Monday, August 12, 2013

Texas 2013 Day 3: Buc-ee's

Texas 2013 Day 3: Buc-ee's

The morning started with some glorious, glorious rain. I suspect (and so does the weather report on my iPhone) that mean it might cool down a bit which would be rather epic. It's actually cooled down a lot already... well at least to the 90's instead of 100's :)

We started the day with some strudel, coffee and yoghurt (this place rocks). Then off to Frank's parents' house, to admire their beautiful views, talk Genealogy with Frank's Dad, pat the super fat cat, and have my life changed forever for the better after Frank's Mom served us her world-famous banana pudding for... well I guess it was 2nd breakfast :)

Banana Pudding!!!
All other puddings pale in comparison to this epic masterpiece of cooking mastery. It was GLORIOUS. I could have eaten the entire thing.

The amazingness continued when I met Gracie (or more likely spelled "Grey-C" -- "Grey Cat")... an incredibly sweet and nice cat who immediately became best friends with me.

Gracie, what a sweet cat
We chatted for a while longer and then headed to the famed "H.E.B." grocery store. It. was. AWESOME. The "fresh squeezed Texas orange juice" station had lots of free samples and Frank and I cruuusshed those. It was super good. Also, some funny stuff was there like signs saying that no hard liquor is available for sale on Sundays!! Haha. And something weird called a "Mango nectarine"?! All in all, an amazing experience. I love going to grocery stores in foreign countries, and as far as I am concerned, Texas may as well be a foreign country for this Canadian! We got some wicked raspberries too and also I got the new BBQ sauces for sale from Franklin BBQ in Austin (where we will be going at the end of the trip).

Mmm... Cookies
Tortillas being made!
State laws!
Texas everything
Go Corns!
Where Brooks went to high school!
From there, it was off to Buc-ee's, the most legendary of all convenience stores. In fact, the Buc-ee's in New Braunfels, Texas (where we went) is the largest convenience store in the world at 68,000 square feet. Now I see what they mean about everything being bigger in Texas!

Frank and Jess had primed me about this place in advance, saying how much amazing snack food they have as well as an insane station of beef jerky and other things that are glorious. It was soooooooooo crazy and soooooo awesome. The bathrooms are voted the cleanest in Texas or something like that, and they were pretty freakin' spotless. Nicely done! Snacks were lining the walls as well as hilarious Texas-y stuff  like a Texas map-shaped waffle maker. Beyond the walls of candy was a beef jerky bar area. I tasted several and bought a cherry one and a salt and pepper one. I suspect we'll be back later in the week to take a bunch home.

Buc-ee's New Braunfels -- the largest convenience store in the world
I love this new hat
So many... snacks
The most epic convenience store ever
Haha, metal triangles, you ring to tell everyone to come in for dinner!
A bazillion kinds of creamer
Beef Jerky
After gorging on beef jerky, I also bought something called a "Kolachie", some kind of pastry thing that was filled with strawberry and cream cheese. It also rocked. There was a hilariously large soda and icee aisle too. This place is crazy. Frank and Jess got me my belated birthday gift -- Buc-ee's lounge pants!!! So perfect. And then, the fudge counter... I tried a few and bought a Watermelon Fudge -- never seen that before and it was super fresh. As you can see, this is not gonna be a trip with a particularly low calorie count :) I picked up a ready-to-roll BBQ Beef Brisket sandwich and then we went home to snack on all the awesome stuff we just bought.

In the evening, we headed to the small historic town of Gruene (pronounced "Green"). We wandered in an Antique shop, then in a more kitschy shop, and then headed to The Gristmill, which used to be an old mill. There, we got massive onion rings ("everything's bigger in Texas") and I had a very manly Strawberry Colada with "Chicken Fried Steak" and mashed potatoes. Wild.

Cool signs up at Gruene city center
So... many... Onion Rings
Chicken Fried Steak and Mashed Potatoes
Gruene water tower
It was very hot. Everyone seemed roughly comfortable but I felt like Dave Matthews when he talks on his concert DVD about vacationing in Africa with his kids and the locals were totally fine in the sun and he thought he was just made of sweat and everyone laughed at him because he needed so much water. I felt pretty much the same way :) I drank 3 or 4 cups of water (and slipped in a taste of the Dry Comal Creek Winery Cab Sauv too) :) And that was dinner!

We were gonna head back to the car when we were enticed down the road by some live music. We walked over, and it was an awesome band of young folks, probably in their early twenties, just rockin' out pretty fierce. They played a bunch of well-known stuff like The Black Keys and also some of their own songs. It was awesome, and we stayed for a couple hours... drinking cold beer (and water!) in the hot sun and watching the sun go down.

Out for beer and a band in the later evening
Me and Griz, chillin'
Chiewe and Girts
After a great day out, we headed back to see the place where Jess's parents and sister are staying, and then headed back to the lake house. I got back and was suddenly hungry after getting into the nice cool A/C!! I hadn't eaten too much at dinner because it was soooo hot out, so I had 2nd dinner at home. Oy. :) Great times, and what a glorious day of awesome. Wrapped up the day chatting with Frank and just enjoying the good times.

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