29 October 2009


Guadalupe River from The Gristmill


New Braunfels

Y'all can go to hell. I'm goin' to Texas.
-Davy Crockett-

Yes, I know he is not the true Davy Crockett, but he is certainly better looking that the real guy and who has a photo anyway?

I'm up rather early--finally--and TL has the coffee hot for us. Great host! It's rainy and humid today. We're going downtown, doing some errands, and maybe driving to New Braunfels and Gruen ("Green" is both the translation from German and the local pronunciation.).

We see a bit of New Braunfels, checking out the Schlitterbahn Christmas Shop and water park. The Schlitterbahn Water Park would be fun to check out in season and also good to avoid during the season, because it's huge and a huge summertime attraction. I want to visit in September after school starts and before the season ends. The Christmas shop is predictable, but I have to comment on the friendly and kind clerks. In fact, we have run into SO many friendly people here in Hill Country.

Gruen is absolutely beautiful. We will come back. Don't know what the deal is, but CA and I both comment about the gorgeous clouds just on the horizon. Yes, cumulus clouds ON the horizon not up in the sky. Wish I'd taken photos.
We'd hoped to eat at the Gristmill River Restaurant and Bar, but our hunger overcomes us enroute. We eat just a little--a small hamburger and Diet Coke at a Burger King, no less, except we are then too full for lunch... The great news is that we have room for dessert. CA orders the Jack Daniels pecan pie ala mode, and I order strawberry shortcake. CA loves his choice, but my dessert is the one that DAZZLES. This isn't even strawberry season... I have a slice of pound cake topped with a large scoop of Blue Bunny vanilla ice cream, strawberries (or strawbabies as LG used to call them), and 4-four-FOUR large scoops of whipped cream. Should've taken a photo, but I ate it before I remembered.

We walk about and check out the dance hall--Gruen Hall--and wander into a few shops. This is a gentle and beautiful town with a rich Texas history. We plan to come back soon; maybe on a Sunday for a Gospel Brunch.

I find a fantabulous gift for JA. Grandpa says we have to save it for Christmas...

We end up back at TL's at 4:00pm exhausted and I am sleepy. We're taking TL out for dinner tonight and I have to catch some zzzzz's.

TL chooses Manuels at the Arboretum for dinner. The focus is regional/interior Mexico cuisine. We start with Pollo en Mole Con Queso and some guacamole. TL orders Chile Relleno Del Mar (roasted poblano pepper stuffed w. bay scallops, shrimp, & fresh blue lump crab in a chile de arbol cream); CA has the Camarones a la Plancha (colossal Gulf shrimp sauteed in olive oil w.garlic and cilantro on a bed of Mexican rice, garnished w.orange, tomato & lime); and I select the Grilled Flautas (grilled enchiladas w.salsa verde and sour cream, w.rice & guacamole).

Beautiful and wonderful food. Cannot say enough about this meal. Maybe my favorite so far, but certainly on level with Rick Bayless in Chicago and better than Border Grill in LA. (I still love the Two Hot Tamales girls, and their Mexican Cooking for Dummies.)

Time to pack up for our 12:30pm flight tomorrow. The little girls and their mommy and daddy are back at our house in Woodstock after having a wonderful visit to Houston. Halloween is in a couple of days and we plan to celebrate with family in Chicago.

This vacation is almost over but the relaxation, memories, and calories live on.

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