Category Archives: New Jersey

Bill’s 30th in Austin

Over the weekend of May 11th, I headed down to Austin to catch up with some friend’s and celebrate Bill’s 30th Birthday. Bill is a friend who I use to work with in Vermont, who moved to New Jersey after I moved to Texas. His friends from New Jersey moved to Austin last year and well here we all were reuniting! Seriously, some of the best people to hang out with!
In honor of Bill’s 30th, we enjoyed some of the best things to do in Texas!
This time in Texas is phenomenal. I’ve mentioned the wild flowers but photos do no justice. They lined highway 35 from Fort Worth to Austin. Also along the way, well everytime I travel down that way, I see this old farmstead off the highway. I actually took the access road this trip to make sure I got a picture. It reminds me of the farm in Second Hand Lions. (One of the best movies of all time!)
Stop Number 1: We floated tubes down the Guadalupe River, just south of New Braunfels and Gruene. Obviously, I didn’t take my camera. I wasn’t taking a chance with my clumsiness. The camera would’ve made it in the water before I would have. I will tell you, that it was one of the MOST scenic and beautiful places I have ever seen. As soon as our trip down the river was done, I was ready to do it again just for the view! Old, large trees were coming out of the water banks, beautiful homes lined the river and at one point there was a huge rock scale that went hundreds of feet up along the river bank.
Stop Number 2: Just down the road from the river is the small town of Gruene. One of my favorites and another place that I can check off the list for visiting twice (because once wasn’t enough). We had dinner at Cantina del Rio which is pretty much tucked away next to Gruene Hall. Fish tacos and a sangria margarita (voted best in the county) are the way to go! (And the prices were very reasonable!)
We then walked around town and checked out some local shops.
Donkey’s – they’re so cute!
I was beyond excited about these chairs. Dad – we’re going to make some!
Stop Number 3: It’s amazing we still had energy for this. Saturday night was spent out on 6th Street in Austin. Rooftop bars, closed off streets and we even got the birthday boy to ride a mechanical bull!
Adventures always carry into the next day, right?!
The Salt Lick
Good BBQ, live entertainment, a vineyard in the backyard and most importantly, good company.
You can’t go wrong!
By the way, the musician sounded just like Willie Nelson. I was a little excited!
Happy 30th Birthday Bill! I hope you were able to enjoy every moment and have memories that will last a lifetime… you old man!

Views and Brews

A month from now I will be back home in Vermont, filling up on all the necessities that I have been missing – fresh air, hearing cows moo-ing when I wake up, dirt roads, creemees, microbrews, mama’s cookin’, four wheeling, canoeing, hiking and just gazing at the mountains. I think the mountains and breweries are what I miss the most, besides my grandmother.

Last week, one of my co-workers just got back from his vacation in his home state of Massachusetts. He brought me back an edition of the Yankee Brew News. Apparently, I have been living under a rock since I’ve never heard of this paper… I’ve been missing out.

The first article I see immediately grabs my attention “Beer and Hiking”. Well that sounds pretty darn right to me. Views and Brews, created by Tom Rankin, reaches out to others like me who love hiking and beer. The main objective is to visit breweries and hike (at least a mile) one of the mountains / trails nearby. If you complete x amount (as listed on the site), you become eligible to receive a patch. There are different patches for each state (NY, VT, RI, NH, CT, NJ, WV, MA, ME, DE, PA) and even Quebec. This really gives you something to aim for, see the views from a few different peaks and try out a few different brews.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there!