Sunday, October 25, 2009

Just a little trip up the highway...

I'm really running out of photo opportunities in my area. I've taken lots of pictures of local towns, but it takes so darn long to get from one to another in Texas, you can only go so far on a weekend. So I headed up to Buda (pronounced "Byooda"). If you start from San Antonio going north on I-35, New Braunfels comes first, then San Marcos, then Kyle, then Buda, then Austin. There is so much construction going on north of San Antonio and south of Austin, that it will one day be a huge metroplex...probably even going up to Dallas.

Downtown Buda is actually about three miles off of I-35, but the suburbs of Buda are growing to accomodate the commuters from Austin. I saw a small condominium community right next to the downtown area with an open house, so I decided to stop in. It was a cute little place..."little" being the operative word. The price was $200,000-$300,000. It was nice, but I actually liked the subdivision I looked at last weekend better...it had more diversity. These places looked like they were well built, but I didn't like the fact that they didn't have any doorways to the back yard...so I guess there wasn't a back yard.

Very small dining area...

A little rec room upstairs. (By the way, the little boy isn't mine...he happened to be with the woman who got there before me.)

A nice master bathroom...

And this is looking at the courtyard in the front yard through the front door. It's a nice door....and a nice courtyard...and a nice fireplace. I think I could probably handle a yard like that. But I think for that price, I'd want a little more space.

And this is right across the street. There are a lot of trains in this area and they sound their horns every time they cross a street in these small towns, so it's a LOT of horn blowing. I like trains, but I think this might be a little too much. I'm thinking these places might not be too popular.

So, on to Buda. Since I always like little restaurants that are off the beaten path, I decided to stop at this place for a late lunch.

The decorations...

...reminded me of this place on Isla down across the street from Justicia Social...

This was another section of the place. That is a famous picture of James Dean on a motorcycle on the wall, which doesn't really seem fitting for a Mexican restaurant, but maybe the owner is a big fan. Who knows.

So here was the salsa that came with the chips. It was great...little bit spicy, but all the essential ingredients to a good salsa were there...as you can see.

And here were my enchiladas. They were excellent and everything was very fresh. I loved the fresh salad fixings on top of the enchiladas. One thing I wasn't too sure about was the carrots. They were pickled, and didn't seem appropriate for the dish. I didn't eat them...wasn't too crazy about them.

One thing I've noticed when you go into a restaurant by yourself with a camera. The employees definitely notice it when you're taking pictures of the place and the food. I think they may think you're a newspaper reporter or a food critic. While I was eating, the owner came over and asked how the meal was. Haha! What a good way to get good service! I'd highly recommend it!

So here is what the bustling downtown of Buda has to offer. Nothing much. Old buildings that are empty...

This one has some interesting architecture, but looks pretty sad...

When I crossed the street, I saw that it was an antique store. Go figure. Walking into this place was like stepping back into time about 50 years.

Literally. It was old, dusty, smelled of mildew...and just downright dirty. I didn't want to touch anything...and I'm not normally anal about that kind of thing. So I just looked.

They had some old comic and kids books that brought back some memories. Even as a kid, I never liked this character. I can still hear him saying, "Exit, stage left."

Here's another one could have lived without. "Hey, Boo-Boo...where's my pic-i-nic basket?" (I can't believe I actually just typed that out.)

Even as a kid, I always thought this kid was a little weird...

And then there was Archie...and Betty and Veronica. Yep...good times.

On to the more grown up magazines. I always liked Grace Kelly...

And Frank Sinatra...

So, anyway...this place was really weird. I was the only one there...there wasn't even an owner or shop clerk. Anyone could have walked out with whatever they wanted and no one would have noticed. And since the place was so stuffed with junk, the owner probably wouldn't have even noticed something was missing!

Here's an item that no Texan should live without...

Even old sewing patterns. I learned how to sew when I was very young and used to sew all my clothes. Geez, I haven't done that in years! I love the platform shoes the model is wearing. Been there, done that!

Barbies!! Love the hair...think I'll try one of these styles tomorrow when I'm getting ready for work.

Remember these?? Love the one tooth on the one on the right...and the stain on the front of the left one...

There was crazy stuff hanging from the ceiling in one room. It reminded me of the scene in "Twister" when Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt run into a barn to find shelter from a tornado and see crazy dangerous tools hanging from the ceiling and walls.

This was just wrong...

And this was creepy...

And this is creepy on a whole different level. They kind of look like they're levitating...

Then this is right next door. So, you get "weirded out" in the antique store...then go have a donut next door. Crazy.

On the suburbia side of Buda, this is its claim to fame...

I'm thinking downtown Buda will be dying a slow death to be replaced by the likes of Cabelas. But, then again, a more customer-friendly antique store might be in order for downtown Buda.

So, on a completely different note, I got "home" tonight and since I had my camera, took this picture of the outside of my apartment. I'm the one on the second floor...you can tell by the Mexican sun, the mobiles and the bathroom rugs hanging out to dry...and Nutter sitting in the far right window sill.

The reason I took this picture is because of the lower apartment. All blinds and windows are closed. This past weekend has been absolutely beautiful with perfect temperatures and wonderful breezes. When the weather is like this, I open all my windows to let the fresh air in. I think I'm the only person in Texas who does this. One of the things I do not like about living in South Texas is that you have to keep your house closed up for at least five months out of the year because it's so hot, you can't live without air conditioning. So when the weather gets pleasant, I love the opportunity to open up the house (apartment). When I drive or walk around the complex, it's obvious that no one else feels this way. I would say that 98% of the apartments have their blinds and windows closed. What's even worse is that air conditioners are running when the temperatures are in the 70's because people have their places closed up so the air is obviously stuffy inside. I don't understand it. What is everyone so afraid of that they have to keep their homes so closed up? And most of the residents of this complex are young students! If they're so paranoid at such a young age, what are they going to be like when they're 50?!?

I don't get it...and I don't like it.

5 comments:

Jamqueen said...

Great post--you always find interesting places to write about!
I enjoy reading about different places around the country.

Vee said...

I completely agree about having a back door being essential. Maybe that antique place is preparing to be a haunted store for Halloween? I'll remember that trick about taking the camera into restaurants. My Lumix actually has a food setting!

Islagringo said...

First off, let me say I love riding along with you on your road trips. I wish I were there literally instead of figuratively!

I wonder if you mean the Fisherman's Co-op restaurant? (which I no longer endorse BTW) Across the street from the Justica Social is the Harbor Master and that new hotel.

Actually, the carrots were very appropriate. Pickled, spicy vegetables are quite often served with meals here. They are called Rajas. You can buy them here in cans at the grocery store. Quite good and quite SPICY!

I love your advice about taking the camera into a restaurant. I usually get strange looks when I take pictures of restaurants. They think I am up to no good.

And sometimes I am!

Isla Deb said...

Ann - Thanks...but I think I'm running out of places to go, which really bums me out.

Vee - No, I think the antique place is actually out of the Twilight Zone. (And I agree about your comment about a back door being essential. Doesn't seem right to only have one entrance and exit.) Hope you're liking your Lumix. I loved mine and had NO complaints.

Wayne - Well, thanks...you're always invited to my next road trip. I just have to figure out what that one will be.

I don't know the name of the restaurant that photograph is from. And I know it's not RIGHT across from the Justicia Social...it's just in that general area, but on the other side of the street.

Thanks for the info about the spicy carrots. In my five visits to Isla, I never had a single serving of carrots. Maybe I'll experience that when I visit other parts of Mexico over Christmas.

And I think I might try some experimenting on the restaurant photography...might be kind of fun!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE your take-the-camera-to-the-restaurant idea!

Linda