Alamo Drafthouse Cinema schedules Planet of the Apes

Full size statue from the from the 1st movie

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is a nation wide chain of “dinner and a movie” entertainment. While they are closed due the COVID-19 restrictions, their website still shows a scheduled showing of the 1968 cult classic “Planet of the Apes” for August 30th this fall. Whether this showing happens remains to be seen.

Sher and I and our Austin family went to one of these theaters during our Winter Texan stay this past year. The seats are large and comfortable, and the table for your dinner is more than adequate. Food was good, too. We saw and enjoyed  Little Women.

Anyway,  I wanted to show you the huge statue in the lobby of the theater we went to

Ad for an Ape movie marathon

in Austin. The statue is from the actual movie Planet of the Apes. I asked one of the employees where it came from. Turns out the owner of the theater chain also owns the rights to the Planet of the Apes franchise. There were movie posters for all of the Ape movies displayed in the lobby as well as ads for an APE movie marathon of the original five movies.

Have you seen the Planet of the Apes movies? Can you name the original five titles? Might be a good topic for a “stay at home in isolation” set of trivia questions. Stay safe, dear readers. Don’t go ape!

 

Remembering a distillery visit in Texas

I thought it was time for something different than a post about the COVID-19 pandemic. Allow us to share a few photos and text about a nice local distillery we visited during our winter residence in Texas a few short weeks ago.

Fast Eddy logo in neon

The Hill Country near Austin is home to several breweries, wineries and distilleries. Near Dripping Springs one will find the Fast Eddy Vodka distillery. We stopped there one day near the closing time. The place was absolutely packed as there were the normal amount of cars and two huge tour buses that had filled the place with folks.

 

 

 

The bar of course had samples of the many varieties of flavored vodkas bottled at the facility. There was a very large distillery room with lots of tables. We looked at the merchandise, but did not really find any shirts we liked. Our purchases were limited to a couple of glasses with the Deep Eddy logo.  We passed on samples as we had been out all day visiting breweries. I was not really in the mood for even a sample of vodka.

Here is the Deep Eddy website. Notice that now the place is closed due to, you guessed it, COVID-19 restrictions. When we go to Texas in the future, we do plan on visiting Deed Eddy again.

Bastrop Texas

Bastrop Texas is an interesting little town southeast of Austin. We headed there with our Austin family to check things out.  We found a place to park and found a nice map of the town on a large display board. This let us kind of make some plans for our adventure.

Great map allowing for planning the day

Cute gravel alley leading to some shops

 

 

 

 

 

We enjoyed the visitor center that also had a museum as well. The history  of Bastrop is a tale of the old West that is fun to learn. The town is proud of its heritage and rightly so.

Some neat old stuff

A very unique raised flower bed

 

 

 

 

 

We enjoyed the 602 Brewery and Restaurant for a beer and a delicious meal. (read our review of the 602 Brewery here) After our meal we walked around the Main Street looking at the stores and shops. We also took a driving tour that led us to several historic homes in and around the downtown area.

Posing with a tortoise outside Visitor’s Center and Museum

Main Street, Bastrop

 

 

 

 

 

All in all we really enjoyed seeing Bastrop. There seem to be a lot of activities planned during the spring and summer months. There are over 30 festivals planned each year.  The 900 acre Lake Bastrop has a plethora of recreational opportunities. This town is proud of its heritage and is most welcoming to visitors. Put Bastrop on your list of Central Texas places to visit.

Austin’s Jack Allen Kitchens utilize locally sourced foods

Our son and his family introduced us to Jack Allen Kitchens restaurants. This local chain of 4 establishments in the Austin area has really set a very high standard for reasons beyond high quality menu items. We went to the Anderson Lane version of the restaurant.

A portion of the interior of the Anderson Lane location

The base concept behind this eatery is a combination of local sourcing and local involvement. By utilizing local sources nearly entirely, you can be assured of fresh ingredients in every dish served. The company is very much involved in local charities as well.

The menu? Folks, you can’t get any better than the culinary delights found at Jack Allen Kitchens. The atmosphere is one of the most relaxed that you will ever find. You never feel rushed. The service is 5 star provided by truly professional wait staff.

Wedgies Salad

All of the cocktails are superb. The appetizers are great. (Try the house made pimento cheese and flat crackers. Yummy) But let’s talk the entrees! Sher had the “Wedgies salad”. It was huge, and as she said, the best ever. Garnished with onions, grape tomatoes and blue cheese crumbles, this salad was topped with green goddess dressing.

Chicken fried chicken, mashed ‘taters and veggies

I fell in love with the menu listing the “Chicken Fried Anything”. I went with the chicken breast, instead of the pork chop, ribs or meatloaf. (Yes, meatloaf.) The chicken fried chicken breast came smothered in gravy, resting on a portion of the large helping of mashed potatoes and accompanied by a squash medley veggie. Our son had the chicken fried meatloaf. He let me have a taste, and it was good too.

The dessert

And at the end of our meal, we were tempted with the dessert offerings. Biff (our waiter) offered to bring us 5 spoons and plates so we could share the decadent chocolate/pecan/ala mode you see in the picture. It was twice as good as it looks.

In or near Austin? Go to the Jack Allen Kitchen website here. Find the facility handy to you, and by all means go and enjoy a unique and memorable dining experience.

Great craft beer at Twisted X Brewing Company

Dripping Springs , Texas is in the Hill Country near Austin. A bit south of this eclectic town is the Twisted X Brewing Company. Sher and I put it on our agenda one Thursday afternoon, and were glad we did!

The tasting room

The tasting room at Twisted X is open air and very comfortable. The Thursday afternoon we were there also had a fella playing guitar and singing which was a nice touch. We ordered a flight of four to sample. The bartender picked out the samples for us, and he did a good job. Some of the beers are available only at the tasting room.

Bar and brew list board

The brewery logo

 

 

 

 

 

I really liked the Austin Lager, and even bought a couple of cans to take with us. By the way, it is an advantage to travel in our RV, as the fridge is right there, and you don’t have to ever worry about your brews getting too warm before you get home. You have your home with you!

Our flight of great craft beers

Anyway, the Twisted X Brewing Company is another fine brewery in the Dripping Springs area. They have brewery tours on Saturdays and Sundays. Private events are also hosted. Check the Twisted X website here for details. Put a visit to this brewery on your agenda, folks. You will be glad you did!

Texas Hill Country Olive Co.

We had just finished checking out the town of Dripping Springs in the Hill Country outside of Austin and were waiting for another brewery to open. I spotted a sign for an olive company the opposite direction from the brewery, so off we went.

Striking architecture of the Olive Company

About five miles later we saw what looked like some kind of Italian mountain villa. Yep, that turned out to be the Texas Hill Country  Olive Company. We had no idea what to expect, except that it would involve olives. Well, what a nice surprise when the hostess showed us to the free tasting stations. Yes, we were invited to taste different olive oils. I sure got an education.

Olive oils on the left, balsamic vinegars on the right

Fun signage

 

 

 

 

 

I had no idea that there were so many different kinds of olive oils, all of which were made by this family owned and operated business. Sher and I both enjoyed tasting the different olive oils. You taste them by putting a few drops in a small cup and either tasting it directly by mouth or dipped on a small piece of bread.

In the showroom in front of one of the tasting stations.

In addition to the oils, there were several varieties of balsamic vinegar as well set out for tasting. These were all imported from Italy, and there was an amazing range of flavors. The balsamic vinegar we bought was a blackberry flavor, which will be perfect to mix with the olive oil we bought to make a great salad dressing. Yum! The showroom also has a wide variety of gift boxes and other goodies.

Olive trees at the Olive Company

Olive tree beginning to flower

 

 

 

 

 

This place should be on everyone’s list of must visit places in the Hill Country. The site has lots of olive trees in their on site orchard. Our hostess explained that the company also has many more orchards in south Texas as well. Yes, olive trees grow in places other than Southern Europe and the Mid East. You can experience them at the Texas Hill Country Olive Co.

 

Great brewery in Bastrop Texas

For our last jaunt in 2019 we took a road trip to the historic town of Bastrop Texas. We literally saw the name of a brewery and restaurant on the store front of one of the neat historical buildings on Main Street.

The 602 at Main Street

The interior of the 602 Brewery

We had lunch in the 602. The craft beer was great, and my oh my was the food delicious. The home made coleslaw and garlic fries were wonderful. The three fish pieces were obviously very fresh and fried to perfection in the “secret recipe” batter. Best fish and chips I’ve ever had.

The fish and trimmings are better than they look!

Bastrop is a unique and historic town south of Austin. When you visit make sure you stop at The 602 Brewery on Main Street. Get a great meal at a great price with super friendly service. You won’t be disappointed!

Roadtirement’s 2019 revisited

My gosh has this year gone fast, or what?  We started the year traveling from Indiana to Harlingen, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley. Park Place RV Resort was our home for two months.  Some pure tourist type stuff was of course a requirement in the new to us area. The border with Mexico, those daunting US Border Patrol SUV’s and the fence/wall were eye openers for us. We enjoyed the sights of Port Isabel and the beaches of South Padre Island. That 55+ RV resort living helped us realize that we liked being “Winter Texans”!

Nice concrete patio at our site in Harlingen.

One day we went to the border wall in Brownsville.

The Port Isabel lighthouse

We spent some time in March with family in Austin, then back to Indiana. It took a bit to get back into being in the Midwest again, but there was lots we did over the summer. We try to go to as many musicals as we can at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre in Indianapolis. An excellent buffet and even better show make for a great evening out. In May we also set up at the US Highway 40 Yard sale in Dunreith, a small town  between Greenfield and Richmond, Indiana. For four days folks travel the highway looking for treasures and bargains.

Musical “Hairspray” at Beef and Boards

Our set up for the Highway 40 Yard Sale

 

 

 

 

 

Camping with kids and grand kids became a fun past time this summer. We took our RV and our kids brought their tent(s) for themselves and any of the grand kids that could come along. An Ohio State Park, US Forest Service Recreation Area, and a Jellystone Park RV resort served us well. Never a dull moment when camping, especially in West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest after a toad strangler of a rain which flooded a tent. Yes, we were able to sleep 6 fairly comfortably in our 24′ Class C Four Winds. We had to use an alternate route to leave the area as the main road was washed out.

Spacious campsite in the Monongahela National Forest

West Virginia’s Horseshoe Rec Area

Our campsite, tent is out of site on the left

Entrance to the Ohio State park, lake in the background

Gorgeous end to the day at Ohio’s Kaiser Lake State Park

Another summer highlight was our trip to Niagara Falls. The guided tour was definitely worth the cost. The small Gray Line tour bus picked us up at our RV campground. The tour was all inclusive, including of course the famous Maid of the Mist boat ride taking you into the soaking up close view of the falls. If you have not been to Niagara Falls, go!

Here we are after our Maid of the Mist adventure. That is the American Falls barely visible between us.

Restaurant view of the Horseshoe (Canadian) Falls. The food was good, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sher and I were pretty busy during the summer, including some additional selling at several town festivals. By the time the end of October came around we were ready to head back out on the road and head south once again. We had talked before about visiting the Diamond Mine State Park in Arkansas. The weather had been rather wet, but we decided that it would be a great time to check this place out on our way back to Texas. We went and had a ball. No diamonds found, and the muddy ground was hard to traverse. But, we have a bucket of neat rocks for our rock garden.

Getting ready to head to the muddy field and begin our search for diamonds

Here I am shovel ready to find one of those huge diamonds shown in the picture next to me

 

 

 

 

 

 

On to Texas with a quick stop in Texarkana. There the courthouse is positioned literally on the Arkansas/Texas State line. Interesting to say the least. We stopped at our family’s place in Austin for a couple of days before we went to our spot at the La Hacienda RV Resort in Austin. The La Hacienda is a Sun Resort property, complete with all the expected facilities. We have been here since the first of November. The past two months have given us a chance to explore the Austin area. The Hill Country is filled with wineries, breweries and distilleries. Yep, we have enjoyed more than one of these establishments.

A beautiful Saturday at the Bull Creek Park in Austin

Los Pinos restaurant is only 1/4 mile from our RV Park!

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019 has been quite the adventure for Roadtirement! We can’t list everything, but know that we have had a great year. In figuring up where were have been, we discovered that in 2019 we actually lived 5 out of 12 months as Winter Texans. This could get to be habit forming! We are going to start 2020 by going to Seattle to visit our daughter and her family in January. Stay tuned, we’ll fill you in!

Wishing you and yours and all our friends a safe and prosperous New Years!

Maj and Sher

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.