Saturday, April 24, 2010

Middle-aged woman wants bike...

Jeffrey, my oldest son, lives in South Austin and goes to school there, but works south of San Marcos on the weekends. It's a perfect job for going to school because he puts in almost a full-time work week for 2-3 days on the weekend, but has the rest of the week free for school. Since my house is closer to his work, sometimes he spends the weekends with me because he has to get up so early. His girlfriend, Erica, didn't have to work this weekend, so she came down with him and we bummed today while he was at work.

She didn't know what we were going to do, so I just said, "Let's go!" and we headed out the door. While we're driving around, she says, "Did Jeff tell you I want to get a motorcycle?" What a co-inky-dink, because this is where we were headed...Cowboy Harley-Davidson in South Austin.

I didn't just go here on a whim. My South Dakota friend told me that a woman who used to work at the Black Hills Harley-Davidson now works at the Austin dealership and he said I should go visit her, so that's what I did today.

Meg and I had a nice talk and compared notes about Paul (haha...all good, Paul), and she told me about the ladies group that gets together to ride every so often. Hmmm...that sounded kind of good. I've always ridden "two-up" as a passenger and have never even thought of riding my own bike. She also told me that women are better at riding bikes due to their physical build. I bet there are at least three million males who would disagree with this, but I'm certainly open to the possibility. Another woman joined us while we were talking and she told me that once I started riding a bike on my own, I would never want to ride with anyone again. Well, I don't know if I agree with that, but I guess it all depends on who you're riding with. I can imagine that I would love to be out on the open road with the wind in my hair and camera in my saddle bag. But there's also a very cool feeling about riding with someone. Anyway, this is all food for thought. I'm certainly not going to go out and buy a Fat Boy tomorrow and sail down I-35 at 80 miles per hour.

Harley-Davidson does an excellent job at marketing and their catalogs are top-notch. They tend to like photographing areas of Texas which I have become familiar with. This catalog photo was taken in Dripping Springs, Texas.

This is my photograph and is what it actually looks like today (after I changed it to black and white):

Here's their photograph of Gruene Hall...

And here's mine...

So, on that note, Erica and I did some looking around. I thought this one looked pretty good...I like red.

Erica liked this one.

And we both liked this one because of the matte finish.

None of them had prices, and I didn't ask. Maybe some other day.

So we decided to go to Gruene for lunch and Jeffrey was able to join us at the Gristmill. Here's the cute couple. (Last time I got their picture on my blog was when they were shoving food into their mouths, so they were very appreciative of a decent pic this time.)

Here's the view down to the Guadalupe River from our table. This restaurant is huge, by the way and can sit about 1,500 people. There are many different levels and indoor as well as outdoor seating. The food is okay, but their biggest draw is the atmosphere and scenery. Everyone has a great time at the Gristmill Restaurant.

This was over my shoulder...

And Jared to my left...

Erica and I walked down to the river. I was able to get a first shot without any tubers...

New Braunfels' finest just waiting for a mishap so they can go into action. (I can't imagine a more cushy job.)


And here's a view to "The Deck." This is a pretty famous biker bar, but I haven't been by here in a couple years since I was working on selling my house, then moving to San Marcos. This has really changed from what I can see to yuppies and tourists. Maybe it was just today...I don't know.

All in all, Gruene has changed a lot. It used to be a very small quaint area, but a ton of new homes, stores, real estate agents and souvenir shops have moved in since I was last here, so it has really lost its charm. I guess it's just another sign of the times, but I don't think I'll be going back again soon.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Another interesting post from Amber's Puerto Morelos blog is here. Sure makes you think, doesn't it?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Stop and smell the flowers...

One thing I'll have to say about Texas is that it has some very pretty wildflowers. I was driving back home from New Braunfels this afternoon and had to stop by the highway and take some pictures. We've had a lot of rain lately, so the fields are just full of them. I was going to look up all the names, but decided it would take too much time, so I'll just let you enjoy them without knowing what they are.

I do know these are Bluebonnets...the state flower.

One thing I DON'T like about Texas, however, is the fire ants. I saw one of their hills while I was out. This one was about a foot wide. I always get a little enjoyment out of disturbing the little buggers.

If you're not familiar with fire ants, see the fuzzy brown edges of the cracks where I stepped on the hill? Those are thousands and thousands of tiny little ants scurrying all around. It's amazing what these little guys can do. You don't want to get bitten by one (or a lot) hurts and creates little red welts on your skin. I learned that real quick when I had my yard from hell.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Snorkeling video...

I was checking out my favorite blogs and saw that Amber (Puerto Morelos Blog) posted a little video on snorkeling at the Puerto Morelos Reef National Park. Very cool, because it's actually what I saw when I snorkeled there, so it was like a brief visit back. You can see it here. By the way, this photo isn't mine, but I thought it would put you in the snorkeling mood. Puerto Morelos is definitely worth a visit because of their very protected coral reefs.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Let there be grass!

Just a quick post, because I'm still working on my project...which I hope to finish this weekend.

First off, the doorway above is an outhouse on Forest Service land in the Black Hills. I thought it was appropriate since my project is helping my friend edit his work on rides there. (He took the picture, by the way.)

Sidebar: Be careful of spiders in the toilet if you have the opportunity to use one of these.

Now to my post...remember what my new house looked like when I moved in?

Here it is this morning...

They worked on it almost all day yesterday putting in sod...up until about 9:00 p.m. A guy and his 13-year-old son did all the work. That kid was a very hard worker and wants to take over dad's business when he grows up. Kudos to him.

Even on the side of the driveway.

They're working on the back yard today. Good thing is that the guy told me I wouldn't have to mow for about three months because that's how long it is before the sod "takes" to the ground. I can live with that.

Okay, that's it...back to work.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

My new project...

I took the above photo about three years ago when I was exploring San Antonio one day. I've made it my header picture this week because of a current project I've become involved in. My friend from South Dakota has been toying with the idea of writing a book about motorcycle rides in the Black Hills and intermingling it with the history and scenic beauty in the area. Well, I guess H-D likes the idea and is supporting my friend's idea...and I am helping out with proofing and editing. Since this is a time-crunch deal, I won't be doing much blogging in the next couple of weeks. Maybe I'll get a free Harley out of it! Hahaha!

I did want to mention one little thing, though. I did a post about a year ago on little pet peeves I have, one of which is the unsightliness of plastic bags strewn all over the countryside.

I was visiting my favorite blogs yesterday and saw a little video posted on Misty Tosh's blog regarding the same thing. It's a creative 18-minute movie made from the plastic bag's perspective and how these things just never go away...ever. Kind of strange but pretty enlightening. You can view it at Big Sweet Tooth. Everyone's talking about how "green" we're supposed to be these days, and yet these plastic bags are about the ungreenest things ever made.

I keep these (the bags, not Nutter) in the trunk of my car and use them all the time. I used to see other people use them once in awhile when they first came out, but hardly ever see them at all anymore.

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox for now. Back to work.

Hasta luego, mis amigos.