Tag Archives: Texas

Searsucker in Austin

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Austin, Chef Brian Malarkey, friends, New American, photography, restaurants, Searsucker, small plates, Texas, The Taste, Top Chef, travel, Warehouse District

It’s so cool when online friendships become offline meet-ups, particularly when they happen in fabulous new places. Our Twitter pilot friend PJ just happened to be flying from his home town of Houston to Austin to see Alton Brown when we were in the area. PJ suggested we have dinner at Searsucker.

Austin, Chef Brian Malarkey, friends, New American, photography, restaurants, Searsucker, small plates, Texas, The Taste, Top Chef, travel, Warehouse District

Austin, Chef Brian Malarkey, friends, New American, photography, restaurants, Searsucker, small plates, Texas, The Taste, Top Chef, travel, Warehouse District

Searsucker is one of the newer eateries in the Warehouse District, and the 7,000-square-foot space fits in beautifully with the other eclectic offerings.  The decor is vintage Americana meets Anthropologie, and I just wanted to move right in. I’m already figuring out how I can translate the style to our RV!

Austin, Chef Brian Malarkey, friends, New American, photography, restaurants, Searsucker, small plates, Texas, The Taste, Top Chef, travel, Warehouse District

Austin, Chef Brian Malarkey, friends, New American, photography, restaurants, Searsucker, small plates, Texas, The Taste, Top Chef, travel, Warehouse District

Our small plate selections included Lobster Mac & Cheese and Spicy Shrimp & Cheddar Bacon Grits.

Chef Brian Malarkey is a “Top Chef “finalist and is currently a judge/mentor on ABC’s new cooking competition show “The Taste” along with Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson and Ludo Lefebvre. His New American menu at Searsucker is innovative and interesting. The “small” plates are actually full-size meals, something PJ and I wished we realized before we ordered four of them! (Mike, a less adventurous eater, stuck with steak and potatoes.) Everything was delicious, and the service was attentive and friendly.

Austin, Chef Brian Malarkey, friends, New American, photography, restaurants, Searsucker, small plates, Texas, The Taste, Top Chef, travel, Warehouse District

Dessert was the King Sundae. We skipped the caramelized bacon but thoroughly enjoyed the PB Cup ice cream, bruleed bananas, whipped cream, and Cracker Jack bits.

Austin, Chef Brian Malarkey, friends, New American, photography, restaurants, Searsucker, small plates, Texas, The Taste, Top Chef, travel, Warehouse District

PJ was super excited when Chef Malarkey strolled by our table. He’s apparently not always in the house. We asked our waitress if we could meet Chef, and he came out soon after our request, shaking hands and posing graciously for pictures. PJ was thrilled! Between meeting Chef Malarkey and seeing Alton Brown later in the evening, it was quite a night for him! We were glad to part of the whole thing, especially getting to know PJ in person and enjoying an amazing dinner in an amazing city.

Sunrise at The Vineyards

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 Grapevine, photography, sunrise, Texas, The Vineyards Campground, travel, water views, marina

In between our stay in Austin and our return to Milwaukee, we spent a couple more days at The Vineyards in Grapevine, Texas. It now officially qualifies as one our favorite campgrounds, and we haven’t even been there in the nice season when we could take advantage of all the cool stuff to do! One of the reasons we love it? The views out the RV window. I took these pics the morning we left. The stunning sunrise made it that much harder to go.

 Grapevine, photography, sunrise, Texas, The Vineyards Campground, travel, water views, marina

A walk through Memorial Park

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Memorial Park, Round Rock, Texas, dog walking, memorials, history, WWII, Vietnam, Brushy Creek, river walk, stairs, workout, outdoors, dogs, exercise,

We’re back in Milwaukee this week, in the middle of a snowstorm, so my jaunt through Memorial Park in Round Rock, Texas, a couple of weeks ago seems like a dream. Thank heavens for photographic evidence!

Memorial Park is home to the rock that gave Round Rock, Texas, its name.  The park is right off of I-35. Brushy Creek runs through the middle of it, and a pedestrian bridge under the highway connects both sides. There’s a playground on one side and the Sunset Strip apartment complex on the other. It’s a very pretty park although a little bit seedy.

Memorial Park, Round Rock, Texas, dog walking, memorials, history, WWII, Vietnam, Brushy Creek, river walk, stairs, workout, outdoors, dogs, exercise,

I stopped there with the dogs after I saw the park off the highway when I was dropping Mike off for work. I had no idea that the famous rock was there, so I missed it entirely. I guess I was close, though. From what I’ve read, if you want to see the rock, you need to walk over the low water crossing near the parking lot and go along the north side of the creek.

Memorial Park, Round Rock, Texas, dog walking, memorials, history, WWII, Vietnam, Brushy Creek, river walk, stairs, workout, outdoors, dogs, exercise,

I strolled in that direction but got sidetracked by the granite stadium stairs by the softball field. I just had to climb ’em! I did two sets with the dogs, but then Sadie refused to do any more. I wasn’t going to let our little diva hold me back, so I parked the bark babies in the Jeep and did another 13 sets for a total of 15.

Memorial Park, Round Rock, Texas, dog walking, memorials, history, WWII, Vietnam, Brushy Creek, river walk, stairs, workout, outdoors, dogs, exercise,

The rock isn’t the only cool piece of history in the park. There’s also a Vietnam War memorial and a commemorative WWII torpedo to honor Round Rock residents who fought on behalf of their town and country.

What a fun outing to remind me that there’s more to life than the deep freeze!

Neighbors

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white pelicans, The Vineyards Campground, Grapevine, Texas, travel, photography, water, marina, views

As I sit comfortably in the recliner, working and writing blog posts on my laptop, with blueberry green tea in the cup holder and a view of the marina out the window, I glance up to see our new neighbors arrive. They’re a little loud but awfully nice to look at. A small smile crosses my face as I turn back to the keyboard.  This is what RVing is all about.

Hey Cupcake!

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cupcakery, Hey Cupcake, Austin, Texas, cake, frosting, finger food, travel, photography

When we saw this super cute cupcake trailer on the side of the road, we had to stop. How could we resist a sweet treat from an Airstream-esque bakery on wheels?!?!

cupcakery, Hey Cupcake, Austin, Texas, cake, frosting, finger food, travel, photography

The irreverent sense of fun didn’t stop there; the flavor combos were hilarious. A Michael Jackson, anyone?? Mike went with plain vanilla (of course!) while I noshed on a Sweetberry.  This mobile cupcakery isn’t far from our campground on the outskirts of Austin, so I have a sneaking suspicion we’ll be back!

cupcakery, Hey Cupcake, Austin, Texas, cake, frosting, finger food, travel, photography

Riverview Campground (Waco, Texas)

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Riverview Campground seems to be out in the boonies when you transition from the highway to the back roads that take you to it.  But it’s actually  just 15 minutes from downtown Waco and the dealership where Mike was working. Be careful driving those rural routes, though.  You might have to navigate around roosters in the middle of the road like we did!

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Riverview is a lovely park with pull-throughs, full hook-ups, and paved sites.  We paid $30 a day for our 50-amp, full hook-up, pull-through spot that included Wi-Fi.

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Amenities include a brand new laundry room/shower building and a small play area for the kids. The property has three different club houses for large or small RV clubs.  Next to an in-ground, salt water swimming pool is a large dog run with a park bench and a couple of trees to provide shade from the sun.

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

We celebrated our six-month anniversary of being on the road while we were there in early January.  Most of the trees were bare.  We figure it’d be beautiful in the spring, summer and fall when the leaves and flowers are in full bloom.

The Vineyards Campground (Grapevine, Texas)

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 campgrounds, full hook-ups, Grapevine, iPhoneography, photography, pull-throughs, rv parks, Texas, The Vineyards Campground, travel

We stopped for a couple of days in Grapevine, Texas, to visit our friend Jim before heading to work in Waco.  The Vineyards Campground was lovely even in the bareness of winter. Our “gold” spot right on the lake was just $75 for a two-day stay, and it came with a complimentary wine tasting. A sweet perk! We had a spacious, circular pull-through site with full hook-ups and our own private deck overlooking the water.

 campgrounds, full hook-ups, Grapevine, iPhoneography, photography, pull-throughs, rv parks, Texas, The Vineyards Campground, travel

 campgrounds, full hook-ups, Grapevine, iPhoneography, photography, pull-throughs, rv parks, Texas, The Vineyards Campground, travel

We made good use of the complimentary Wi-Fi and cable, and our first day was warm enough that we gave the RV a much-needed bath.  Unfortunately, the temps dropped significantly after that so we didn’t get to enjoy the extensive amenities at the park:

  • Bicycle rentals
  • Boat ramp
  • Children’s playground
  • Courtesy docks
  • Regular activity programs
  • Family swim beach
  • Fishing pier
  • Golf cart rentals
  • Group pavilion
  • Horseshoe pit
  • Kayak rentals
  • Nature trail
  • Paddle boat rentals
  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Disc Golf
  • Board games
  • Complimentary coffee/popcorn while supplies last each day

 campgrounds, full hook-ups, Grapevine, iPhoneography, photography, pull-throughs, rv parks, Texas, The Vineyards Campground, travel

 campgrounds, full hook-ups, Grapevine, iPhoneography, photography, pull-throughs, rv parks, Texas, The Vineyards Campground, travel

A pack of geese roamed among the rigs every day, and I discovered that these birds can be aggressive!  As I was snapping pics of them with my iPhone, one came rushing toward me, necked extended, loud honks coming from it’s open beak.  I guess he wasn’t a fan of the paparazzi!

 campgrounds, full hook-ups, Grapevine, iPhoneography, photography, pull-throughs, rv parks, Texas, The Vineyards Campground, travel