March 14, 2021
We often travel during my spring break, as it is typically around Jason’s birthday. This year we decided to head to Austin, TX. I had been before, but it was YEARS ago, and Jason had been, but only to San Antonio. By the time our departure day arrived, we were SO READY! If you do head to Texas, March is a great month to visit. The heat isn’t unbearable & the Bluebonnets are blooming!
Several years ago, I had the most AMAZING experience being able to intern at Farm Sanctuary in Upstate New York. While I was there, I met the sweetest gal, who also happened to be my roomie. I was a shelter intern & Lauren worked in the office. We happened to both work Monday-Friday, so on weekends we would go exploring. Syracuse, Rochester & everywhere in between we went! I haven’t seen Lauren since our days at the farm, but I knew she lived in Texas. She happened to be helping her sister move to Austin the weekend we flew in & it was the PERFECT time to meet up & catch up on old times! Jason & I met Lauren & her husband Shay at Counter Culture. Their dining room was closed, but the patio was a great place to have lunch!
Upon leaving, we ventured down to the capitol. The Texas State Capitol is GORGEOUS and made of pink granite. It is taller than the US Capitol and is the largest capitol building in the United States! The sun was out in full force, and the sky was a vibrant shade of blue!
Close by was the University of Texas campus.
After a long day of travel, seeing old friends & the sites, we were SO HUNGRY! We found this great place called Hopdoddy. They have various burgers & a bowl of fries! Trust me- it’s sharable for a reason! If you are meatless like me, they have the impossible burger to sub on any sandwich. They also offer vegan cheese too!
On our way to Waco, Jason found this great eatery Kerbey Lane Cafe. There were options for non-dairy, eggless & meatless. My breakfast taco was super filling! Thank goodness I only ordered one!
Make sure to arrive early. We parked about 15 minutes after they opened & there were already a few lines forming.
Walking in, everything felt SO COMFORTABLE! It was like you were cozy at home. I could have easily bought so many things here!
If you skipped breakfast or lunch before you arrive, there are plenty of food trucks to grab a quick bite. We also noticed there were meatless options too! Because we had already eaten a pretty big breakfast, we only grabbed a sweet tea when we were there, and sadly, I think this was one of the ONLY places we were able to find sweet tea on the menu! WHAT?!
After spending time at The Silos, we headed to Dallas. We checked into our room then grabbed supper. We landed at a place called The Spiral Diner. Everything on the menu is animal-free. There were TONS of options & you could eat breakfast all day!
We woke up & headed out to the Dallas tv show house location. You can tour the house if you choose.
After spending some time on the road & fighting the wind -(y’all, it was SO WINDY that day!!), we headed over to grab a bite for lunch. We’d read about this great Indian place that had won “Best of Dallas”, so we thought we’d check it out. Kalachandjis is located inside a Hare Krishna Temple.
When we travel, we look up any movie or interesting locations. I think this started when we were in Seattle & Vancouver & found Bruce & Brandon Lee’s resting place, as well as one of the A Million Little Things filming location. Jason found out that Dallas’s head coach, Tom Landry was buried there. We also found out that former Presidential Candidate Ross Perot, Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay cosmetics, and Mickey Mantle were all buried in the same cemetery, as well as William Hootkins who starred in Raiders of the Lost Ark & Star Wars.
A quick Google search lead us to find that Bonnie & Clyde, the infamous gangsters of the 30’s were also buried there, however, Bonnie’s mother was adamant about Bonnie NOT being buried anywhere near Clyde.
Because we had been driving and looking, and driving and reading, and turning, and driving, I was NOT feeling well! Motion sickness is something that has plagued me since childhood, however, as an adult, I get dizzy and things get spinny! It’s NOT FUN! We found an airport observatory to take a break from driving & watch the planes take off and land. They also had a tower where you could hear the pilots and tower speaking to each other.
Because we found Bonnie, we had to find Clyde. The cemetery was very old and very small. The grounds staff had to lay his headstone down and embed it in concrete as it kept getting toppled over.
Wednesday morning, we headed out to Dealey Plaza to tour the Book Depository and JFK Museum. We had time and were able to tour the grounds. There is so much controversy surrounding the assassination of JFK. If you are even in Dallas, the museum is really interesting. There are photographs that have not been shown to the public, as well as Oswald’s ring, photographs of facial recognition as there was a theory of an imposter that looked like Oswald, the number of shooters, two X’s that mark the locations on the street where Kennedy was hit, eye-wittness accounts, a model of the buildings, and so much more.
After the museum tour we ate a late lunch at Vegan Food House. We didn’t realize the appetizers would be this huge, nor that we would get THIS MANY fries!!
On our way back to Austin, we stopped at a Czech bakery, Czech Stop. We had seen it driving up & noticed they had Kolaches. One of my former students whose grandmother lives in Texas, would always talk to me about his grandmother making them. He raved about them, so naturally we had to give them a try. I had peach & Jason ordered raspberry cream cheese.
When you think of Waco, TX, what probably comes to mind is Chip & Joanna of HGTV’s Fixer Upper. When we think of Waco, the 1st thing we think of the horrific 51 day standoff between the Branch Davidians & the FBI. We watched this on tv during our high school years. It played out all over the news. You are able to visit the property, as there is a small church, and the original pool, bunker area & underground school bus that are still there. When we arrived, there was a little girl there, whose mom was the last little girl to be released. It was eerie to think that the little girl we saw, was about the same age as her mom was on the day she was released. It was such a horrible tragedy in our country’s history.
Before our flight, we ventured to McKinney Falls State Park. It was so neat to walk around & see where the water had worn down the rocks. The water was low on our visit, however, it was still very peaceful.
At the airport, they have a Family Viewing Area where you can watch the planes take of and land. They are so close it feels as though you could reach out & touch them!
We made our dinner pit stop at Sunflower Bakehouse. Thankfully it’s just down the road from the airport.
We really enjoyed our time in Texas, seeing the sites, reconnecting with old friends & of course, eating yummy food! Sadly, we were unable to go to the Presidential Libraries due to COVID, but we are hopeful that upon our next visit, they will be open.