Saturday, August 24, 2013

Summer 2013

 I'm saying goodbye to summer.  It's gone too fast. Per usual.  I've spent the last week ++ in all day meetings getting ready for a new batch of students, teachers, stories,tears, and hopefully a lot of laughs.  I started out the summer heading to Brazil.  I blogged about that here.  I really feel like I slept the remainder of June.  It was an amazing trip but I was so tired when I got home.  The work.  The heat.  The year of school I was putting to rest right before boarding that plane, and then that boat.    I don't know.  I didn't ask questions.  I just slept.  When I woke up, I started moving.  One of my favorite activities each summer includes visits to the farmers markets in the area (above photo is the Dallas Farmer's Market).  I love heading out to Terrell and grabbing fresh peaches at Hams.  I love heading downtown and buying from the local sheds, or from anyone who is selling fresh farm produce cheap.  This year I also decided to try out Pecan Lodge.  Every time I'm downtown at the Farmer's Market, the line is literally wrapped around the large building.  The wait is hours long, yes plural hoursss.  My Mom and I went early one morning-45 minutes before it opened, there was already a dozen people in line, on a Wednesday morning.   So, I stood.  Look, I read it was #2 in the world, so I didn't ask questions, I just got in line and caught up on WordsWithFriends.....
 ...and it was, it was the best bbq I've ever eaten.  I've talked to other folks who have stood in that line and by the time they got to the front the Lodge had run out of food.  I would cry.  So....the secret is to go early, but  go.  BBQ can be a hit or miss depending on the grill and the day, but....really, wait.
I also tried out this little joint called Baby's J's near Palestine that made it's name this year as one of the best BBQ places in Texas (yes, I chase bbq).  It was really good bbq and I know why it made the list, but the best part-the people working here are some of the nicest folks I've run across.  Why Palestine?  I heart their antique stores.  There is also a railroad that runs through the town tourist can take.  I take a car so I can carry home all my goodies...and I always find goodies.
 I also tried out Summer Adventures at Fair Park.  The plus-all the rides were open for one price.  I usually don't ride rides at the fair because A)  They are expensive and B)  I'm eating too much friend food to do all that flipping.  It was nice to walk around the park without the crowds the fair brings, and grab a Fletcher's Corn Dog Pre-Fair.
 I also visited the Bush Library.  I've never been to a presidential library, but it really was amazing to relive these 8 years.  For me, I know some of these events are what I'm going to look back on as pivotal points in the American History I've lived through.
 More antiquing and boutique-ing in the towns around me.  Downtown McKinney, oh how I adore you....
I also headed to Good Morning, Texas a time or seven.  I've prerecorded Monday's shows.  There are a lot of changes in the work, so I'll be interested to see how things develop over the next year as the station is sold to a larger company.  In the meantime, I'm collecting a few iphone photos to eventually share the behind the scenes.  It's an interesting world.  
 At the beginning of August I headed to New York City.  Here is that story with photos.  Having said that...I have no idea what next year will bring.   As a planner, that's fun.  And scary.   But...with one of my last two days, I decided to head out for one last day trip through Texas.  I headed to Muenster, a little German town near the Oklahoma border.
 They have some cute little stores (antiques and boutiques), my favorite was Sisters, as much because she had cute stuff, but the owner was also a sweetheart.
I also visited the local grocery store, but check it out... has your every day groceries, but it also has a meat department with German sausages and cheeses.  They also sell German desserts, including Streusel...and the prices, so cheap...I filled a cooler full of some goodies to bring home with me.
 The down town area was just a block or two, right off of 82, so it didn't take too long to look around, and find a place to eat.  I googled/yelped/and researched to find the best place to eat (there were several choices).  I settled on The Center, and the food was good.  So....I guess the internet doesn't lie.
 There is also a little bakery, Bayer's, that is mostly gas station, but they sell German sweets and breads as well.  I never turn down an iced cookie.
One of my favorite things about teaching=having the summer off.  I miss getting the opportunity to see these same places in the other seasons of the year, but I can't deny my love of two months free from work, and full of adventures, both big and small.  I decided years ago to be a lifelong tourist, even if those tours just took me a block or an hour down the road.