Georgetown Texas Christmas lights event

It is that time of the year: Turning on the Christmas lights! Sher and I were treated to a ride with family to Georgetown, Texas, a cute and historic town north of Austin. The festivities were centered around the massive courthouse in the center of town. The crowds were absolutely huge, and you can see in the photo below it was shoulder to shoulder!

Tons of people getting that perfect cell phone shot!

We had a great time eating ice cream and listening to holiday music before the arrival of Santa. The red suited man of the hour made a dramatic appearance on the steps of the courthouse as thousands of lights blinked on on every building, tree, bush and light pole!

The band at The Uptown Social

After the lights came on we headed a block or two away to the fourth floor of an office building to The Uptown Social lounge. This upscale lounge featured some great bar food, including gourmet pizzas and pasta and great “fancy” cocktails. Adding to the enjoyment of our meal was the small but easy to listen to band.  A Holiday Lighting event is always a great way to get into the Christmas spirit.

Los Pinos offers real authentic interior Mexican cuisine

Just down the Hudson Bend Road from our RV Park (La Hacienda) is the Los Pinos restaurant. Sher and I have been looking at the place as we have been driving by, but never yet stopped to check it out. As it worked out, our family was coming to see us, so we decided to meet at the Los Pinos.

Interesting decor and comfortable seating

What a treat our visit turned out to be! The place is decorated in typical Mexican style. I was pleased with the prompt service we received. The menu is quite varied, and each dish is hand crafted by chef. Our waiter told us the tortillas are made fresh daily, and all the ingredients are fresh as well.

Top: Tacos and fixings. Bottom: Burrito and fixings

Long story short, we all had a great meal and a good time at Los Pinos. The food was very very good, portion sizes were large, and the service and ambiance of the restaurant was most comfortable. I noticed that they serve breakfast. I think a return visit is in the cards. Here is the Los Pinos Website.

Treaty Oak Distilling has Texas made bourbon for sale

Sher and I took off in search of a brewery that is owned by one of the stars of the TV show “Supernatural”. We found it, but it was not yet open. So thanks to Google Maps suggestions, we found a nearby distillery.

The Tasting Room

The Treaty Oak distillery is back a long lane and we saw cars so we know it was open. Once we started into the grounds a staff member informed us that the tasting room was open, but not the other buildings.

Our flight of three for tasting

The tasting room was like others: a bar, bottles lining the walls, and a neat display with T-shirts, glasses, flasks, and other branded merchandise. The tasting menu included wine (available ’cause some folks don’t like the hard stuff), gin and bourbon. Not all of the offerings were products of the distillery, but were available for sale under the distillery labels.

Yep, we decided to buy a bottle!

Our hostess in the tasting room helped us decide which products to sample. We sampled a gin, a rum and finally a bourbon. The gin was not a favorite of ours, the rum was good, but wow the Ghost Hill Texas Bourbon Whiskey was terrific! It was also one of the products that was, as the label states, was made “Grain to Glass” on the grounds of the facility.

It turned out to be a delightful and fun stop. We’ll go back to that other one sometime when they are open.

Mansfield Dam and Lake Travis near Austin

We drove up to an overlook site to see the top of the dam. In 1937 construction began on the then Marshall Ford Dam across the Colorado River in Texas. The 278′ tall dam was completed in 1941, was renamed the Mansfield Dam in honor of a local member of Congress. The dam created Lake Travis northwest of Austin.

The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) controls the dam functions

No drones allowed!

Lake Travis has 30 square miles of surface  water that  winds through the former canyons of the large watershed area of the Colorado River. The lake is as you would expect a center of recreational activities.

 

An interesting sky and old time transportation

Sometimes Nature puts on an interesting show, to say the least. One day the sky over our RV resort displayed a set of wispy and stringy looking clouds. I had to snap a couple of shots.

Deep blue sky painted with wisps of white

Soon after you enter La Hacienda RV resort you will see a couple of neat old wagons. These coupled with a longhorn outline provide a neat piece of Texas atmosphere and ambiance.

Looks like a chuck wagon

Love the sign: “The Original RV”

You know you’re in Texas!

We’re enjoying our stay here at  La Hacienda RV Resort. Lake Travis is nearby, as are good restaurants. Austin is reasonably close as well.

Gloria’s at the Domain in Austin

Let me explain: The Domain is a large upscale shopping, dining and residential complex in Austin, Texas. Our daughter recently flew in from the WestCoast for a business meeting in the Westin Hotel at the Domain. She had a few hours before her flight back  so we took advantage of the opportunity and met her at Gloria’s.

My two best girls enjoying time together

Gloria’s is a sophisticated and upscale restaurant a block or two from the Westin. We were seated immediately after we got there. Sher and I had a delightful visit with our daughter, catching up on all the news of her husband and our 5 year old grandson.

Good food at a decent price

Gloria’s offers a great menu. We all found items we liked, portion sizes were fine and everything tasted great. The service was attentive but not overbearing. For a nice, quiet and private place for a family get together, I don’t think we could have found a better place.

 

Nancy’s Sky Garden in Austin is a hidden gem

Want to eat healthy? This restaurant in Cedar Park is truly a hidden gem. The menu is unique, to say the least. You pick your protein, pick your carb, pick your veggies, and finally pick your dressing. Get ready for a totally different, delicious and remarkably filling meal that you can consume with no regrets.

Signature plate. So much good stuff here!

Signature Plate protein choices feature varieties of chicken, fish and tofu. Don’t want protein? No problem. Veggies include rainbow salad, with fresh fruit. For your carb you have the choice of sweet potato noodles, baked or a tasty purple rice. Top it off with one or two of seven different dressings.

The smoked salmon Poke bowl featured a very generous portion of salmon

Other menu items include poke bowls with fish on a bed of veggies, purple rice, seaweed salad and other delicious items. In addition, soups, prism rolls, MixMix and Buddha bowls are also part of the unique offerings at Nancy’s Sky Garden. And don’t miss out on the hot and iced teas.

Store front at the Cedar Park location

This dining experience is most enjoyable. Look for all four Austin area locations at Nancy’s Sky Garden website. You won’t be disappointed.

 

Bull Creek Park in Austin

Bull Creek Park is rather small, (48 acres) but is large in activity. Trails criss-cross the park, however Bull Creek itself is the highlight. The limestone riverbed, flanked by even more exposed outcroppings bring the Wow! factor into this delightful green space. We visited with family on a warm Saturday afternoon.

A beautiful Saturday

Natural water slide into a deep swimming hole!

Hiking and swimming are two of the favorite things to do at Bull Creek. I can imagine this park is packed with water seekers during the heat of the summer. We had a most enjoyable time walking along the river.

Enjoying Austin Texas for a while

We made the trip from Indiana to Austin in a few short days. We had some fun stops along the way including the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas.

    Our site is very level gravel with a nice concrete patio including a picnic table. We are very close to the swimming pool laundry and all of the facilities.

We are going to be here at the La Hacienda RV Park and resort for a couple of months. We are looking forward to exploring the area. From what we have read it seems like there is a lot to see and do in and around Austin Texas.

The park has two swimming pools one of which is this delightful adults only pool complete with nice hot tub

 

 

Haunted Hotel in Texarkana

The Grim Hotel in Texarkana was built in 1925. At the time of its construction it was considered an architectural marvel of the day. With its massive ornate lobby, upstairs ballrooms and highly elaborate room furnishings it soon became a hotspot for the rich and famous.

The original sign still clings to the rooftop of this now rapidly decaying building

There have been many reports of paranormal activity in the hotel both during the times it was opened and since it was finally closed in 1990. Many famous and infamous people have visited here including Bonnie and Clyde.

This shot shows the massive size of the eight story structure. A recently posted sign states that by 2021 the building will be completely remodeled and filled with apartments for rent