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.