Texas Hill Country’s Jester King Brewery

This is a post that Sher wrote back in February, 2020 just before we cut short our time as Winter Texans and headed back to Indiana before COVID struck. We just found this and somehow it never got published. So…Here it is.

It was a special treat for us to visit Jester King Brewery while we were in Austin, TX because our last name is Jester.  So, of course we had to buy some beer with our name in it!

Enjoying our beer under one of the heaters

It is located at a beautiful 165 acre ranch in the Texas Hill Country.  It is so welcoming and a fun place for all ages.  Since we are retired we were able to visit when it opened at 4pm, so they weren’t super busy.  We had had a late lunch, so we weren’t hungry but their pizza looked delicious and by the looks of people ordering it I think it was a favorite.  We were there on Maj’s birthday and  we already had reservations in town with our family in Austin, or I would have suggested we have dinner there.

The kitchen/food bar

The spacious and comfortable seating area

 

 

 

 

 

They had many choices of beer, but it was easy for us to choose one we wanted try, the Jester-King one!  We, also, bought a bottle to bring home.  How we could we turn down a beer with our name on it?

Had to have it!

We had fun and it is on our recommended places to visit.  The bartenders were exceptionally nice and so friendly and helpful in answering our questions.  They have an outdoor covered area for seating with heaters, and a bonfire outside when we were there.

This is a favorite place and we’ll definitely  be going back the next time we are in Austin.  And, getting pizza!

Ohio’s historic Clifton Mill

East of Dayton and south of Springfield, Ohio in the tiny town of Clifton you will find the Clifton Mill. This is one of, if not the oldest continuously operating grist mills left in the country. First built in 1802 by Revolutionary War veteran Owen Davis, the mill is still operating, as well as offering a restaurant and store.

The mill in the background

Another feature of this Ohio attraction is the famed Christmas lights display. The day we visited staff were installing what will be a total of four million Christmas lights to the grounds, buildings and walkways.

Workers hanging lights on the rock cliff

Nice log cabin on the grounds

They built their own covered bridge

Honoring the designer of the light show

Historic plaque by the entrance door

 

 

 

 

 

We got there just after the mill, restaurant and store closed, but the grounds were still open, so we could see what was going on with the lights installation. Two men were installing lights on the side of the Clifton Gorge rock cliffs. Some lights had already been installed on the roof and sides of the mill itself and other outbuildings.

The Christmas Lights display, photo credit daytonlocal.com

This attraction receives thousands of guests each winter for the music and light show, Santa’s workshop and holiday fun.  The mill is open year round for tours and other events. This is the Clifton Mill website. This award winning attraction would make a nice stop on your Christmas events calendar.

Blues at the Indianapolis Jazz Kitchen

Sher and I had a most enjoyable time last night at a small music and dining venue in Indianapolis. The Jazz Kitchen is noted for providing an intimate and cozy space for drinks, dining and being up close to the evening’s entertainers. We shared the evening with Sher’s best friend from High School and her husband. Fun conversation sharing travel experiences and activities were had by all during dinner.

The live music was played by a duo of Blues performers supported by drums and bass guitar. The artists were Gordan Bonham and Paul Holdman. Bonham is well known in the Blues community, and Holdman brings an eclectic flair to his guitar work.

The first video gives you a flavor of the quality and energy of these artists and Bonham’s vocals. The second video highlights the marvelous guitar work of Holdman. Enjoy!

We had a marvelous time at the Jazz Kitchen! You can’t beat  this kind of evening: good food, marvelous entertainment and of course a close and warm time shared with old friends. Doesn’t ever get much better than that…

Wooden Bear Brewing

Sunday afternoon seemed like a good time to have an adventure. So it was off to Greenfield, Indiana for a stop at the Wooden Bear Brewing company. Wooden Bear is in an old auto repair garage, and it is quite spacious.

Seating with bar on back wall

Company namesakes

 

 

 

 

 

The Wooden Bear has quite a nice selection of brews on tap. We decided to start with a four sample flight each. You can have as many as you like, with six being a full set, or as our waiter said, six is the most he can carry in one hand.

Sher’s flight

Maj’s flight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A local pizza restaurant happens to be in the back of the building. Very handy, and we certainly enjoyed the thin crust pizzas. They got to our table quickly after we ordered them.

Black olives!

Pepperoni!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We liked the NEIPA (hazy) so much we got a growler to go

Lazy Sunday afternoons are perfect for relaxing, enjoying a pizza and a flight of different brews. It is also a perfect time when you can spend it with the love of your life and the most important person in your life. Sundays don’t get any better than that.

Colonial is good Bread

Old advertisements have always been popular, it seems. Keep your eyes open and you never know when you’ll spot a piece of pure Americana.

The back of the oval sign says “Thank You”

We found a nice example of a vintage (pre 1958) functional advertisement in the form of a working wooden/screen door on the Whistle Stop Cafe in Osgood, Indiana.  The well worn metal cross piece proudly announces that “Colonial is good Bread”. Colonial Bread began in 1928 in Oklahoma City. The name was changed to Rainbo Bread in 1958 when the recipe was changed.

Complete Colonial Bread screen doors are bringing quite a lot on the online sites like ebay, Pinterest and Etsy. Just the signs without doors also command high prices.

 

The old hardware store is now a pub

The building is a 3 story brick with a full basement, built in 1890 and home to the J.G. DePrez Co. a family owned hardware store for years. Like many small town stores, it fell prey to shopping malls and interstate highways allowing easy access to those big city malls. The hardware store closed decades ago.

Pudders is in the white building on the left. Note the DePrez name on the brick in the upper right

Now a portion of the first floor houses a delightful restaurant and, in the back a separate bar room. Named Pudders, this business is located on the Public Square of Shelbyville, a small town in central Indiana. It has been in business since 2019, and has enjoyed a strong local following.

Full bar serving restaurant

Fresh made chips smothered with good stuff

Vegetable Wrap and fries. Wrap is loaded!

Fresh cod “Fish and Chips” with cole slaw

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that the pandemic is slowing down, Pudders has live music each weekend and periodic trivia nights. Their menu offers an assortment of burgers, wraps, salads, wings and tons of appetizers. We had a small group of family members together for a late afternoon meal. Every meal was delicious and portion sizes were very generous. It is always nice to see older buildings in small towns occupied with locally owned businesses.

Brunch at RIZE Carmel

Brunch is such a good meal, you can’t beat a lunch and breakfast combo. The other day we got a family group together and made candles. We had a two hour wait for our just made custom candles to cool, perfect for a leisurely brunch.

The “Moss Wall” at the entrance

 

 

 

 

 

RIZE in Carmel, Indiana was mere minutes away, so off we went. There were few people out, as it was quite rainy and somewhat cool, thus seating for our group was immediate.

Too good for words

Generous portions

Avocado Toast with Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miller Farm Chicken Hash with duck egg

 

 

 

 

 

 

RIZE is known for the decadently delicious cinnamon rolls, smothered in icing. Other dishes are most tempting as well. I had the biscuits and gravy, covered with a huge duck egg, over easy. The Avocado toast on levain bread with salad really fits the bill, as does the Miller Farm Chicken Hash, also topped with a large duck egg. And to start, or finish, your delightful brunch, go ahead and treat yourself to one of several Mimosas. Choose from either strawberry, orange, pomegranate, citrus-lavender, honey, or blueberry. RIZE is perfect for a relaxing and satisfying brunch.

 

 

2-22-2022 was a busy busy day

Tuesday 2-22-2022 was quite the day. It was my first full day as a 71 year old Baby Boomer. Not sure how I feel about passing the seventy milestone. With other family gathered together we had a full day of activities  planned.

Sher picked her oils

I liked these two scents

We started off by going to the “make your own” Penn and Beech Candle Company in Carmel, Indiana. They had hundreds of scents to use in the candle of your choice. We had a ball sampling scents, narrowing down to the perfect blend. The scent liquids were then mixed in the hot wax, and left to cool for a couple of hours.

Too good for words

Generous portions

 

 

 

 

 

 

We then went to one of our favorite places for brunch: RIZE. The Carmel location was just minutes from the Candle Company, and of course you have to start with their decadent cinnamon rolls smothered in icing. I got brave and ordered a first time for me duck egg on my biscuits and gravy. Delicious. We then picked up our candles.

Dollar Tuesday Tacos

National Margarita Day

Tuesday the 22nd was notable for several reasons. In the background the Ukraine v Russia crisis loomed. However, in the interest of celebration, we had our dinner at the Cholula Mexican Restaurant and recognized National Margarita Day with some frozen strawberry margaritas. Taco Tuesday, well of course! Cholula’s had tacos for $1 each.

Here are some of the candles we created

What a fun day! Making candles  was quite the experience. Sher and I decided that this was a very enjoyable activity that we have done together. Of course it was most special having our daughter and grandson and our youngest son with us.  I guess being 71 years old is not that bad after all.

 

A delicious Thai meal


Off on another adventure, we headed first to Greenfield, Indiana, east of Indianapolis. We were headed towards a new to us restaurant, Zapp Thai Restaurant. They offered many lunch specials, each including an entrée, soup and small salad.

Stir-fry mixed veggies

Sweet – sour pineapple, veggies with pork

Generous portions

Enjoying the Sweet & Sour plate

Fully stocked wine bar

We were very pleased with our meals. They were both filling and very tasty. This restaurant will definitely be one to which we return.