Greetings from Austin again!

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
Staff member
PREMO Member
We took my grandson to the coolest place: Topgolf

It's not for kids, it's a driving range on steroids, but he had fun. There are three tiers and you hit microchipped balls out over a set of targets. It tracks your speed, curve, hang time, etc, and you can play competitively, getting points for hitting nearer the bullseye. It was a blast! The stations have table service, so you can get a drink or some food. Monello and I need to go back without the kid. :jet:

This weekend my son is getting married, so that will consume our time, then we're taking my grandson to Bandera, TX and spending the week at a dude ranch. Riding horses, tubing the river, there's a pool, hayrides, all kinds of stuff. I've been wanting to do this for a long time and I'm really excited! I thought about bringing my granddaughter, too, but she's only three and won't be able to do anything fun. We'll do something else with her. Riggs is going to his other grandmother when we get back from the dude ranch, so I can spend some one-on-one with Noelle.
 

Bann

Doris Day meets Lady Gaga
PREMO Member
We took my grandson to the coolest place: Topgolf

It's not for kids, it's a driving range on steroids, but he had fun. There are three tiers and you hit microchipped balls out over a set of targets. It tracks your speed, curve, hang time, etc, and you can play competitively, getting points for hitting nearer the bullseye. It was a blast! The stations have table service, so you can get a drink or some food. Monello and I need to go back without the kid. :jet:

This weekend my son is getting married, so that will consume our time, then we're taking my grandson to Bandera, TX and spending the week at a dude ranch. Riding horses, tubing the river, there's a pool, hayrides, all kinds of stuff. I've been wanting to do this for a long time and I'm really excited! I thought about bringing my granddaughter, too, but she's only three and won't be able to do anything fun. We'll do something else with her. Riggs is going to his other grandmother when we get back from the dude ranch, so I can spend some one-on-one with Noelle.
Sounds like fun!! I wanna be your grandchild! :jet: :lmao:
 

Monello

Awww, jeez
PREMO Member
And no donkey rides down the Grand Canyon!! :jameo: :jameo:
I figure that is the only way we would go down those trails.

Plus Monellino & his GF have agreed to meet us at the canyon next year. We can live vicariously through them as they venture to the bottom of the canyon.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
Staff member
PREMO Member
Breakfast tacos for breakfast every morning (except fasting days). Not sure why I don't do this all the time instead of just when I'm in Texas.
 

Bann

Doris Day meets Lady Gaga
PREMO Member
I figure that is the only way we would go down those trails.

Plus Monellino & his GF have agreed to meet us at the canyon next year. We can live vicariously through them as they venture to the bottom of the canyon.
:yay: That's good! We were going to try and plan out something, but it's too early/too far out for us to know what is going to happen on our end. I know the window of opportunity is probably going to be lost when we *can* plan out something, but we can't really help it, since we're bound by arrangements here, with Thing1, etc.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
Staff member
PREMO Member
Greetings from Twin Elm Ranch in Bandera!

To my relief, it's not as rustic as I thought it would be. It rained like crazy the last few days, so everything is mud and goober, but today it should dry up nicely. Our little cottage has two large rooms and a private bath, understated cowboy decor, and a nicely furnished covered patio.

It's too muddy to ride today, so we'll go downtown and explore, then come back for a swim. Tomorrow will be a better day for horses.
 

luvmygdaughters

Active Member
We took my grandson to the coolest place: Topgolf

It's not for kids, it's a driving range on steroids, but he had fun. There are three tiers and you hit microchipped balls out over a set of targets. It tracks your speed, curve, hang time, etc, and you can play competitively, getting points for hitting nearer the bullseye. It was a blast! The stations have table service, so you can get a drink or some food. Monello and I need to go back without the kid. :jet:

This weekend my son is getting married, so that will consume our time, then we're taking my grandson to Bandera, TX and spending the week at a dude ranch. Riding horses, tubing the river, there's a pool, hayrides, all kinds of stuff. I've been wanting to do this for a long time and I'm really excited! I thought about bringing my granddaughter, too, but she's only three and won't be able to do anything fun. We'll do something else with her. Riggs is going to his other grandmother when we get back from the dude ranch, so I can spend some one-on-one with Noelle.
Sounds like fun!! Enjoy!
 

jazz lady

~*~ rara avis ~*~
Breakfast tacos for breakfast every morning (except fasting days). Not sure why I don't do this all the time instead of just when I'm in Texas.
Was watching "Diners, Drive-ins & Dives" on the Food Network the other night and they were at a joint in Austin called Maria's Taco Express, so naturally I thought about you:

The state of TX is known for many things, but one of their truly best kept secrets is the vast array of diners to visit to grab a delicious bite to eat. What makes this one stand out above the rest is their daily handmade range of fresh Tacos as well as Pollo Guisado and Picadillo!

Address / Location:

2529 S. Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78704
http://www.dinersdriveinsdiveslocations.com/marias-taco-express-texas.html

They have several other restaurants in Austin they have visited:

http://www.dinersdriveinsdiveslocations.com/austin-texas.html
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
Staff member
PREMO Member
Was watching "Diners, Drive-ins & Dives" on the Food Network the other night and they were at a joint in Austin called Maria's Taco Express, so naturally I thought about you:



http://www.dinersdriveinsdiveslocations.com/marias-taco-express-texas.html

They have several other restaurants in Austin they have visited:

http://www.dinersdriveinsdiveslocations.com/austin-texas.html
There are about 8 million great Mex and Tex-Mex restaurants in the general Austin area. And don't get me started on the BBQ. Texas is a food state. :yum:

Yesterday we found a little local gem: https://flyingl.com/activities/water-park/ We AND the kid had a blast!
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
Staff member
PREMO Member
The dude ranch was incredibly cool and Bandera, TX is like a movie set. If you find yourself in need of a cowboy experience, let me recommend both the town and the ranch.

Our room (there was another large room with two sets of bunkbeds, and we had a private bath). Look at Apollo - he's so cute!
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Stirrup Lodge, our cottage (grandkid does not convey)
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Downtown Bandera
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We hit up a rodeo, went to a small waterpark, the guys got some fishing in, and we got to see a real live cowboy gunfight! (Okay, it was a street play, but still...) The kid did good - he's a bit of a brat and I'm out of practice giving children, um, motivational speeches. But it all came back to me. Straighten up and fly right, brat. :smack:

We got back home this afternoon and had a swim this evening. Tomorrow is a fasting day but Tuesday I want to go to the movie place that has theater seating and serves you food during the show. Jurassic Park, baybee! They have a large number of those type of theaters in Austin, with the comfy recliner seating and food/beverage service. The first time I'd ever gone to one was last year with my daughter and now it's the only way to fly.
 

Monello

Awww, jeez
PREMO Member
The local rodeo had a few kid events. Mini bull riding and mutton busting. Watching the kiddies was hysterical. Holding on for dear to a lamb, while it hightails it out of the chute. They also let any 12 and under chase 3 bulls around with ribbons attached to their tails. The winners got some sort of prize.

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vraiblonde

Board Mommy
Staff member
PREMO Member
I love H-E-B slightly more than I love Publix. They have grind your own coffee, and their store brand is super good. My favorite is Rio Grande, which is hinted with orange and cinnamon. I need to remember to stock up for when we leave.

Yesterday evening we had food truck burgers and onion rings and ate them at the picnic table out back. Monello and I love a good food truck - many times the chow is better than what you get at a sit-down - and Austin is down with it. There are a number of food truck courts dotted around the city, with everything from juice bars to stellar BBQ to serious Italian comfort with hand-made pasta. If you can think of it, Austin has a truck that serves it.

When I was a kid, eating out of a truck meant Stewart sandwiches from a steam table and a bag of Lays. Now it means wood fired pizza and banh mi.

After dinner we headed to Ernie's Dockside so Monello could have a drink by the lake (my stomach cannot tolerate alcohol just yet). Ernie's is a restaurant, but it's weird because they operate more as a bar that happens to have pretty good food. You order at a window and they yell your name when your food comes up. They have two outdoor bars - one with a guy and a guitar and the other with a full band - and it's a secret party happening spot that I hope the Californians who pretend to be Austinites never find. I think they also have an indoor restaurant, but I can't imagine why anyone would sit inside.

At - ready? - 102* outside, the breeze was lovely and it was very comfortable. Everyone gasps at Texas in July, but it really isn't that bad.

Today I'm going to roll Monello out of bed and make him take me to Black's in Lockhart for brunch, then tonight there's a little festival in Leander, which is where my daughter lives, about a half hour up the road from where we are.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
Staff member
PREMO Member
Also about the food:

I'm a bean snob and won't eat the pasty refried goober they serve at some of these Mexican restaurants, nor will I eat the baked beans that come to most potlucks. Charro beans and Borracho beans are the way to go.

Charro = pintos simmered with meat
Borracho = pintos simmered with dark beer

They are recognizable as beans, in their whole state, and highly flavorful. Savory, not sweet. A meal by themselves. In Texas, they are a staple side at BBQ joints and Mexican restaurants - I don't think I've ever even seen refried beans here.

I'm inspired by Muy Wayne-O in PCB - they brought Tex-Mex in all its perfection to a Florida beach town, complete with Shiner beer to complete the experience. So now I want to bring real Texas BBQ to SoMD so you all can see what it's really supposed to be. I probably won't do that, but somebody should.

What's supposed to happen at a BBQ place is you go in and tell them what you want. They'll have a few platter suggestions, but how it really works is that you tell them you want, say, a 1/4 rack, two slices of fatty brisket, a small slice of smoked turkey, and a 1/4 jalapeno link, with whatever side you want (if you even want one). They cut the meat, weigh it, tot it up, you pay, you eat. Fixing's bar is sliced onions, pickles, and two or three styles of sauce. You also get a choice of cornbread or sliced white bread (I'm a white bread person). Bottles of beer are on ice, alongside soft drinks, and you pick one up on your way to the register. There is always banana pudding for dessert, along with fresh baked cookies and maybe a few other things.

BBQ in Texas will spoil you for anything else.
 

Bann

Doris Day meets Lady Gaga
PREMO Member
Also about the food:

I'm a bean snob and won't eat the pasty refried goober they serve at some of these Mexican restaurants, nor will I eat the baked beans that come to most potlucks. Charro beans and Borracho beans are the way to go.

Charro = pintos simmered with meat
Borracho = pintos simmered with dark beer

They are recognizable as beans, in their whole state, and highly flavorful. Savory, not sweet. A meal by themselves. In Texas, they are a staple side at BBQ joints and Mexican restaurants - I don't think I've ever even seen refried beans here.

I'm inspired by Muy Wayne-O in PCB - they brought Tex-Mex in all its perfection to a Florida beach town, complete with Shiner beer to complete the experience. So now I want to bring real Texas BBQ to SoMD so you all can see what it's really supposed to be. I probably won't do that, but somebody should.

What's supposed to happen at a BBQ place is you go in and tell them what you want. They'll have a few platter suggestions, but how it really works is that you tell them you want, say, a 1/4 rack, two slices of fatty brisket, a small slice of smoked turkey, and a 1/4 jalapeno link, with whatever side you want (if you even want one). They cut the meat, weigh it, tot it up, you pay, you eat. Fixing's bar is sliced onions, pickles, and two or three styles of sauce. You also get a choice of cornbread or sliced white bread (I'm a white bread person). Bottles of beer are on ice, alongside soft drinks, and you pick one up on your way to the register. There is always banana pudding for dessert, along with fresh baked cookies and maybe a few other things.

BBQ in Texas will spoil you for anything else.
:yum: Muy Wayne-O's in PCB was SOO good! I am not usually a bean person, but maybe I'm really not a mushy re-fried bean person, because those beans at MW's were pretty good. I didn't order any, I think I tasted Foxhound's or someone's. :yay:
 
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