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Don’t Mess with Texas

After two nights in Sam Houston Jones State Park on the edge of the Louisiana Bayou, Tim and I took to the road again.  It was time to head to Texas.  We had a laundry list of things to get done in Houston, a convenient stop on our way to Austin.  Oil change, a tire rotation and washing 3 months of sea salt off Frank were the big priorities.  So Friday night we started driving.  We landed that night at Walmart – our favorite impromtu campground – in Houston.  By noon on Saturday, Frank was clean and shiny and it was time to research Houston sports bars.

Frank at the Spa

Spa Day for Frank

Duke and North Carolina played that evening so we needed somewhere fun, downtown so we could see the city, yet still peaceful enough to work between games.  We found Homeplate Sports Bar located across the street from Minute Maid Stadium smack in the middle of Houston’s sprawling downtown.

We spent the afternoon watching basketball while Tim put together his 2010 NCAA basketball tourney site and I designed a new client website.   We had a terrific waitress Kelly who was a long time Austin resident.  When we told her where we were headed, she gave us a list of things to see.

7 hours later, we’d eaten our fill of bar food, and had watched the Tarheels get the snot beat out of them, and were ready to hit the town.  We chatted with Kelly to find out what was fun to do in the Houston Downtown.  “You’ve got to go to the Flying Saucer” she told us and offered to take us out.

The Flying Saucer is a beer connoisseur’s heaven.  250 brews grace the menu and at 1:00 am you can still order a cheese and sausage plate.   We settled in and chatted with Kelly, learning all about the local scene.  On our way back to the van, we heard a sound.  2 guys were smashing in the window of a car, on a clean, well lit street, in front of a high end restaurant.  We called 911, put our heads down and quickly walked back to the van.  That night we parked in the best lit parking lot we could find, directly across from the police station.

Sunday morning we woke up with all our windows intact.   As we drove out of town, we debated breakfast options.  “We could always go to Cracker Barrel,” I said, but Tim had a better idea.  He looked on his new Droid (which is now permanently glued to his hand) to see what good breakfast places were in the area.  Breakfast Klub was top of the list.

Katfish & Grits - House Specialty

Breakfast Klubbin'

When we drove down to this absolute must-do in Houston, the line was already wrapping around the side of the building.  The large sign overhead advertised the establishment’s featured dishes – Catfish & Grits or Waffles & Wings.   We decided this would be worth the wait.  10 minutes later we were seated after having been processed by the most efficient restaurant queue I’ve ever seen.  Waiting in line we had menus and someone to talk to.  By the time we’d stepped foot inside someone else had taken our order.  When we reached the counter to pay, our coffees were waiting for us.  Our food had been cooking 5 minutes before we had even reached our table.  And wow, what food.  We of course had to try the specialities of the house and we weren’t disappointed.   You may think Wings and Waffles are a strange combination, but in the hands of a genius, they are ambrosia.

Star of Texas

Star of TX

Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop - Austin, TX

Mellow Johnny's

Stuffed, we climbed back into Frank to drive to Austin.  By early afternoon, we’d set up camp at McKinney State Park and driven downtown to explore.  We parked on the famous 6th Street to check out the hundreds of bars, clubs and restaurants.  Sunday was just a scouting mission.  We can’t wait to see Austin when it’s rocking.

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