Texas | March 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 […]

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March 14, 2021

Neely Roberts

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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!

Nashville BNA infamous carpet
We flew out on the California Flag airplane
There were only 63 on our plane out of 140 possible.
I have a tendency to get travel anxiety. Jason is ALWAYS there to hold my hand.

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!

Lunch at Counter Culture- Arnold Palmer Hibiscus Lemonade, Buffalo Mac ‘n cheeze bites, Vegan Ruben, Vegan BBQ sandwich (probably the BEST one I’ve ever eaten!)
Everything Bagel & Chick’n Baked Steak Plate

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!

LOVE seeing this!

Close by was the University of Texas campus.

The memorial for the victims of the 1966 shooting on UT’s campus, with the tower in the background.
Turtle Pond near the memorial.
The Capitol Building as seen from 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!

Diner decor & yummy food! Vanilla latte, vegan vanilla pancake, vegan chorizo taco with tofu scramble & home fries.

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!

Magnolia Market at the Silos

Make sure to arrive early. We parked about 15 minutes after they opened & there were already a few lines forming.

I LOVED these plates & cutting board!

Walking in, everything felt SO COMFORTABLE! It was like you were cozy at home. I could have easily bought so many things here!

My FAVORITE! I’ve already asked for it for my birthday.
Alabama Sweet Tea. We tried to order the Holiday, but they had sold out two days prior.

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?!

This church was GORGEOUS and so sweet! It’s a photographers DREAM with beautiful white walls & big windows!
I’m SO IN LOVE with these paint colors!!!
This bed was PERFECT! It was so cozy comfy! I was ready to snuggle up under the covers!
Blueberry lemon pastry
We found this old gas station with vintage Thunderbird.

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!

Jason’s bacon ranch and my Dang Rhonda breakfast burger
We split the warm brownie sundae with 1 scoop chocolate & 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
Upon leaving, we noticed a street named “Neely” We couldn’t pass it by, as it was spelled CORRECTLY!!!! YIPPEEE!

We woke up & headed out to the Dallas tv show house location. You can tour the house if you choose.

Basmati rice, split pea soup, sauteed kale, loki squash with coconut, roasted potatoes with green beans, samosas, rice pudding & bread pudding.

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.

You could watch the planes prepare for landing.

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.

Texas Bluebonnets

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.

Another trip to Hopdoddy is never a bad idea!
Oswald is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Ft. Worth. Because there was speculation that someone else was buried there, in 1981 they exhumed the grave, only to find it was actually him.

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.

The jail where Oswald was held.
The view from the 6th floor window. You can make out the X’s on the street.
The theatre where Oswald hid.
The rooming house. This is located across the street and up from The Spiral Diner.
L-R: Top- Vegan scallops, Poutine. Bottom- Croque Madame, Fried Enoki Mushrooms

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.

Original swimming pool, new church & underground school bus from the tragedy.
We hit Buc-ee’s on the way back, because, why not?
The location where Matthew McConaughey uttered the famous line “Alright, Alright, Alright!” in the movie Dazed & Confused.

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.

A quick bite at Kerbey Lane Cafe before our flight- which was delayed by 45 minutes. This time we tried the vegan cashew queso with vegan chorizo. It was SO YUMMY! L-R: Vegan chorizo queso, potato, tofu scramble & chorizo breakfast taco, vegan vanilla pancake, vegan sausage, Denver omelette, home fries & English muffin.

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!

I’m so squinty when it’s bright! My sunglasses aren’t doing me any good on my head!
Heading home!
We saw TWO planes in the sky, and the trail of a third. In all the years I’ve flown, I’ve seen this only two other times. Definitely not twice in one day!
We just ducked below the clouds- almost to Nashville.
Nashville at night.
Safe & sound!

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.


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