Sometimes you reach a point in your month-to-month routine where you just NEED a break. Joel reached his about 2 months ago but has been so swamped, it wasn’t until this past weekend that he got to finally take a day off. So what do we decide to do when we’ve got a beautiful, sunny 3 day weekend? We go to College Station, Texas. Joel went to college and grad school at Texas A&M University (I know most of you already know this) and loves to go back every chance he gets. I love it too and have my fair share of happy memories there. So we dropped Izzy off at my parents’ house and took off- first stop, College Station.

We took a tour of the George Bush Library and museum that sits on the campus of A&M. This is the Berlin wall memorial statue. There is actually a piece of the actual Berlin wall inside the museum.

Joel is having a conversation with ‘ol George. “Dan Quayle? Really???”

Next up, we drove to Brehnam to tour the Blue Bell factory. For those of you unfortunate souls (*cough* yankees) who aren’t familiar, Blue Bell is the world’s BEST ice cream. Ever. But they mostly sell it in the Southern states. And they have a new flavor that we got to try- Homemade In the Shade- it’s vanilla ice cream with a fudge swirl. SO GOOD!

Mmmm, fudge swirl…..

Next up, my favorite part of the trip- Messina Hof Winery in Bryan. Joel and I have always loved their wine (especially since it’s a Texas wine!) and were super excited to finally get to see where its made.

This place is absolutely gorgeous and the wine is excellent! We got to taste 4 different wines and we learned all about proper wine etiquette (those weird slurping noises, swirling the glass, etc). I highly recommend the Gewurztraminer!

After 2 days in the College Station area, we headed over to Austin for the afternoon. First stop- Torchy’s Tacos. We had the fried avocado tacos and green chile pork tacos – OMG YUM!! Joel takes his tacos very seriously and said these were two of the best he’s ever had!

In case you’re wondering, fried avocado is miraculous.

We can’t forget Hey Cupcake! We first tried this place a couple of years ago and haven’t forgotten it! Anytime we’re near Austin, we HAVE to stop by South Congress St. and pick up a few cupcakes. My all-time favorite is the Michael Jackson- chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting. We also got red velvet and sweet berry. LOVE this place.

This is the food truck/trailer section of S. Congress – a whole block of trailers and food trucks full of awesome food. This place is always packed! So much character here! Our favorite part was the hippie singing songs on the corner.

Gimme mah cupcakes! OM NOM NOM!!

And finally, a stop in Belton, Texas to visit my alma mater, The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. Some of the best years of my life were spent here, getting my bachelors degree in music. I have so many happy memories here- Joel coming to visit on weekends, spending time with some of the best friends I’ve ever had, voice lessons with Ms. Clement, the BEST voice teacher in the world, working in the music office with Ginger, singing with One Voice….so many memories.

I spent practically all of my college career in this building- Presser Hall- the music building. All my classes, recitals and rehearsals were here. I love this building. Even if it is haunted.

And that completes our tour of the Texas Hill Country- starting in College Station and working our way to Brenham, Bryan, Austin and Belton. We had a fantastic time and I’m happy to share some of it with you! If you’re ever in Texas, be sure and visit some of these places- you definitely won’t be disappointed!

Restaurants visited:

Rudy’s BBQ- our favorite BBQ in the whole state!
Shipley Donuts- we don’t have these in North Texas so anytime I’m down in the area, I have to stop by and get a chocolate cream filled donut!
Blue Baker- Aggieland’s best sandwiches!
Cafe Eccell- delicious upscale food with the best strawberry tart I’ve ever had (and it totally doesn’t hurt that they play Harry Connick, Jr. on their website!)! Thanks to my reader, Lauren, for the dessert recommendation!
Sweet Eugene’s House of Java- we started every morning with a latte from Sweet Eugene’s. My favorite- the Al Pacino.
Layne’s- all they serve is chicken fingers and fries. A College Station legacy. We never miss it.
Torchy’s Tacos- do NOT miss the fried avocado taco!
Hey Cupcake!- one of the many delicious food trailers on S. Congress; a must visit when you’re in Austin!

 

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34 Comments »

  1. What a wonderful trip down “memory lane.” The food looked FABULOUS (fried avocados? sigh…) and you both looked relaxed and happy. It’s good to get away!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Kimby — April 5, 2011 @ 5:32 AM

  2. Now I realllllly want to visit Texas! It looks absolutely beautiful and the food? I’m starving now for some fried avocado! It looks like a great, relaxing trip! I’m glad you got some free time to enjoy!

    [Reply]

    amy Reply:

    Hope you get to visit someday, Kim, you’ll love it!! Texas is a great state! ;)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Kim — April 5, 2011 @ 7:10 AM

  3. Looks like a fun trip! I’ve never been to the food truck avenue or Blue Bell factory looks like I need to take a road trip! There are 5 Shipley Donut locations in the Dallas area.

    [Reply]

    amy Reply:

    I knew of one that was semi-close to where we used to live in Dallas but I don’t know where the others are. I doubt they’re anywhere near where we live now, though.

    [Reply]

    Comment by bmk112302 — April 5, 2011 @ 7:16 AM

  4. I love Torchy’s Tacos! And Hey Cupcake! Juan in a Million is also amazing!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Stacy — April 5, 2011 @ 8:59 AM

  5. I have a sister in Killeen, and whenever we visit we always drive to Belton to Schoepf’s BBQ http://www.schoepfsbbq.com/

    It’s so good!

    [Reply]

    Comment by AbberJabber — April 5, 2011 @ 12:33 PM

  6. Whoop! Love your blog.

    [Reply]

    amy Reply:

    Thanks! :)

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    Comment by elizabeth — April 5, 2011 @ 2:15 PM

  7. I just had my first Torchy’s Tacos when I went to visit my parents in Feb. Totally had the fried avocado taco. So good! Please tell me that you’ve had a Round Rock Donut before. If not, next time you’re in the Austin area you must Must MUST get them.
    PS There’s a BBQ place in NYC called Hill Country BBQ where you can buy 2 scoops of BlueBell ice cream for $5. It was crazy because it was a TX taste in my mouth but I KNEW I was in NYC. lol

    [Reply]

    amy Reply:

    I haven’t tried them but I definitely will next time! Thanks for the recommendation!
    That’s totally awesome that they sell Blue Bell at that place in NYC! I’ll have to tell my friends that live up there!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Erika Beth — April 5, 2011 @ 2:59 PM

  8. I loved this post! I’ve never been to Texas but now I’m ready to go! It was cool reading all about your and Joel’s memories. I want a cupcake and tacos now! And totally agree on the Blue Bell.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Leah — April 5, 2011 @ 3:22 PM

  9. I so regret that Eric and I didn’t visit more places in Texas during the six months we were in Dallas. If we ever go back (and I hope we will), the four of us most definitely have to hang out. It looks like you guys had and amazing time!

    [Reply]

    amy Reply:

    Absolutely! The next time you’re even remotely close, we HAVE to meet up! :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Courtney — April 5, 2011 @ 3:50 PM

  10. This was such a fun post – and it’s inspired me to take a short road trip to Fredericksburg sometime soon (before it gets too hot!). I live in Austin and eat at Torchy’s a lot. Next time you guys have to try the Baja Shrimp taco. It’s even better than the fried avocado taco!

    [Reply]

    amy Reply:

    Ooooh, I will, thanks!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Erin — April 5, 2011 @ 4:00 PM

  11. I love Torchy’s! Next time you go there you really need to try the Trashy Trailerpark taco. Fried chicken and queso among other yummy things. It’s to die for.

    You should also get around to Kerby Lane and scarf some of their gingerbread pancakes. I just had them Sunday morning and I couldn’t belive I’d been living without them for so long.

    I haven’t made it to Hey Cupcake yet but I’m looking forward to going!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Kristin — April 5, 2011 @ 4:53 PM

  12. My husband and I are hoping to move to the Austin/Round Rock area in the next 2 months (assuming we can find jobs there, haha!)

    We were there a few weeks ago and tried Trudy’s texmex. Yummy! Looking forward to trying Torchy’s though. :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Saleta — April 5, 2011 @ 7:18 PM

  13. oh Amy! This post makes me so very happy!! I am so glad you guys got to have some time off together. Seeing all your pictures makes me smile and remember lots of good things too. Your restaurant list has many of our favorites on it as well! Seeing your photos makes me wish that we lived closer so that hubby and I could take a walk down memory lane too. I am glad you posted-it makes me feel like were a little closer to home than we actually are! love ya girl! Hope you both are well. :)

    [Reply]

    amy Reply:

    Tabitha!! How sweet! I definitely wish you and Walter lived closer- that way we could all do fun stuff like this together! Walking through UMHB brought back so many happy memories and I miss all of you so much! Hope everything is wonderful on your end! Love you too, girl!!!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Tabitha — April 5, 2011 @ 8:11 PM

  14. Oh. My. Goodness. As a faithful follower of your blog, I have always been so excited that there’s an Aggie blogger out there that I love. I knew you were an Aggie by proximity, but so am I, so I loved that (my Dad and brother are Aggies). However, not until this post did I realize you were a CRUSADER!? WHAT!? I am too, girl! And now I work there! I can’t believe it. So funny and such a small world. I was a Communication major and Theatre minor so I spent my fair share of time in Presser (oooOOOoooOOo) and now I spend all my time in Sanderford working as the President’s writer/editor. I love that you are part of the Cru and now I’m an even BIGGER SFYS fan! :) Love it! Gig ‘em Aggies and Go Cru!

    [Reply]

    amy Reply:

    OMG, Alisha!!! How cool is that?!?! You’re so right- it definitely IS a small world! I’m so excited to “meet” a fellow Crusader- especially through my blog! You are so sweet and this comment totally made my night! Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Alisha Reply:

    I love it. It made my night when I realized it, too! One question for you – did you do your own website/blog? I’m working on doing one and am feeling in the dark about it all. You’ve done an awesome job!

    [Reply]

    amy Reply:

    Yes, although, the credit really goes to my husband and my friend (also a Crusader!). My friend did the design, and my husband implemented all of it. It wasn’t a very easy process, but luckily my hubby is incredibly good at stuff like that! If you’re looking to start a blog, I would recommend using wordpress.com- they have lots of free designs you can choose from. That might get you started!

    Comment by Alisha — April 5, 2011 @ 8:59 PM

  15. I’m so jealous of your visit to BlueBell!! And I adore Hey Cupcake. It rocks my face.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Anne Marie — April 5, 2011 @ 9:42 PM

  16. This looks like such a fun trip. I especially love the food truck section. Such awesome stuff is coming out of them over the last few years.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Eliana — April 6, 2011 @ 5:49 AM

  17. I live in Austin and I have to say that the hippie who plays by Hey Cupcake! is my favorite person in the city. He is truly amazing and puts a smile on my face every time I’m there!

    [Reply]

    amy Reply:

    LOL! That hippie is the best!

    [Reply]

    Comment by kristin — April 6, 2011 @ 11:46 AM

  18. my goodness–that food truck section is awesome! I need to head down to Austin sometime!

    Glad you guys had a fun time :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by natalie (the sweets life) — April 6, 2011 @ 12:35 PM

  19. Being a fellow Aggie, I enjoyed the trip down memory lane. I also loved that you made a quick trip to Layne’s – I love that place! I’m going to Austin in a few weeks and I’ll be checking out Hey Cupcake…just don’t tell my diet.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Delia — April 6, 2011 @ 1:51 PM

  20. Glad you liked the strawberry tart. Now I am craving one. Tip:you can also order them at La Bodega across the street.

    [Reply]

    amy Reply:

    You were totally right about the crust- delicious!!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Lauren — April 6, 2011 @ 5:28 PM

  21. Hey there! There is a Shipleys in Plano at Custer and Parker. Not far from Collin Creek Mall.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Meredith — April 8, 2011 @ 10:15 AM

  22. I just stumbled across your website and I saw that you said there weren’t any Shipley Doughnuts in North Texas. I am from Fort Worth and there is a Shipley’s in Arlington over by the University. Kind of a drive but there is one there! I love your site by the way!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Abby — June 10, 2011 @ 4:13 PM

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