Last weekend Lauren and I welcomed our latest guests to Austin, Steve and Anne Poulter! Lauren’s dad and step-mother spent three nights and four days here in town and, as we do for all of our visitors, tried our best to give them the tour. The first night we took in Midnight Cowboy, the prohibition-era fancy cocktail bar downtown, and followed that up with some southern cooking at Red’s Porch. On Sunday we took them to Torchy’s for breakfast, then drove down to San Antonio to see the Alamo and Riverwalk. On the way home, we stopped off at a winery, and then had dinner at Salt Lick BBQ out in the country. Monday we had planned to go hit some Callaway drivers out at the range, but the wind was so fierce our plans were canceled and instead Steve gave us some DIY tips around the house, including helping us hang a new ceiling fan in the guest bedroom. That night we took in Argo at the Drafthouse and Mexican for dinner at Jardin Corona. I went back to work Tuesday, but Lauren took off and showed them Mt. Bonnell, the state capitol, and the flagship Whole Foods. Sure was a good visit from Steve and Anne!
Long before the Poulters had planned their trip, we already had plans to take off the following weekend for a little mini-vacation of our own to the coastal town of Port Aransas, which is near Corpus Christi in the southeast part of the state, about a 210-mile drive south. At the time it was thought to be some alone time away from the city for a weekend, but we soon learned that our friends the Willoughbys and Barts were both going to be in the same town that same time! As Lauren said, if we had tried to plan a group outing like such it never would have come together, so we didn’t plan it that way and it did. But we certainly did our own thing most of the time.
On Friday, after leaving work early, we hit the road and made it to Port Aransas just after dark. We took our first ever ferry ride, which was cool but only a couple minutes before it docked and we finished our drive. We checked into our rustic, historic hotel, the Tarpon Inn, which has no TV, no phone, no modern amenities. It is the oldest standing structure in town and they want to keep it as it was.
We quickly found that this town, although very touristy, wasn’t the obnoxious kind of touristy littered with crap like Ripley’s and chain restaurants. Everything was very local and authentic and charming. We ate dinner at a brew-pub and hit up a couple bars, then chatted with some neighbors sitting on the rocking chairs out in front of our hotel room. We were in bed before 11.
The next morning after breakfast we took a drive down to the beach. I was very surprised that the beach itself is a road. Even the Impala could drive right out onto the sand. The beach road went on for miles and we stopped a couple times and got out and walked up to the water, though it was far too cold and windy to swim.
Later that day we met up with the other friends who were in town and hit up some bars before heading back to their condo for a sit in the hot tub. We all went out for dinner at a delicious seafood place called Shells. After another bar, we called it a night and went our separate ways. Again, we were sleeping well before midnight.
Then this morning we drove along the beach once more, packed up and headed into Corpus Christi where we checked out the Texas State Aquarium.
We stopped for lunch at a very authentic Mexican restaurant… in fact, we were the only white, English-speaking people there! We once again took the backroads on the way home mostly because I am not a big fan of driving through San Antonio. At one point on the way home on a toll road, the posted speed limit was 85. I was passing someone driving a little under the speed limit, but in order to pass him I had to hit the gas and drive about the fastest I’ve ever driven before, probably about 97 mph, and the irony of it was I too was being passed in the far left lane by a pickup that must have been driving 105 the way he blew around us. After that I slowed it down and we made it home safely.
Thanks to the Viviritos for watching our dear hound dog while we were gone.