Texas Trip #4 - The Big Reveal

Having successfully arrived in Texas (LINK), and having spent some time with my Sister in Law (my wife's sister), my Brother in Law (my sister's husband), and his parents (LINK), the time had come for the big trip to Austin!

After the whirlwind of activities from the previous couple of days, we started off this excursion a little on the exhausted side.  It had been a late night the evening before (2am), so we were a bit on the tired side as well.

Photo Stolen from TheBossLady's Facebook pageWe loaded up the car, and headed out to our intended destination - Torchy's Tacos - where we were going to "bump into" AtHomeDaddy and his family.  TheBossLady (his wife) and I had been in touch numerous times ironing out the details and planning the surprise.  AtHomeDaddy is a Torcy's frequenter - and he and I have had conversations about the place previously - so it was a fitting place to meet up.

We found Torcy's without any problems, and we were already in line (the place had a line that stretched outside the door and through their outdoor patio, and into the parking lot...) when I spotted the AtHomeFam pulling up.  We covertly watched as they walked into the patio area and grabbed a table.  Once I noticed TheBossLady grab her camera, I knew I was up to bat.  I walked over (menu in hand) and said...
"Excuse me, I've never eaten here.  Can you give me a recommendation?" 
When this first went down, I think AtHomeDaddy thought I was some sort of crazy-man.  I got this look like... "Who is this fool...", which morphed into a "Hey, this guy looks sort of familiar to me", into a "Wait, I think I may actually know this crazy-man", which became a "I can not believe what I think I am seeing", and finally ending in a shocked, stunned, confused, but happy sort of look of disbelief.  I later learned that it was the shirt I was wearing (I chose it intentionally) that connected all the links.

Handshakes, and hugs were shared which was followed up with about 30 minutes worth of "stunned" conversation.  The AtHomeKids had moved to a couple of tables inside, and had lunch together.  I ordered the Chicken Fajita, and poured myself a ice cold Dublin Dr. Pepper (they have it on tap!).  I can totally understand why AtHomeDaddy likes this place so much.  It's reasonably priced, and REALLY tasty!!  I would TOTALLY be a Torchy's fan myself - if we had such a thing up here.

After lunch, the AtHomeFamily took us to Zilker Park, and the Barton Springs Pool.  We learned all about the area - it's history, geography, and geology.  While we did some more visiting, the AtHomeKids spent some time playing in Barton Creek.

After our time at Zilker Park, the AtHomeFamily invited us back to their house.  TheBossLady took the kids and went directly home while AtHomeDaddy took the Mother of Five and I on the whirlwind tour of Austin.  He drove us by the Texas State Capitol building, and then theTexas UT Tower among various other highlights of the Austin area. 
Did you know that there was a bicycle shop that specializes in bicycles for lesbians in Austin?  (At least there used to be one, AtHomeDaddy noticed that it had closed)  I guess there is not a big enough base of bicycle riding lesbian customers in the area...
I found the Capitol to be an AMAZING sight, but (being a fan of infamous pop culture and serial crimes) it was the UT Tower that truly fascinated me.  I could not believe (seeing it first hand) how TALL it really is... I also learned that there are still places where the concrete still shows the damage caused by the rounds ricocheting off the surface.  I am familiar with the story, and have seen photos, but they truly do not do the structure justice.  I also learned that AtHomeDaddy has a connection with the historic events that the UT Tower is so infamously known for...   (No, AtHomeDaddy's last name is NOT Whitman - his connection is more heroic than villainous.
It was not until I arrived home that I realized I did not get any photos of the Capitol or the UT Tower.  I would have also liked to have visited the public viewing area of the tower, and perhaps toured the Capitol building as well.  Maybe sometime in the future??
We arrived at the AtHome homestead, and were invited in.  After the "Grand Tour" we hung out and spent more time visiting.  It was casual and comfortable, and a lot of fun.  After spending years emailing, comments on each other's blogs, and (more recently) Facebook messages, it was GREAT actually visiting face to face!
As we were closing in on dinnertime, we decided to part ways a bit so the Mother of Fiveand I could check into our hotel, then we would re-group for dinner and some desert.  For dinner, we met at a BBQ place called Pok-e-Joe's.  I had the "Two meat plate" - smoked turkey, and pulled pork tenderloin - with the Texas toast, green bean casserole, and (I forgot the second side.. Potato Salad perhaps??).  Another delightful meal.

After dinner, the AtHomeFamily, the Mother of Five and myself all went for ice cream.  They took us to one of their favorite places - Amy's Ice Cream.  We were faced with more ice cream flavor choices that I could fathom.  The employees at Amy's (despite their "Punk rock" look) were some of the best service personnel I have had the pleasure to be served by...  they were witty, energetic (without going overboard), and helpful.  They let us taste several options, and in the end (much like in a bad comedy) I ended up with "Mexican Vanilla" with no added "crush'ns".  Vanilla is one of my favorite flavors!

The remainder of the evening was spent in the Arboretum Mall's Garden area - where the AtHomeKids had fun climbing all over the Marble Cows, and the view of Austin from The Arboretum Mall's garden was breathtaking... 

Throughout the day, I was so impressed with the AtHomeKids...  They were patient, and well behaved, and were so accommodating to the day's events.  It was obvious to me that AtHomeDaddy and TheBossLady have done an amazing job, and deserve a lot of Kudos!  I was TRULY impressed! 

By the end of the day - the Mother of Five and I were beyond exhausted.  Both exhausted (from another whirlwind day) and tired (from being up utill 2am the night before).  With the day of the big reveal done, we decided to call it a night and headed back to the hotel to rest up for the next day's events....

AtHomeDaddy's big 40th birthday bash!!

9 comments:

  1. @ Pok-E-Jo's you had the Baked Potato Casserole--but you didn't add pico de gallo...What should I do to get you the video??? Let me know!

    You guys are AMAZING! Mike is still floating on air!

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  2. I am so enjoying reading your stories!!! Can't wait for the next chapter!

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  3. Wow! It seems that everyone had so much fun. Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed reading!

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  4. Vanilla is SO underrated! Sounds like a great trip.

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  5. I love the video! It really ads to the story! You better have a picture of the two of you posing with Marge coming up!

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  6. David,
    I cannot believe you left out the part AFTER the dinners.
    Let's see ". . .Chicken Fajita, and poured myself a ice cold Dublin Dr. Pepper,the Two meat plate - smoked turkey, and pulled pork tenderloin - with the Texas toast, green bean casserole, and (I forgot the second side.. Potato Salad perhaps??).. .I ended up with "Mexican Vanilla". . . so, this begs the obvious question, (refer to last year's MN State Fair Blog)
    what happened afterwards, and in a HOTEL BATHROOM? You have rid yourself of the parcopresis curse?
    Congratulations . . .
    Co-Worker

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  7. David, I went out of order . . .I didn't comment on the activities on the day before. " . . . SOAKED with sweat . . . am a fan of Salad Bars (the bigger and more selections, the better). . . I ordered a Chicago Club (Made with Herb foccacia with smoked turkey breast, bacon, provolone, smoked red pepper-cilantro aioli, organic spinach, and roma tomatoes.). We then split the salad, and shared the sandwich (which we often do).
    . . I had the Paglia e Fieno (made with Green & White Tagliolini pasta tossed with Chicken, Wild Mushrooms, Truffle Oil & Cream Sauce), . . .After dinner the three of us split two deserts . . "
    Not to get too long-winded, but David, you are a walking Haz-Mat situation . . . one poke in the wrong place and . . .
    Co-Worker

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