Saturday, June 2, 2012

Texas Bucket List

Nic and I have been compiling a Texas Bucket List, a list of things we'd like to do or see in the nearby-ish Texas cities and country before we leave for Chicago. Naturally, at the very top of this list was a tour (complete with tasting at the end of the tour) of the Bluebell Ice Cream factory in Brenham, TX, about an hour and a quarter drive from where we live.

Naturally, something went wrong, i.e. the website did not say that you must purchase tickets by 3pm the day before for a tour, and we were unable to take our tour on Friday.

Fail Bluebell, fail.

However, failure for the day was not an option. So we improvised. We decided we would take the short road trip to Brenham anyway and stop at any mom and pop cafe, antique store, cemetery, and/or historical marker along the way. Winning.

Here we are, leaving upper-middle class suburbia for the open road and rolling Texan cattle and horse land.

You'd never guess how excited I was for this trip.

Nic was pretty pumped, too. This was as close as his "pumped" face got to my exuberant expression above.

Our first stop was the small historic town of Chappell Hill, established in 1847 and located inside Stephen F. Austin's original colony.

From Wikipedia: "Chappell Hill today has a tourist economy, attracting visitors with restored homes, Bluebonnet Festival, Scarecrow Festival and a museum. Main Street has been designated as a National Register Historic District by the National Register of Historic Places. Chappell Hill remains one of the best historically preserved towns in Texas."

Before heading into "town," Nic and I stopped at the Chappell Hill Deli and Bakery on recommendation from one of my friends at work. They prepare all of their own meats and all baked goods are homemade. They even have a small grocery area where they sell preserves, sauces, rubs, salsas, candles, cheeses, and meats, all made locally. They serve up true Texan BBQ fare every day and the place smelled a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Unfortunately, we had just eaten lunch, so we settled for a large Diet Dr. Pepper for our next venture into a giant antique barn.

My Husker hubby, always volunteering to be photographed :)

With soft drink in hand, we ventured into a Texas sized antique barn, filled to the brim with enough odd things to keep us ogling and giggling inside for an hour.

 Here are some of our most interesting finds.

Nic found this one. We're pretty sure it's supposed to be a book end. Or, an ancient carving of a nudist yoga instructor. Or, both? I was impressed with the realism of the cellulite and stretch marks on her thighs, but not impressed enough to buy her. I'll keep my Lord of the Rings Argonath statute book ends, thank you very much. Extra points for the boobs, though ;)

This was one of my discoveries. Who wouldn't want a quasi-erotic scene of Adam and Eve on their drinking stein?

In town, we walked along the historic main street, chatted with some locals, admired the gardens, peered in abandon buildings, and walked through some more antique shops. However, these were obviously owned by sensible, church going grandmothers since we didn't find any similar "treasures" in their stores.

The Bever Cafe, known for their pies and enchiladas. Welcome to Texas, folks. We enjoyed a slice of French silk pie. It was light and not too sweet, perfect for a 93 degree day.

A sign in one of the abandoned buildings. And Kinky was his first name.

Unfortunately, after we left Chappell Hill and later wandered through delightful Brenham, I didn't take any more pictures. We were too busy enjoying the boutiques, local art and gypsy stores, and soaking up the end of the our little mini-vacation.

As luck would have it, Nic and I were almost included in a historical reenactment of the Burning of Brenham. We discovered via informational signs at a small monument that Brenham, during the Civil War, suffered the burning of an entire city block as a result of fights between the Confederate soldiers and townsfolk. We had planned to have dinner at a local cafe known for its sandwiches and homemade chocolate pudding pie, but fate made sure that idea didn't pan out. Shortly before we arrived at the cafe, named Heaven on Earth, a kitchen fire forced them to close early. Sad day...

Since we didn't make it to the ice cream factory or Heaven on Earth, I'm only putting half a check mark next to Brenham on our bucket list. Hopefully, we'll get a chance to work on the list some more before too long. There is a slight possibility that our move date will be closer to the first of July than the 28th.

1 comment:

  1. Nic's "pumped" face cracks me up! Love the Texas Bucket List :) Hope to see you guys soon!