Sunday, September 21, 2014

Quaint and Quaff

The weekend at Blanco State Park was both quaint and quaffed!


: having an old-fashioned or unusual quality or appearance that is usually attractive or          appealing


: to drink a large amount of (something) quickly

We were excited to join R(m)B at the park Friday night since it was the first time we'd get to go camping with them since they bought our pop-up this past Spring. But, had I known that RDB and I wouldn't get out of Houston before 6pm on Friday I might have picked a campground that was closer than 40 miles west of Austin. It was a haul - yet the sunset made it oh-so worth it!

We got up Saturday morning slow and lazy. R(m)B were doing pretty much the same.  After a pot's worth of fresh coffee we decided to let someone else do the cooking and went into town to have breakfast at the Chess Club Cafe.  It's just 1.3 miles south of the park entrance, between the Sonic and the Dollar General, in an old remodeled home - it's the picture perfect definition of quaint.  We were all SO GLAD we went, as the reviews on Yelp didn't do it nearly enough justice!

Breakfast Tacos and Blueberry Belgium Waffles

Yes, that is a two-inch-tall Mason jar full of warm maple syrup.  And, yes, I nearly stole it, the thing was so cute! But that wasn't the only reason why we went back for breakfast on Sunday, too.  I mean, the food, all the food was just amazing!  If  When you go, you have to get something that has a slice of the homemade bread - RDB and I shared French toast Sunday morning, and it was amazing! I know I keep using that word: Amazing, but it truly was - some of the best tastes and least expensive home-cooked meals we've had in a long time (our bill both days was right at $20 and RDB and I had 3 entrees and a glass of OJ). Max, our waiter, even remembered our drink orders on Sunday - he did an incredible job and was just the powdered sugar on the pancakes!!  It was worth the drive to Blanco just to have our breakfasts here!

The Chess Club Cafe has been in Blanco for 4 years, and the sign out front says it all: "Don't be a pawn, eat like a King." 

To bide the time between trips to the Chess Club Cafe, we enjoyed a fair amount of what Blanco State Park had to offer - the water, the trees, and some really great friendship.

R(m)B arrived at the park before we did, and saved us a spot next to them.  Thankfully, even with all the rain South Texas has gotten this week, it wasn't too muddy this weekend.  Blanco SP has really sturdy covers on each site over the picnic tables - and we loved the shade and the protection from the sprinkles that popped up Saturday afternoon.

The nice thing about the rain is that is gave us all a chance to nap as well as cooling everything off without making it too muggy.  I had a chance to enjoy the hammock in a not-so-traditional way.... who says you have to have two perfectly-spaced trees to make it work? (Thanks for the photo, RDB - glad you couldn't hear me snoring from way back there!)

Later Saturday afternoon, RDB and I went for a walk, crossing over the damn built by the Civilian Conservation Corps back in 1933-34.  We both pondered how much of an impact it would have had on the local town to have had this project created for them.  We were thankful for the opportunity to still enjoy the stone damn and waterfalls today, nearly 80 years later.

The evening brought about cooler temps and an improvised beer garden.  R can't lay claim to being a Beer Cicerone, but he sure does have a love of craft beer and enjoys introducing others to the flavors and fun of various styles of beer.  He brought everything we needed to enjoy a beer tasting and helped to get us started on our journey beyond BMC. He even had an app that walked thru explanations of each of the beers we were trying and provided us with tasting notes about what we were experiencing. Out of the nine beers we tasted in our flight, RDB enjoyed Buffalo Bayou's Summer's Wit - a light, citrusy Belgium Witbier that would be perfect for a hot summer's night, and I really fell in love with Oskar Blue's Ten Fiddy - a darker stout beer which had a strong coffee aftertaste and 10.6% alcohol in just one can!  It was great fun to share in R's passion about beers. 

Sunday morning, more slow waking, more coffee, more Chess Club Cafe.  (I'm telling you, no lie, I'd go back again tomorrow before work if it weren't four and a half hours away).  We had told (m) about our ventures into Geocaching, and she asked several times throughout the weekend if we could go "treasure hunting."  As usual, RDB and I liked to save that event for Sunday morning before we pack up to leave, and we loved being able to introduce R(m)B to the adventure this weekend.  You can read more about it in this post.

We really had so much fun this weekend.  Great campground, great food, great friends, great beers - we were quaffing it as quickly as we could, since we had only a short weekend to drink it all in.  That being said, we're already looking forward to our net trip with R(m)B in October to Lockhart SP.  

Hmmm, October..... Oktoberfest? 

Proof that (m) was looking both ways before she ran across the street! 

We were in sites 4 and 5 at Blanco State park. Both were very level, beautifully shaded, and had concrete pads and shade covers for the picnic tables.  This was the first campground I've heard of that had codes for the bath house showers - perhaps because we were right on the edge of the city of Blanco (four blocks from the county Courthouse) they were necessary.  We're thinking we may come back for a long weekend (like Thanksgiving).  You know me - I always say that!

For more camping photos, go here

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