Last month (in March), Larry and I took a two-week trip to the Texas hill country. We flew into San Antonio and made a very big loop with our northernmost point being Austin.
The photo of Larry and I in our "down home" outfits was taken in Luling, Texas, a town of 5,000 with a picturesque historic district – and a penchant for watermelon thumping. They take seed spitting and watermelon thumping very seriously in Luling. There’s even a big parade with a watermelon queen in the summer – oh, and their water tower looks like what must be the largest watermelon in the entire world.
We didn’t eat any watermelon while we were there, but we did try our first official Texas barbecue. Here in the southeast where I live, barbecue is a “noun” – as in a chopped barbecued pork sandwich. In Texas barbecue is considered a “verb” – as in barbecuing all kinds of meat in a giant smoker pit. The little town of Luling has a restaurant called City Market that’s well-known among BBQ aficionados. This place is nothing fancy – and I do mean “nothing!” But the couple sitting next to me at the long formica-topped table had not driven over 100 miles from Houston for fine china and linen tablecloths. We were all happy using butcher paper for plates and plastic cutlery as we chowed down on tender brisket, ribs, chicken and sausage, smoked to perfection. We also tried our first Big Red soda pop – another Texas staple. All in all, it was a very good day (: