Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wreck 'em!

Yesterday. Hot hot HOT and not feeling very autumnal at all, but the essence of fall was in the air. And by the essence of fall, I mean that we journeyed allllll the way to Ft. Worth and followed a path through a random backyard...

...seriously - a very random backyard!  Park on neighborhood streets in Colonial Hills, seek out the house with the red brick driveway, almost walk past said house, get a little assistance from friendly TCU fans, and just scoot on down the driveway and through the path in back, over a bridge, and find yourself...
...taking in the essence of fall, which on this particular day meant emerging through a small patch of trees at the back of a random backyard to the smell of grills going and...well, it was quite  Ahhh, that means tailgating!!  Football time!!  I headed to Ft. Worth with Diana, Blonde Jen, and Red Jenn (it's the easiest way to distinguish!) to cheer on our Red Raiders versus those crazy horned frogs (really, "fear the frog!" as your "rah rah, let's intimidate the opponent!" tagline? I'm not really feeling it...). Not so bad having a conference game where the road trip for us Dallas gals is around an hour - I think we might make a tradition of this! Especially as long as Diana has these excellent tailgating connections.

A few pre-game festivities, which mostly consisted of fajitas and beer as well as some smack talk from the rowdier members of the group - you know that's Diana's job!  Especially since she's going around tagging TCU fans with tiny Masked Riders on their jerseys...

The game, of course, being a Red Raider football game, was ridiculous and almost gave me a heart attack four times.  I was also hoping for a gorgeous fall day, but it was a little on the toasty side (don't worry, I slathered myself in SPF 70 to preserve my Casper-like glow), and the sun was right in our face up until...ummm...yeah, overtime!

It's easy to forget about the sweat and the heat and the frustration and the craziness, though, when your team finally comes out with a win in TRIPLE OVERTIME.  Get your guns up!!

Glad you could pull this one out, Raiders - we celebrated your victory at Rosa's for a little taste of West Texas.  Yay for college football!  Also, we're a pretty loud cheering section all on our own - I have awesome friends. 

Friday, October 19, 2012


In years past at the annual Addison Oktoberfest, members of our merry band of revelers have partaken in events like...a yodeling contest.  AND a beer belly contest.  But this year was a little more subdued, and I'm going to point to the offending heat blasting down on us.  And the fact that small children are also a part of our merry band, and we really shouldn't subject them to things like Mike's yodeling "skills" - pretty frightening.  So this year was pretty much just about FOOD.  And sitting with steins o' beer and catching up on life.  Ahhhh.
Everyone should have awesome suspenders like this guy...AND the hat!  The hat!
We retreated to the beer hall to get out of the broiling sun, and  cold beer is also an excellent way to combat the heat.  Trinity's Shiner shirt is also pretty awesome, and I loved that he had at least one person ask him if he works there.
Gracie also knows how to beat the heat - water time!  Naked baby!
A good mom is always prepared - and I have to say, Gracie is rocking some pretty awesome tan lines for fall.
A box of strudel!  So delicious!
Bier hall time for all, attempting to beat the heat.
Our merry band!  Surviving outside now because the sun is mostly down, letting us enjoy the smells of fried fried and those bright flashing lights from collapsible rides.  Yeeps.
Gracie's first solo ride!  And it's on a sparkly tractor - what could be better?  She totally rocked it.

To get us in the German food frame of mind, I also made some pretzel rolls to fortify our stomachs before filling them with beer - delicious!  Spicy mustard, apples, a little cheddar cheese - a mini German picnic lunch in our kitchen.  We ate three...and then came home to find that the dog ate the other five.  Nothing on the counter is safe.  Including the espresso pumpkin bread I made this weekend and then found partially autopsied in the backyard this morning.  I'm contemplating installing an electric fence around the edge of the counter.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hi y'all. Life happened.

I'm back.  Fresh start.  Let's do this thing.

It's been a long summer, parts of which I'd love to just file away neatly and never experience again, parts of which have been just amazing.  I GOT A NEW JOB (put that under amazing), and Craig's in Houston all week every week for work until quite possibly the end of time (less amazing), and after just four short months from his diagnosis with cancer, we lost Craig's dad.  It's been a long summer.  A very long summer.

But today marks the official start of fall, a new season, time for a change.  And back to the blogging, because it really is something I enjoy and it bugs me when I let it slide.  New season, new start.  Too bad it's going to be 94 DEGREES this afternoon while we're out Oktoberfesting, enjoying biers of the world and some tasty German food.

Oh, and it's football season - we're all pretty excited about that around here.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

To Edisto we go!

To the beach we go!  First fascination of mine along the way - boat parking.  Boat after boat after boat, all stacked up.  And they take them down with forklifts.  That's just fascinating to the West Texas gal in me.

Second fascination - you really can find everything in Wal-Mart, provided you can actually find the Wal-Mart that's hiding behind all these trees.  We scored floppy hats and awesome floats and beach chairs and all the supplies we could need that we figured would have a pretty steep uptick in price at our few Edisto shopping options.  Score one for Wally World!

We wound our way along the edge of South Carolina, keeping our eyes peeled for creepy Spanish moss and really old churches and maybe even a roadside gator or two (didn't actually come across those, thank goodness) as we made our way to Edisto.  After a quick call to Craig to figure out where the beach house actually is (I had the wrong address written down, oopsie), we hauled in all of our goodies and immediately headed for the water, just to splash our toes and know that, yes, we are really at the beach.

Sandy feet are happy feet
Piggly Wiggly (I have an irrational love for this store - I don't know why.  I bought a Piggly Wiggly coffee mug) adventures to stock up on supplies, dinner at The Waterfront (pimento cheese every day!) and we were ready for an early night.  Hit it, ocean waves.

In my mind I'm going to Carolina...

...well, not really in my mind, because we actually went, but, you know, always good to get a little James Taylor in there AND the song came on the radio (thank you, Sirius!) our last day there.  YES.  At the end of June the gals (Carolyn and Kami!) and I took to the skies and roads for our annual summer getaway - this marks year six for us!  And our first kinda-repeat trip - two years ago we went to Charleston and Savannah, and this year's journey took us through Charleston again since it's the nearest airport to the wonderful place known as THE BEACH HOUSE.  Perks of marriage, y'all.  Craig's aunt and uncle have had a beach house on Edisto Island for years and years, and they were kind enough to let us stay for a few days so we could just relax and enjoy the sound of those ocean waves.  Isn't that wonderful?  As wonderful as fried green tomatoes!

fried deliciousness...

We knew we wanted to spend a little time in Charleston, so we set those alarms (and I actually woke up!!) and took an early flight in so we'd be there in time for lunch...obviously wanting to fit in as many delicious Southern meals as possible.  And we really did just hop in the car and head straight to Jestine's Kitchen for lunch.  Seriously.  We parked the car and were not distracted by anything in our quest for Jestine's.  Fried green tomatoes and iced tea and fried chicken and meatloaf and dessert triumvirate number one.  Holy freakin' yum.

Coca-Cola cake AND coconut cream pie AND banana pudding - don't mind if I do.  I'm glad my friends share. =)
We needed a little walking after lunch to attempt to burn off 1/1,168,739th of what we ate, so it was off to Charleston City Market with its beautiful wrought iron and general cuteness (also general lack of things we'd actually want to buy amid the general abundance of overpriced ridiculous things - no sir, we do NOT want to pay $38 for a floppy hat that will likely fall apart tomorrow, thank you very much)...

...and also down Rainbow Row for a look at the pretty houses...

...and over to the waterfront to catch those ocean breezes (not NEARLY as hot this time around, thank goodness - a couple years ago we were constantly dripping with sweat glowing)...

...and my favorite, swing time!  I just LOVE these swings that are part of Charleston Waterfront Park - it is so relaxing to just sit and gaze out at the ocean and catch up with friends.  

Swing feet!  And sepia takes some of the white out of my legs...
Already looking relaxed and happy, especially since our new little friend didn't steal my camera.  That's always a good start.
A little city time... 

...and now off to the beach!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Fredericksburging finale

Taking in the wildflowers at LBJ Ranch
Last full day Fredericksburging, boo.  Can't we have just a few more?  Oh well.  After eating peach pie with ice cream (hellooooo, we're on VACATION!!) for breakfast (that was just me, actually - far more reasonable people had breakfast that actually resembled normal breakfast) and lounging around Avery Haus for a bit, we divided up into three groups.  (1) A group of travelers to Luckenbach for a little beer and a little music and the purchasing of t-shirts, (2) families to a wildflower farm for really adorable pictures, and (3) the boys + Diana + me to LBJ Ranch for some learning and wildflowers of our own and other historical/nature adventures.  

Can't get enough of the pretty flowers and beautiful day!
Our time at the ranch was pretty awesome!  You pick up a CD that you play in your car as it guides you through the whooooole ranch (completely free, too, which is a nice perk), and you can get out at different stops along the way and do things like listen to historical reenactors explain how to make cheese (eeekk!) and admire fancy old hats...

 ...and entertain yourself 1860s style...

...and watch out for feisty barnyard animals...

...and explore cool old barns...

...and meet some really large animals and learn about things you didn't know existed like the ability to brand HORNS...

...and make new friends with the guy attached to those horns...

...and see cool old airplanes affectionately known as Air Force One-Half...

...and pretend to be the President...

...and just generally enjoy the beautiful, wide-open spaces. 

beautiful day at the ranch 
We also took a guided tour of the Texas White House (no pictures allowed inside, boo) with a pretty enthusiastic park ranger, and it was really interesting to learn about the history of the house and check out LBJ's office. After making our way through the house, we took a little swing break down by the Pedernales River...

...and then went to meet up with Groups #1 & 2 for some winery time!  First stop was Grape Creek, where they most fortunately had some awesome ladies serving BBQ (we were STARVING - historical adventures are hard work).  We set up shop outside in the shade, listened to some live music, and worked our way through brisket sandwiches and several bottles of wine.  So right.

beverages of choice for the afternoon
the gang under a dang big tree
Number Three
cheers, parenting style
ummmm, excuse me!  mom needs some more juice!
Then we headed up the road to Becker for some more wine, some more quality lounging time in the shade, some more wine, a couple of bug adventures, and some more wine.

Diana, Dan, & Jeremy outside Becker
It really was just a beautiful afternoon!
Back into town for dinner on the giant patio at Silver Creek, then we all headed back to the great backyard at Amoroso Cottage for a rousing game of horseshoes and a grand finale in the form of s'mores.

Isn't this such an awesome backyard??  I want to steal that stone fireplace.  And the Adirondack chairs.  And some of those people and just keep them here with us at home because they're so awesome.
S'mores.  Dan's doing it right.
Our house ended the night shouting curses, and then it was time to crash and hit the road the next morning in the hopes of avoiding epic traffic nightmares (although cars sure did seem to have a hard time not running into each other as we came up I-35 - fortunately we were spared).  Full photo spread from the long weekend here, and it was just a GREAT weekend.  Yay for awesome friends and awesome times!