remember what doing laundry was like in your own home, paying 2 dollars for a beer instead of 6, what good Mexican food tasted like, and hearing people say please and thank you. However, getting off the plane in New York we both feel back at home and don't plan to rush anywhere anytime soon. It is amazing how quickly you feel at home in a new place while at the same time finding new things to explore there every week.



  1. um, what is a "Bread and Breakfast"? I also think Paige "won" the gingerbread comp. Just looking out for you bro.

    Your trip looked awesome. I am so jealous you got to see so much country music ;). Glad your blogging again.


  2. good point, maybe that's why it hasn't opened yet? ha, my mistake. It was a great time, and after getting to the biergarten a few hours early, even you would have enjoyed the country music :)