Hey y’all, miss me? I have been fairly absent recently due to vacation. Let’s see, where to begin…
Last Friday, we took Elliot to his doc appointment and he is finally out of a cast and into a boot. The week prior when he finally started getting serious about putting weight on it really helped because the x-ray showed much more bone calcification, i.e. bone regrowth. So they felt good about moving to the boot. He was awkward at first but now he moves pretty good in it. Anyway, right after that, we got the rental car, brought it back, and got packed up. Soon, we were on our way to Pensacola. Once there, I went grocery shopping with my mom and sister and then we made a huge dinner. The next morning, my folks and Ash and I got on the road. Not entirely sure what time we left but we did leave in that tropical storm, so that was none too fun. We definitely hit some rainy patches as we went through Alabama and Mississippi, and even some into Louisiana. Somewhere in that state we stopped at a Five Guys so my parents could eat – I had a coffee from Panera – and then sometime around 5ish we got into Houston. Our airbnb for the night was a downtown loft, right near the Astros stadium. Glitch #1 is that the door was operated by some third party app and when we got there, we couldn’t get it set up right so it took a good long while to finally get into our room. Ugh.
Once there, it was fine. Nothing amazing. We didn’t think about a loft as being so open – duh – but hey, it was one night. Once settled, we walked to a place called Irma’s Southwest and it was GOOD. A little pricey but I had wild boar tacos and Ash had these Nilgai ones – it’s a type of antelope I guess. (It all made sense later when we realized that Texas has a lot of Big Game hunting locations.) Anywho, that meal was awesome and right after, we walked to a couple breweries – True Anomaly and 8th Wonder. The first one had better beer but nothing to write home about. The second one had a good location and cool decor but not good beer at all. Ended that evening with water and a bit of tv but then we all passed out from the long trip. The bed we had seemed like it was going to suck but it was actually fine. The next morning was Father’s Day and we eased into it with some TV and coffee and then got on the road to Austin. Well, towards Austin but our first stop was at the Salt Lick bbq – the original. The wait was a whopping two hours but they have nice outdoor waiting areas – all cooled with big fans – and allow you to drink from their place and bring your own. The actual restaurant does not serve beer but they have an outdoor area that does. I was a little tipsy by the time we finally got inside and ordered, no lie. And you know, the meat was amazing! The sides were lackluster at best. But it was a place my dad really wanted to see.
Headed to our airbnb for the night and it was a cute little old duplex in the middle of an older yet gentrified neighborhood. It wasn’t much to look at but it was not bad either. We took an uber to Nomadic beerworks for a flight, then ubered back to the airbnb neighborhood to visit Zilker (which sucked) and Lazarus brewing, which was excellent. They had very clean, refined beer and steak tacos that were to die for. If you’re in the Austin area, I highly recommend that place! I drank plenty of water and slept well but didn’t feel amazing; just a wee bit too much. Plus, the bed was super soft and I kept rolling towards the middle. But I woke feeling well and drank coffee, did some work. You know, online work travels with you. We watched some old music videos because the TV set up had some funky channel and then we got on the road. I felt AWFUL on the drive; the roads are very wavy – up and down and curvy – and I just didn’t take kindly to them so I spent the entire hour and a half to Fredericksburg feeling like garbage. Luckily, once we arrived, I was doing better. Our plan was to eat German food there so we got in the line for a place called The Old Germany bakery and restaurant. Ash took a nice walk while we waited (he wasn’t eating) and then we finally got food and I was happy. The sausage, sauerkraut, and potato salad were super good; just what I wanted. Kind of wished mine had come with the red cabbage too but that would have been too much. I cannot eat nearly as much as I used to and I was also not used to eating two meals a day.
Once we finished, we walked around town, looking into shops and the Pioneer museum. We also picked up some sweets from a place to eat later, then went to our airbnb which was a lovely old 1920s house down the road. By far the best place we stayed, even though it had no TV! The owners had said they were experimenting with being a place to unplug and I don’t blame them. It was literally only a mile from the town’s downtown area but so quiet and peaceful. We checked in and hung out a bit and my parents needed a rest so Ash and I walked back to town to go to the Fredericksburg brewery, which was a bit of a let-down, and then to the Silver Creek beer garden. At the first place, the beer sucked but we got a show because a guy and girl were on first date right near us and it was like watching a train wreck. She was too drunk, he had no personality, and it was imploding as they got dumber and dumber. LOL. Ash enjoys people-watching so it was still entertaining. The funny thing is after our one beer at the next place, we walked out and saw that the couple had also migrated to that location and were eating outside. Too funny.
My parents met us for dinner at the Hitchin’ Post, which was probably my favorite meal of the trip. Sure, it was just a burger and fried okra but I loved the atmosphere and it was a nice way to end our time in the town of Fredericksburg. That evening, we went home and used the projector they provided and watched a movie. It was nice to have something, even if we did not have regular TV. The bed there was our first king sized and it was nice to stretch out. It DUMPED rain around midnight, complete with thunder and lightning, but I only woke for a minute, I slept so well. No complaints at all! The one thing I will say is that even though that place was by far the best, it only had a regular coffee maker, not a Keurig, which was a disappointment. My parents got donuts (we don’t do breakfast) and we got on our way to San Antonio. I believe we got in before ten; it was not a long trip. Our place there was also an older home in a gentrified neighborhood but quite nice. We didn’t go straight there, since you can’t check in early, so we ended up at a place called La Fonda on Main, which is a well-known Mexican place in that Tobin Hill neighborhood. I had some amazing barbacoa tacos and a little spinach salad with avocado, mango, and almonds, plus a roasted pepper. When finished there, we went to the Riverwalk mall area and decided to go ahead and do our River cruise, for which I’d already gotten tickets. That was pretty cool; just a 30 minute narrated tour but we learned some cool stuff about the river and San Antonio in general. After that, we went to Roadmap brewery, which had excellent beer. I was really impressed, actually. Oh, just kidding. First we walked over to the Alamo to get our requisite photo and then we wasted time in a Dave and Busters and then did the brewery. We ended up for dinner at a place called Blue Star and it was… not good. We had burgers and though they claimed to be grass fed, they had a funky taste. It was just ok. The beer was lackluster and our waiter, kind of annoying and schmoozy. But hey, not every meal can be awesome.
We went home after and drank our required water of course and then all of us except my dad took a late evening walk in the neighborhood. Tobin Hill is definitely an interesting area. On our way around, we saw a place called Agave Azul and marked it for later. We watched some TV and went to bed. The next day, we’d planned to go to the Natural Bridge caverns, which was about 30 mins from where we were staying, It was very cool! I think that was probably my favorite activity we did on the trip. They take you about 180 feet down into some massive rooms with all kinds of neat formations. Very fun. I believe we went back to the house but I could be wrong and we went straight back to the downtown area, parked, and went to the Esquire tavern, a place on the Riverwalk that Ash read was very old and where locals go. It did not disappoint. I had chalupitas and shrimp wraps and they rocked. Ash had a very tasty steak. After, we walked right out of there onto the Riverwalk. Had some ice cream, walked some more, stopped into a British Pub, then headed back to the car. We definitely stopped into some little shops too. We went back to the house to rest and ended up playing Mexican Train dominoes, which I had never played but it turned out to be pretty fun. We were not going to eat a meal that night but went to Agave Azul, where my dad had the biggest burrito EVER. Our food was all really good and I was so full. Again, not used to two meals a day!
The next day was leaving day and we got on the road and headed towards Louisiana. We first went to Shiner to visit the brewery, which was kind of fun. Once you’ve been on a lot of tours AND homebrew, those things become a little annoying. I know what they don’t tell you and I know how it could be a cooler activity. Plus, I hate when breweries tell you they make the best beer in the world. That’s all so subjective. I think I had about 1.5 beers there and then we headed out. We stopped at an H.E.B. for Texas beers, at an In and Out burger in Katy (just to say we’ve eaten it; you know we don’t eat fast food!) and then ended up at our hotel in Covington, LA. My least comfortable night of sleep was, funny enough, the one hotel. Lunch was so late and we got into town around 10:30 because of traffic so we went straight to bed. The plan was to go to the Abita brewpub for lunch on Friday but I was pretty much done. We were up by 8 and I’m thinking, why are we waiting around for lunch when we could just go the hell home? I don’t think my parents were happy about that decision but I think about how many things we did JUST for my dad and figured they could deal with it.
We never had any moments where we argued or anything but I do think by that last day, we were all just a wee bit tired of each other. SO we got to Pensacola around 1 and reunited with our children, relieved the pressure off my sister. Ash and I knew we were going to leave that afternoon but didn’t mention it to my parents, knowing my mom would hate that idea. My family and I took my sister up to Saltgrass steakhouse and then we packed up. Honestly, if we’d stayed the night, we’d probably have been super annoyed with everyone; it was better that we left around 4 and just went home. And the break from my parents while we ate probably helped them to see it was better that way. I was super happy to be home and glad that we got Friday evening to unpack and all then have the entirety of Saturday to decompress. I slept in then got laundry going but then Dakota’s rash, that we’d discovered when we got back to Pensacola, was much worse so I called Urgent Care and she got in right away. Turns out to be poison oak and we can only surmise that it was somewhere in my parents’ yard and my sister’s dog got into it. The dog slept in their beds the whole time. So she had to get a steroid shot and has an oral med and a cream; poor thing.
Ash and I took a 6.3 mile walk, which felt amazing. I know he thought we were going to do a lot more walking on the trip and though I felt like we did some, my dad just couldn’t go for long stretches. He did better than I expected but not as much as I thought he might could. So we made up for it yesterday! In the afternoon, I went grocery shopping and did some cleaning and then made dinner. It was nice to get back to normal stuff, you know? This morning, I had to get up by 5 (and I went to bed around 12, woke at 4 and couldn’t hardly get back to sleep) because I dropped Elliot off for his first high school activity: a cross country retreat. He and 65 other athletes are traveling to Tennessee for the week. Sure, he can’t run but he will participate. It’s going to be a great opportunity to meet people and start high school off on the right foot. I know he’s both nervous and excited, as it was not just freshmen and it’s boys and girls. Now I thought they were taking a charter bus but it’s really just a bunch of parents and coaches and SUVs and vans. When I left him, I could tell he was worried but also, steeling himself and being strong. I know him and he wants independence so this definitely gives him that chance. I’m excited to hear how it all goes!
It’s now Monday (I wrote the above yesterday) and I just took my other kids to their respective camps. My youngest goes this week to a half day princess camp and then I’ll grab her and take her back to the other place.
Anyway, I am going to share two videos with you that show how different I am in so many ways. It all becomes so clear when I, a mom wearing an AC/DC shirt, takes her daughter to a PRINCESS camp. LOL. So, this first one will be NO ONE’s cup of tea. It’s rude, crude, and probably disturbing. But OMG do I love this Russian deathcore band! Alex is so adorably Russian, I can’t stand it. But the video is violent. (You have been warned!!!!)
And here’s a nice soft romantic song to balance out the above.