Thursday, September 1, 2011

Austin, Etc.

Well, I am not doing well at my attempts to be productive today. I'm sorting through boxes to get ready to move and I keep running into files full of memories. I've been cringing (oh middle school), laughing (my freshman year in the dorms was possibly the funniest year of my life), and just generally being thankful for all the wonderful people and countless memorable experiences I have had over the years.

Speaking of memorable experiences, while I'm not being productive I thought I'd share some of what I've been up to--namely my trip down to central Texas!

I went down to Austin last weekend A) to see my brother Casey, B) to hear Buena Vista Social Club, and C) to get out of town!

I had a fantastic time. I toured a friend's coffee roasting facility, ate meal after meal of good food, heard five live bands/artists, made my best flan yet for the boys, sweated it out at Batfest (without seeing the bats...which was ok by me!), had brunch with an old friend and then poked around in small towns on my way back home.

I was too busy in Austin to take many pictures, but here's a few from the weekend: (you'll also notice from a few of the pictures that I was finally forced to break down and upgrade my 1998 version phone for an iphone!)

Touring Kohana Coffee's roasting facilities and getting the inside scoop on the entire process from the impossibly friendly owner!

Coffee beans from all over the world! She even had beans from Boquete, Panama! Piper was also kind enough to let me take some of the empty coffee bags with me--I ruffled through and found some good looking ones to go on my new walls. 

(I of course chose one from Boquete!)

I mentioned to one of Casey's roommates that I was on a flan making kick...and then of course I had to make it. I ran to the store and threw one together--surprisingly I think it was my best flan yet!

Buena Vista Social Club put on an amazing show! And let me tell you, 80 year old Omara Portuondo was the life of the party! Grandma can still get down!

On the way home I decided to humor my curiosity and poke around in some of the small towns I passed through on my way back to Fort Worth. When I saw the signs for Lorena, Texas I had to stop.

(I peaked into the windows of this old building to find a bank counter that looked straight out of It's A Wonderful Life!)

Then I made a stop in Waco for gas and drove around a bit: 

A shot from the Dr. Pepper museum!

Then, it was time for the best part of the drive: West, Texas! (Emphasis on the comma!) I stopped quickly in West on the way down to grab a kolache for Casey and me, but I did not hit the right bakery. This time I got it right, and, with time to be nosey, found some great old buildings and colorful locals. 

West was settled by Czech immigrants and still has a lot of Czech flavor...specifically in their bakeries! 


You can also pick up some pickled pigs feet if that's more your style

My treasures--apricot and cream cheese kolaches, with cherry and cream cheese kolaches underneath them. I brought enough home to share with my family...but when Brian wasn't home, curiosity got the best of me and I ate his too! : )

Then I had a look around town: 

(An old theatre!)

Overall, a fantastic Texas weekend!

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