Sunday, June 19, 2011

Vacation in New Braunfels

Wednesday through Saturday was a family vacation with my mom, my sister, and my wife in New Braunfels, Texas.  My side of the family is pretty scattered, so we get together when we can.  My mom wanted to go river tubeing (or "toobing" as the kids call it nowadays), so she got us rooms at a bed and breakfast in New Braunfels (Prince Solms Inn - highly recommended).

We drove up early Wednesday morning, which meant we spent Tuesday night packing until midnight.  Still, the drive from Houston was nice and only three hours or so.  Part of that was probably due to it being a weekday, but still.  Once there, we checked in and started looking for a place to eat lunch (dinner was reserved for The Grist Mill over in Greun, about a five minute drive).  We were looking for one place and found the Red Rooster Cafe instead.  The food there was great and our waiter, Art, was a good and had a good tip on where to rent some tubes.  Plus, the restaurant shared space with a nice antiques consignment shop, which we spent an hour or two looking around in.

Dinner was at The Grist Mill, a favorite from back in the early 80's when we last vacationed as a family.  My wife had eaten there during a wedding anniversary trip through Central Texas, so we knew it was still open.  What we forgot was that, in April, the weather was nice and the open air dining was very comfortable.  In June, with record setting heat, it was not a comfortable as we remembered.  Luckily we got there as the sun was setting and the temperature dropped into the tolerable range (mid to low 80's).  The food was as good as I remembered it, but I went light on the home-made mashed potatos as they were keeping my body temp up - I was not going to skimp on the chicken fried steak (if you're not from the American South, you might not understand the attraction, but trust me - cooked remotely right it is good eating and they cook it properly).

Thursday morning was spent on the river at the Tube Chute in Prince Solms Park, another fun place from the dawn of time.  We did that for a couple of hours and then hiked back to the inn - only a block away, but in the summer sun it felt twice as far.  We then went to the place we were looking for on Wednesday (we found it after leaving the Red Rooster).  Long story short, the food was OK but the service was very lacking.  At one point my sister took our glasses to the refill station because our waitress seemed to be studiously avoiding us in favor of prepping for the dinner rush (we ate around 2:00 PM).

We then chilled (literally) at the inn before my wife and my mom wanted to go back to the river.  My sister and I were done for the day, but I helped carry the rental tubes back (we had stashed them in their suite's sitting room).  My wife and my mom came back glad they had gone, but a bit more sun-burned than they wanted to be.

Friday we spent in Greun going through the shops and eating lunch at a tea shop.  The food was good, even though the bread on my club sandwich was over toasted (crunchy but not burnt).  They have regular iced tea and flavored ice tea (brewed with different teas) that they rotate out flavors as the day goes on.  I had the flavored iced tea, which was blueberry at that point.  It had a good taste without being cloyingly sweet.  Dinner was back at the Red Rooster Cafe as it was close and good and we were tired.  Walking around in 100+ degF temperatures really wears you down.

Saturday morning was packing and a breakfast buffet at the Red Rooster (again!).  Did I mention they cook good food?  They do.  Then my wife and I had to hit the road back to Houston as she had to be somewhere else that afternoon.  This was a shame, as our (my mom and I) original plan was to go to Waco to visit the graves of her folks.  I still plan on making that trip at a later date, so it could wait.

Today has been laundry and putting everything away, plus grocery shopping and prepping for the week ahead.  I did get the first half of the next Aldelle Group adventure log written last night and it is queued to post Monday morning at 7:00 AM.  My plan is to get the second half written tonight and queued to post on Tuesday.

That's all for now - Later!

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