Tag Archives: Austin

Sometimes We Need To Take A Moment

This past weekend, we headed to Austin to celebrate a wedding of a couple friends, to say “safe travels” and “see you soon” to another friend moving to Tennessee and all the while saying hello to lots of people who we haven’t seen in a little bit. It was an exciting weekend. Something that didn’t happen was a lot of picture taking which is unfamiliar territory to me but there’s a lesson that dawned on me along the way…

Sometimes we need to take a moment. 

It’s great to have all of these moments captured using photographs, videos and other social media aspects but I think it’s even more important to put it all down and savor it. As much as I wanted to share with everyone how absolutely beautiful the venue was at the wedding, the group dinner and delicious food we ate in Austin or the fun we were having on 6th Street after the wedding – it’s one of those times that I just needed a moment with no strings attached.

With that being said, I have one photo to share which has turned out to be one of my favorite photos taken of Spencer and I.

Barr Mansion, Austin, Texas, Wedding Venue

As for festivities and places which we enjoyed in Austin this weekend, here is out list.

Wedding Venue: Barr Mansion Ranch
Absolutely beautiful with an old, Southern mansion, white-stringed lights throughout the property and a beautiful glass faced building in the back.
Dinner: Matt’s El Rancho
Tex-Mex at it’s finest. The salsa is delicious and spicy. Sit outside to enjoy the fresh evening air and Austin culture.
Breakfast: The Kolache Factory
After Wedding Festivities: Buckshots on 6th Street.
Order a Mass Attack in honor of our friends. It’s on the menu list!

Have you put your camera down lately to enjoy the moment in the moment? 

Beer, BBQ and Beards… My Texas Food Paradise

TMBBQ 511 Title“When a bearded man offers you the ‘awesome piece’ of meat, just nod your head yes and take it.”

Each year, Texas Monthly invites their top 50 BBQ restaurants to take part in the Texas Monthly BBQ Festival in Austin. This year, I was lucky enough to attend and relish in the sights, smells and sounds of a prime Texas food festival.

TMBBQ 504BBQ in Texas is a necessity. Whether you’re visiting or are a resident, BBQ should have a place in your life. The going gets tough when you’re looking to hit up a select location – they may run short or you may find yourself in a line for hours before you’re even seated. That’s what makes events like this one so great! You’re given the opportunity to try the best BBQ in the state, all at once and you don’t just get to try one select meat but a variety within the three-to-four hours of the event. Put your stretchy pants on! The plus side for me, I didn’t have to wait in a line for a BBQ joint that was hours from me to try one select dish, I had them all at my fingertips!

TMBBQ 482This year I attended the event with my friend Jeanette. We were hungry and ready for good beer and great food. We walked in and were immediately surrounded by grills, smokers, food lovin’ folks and great music. Ah – Paradise. We grabbed a beer, crossed the venues off where we had been and picked a line. We chose a good way to spend the day!
Honestly, the three hours that we were there didn’t really allot of a lot of time to try each sampling (per the course we took). It did provide for a great time to listen to what others were praising, watching chef’s peruse around and talk up their BBQ and most of all, savor the sampling that was currently in our hands. Our faux pas was getting in line for Franklin’s. Holy line. A line that lasted about an hour of our precious time. Depending on how you look at it, it was a really wise choice or poorly made.

– We got to try an array of the meat.
– Even wiser, watching the guys serve the food wasn’t bad on the eyes. (Have I mentioned I’m a fan of beards?)
– In the grand scheme of things, considering I live in North Texas, it’s better than driving down to Austin and spending my entire day in line to eat at the actual location (my personal opinion).

Poor: We stood in line for an hour and missed out on other great BBQ.


You’re going to want to bring the best of friends to this one!

To The Good Stuff – The Food!!
Being a fan of BBQ, it’s always pretty exciting to drive out and try one location then check out another but to have them next to each other is an even bigger treat. You’ll immediately notice differences in seasonings, tenderness, bark, sauces. You’ll find yourself in the nitty gritty details.

Stanley’s: Oh the brisket. So delicious and moist. The bark was, well, I can’t talk about it. The cravings will start again. Smoked goodness. Highly recommend the drive out to this one! The ribs were great too, a great peppery taste but not over the top. Just – right!
Louie Mueller
: Beef ribs. Oh those damn beef ribs! I’m pretty sure I could’ve just sat and ate all day at this one. They won me over! The thick dry rub was perfect,. Love the bark!. To top it off, we got lamb. Big ole pieces of lamb. Extra special and unexpected little treat right there!

Is your mouth watering a bit?!

Is your mouth watering a bit?!

Franklin’s: When a bearded man offers you the “awesome piece” of meat, take it. I got offered the end piece of turkey. Greatest.Opportunity.Ever. Both for the beard and for the food. Just kidding… sort of. Not typically a big turkey fan, the “awesome piece” of meat was in fact… awesome. Loaded with seasonings, tender, makes your belly happy, happy, happy.

And the pulled pork... two thumbs up boys!

And the pulled pork… two thumbs up boys!

My Wish List:
Billy’s Oak Acres needs to be added to this event. Even the best of the best have some North Texas Competition coming! Come on Texas Monthly!
TMBBQ 497– I wanted to meet Tootsie from Snow’s in the worst way. She’s adorable, is she not? I couldn’t meet her without trying her product. Snow’s has moved to the top of my list!


Love these trucks!

TMBBQ 499– Best shirts around (I just want them to add ‘beards’ underneath ‘Wood Fire Meat Beer’.)! I should’ve got one but again, I missed out. Can’t get a shirt if I didn’t try the BBQ! I did love their truck though. They made major points with this little lady!

A Few Take-aways:
Go with a plan! You probably won’t be able to try all of them but be picky. Do you want to wait in line for an hour to try one famous venue or try 20 (much shorter lines).
Get to the event early. Beware, there’s a line to get your wristband to walk in (even if you’ve already printed your tickets). This cuts down your eating time.
Be ready to be blown away. You’ll be overwhelmed if you’re not prepared. You learn a lot your first time there.
Go with a partner. You can split up and cover more ground. We saw everyone doing it… maybe that’s ok?
If you’re not from Texas… This is an event for you. A little pricier than just hitting up the actual restaurant and you’ll miss out on the characteristics of the locale but you’ll get what you’re really there for, brisket, ribs, sausage. You may even got lucky and get something a little extra, like lamb.
Beards. They’re attractive. They’re everywhere. Enjoy them.


Roughing it on Lake Austin

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to meet up with a few friends (and some new friends) down on Lake Austin. It was a weekend of boating, camping and lots of fun!

Lake-Austin, Camping, Texas, Texas-Lakes, Boating

We stayed at Emma Long Metropolitan Park. First off, driving to the park is an adventure in itself. You’ll be driving along the top of the hills overlooking Lake Austin. Gorgeous, huge, huge homes, that you’ll later be gawking at from the lake! Be careful, the road is only two lanes and very windy.

Lake-Austin, Camping, Texas, Texas-Lakes, Boating

One site is between the white posts. To get a grasp of the length – it’s about double the lawn space to the road.

What a bargain! $10 goes a long way! It will get you a day pass for an entire car load into the park and it will also get you a camping site for an evening. This isn’t your typical camping site, they’re huge. We fit three tents and could’ve fit three more. There was a grill, campfire spot and shade from a huge tree all within walking distance to the restrooms / showers. The only catch is the restrooms are only open from about 8am to 9:30pm, otherwise you have to use the big blue port-o-potties we all love so much!

Lake-Austin, Camping, Texas, Texas-Lakes, Boating

Nothing says a great weekend like a ridiculous group selfie. If only cell phones had timers or we had longer arms!

The overall park was great! Sandy beaches, plenty of room, parking for your boats, lots of trees and places to grill. There’s also a camping area for RV’s, if tents are not for you! The area available is great!

 For more information and details on what Emma Long Metropolitan Park has to offer:
Emma Long Metropolitan Park
1706 City Park Rd, Austin, TX 78730