Barbecue, Blue Bell, and Baby Horses

Posted on March 21st, 2009

My sister Mindi and her family (11 y.o. daughter Kerri and husband Mike) came all the way down from Ohio to visit us in Austin last week. After a brutal winter up north, they were looking forward to a sunny and warm Texas-style Spring Break. That didn't happen. They had a few days in the upper 70s, but most of the time it was unseasonably nasty weather -- 40 degrees and rainy. Ohio had the exact same temperatures. With sun.

Anyway, they claimed they didn't come down here to get sunburned, but rather to see our family and introduce Kerri to Texas. On their last full day here, the seven of us packed into the familymobile and headed east of Austin for a day of traditional Central Texas culture -- barbecue and Blue Bell ice cream
We made it to Smithville (40 miles east of Austin) just before the lunch crowd hit Zimmerhanzel's, an unassuming red metal building on the edge of town containing some of the best barbecue I've ever tasted -- that's quite a statement coming from someone who's sampled most of Texas' esteemed barbecue joints. I opted for the pork ribs, a hefty plate of tender, succulent meat with just the right amount of mild pepper seasoning and tangy sauce to complement the flavorful pork. The mounted deer heads and faded little league photos watched from the walls as we savored every last bite of this memorable meal in a not-so-memorably named restaurant.
After stuffing ourselves with roasted meat, we traveled an hour east to Brenham's famous Blue Bell Creamery for a tour of the ice cream factory. It was fascinating to see the enormous processing machines with tubes methodically releasing a carton's worth of ice cream while conveyer belts whisked products around. It felt like a real-life episode of the Food Network's “Unwrapped." At the end, we each sampled different flavors -- Daniel thoroughly enjoyed all seven of them.
Afterward, we headed 10 minutes down the road to the
charming Monastery Miniature Horse Farm. The kids loved
it, and the highlight for everyone was seeing two newborn
foals (one-day and three-days old), but the cold, wet weather
had us galloping for the car and back to our warm, dry stable
in the big city.


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1 Comments

mindi - March 28th, 2009 at 4:49 PM
LOVE THE STORY ABOUT YOUR SISTER AND HER FAMILY!! SHE SOUNDS COOL.
KEEP WRITING, I CAN'T WAIT TO READ YOUR BOOK!

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