Monday, March 16, 2015

Deep In the Heart of Texas

Hubs and I spent the weekend guess where? You guessed it. We flew out early Thursday morning after a very late short night Wednesday. His co-workers threw him a retirement party on Wednesday evening but I'm going to save that recap for later, because this morning I want to talk about Texas.

UK friends as we call them round here....note-when you move a lot you might refer to your friends via geography. We have Maryland friends, NJ the first time friends, college friends, etc...anyway UK friends otherwise known as friends we met while living in the UK, had a son getting married in the hill country outside of Austin on Saturday, so we made a long weekend of it.

I've always heard people talk about the Texas hill country and I think it lived up to it's billing. We had an absolutely fabulous time, but first things first. Cowboy boots. I needed a pair. I had a pair years ago and was looking forward to the whole boot buying experience. When in Rome, right?

Hubs and I flew into Houston and made the drive over to Austin Thursday afternoon. You may have heard there's a ginormous convention going on in the city of Austin just now (SXSW) so flights were ridunculous. We needed a rental car anyway, so opted to go the Houston route.  It was an easy drive over (I napped, so easy for me anyway) until you hit Austin. What is up with your traffic Austin? Ka-razy, and not just because of SXSW either. Plus UT was on Spring Break so most of the students were away. I can't imagine what it's like on game day.

We eventually got to our hotel, checked in, and proceeded straight to the boot store. As a side note-I wish I'd invented the boot jack. We did buy one because I told hubs I'd have to sleep in mine if I didn't have some way to get them off my feet.

After shopping we enjoyed a fabulous dinner at a place called Lamberts, on W. 2nd Street. Hubs ordered the short rib and I guess what they say is true-

Everything's bigger in Texas! Hubs had me put my hand there for perspective. In case you're interested, I had brisket which was melt in your mouth delicious.

Friday we slept in, then made our way back into downtown. I need to pause here and acknowledge the absolute spectacular perfection that was the weather. Bright blue skies, warm air and a cool breeze, loads of was heaven. I have not been outside without a coat in months, and Texas weather was just what the doctor ordered.

The Texas capitol building is a landmark so we headed there first. Really pretty, and did I mention the weather? We wandered around inside a bit before getting back out amongst the masses to find lunch.  There's a great energy in this city, and it was amped up a few notches because of the SXSW happenings. We had lunch on a patio and soaked up the sun. Our Vitamin D tanks were in desperate need of a refill. Thanks Texas!

After lunch we headed out into true hill country where the wedding festivities were being held-Dripping Springs.  Doesn't that just sound like a sleepy hill country town? Hubs and I had some time to fill before dinner so we mozied down the road to a cute little shop to browse and maybe buy me something pretty. Or two somethings. Or four. My retirement present-ha!

It just so happened Miss Rodeo Austin was in this same little shop also buying something pretty, so the shopkeeper snapped a blurry picture for us. Miss Rodeo Austin was adorable.

We were meeting up with some 'UK friends' for dinner. Two couples we haven't seen in eons so there was Mexican food, and loads of catching up to do before we moved on to the after dinner venue-The Mercer Street Dance Hall. 

Lots of Texas two-stepping going on, which is way harder than it looks. The bride and groom were awesome to watch! Plus, the sweetest thing...the bride actually wore her future mother-in-law's wedding gown to the rehearsal dinner and for dancing afterwards. She had it cut down into a dancing dress and I thought it was just precious. The groom's mama doesn't have daughters, so this was a really a thoughtful thing for this special bride to do.

The wedding wasn't until Saturday evening so we had a whole day to meander around the countryside. We spent a couple of hours right here-

The Solaro winery, sitting on their outdoor patio in the glorious Texas sun. I might be a little obsessed with the weather, but y'all it has been a winter in the northeast. Eventually we drove on over to a little town called Driftwood for lunch at the original Salt Lick in Driftwood Texas.

There was a crowd so we sat under this big tree and inhaled one of the best smells in all the world-Texas BBQ.

We three girls did a few laps around the hotel property before getting ready for the wedding because it seemed right.

The wedding was held in a pretty venue right next door to our hotel. The ceremony took place outside and there were cocktails on the patio before we all went indoors for dinner and more dancing. The bride and groom are both engineers and fully embraced their wedding date. They had a lot of fun with it including a pi(e) plate for their guests to sign.

It was the sort of day you didn't want to end. Perfect weather, old friends, young love, perfect weather. Sunday we flew back home to the tundra. We arrived in Newark on time, but were kept sitting on the tarmac for almost an hour waiting on a 'parking space'. Something was going on in baggage claim too, so collecting our luggage took another hour. We finally arrived home in the dark of night, the pile of snow a little smaller but not small enough, and temps in the 30's. Re-entry here is always a little bit rough, but it's okay.

The stars at night, are big and bright...all around this great land.


  1. What a wonderful long weekend you had!! I really want to see those new boots, though! :)

    Glad you could soak up some sunshine and enjoy the nice weather!

  2. That looks like a fabulous weekend. I bought boots when in Houston too. I mean, if you can't buy 'em there, where can you?!

  3. Joyce... this is TOO funny! My 97 year old Dad lives in Austin and has dinner at Lamberts at LEAST three times a week. The staff absolutely loves him and he even has a bar stool with his name on it!! So glad you enjoyed Austin. I could go for some Texas weather right now. Enjoy your week!

  4. Well, perhaps Texas will make your list of possible home sites. :o)) I've been all over Texas but never to Austin and we've got to get there. So glad you all had such a nice long weekend in the great state of Texas. Wishing you warmer temps!

  5. I'm glad you had a weekend full of glorious weather and fun activities, even if you had to go to Texas to do it :)
    Kathy (Reflections by Kathy)

  6. Oh, wow, wish I'd known you were here! Not that I could have done anything about it since I worked all weekend!

    Hoping the Hodgepodge has a taste of Texas this week! :-)

  7. Daddy refused to say "UT"; he says it's "TU" because it rhymes with "PU"! (He's an Aggie, through & through!)
    We used to always stop in Lott to buy boots; apparently that's the place to buy them! :)

  8. Looks like y'all had such a fun time! I really love your outfit with the white top and jeans, BTW! Super cute!

  9. Now that sounds like a perfect weekend. So glad you got to meet up with some of your UK friends. Love the pictures and your look great!

  10. Looks like a nice trip to Texas! I don't like driving in any of the big cities like Austin or DFW, too crazy for me!

  11. Fun post. I have family that live in Caldwell, Texas. We also visited Austin. My boys loved the Capitol building and the museum next door. So well done for kids, all hands on.
    It looks like a great time. You will have to show us your boots. :-))

  12. Glad you had a good time in my home state. If the red boots are your new ones, good choice. I like them! Austin is a good choice for a visit for those who haven't been to Texas before as you get such a mix of Texas all in one place (from historical to funky, they have so much of it). But, for this girl, the slower paced areas are my favorite.