East, ever East….to Texas!

One of the great thing about having family in Texas is that it’s a great place to go to play with all the kids….and also a great break from the road to Key West.  With Sarah, Ryan and their kids in San Antonio and Amanda, Brandon and their brood in Austin, we have ample reason to stop in the Lone Star State.  It’s not all about H-E-B and Buc-ees.  (You’ll understand if you visit).

The road East to Texas from Tucson was easy, with a stop first at a winery in El Paso for a night, and then New Years Eve in Marfa.   Marfa’s an interesting place in the middle of nowhere West Texas.  It’s where the film “Giant” with Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean was filmed. Also, No Country For Old Men and There Will be Blood, if you need more recent references.

Today Marfa is a combination of very rural agricultural town with a hipster enclave from all the artistic types who have moved in, lured by the low cost of land…and the West Texas light.  Makes for an interesting mix.

We pulled into Bulverde, north of San Antonio, to squeals and hugs from Brooklyn, Jaxon and Ryder. Love Sarah and Ryan and the kids.  It’s so nice to just hang with the kids, once the excitement of arrival wears off.  You actually get time to talk to them…a little more quietly.

Brooklyn, Jaxon and Ryder Winger

After a few days it was time to point the rig north to Austin to see Eleanor, Hendrik and Lennox. Oh right, and Amanda and Brandon. 

The Mueller District in Austin where they live is such an interesting experiment in redevelopment….with homes, townhouses, apartments and retail all being built in walkable neighborhoods.   They live right on the edge of the “current” build.  Infill is happening all around.  Easy to park a trailer on the street today, but it will not always be so.

One thing I love about Amanda is her practical side. She was thinking about hosting a big Tuesday evening New Years Eve Bash for friends. But then she looked at the calendar, and the idea of staying up past midnight, and said “The heck with that.”  We’ll have the party early on Saturday evening so it can end at a reasonable hour for people who have kids.  Love it.   Adding spice was that it was a 1920’s Murder Mystery Party.  Everyone had a role, and someone was going to be “bumped off”.     Knowing she could trust my big mouth, Amanda cast me as a Gangland Mob Boss.   As you might guess, I did not survive the night.

After hugs and kisses the next morning, it was time to point the rig east toward Key West.   Well, first to a brewery North of Houston where they let you stay the night.  Have I mentioned Harvest Host?

Parking at Fortress Brewing

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