Texas November 2021

This is my second attempt at this blog article. The first one got corrupted somehow and wouldn’t display correctly. Hopefully this one works better.


Brooke and I got home last night from being in Texas for the past week. It was a nice vacation. We saw lots of my family, ate lots of good food, and worked less than 2 hours each.

Here are some photos we took along the way, along with a quick run-down of the week’s events. Some of these photos are by me, some are by Brooke, and some are by my mother, Betty.

Wednesday

We flew to Austin on Southwest Airlines, rented a car at the airport, and stayed that first night in the Marriott hotel downtown. That’s because I wanted to go to a restaurant called Suerte for supper and then drive to Lockhart for BBQ the next day.

I first heard about Suerte in an episode of a Mexican documentary series that’s now on Netflix (with English subtitles) called Taco Chronicles. It’s a great series. And Suerte sounded good enough that I intentionally chose a hotel within walking distance, knowing we’d want some exercise after getting off the plane.

Let’s see if I can remember everything we ate. First, our waitress brought us a little appetizer on the house. It was two of the biggest corn chips I’ve ever seen – each about the size of my forearm – and a dip of refried lentils and yogurt and epazote.

Next was tamal en mole blanco.

Then the suadero tacos which were what the TV segment was about. It’s basically smoke beef brisket made into a confit and then put on a taco. They were so delicious I forgot to take a photo until we’d already eaten two of the four tacos.

Next up was chamorro taquitos. I assumed they were going to be rolled style taquitos, but I was wrong. Sorry for the ugly food photo. We ate half of them before I could get a picture.

I was very excited to learn they have masa azul, masa made from blue corn. So we had to have the quesadilla azul. It was filled with a house made chorizo and cheese, and served with pickled onions and an avocado salsa.

That brings us to dessert. The dessert of the day was a buckwheat cake with Texas pears and apples on top. So we had to finish with that, even though we weren’t hungry.

After that, we waddled back to the hotel, taking in some of the sights of Austin on that way.

Thursday

The next morning, we got up and took a walk to the state capitol. It was Veterans’ Day, so downtown was relatively quiet since a lot of people had the day off work.

Here’s Brooke posing in front of the Capitol, which looks a lot like the Colorado state capitol building to us, minus the gold dome.

After that, we went back to the hotel, packed up our stuff, and drove to Lockhart. That’s the Barbeque Capital of Texas, and home of the original Black’s BBQ, my favorite. Brooke had never been to a true central Texas style BBQ place, so she soaked in the experience. She’s not a fan of brisket, so I ordered her a quarter of a chicken, which was also delicious.

Here’s my first plate of food, with the requisite brisket, of course. Also, their special sausage this month was Hatch chile sausage, so I had to get a couple of those, plus some turkey breast that I planned to take along with us to each the rest of the week.

Here’s Brooke and her plate of food. She had to have the banana pudding. It was yummy, of course, but not as good as the meat.

Established 1932. The original owners are in the photo above the Black’s BBQ sign, under the Budweiser sign.

After lunch we drove to Granite Shoals to see Mom, where we stayed the rest of the trip.

Friday

We spent the day Friday relaxing. Brooke slept most of the day. I guess all the eating tired her out. Here I am on the porch with my laptop, catching up with email and stuff.

Saturday

On Saturday, we drove to Austin for the day, where my brother’s family lives. It was the birthday of one of my nieces, and so we had lunch at their place (more smoked brisket) and hung out for a few hours. That’s where I learned about Taco Cat.

Then went to the roller rink for the birthday party. I skated a little. Not very well, but I didn’t fall and I did make it around the rink a few times, very slowly.

Here’s Mom and me, next to the birthday treats, which was a lot of candy. I guess that’s what 16-year-olds run on.

Sunday

On Sunday we went for a little hike in Inks Lake State Park during the day, and then went to Bay View Restaurant for supper.

The main appeal of Bay View Restaurant is, not surprisingly, that it has a great view of a bay. Horseshoe Bay of Lake LBJ, to be exact. So a lot of people go there to watch the sun set over the lake.

Monday

On Monday we drove from Granite Shoals down to San Antonio. I hadn’t been there since I was a baby, and we saw all the sights. First stop was the Alamo, which of course is undergoing restoration.

I didn’t realize that it’s surrounded by the city on all sides. For some reason, I imagined it being out in the countryside.

After walking through the church – that’s what the main building is that we’re standing in front of in the photo above – we then walked along the river walk for a bit, and found some lunch, and then took a boat tour on the river.

After the boat tour, we walked to a shopping area called La Villita and did some shopping (but no buying). I was more interested in the history of the place, I guess, like this sign.

Then we eventually found our way back to the car, and drove to El Mercado for more shopping, and then back home. We got back well after dark, and everyone was pretty tired from all the sightseeing.

Tuesday

And then Tuesday was all dedicated to getting back home to Denver. We packed up our things, said goodbye to Mom, and headed home via planes, trains, and automobiles. I guess we left about 9:30am and got home about 6pm. No photos today, just the end of the trip.

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