Earlier this year when my sister announced her due date, my mom commented that it was likely that Erin wouldn't make it to Texas this year. That didn't settle well with Erin; she couldn't imagine going a whole year without coming back to her roots. And so the idea for this birthday week celebration was born.
Erin blessed me by flying to DFW and making the road trip southbound 35 with me. Our first stop was in West at the Czech Stop. Who'd have thought that two girls would buy a dozen kolaches?! There were just too many good choices that couldn't be refused.
Our second stop was in Waco. My whole family is hooked on the new HGTV show Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines, and so we couldn't resist stopping at Joanna's store Magnolia. Although the shop is small, we found many things we liked and filled the backseat with our purchases.
We grabbed a quick bite to eat in Bastrop and managed to get home about seven hours after we started. We visited for a bit before heading to Gruene to take Mom to a birthday dinner at the River House Tea Room. Unfortunately, our picture frenzy was short-lived, and we failed to take pictures for several days.
We enjoyed a couple of low-key days at home--putting together a puzzle, taking walks, and going through our baby items in the cedar chest--and then spent Tuesday in San Marcos. We found a few good deals at the outlet mall, but the memory-making event of the day was when we tried to find a new place to try for lunch. We decided to try a place that had a couple of rave reviews. I got a bad feeling right before we went in, but Mom and Erin thought it would be okay and forged ahead. I thought they would back out once they saw that there were only three people (all at the same table)eating lunch. Or that they would change their minds when they saw that the menu on the white erase board was almost illegible. I opted for tea only and watched the train wreck unfold. Mom and Erin could barely contain their laughter when their unappetizing lunches arrived. Between the laughs, they tried to make it look like they had eaten some of the food, but I think they mostly pushed it around to rearrange it. We paid and left within 30 minutes of having arrived and headed to The Root Cellar Café, where we enjoyed a delicious meal. Tried and true won the day.
On Wednesday, Erin and I headed to Austin, and I had the pleasure of exposing her to South Congress Café's carrot cake French toast. We got haircuts and shopped at Kendra Scott before meeting up with Mom and her friends in Martindale for another birthday celebration for her and an impromptu baby shower for Erin. One of Mom's friends had made Erin a baby quilt and had added a special touch by incorporating something from my dad (his red tie) and my mom (a crocheted collar).
After breakfast on Thursday, Erin and I started the trip back. We stopped and picked up a few more things at Magnolia and then did some shopping in Cowtown. She wanted to take home some tortillas, so we stopped in at Central Market and ran into this guy:
He was there promoting Shark Tank and his favorite cookie, made by someone named Alyssa.
Friday was departure day, but Erin and I managed to squeeze in a walk, a little selfie session, and a yummy lunch at Ellerbe Fine Foods before she flew back.
To have some time off from work was refreshing, but to be able to spend that time with my family was a huge grace gift.