Germany or Texas?

It is Texas, of course, Tomball to be precise!  The closest I have been to Germany was Frankfurt airport in the middle of the night  but there is a distinct German feel to our local area.  We live north of Houston and in the past it was home to German settlers who farmed the area.  Most of the local roads are German or some corruption of such.  The Kuykendahl Road has been mangled into submission by locals who call it Kirkendall.  I think I pronounce it slightly better with my Scottish drawl but am constantly corrected.☹ To be honest I pronounce most things better…

Teddy was off last Friday and we decided to go to Tomball for lunch.  When we first moved here it was even more German, with many descendants of the original settlers.  Most of them arrived in the late 1800’s by ship to Galveston, TX.  There is a Lutheran High School and a sweet little Main Street that has been kept intact.  It slumbered during the recession but now it is vibrant with new restaurants and antique shops.  To our surprise, they were setting up for the spring German festival.

One of our favorite restaurants was empty because it was difficult to maneuver through the vendors trucks and equipment.  America and Texas, to be frank, has a terrible reputation for food.  Some of that criticism is worthy when you look at the amount of fast food franchises.  Life is changing, however, and below you can see the freshest local blackened catfish served with sauteed vegetables.  Just a touch of butter made it delicious.

Blackened catfish with sauteed vegetables

The restaurant was originally a meat locker and the original signs are intact.  The German flags were just for the festival.

 

Teddy and Bunny

We sadly declined to eat the apple cobbler and wandered outside to see what was going on.  My eyes were immediately drawn to a petting zoo from a local farm.  Oh how I love goats!  I would have some but they are little gremlins, always getting into trouble.

Isn’t he perfect. Look at his tiny little horns!

Look at those ears! They are fat little goats.

I was surprised at the amount of goat products in Texas but I think there was some money benefit to having goats at one point and now we all love goat cheese.  Goat’s milk – gaaaaa!

Loved this shot – the water is just a few inches deep.  It gets so hot in the summer here that I guess some liquored locals took the water!  Finally, a happy Teddy is enjoying a flight of local German style craft beer.  I despaired of the regular beer in Texas when we arrived but thank goodness for the current craze of craft beer!  Decent European style beer at last.  We also have some very good wine, vodka and bourbon now.  Moonshine too – that will get you swimming!.

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Happy Anniversary and sorry for being a flaky menopausal crazy lady…

My beloved on a bridge in Nacogdoches

My beloved on a bridge in Nacogdoches

That title probably says it all but I suppose you would like an explanation. I just posted my latest travelogue from Nacogdoches which was truly a beautiful little city but we were staying a Hampton Inn on the main interstate just a mile or so from the center. We were there to celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary. I would guess that many of their guests are just travelling along that route or are visiting the local university. The hotel was lovely despite its location and they put us in a nice quiet room at the back of the hotel. The first night was great and then I noticed a sign that said, ‘Welcome to student orientation’. There were plenty of out of state car plates including New York and I wondered if parents were bringing freshman college kids to visit the university. We had a lovely evening out and, as many Texans do, were in bed watching TV at about 9.30 pm. Then we heard shouting and eventually realized that it was coming from the car park despite the double glazed windows that prevented any noise from the busy road.

I opened the curtains to see a group of young men playing with a soft ball in the car park. They noticed me banging on the window and I signaled for them to go around the back to play where there were no rooms. There were no obscene signs but they had no intention of moving. We phoned reception who said they would sort it out. After ten minutes the top of my head blew off, I stripped off my nightdress and put on my shorts and t-shirt. My husband said that it would be better if he went down but I thought that might turn into an aggressive situation. I flew out of the side door and starting telling them that they had to stop playing ball in the car park, they were disturbing the guests many of whom had young children and they might damage the cars. I suggested that they play around the back which backed onto some forested ground. One was belligerent (was he from New York?) and that incensed me. How dare he answer back to a lady in her 50s who was telling him that they were disturbing the guests? You are in Texas now, honey! My voice raised and I said that they either move off or I would phone the police. In truth, the police couldn’t do much unless there was criminal damage but I thought a sharp talk from a Texas Sheriff might sort them out. Half of them started to move towards the back of the hotel, with the belligerent youth facing me off.

I turned around and stomped towards reception and met a man who I saw moving his brand new car to the other side of the hotel while I was remonstrating with the boys. I said, “Did you move your car because of those boys?” To be fair my tone was angry especially since he said nothing to the boys. His response was that they weren’t doing any harm; leave them alone, mutter, mutter and more muttering. I thought that the top of my head had blown off before but now it exploded. I was so angry that he had obviously moved his car to prevent it getting damaged (or the alarm being set off) and worse that he had not defended me that I shouted very loudly, “F*** Off!” I don’t know who was more surprised him or I. I rarely lose my temper or use cuss words in anger but it was worth it to see the look on his horrible face. He started telling me what he thought of me but I had stormed off to reception. The poor girl, who looked like a student, couldn’t deal with all the complaints from the guests but she should have dealt with the situation immediately. I said that if she didn’t move the boys on, I would call the police.

Then I went back up to our room – great anniversary mood, eh? My husband told me that they had briefly gone around the back, were presumably scared by the forest and raccoons (now I am just being bitchy) and came back. After 10 minutes they were still shouting in the car park and my husband put on his best scary Scottish accent (think Shrek in a bad mood), called reception and very firmly said that she either she call the police or he would. Magically, it worked and the hotel returned to blissful silence. The mood had gone, however, and nothing could restore it. We drove home the next day, stopping at one of our favorite places for lunch in Lufkin. Suddenly blackened catfish restored my usual sunny temperament and the weekend was saved. Sunday was our actual anniversary and we had a cozy romantic meal at our local restaurant after we returned home. All was rosy between Bunny and Teddy until Teddy uploaded Windows 10 onto Bunny’s computer and killed it. It took five hours of ‘conversation’ with Microsoft to restore it and Bunny is still not happy. It is going to be a thrill road through my menopause – Bunny alternates between loving spouse, sex mad cougar and crazy lady.