Thursday, June 07, 2018

Vacation done good Texas style!

The Gristmill Restaurant in Gruene, Texas! (Pronounced Green)

I recently spent 4 days with my family relaxing near the Hill country. Its a different world and a welcome change from our fast-paced lives. Is Canyon Lake considered the Hill Country? There are hills there. After nearly 50 years of living on the flat, a hill of 20 feet is a challenge to my old legs.

We arrived in Luling on a Sunday and grabbed some authentic Texas grub at Luling BBQ and it was excellent. When we realized City Market was closed, we were going to detour up to Lockhart to Blacks, but stopped in town and we were not disappointed. I like BBQ, but I do not have a discretionary palate, so good tender BBQ tastes like great BBQ to me. This was explained to me years ago by a foodie friend named BBQBob. Only a select few can truly rate top tier food and I am not one of them. Luling BBQ to me was a top tier food stop.

As an example of tastes, I eat my fried chicken from Hartz over Popeye's because it tastes better to me. If it is actually better is a personal choice, but I question if Hartz would be on a foodies list of the best tasting chicken in Baytown. Speaking of amazing tasting food, we ate twice at a Mexican restaurant in Canyon Lake named Las Barcus Tex-Mex Grill and yes, it was delicious. I think my dearly departed foodie friend BBQBob would agree.
Deer were everywhere and we spent hours watching them feed. This activity kept the attention of my 4 year old grandson to the point that he and I sat of the back porch of our rented house for over an hour and neither of us spoke a word. It was dead quiet as they ate the corn we provided and when the central A/C unit kicked on below us, it caused us both to jump. We laughed for 5 minutes over our unexpected scare and we continued our silent vigil. It was a magic moment of bonding. A 65 year old man and a tiny child of 4 laughing over a shared malady is truly a magical memory. Incidentally, my 49 inch tall 4 year old turned 5 while we were there. I'll be 66 in about a week or so.

I've never drove a jet ski until this trip and at first, I had to unlearn how to drive a motorcycle in order to be successful. A jet ski steers by turning the handlebars – a real no-no on a motorcycle. I kept trying to lean the machine like you do on a motor bike. Nope, it doesn't work. By the time I figured it out, I was going airborne at 40 miles per hour in the middle of the lake. What a hoot!

The Guadalupe River was at a very low flow rate, but we still floated the Horseshoe Loop and it took 2 hours, for those who have done it in less than an hour. It was wonderfully peaceful and the temperature of the water wasn't as brutal. The giant bald cypress trees above us were magical. Just incredible feathery foliage towering above us for our viewing pleasure.

My grandson and I even found time to locate a few geocaches in Gruene! He turned 5 while we were there and we kept it a secret so we can give him a big party back in Baytown!

Back at our rental house, we continued to deer watch and believe it or not, in 3 days, we fed them over 100 pounds of corn. Some may think this is not a good idea, but it is a common practice here. All we knew was they gave us endless hours of entertainment. It is a good thing to kick back and relax in a different environment. Hopefully it is just one of many adventures in store for us this weekend and all of them will be in Texas.

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