Beaches, BBQs and Cow Fishin’

You know how sometimes when you go cow fishing at night and the cows just look at you like, “Hey, what are you doing out here?” Oh…um…you mean you can’t relate to that feeling? Oh, okay, you’ve never even heard of cow fishing? Huh. Well, to be perfectly honest, neither had we. That is, until we visited Burnet, Texas, last week. Now we consider ourselves to be cow fishing professionals. More on that in a minute.

When we left Abbeville, Louisiana, we had a few days before Suzanne had to fly out of Houston for a work trip to Indianapolis. We decided to make the most of those days and headed straight to Galveston, Texas. We knew this would be our last chance to back the RV up to the gulf coast and Dellanera RV Park in Galveston seemed to meet our criteria. Once again, despite (or because of?) our lack of planning, we lucked out. We called the park on our way there and the woman in the office must have liked us because they had one waterfront spot left and she saved it for us. We showed up, backed the RV into our spot and were once again living on the gulf coast.

We ran on the beach, we walked the dogs on the beach, we enjoyed sunrises and sunsets on the beach. It was fantastic. However, Suzanne also had a fantastic client waiting for her in Indianapolis, so after a few days in Galveston we packed up and headed for the airport. This whole getting-dropped-off-at-the-airport-in-an-rv thing is becoming a habit.

Suzanne chose Houston as her airport for this trip because her brother Scott and his girlfriend Stephanie were going to be in Houston at the same time. Do you remember them from our Washington, DC blog post? We predicted in that post that we would see those two again on this trip but we had no idea it would be here. We had been planning to stop in Houston anyway to meet Stephanie’s parents, Joe and Elaine, but as luck would have it Scott and Stephanie were in town too.

Kevin met up with Scott and Stephanie while Suzanne was out of town and then we all got together for a BBQ on Friday night. Melvin, aka Papa, aka Stephanie’s grandpa, had us all over to his house in New Caney, Texas. He has a BBQ in the backyard that he built himself and he and Stephanie’s dad, Joe, cooked up a lot of delicious food on it.

Stephanie’s mom, Elaine, and sister, Jessica, had also been busy in the kitchen. Very busy. There were several different casseroles and salads, in addition to a table full of delicious desserts. Since Scott and Stephanie will be leaving before the holidays, Elaine decided to have three different themes for the evening: Dinner was Texas BBQ, dessert was Thanksgiving and then we all retired to the family room and celebrated Christmas a little early. We’ll talk more about Christmas and about the gift Suzanne got from Elaine in our next post when we talk about a few other fun things we’ve received lately.

In addition to making all of Stephanie’s favorite things, Elaine surprised us by making an Irish Soda Bread for us and for Scott using Grandma Mooney’s recipe. Kevin made the argument that we should get to keep 2/3 of the soda bread since we were 2/3 of the recipients, but we were kind enough to let the little brother take half of it. We’re such givers. After all of this great hospitality and making us feel like such a part of the family, we were really tempted to woo Elaine into joining us on the road. She’d make a great addition to team Vaya con Perros and we definitely wouldn’t go hungry with her on the trip. But we decided her family would miss her too much so we didn’t put on the hard sell.  Maybe when her grandkids are a little older.

We had just enough time to digest all of the delicious food from the Friday night BBQ before heading to another family BBQ in Burnet, Texas the next day. Stephanie’s other grandfather was turning 92 and the whole family was getting together at Uncle Troy and Aunt Susan’s house to celebrate. Now that we were honorary members of the family we were invited too. Burnet is a few hours west of Houston so we all got up early and hit the road.

On the way to Burnet we stopped in Austin to see our friend Meghan, who we also refer to as “the best boss ever.” Meghan is Suzanne’s manager at work and was an integral part in Suzanne being able to keep her job and work from the road during this trip. Meghan is also an animal lover and invited Molly and Wylie to roam around her yard and get some fresh air after the long drive from New Caney. Meghan’s geriatric cat, Mackenzie, wasn’t quite sure what to make of our geriatric dogs but was kind enough to let them stretch their legs in the backyard anyway.

When we got to Burnet we settled in at the Galloway-Hammond Recreation Center and met our RV neighbor Paul. He and his 13-year old dachshund, Mr. Spanky, used to live in Michigan but now travel the country together with their RV and their amphicar. We were of course drawn immediately to Mr. Spanky because of his sweet gray face (and by “we” of course we mean “Suzanne”) but the amphicar was cool too. We weren’t around long enough to go for a ride in it but it looks like a lot of fun. You can read more about Paul and his amphicar on his website.

When it was time to go to the BBQ, Joe, Melvin and Scott showed up to lead us to Uncle Troy’s house. We assured them that we had GPS on our phones and could probably find it on our own but they insisted on coming out to get us. It didn’t take too long for us to realize that it was a good thing they came out to get us. They weren’t joking when they said that you find the house by turning left at the barn, right at the cattle guard, left at the tumbleweed and so on. It was way back in the country on dirt roads. It’s a beautiful place to live and the property has actually been in Troy’s family since the early 1900s. Troy was telling us how when he and Susan were dating they would sit out front under the big tree and talk about getting married and maybe someday having a family. All of those things happened and now they live right there in the house next to that big tree.

We loved meeting the rest of Stephanie’s family and once again were made to feel right at home. We ate more delicious food and couldn’t believe we were lucky enough to enjoy another Texas BBQ so soon. The highlight of the day for us, however, was cow fishing. After dinner Uncle Troy hooked up his truck to a flatbed trailer and made the announcement that we were going cow fishin’. Everyone else seemed to know what it was and seemed really excited about it, so even though we had no idea what this activity was going to entail, we jumped up and ran outside to get a spot on the trailer. We quickly discovered that cow fishing is an activity whereby Uncle Troy drives the truck and trailer out to the middle of the cow pasture and everyone in the back ties cow pellets onto a string and leans over the railing of the trailer and tries to catch a cow.  Now, you don’t literally catch a cow, there is no hook – but the cow grabs onto your pellet and eats it. Everyone wins in cow fishing: you catch a cow and the cow catches a treat.

We really haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. It was a great activity and fun for kids of all ages, including us. It was even more entertaining because this was the first time they’ve cow fished in the dark and so the cows were pretty confused about why we were out there. In the end we each caught at least one cow and had a few other good nibbles and slobbers on our fishing lines. We left Uncle Troy and Aunt Susan’s house that night with our stomachs full of delicious Texas BBQ and our hearts full of love. What a wonderful family. Our time in Texas has definitely been one of the highlights of our trip so far.

On Sunday morning we were up early and back on the road. We knew heading into Texas that we would have to pick up our leisurely pace a bit on the way out, so with it being a Sunday and neither of us having to work we decided to spend the day driving as far as we could before sundown.  We waved goodbye to Paul and Mr. Spanky as we headed out of Burnet and pointed the RV to the west.

We did make one stop on the way out of town. When we visited Meghan the day before she recommended that we check out  Enchanted Rock State Park. It was about an hour west of Burnet and definitely on our way so we stopped off and did a trail run to work off some of the delicious food we’d eaten in the previous 48 hours. We probably should have done two trail runs. It was a great recommendation and one of our favorite runs so far on this trip.

This snapshot of the route map only takes us through Houston, so it’s a bit behind where we left off with this blog post. To make up for that issue though we’ll leave you with an additional picture of our very cute dogs. See you on down the road!

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2 thoughts on “Beaches, BBQs and Cow Fishin’

  1. We see an opportunity here — perhaps a franchise for cow fishing
    in El Dorado Hills! Plenty of cows on the hillsides here. See you on down the road – real soon! Love, Pat and Dennis

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