Smog hung heavy over Houston as I headed west out of the city. It was 80 degrees at 8 am, with the promise of heat and humidity. Mile after mile of flat grassland flashed past as I drove the familiar route down 290. I was super happy to be on the road again.
I always love it when I get to Washington County, known for being “the birthplace of Texas”. It’s like a magical change. The landscape morphs to rolling hills, with long white painted fences edging the roads, cows grazing on lush green grass, remnants of summer flowers still blooming. The sky, by this time, was blue with ever changing white clouds, and the sun was shining.
I decided to stop in Brenham, at the Bluebell Creamery. It was only 9:30 in the morning, but I couldn’t pass by without getting a generous scoop of ice cream for only a dollar! I chose Millennium Crunch, an all time favorite. In case you didn’t know it, Bluebell ice cream is famous in Texas, and I was raised believing it was the best ice cream in the world. I guess I still think it is.
I enjoyed the rest of the ride to Austin, arriving at my daughter’s apartment just in time for her to fix me a delicious lunch sandwich. She is vegan and I am vegetarian, and we enjoyed lightly sauteed tempeh with avocado, lettuce, and tomato on rye bread, with plantain chips. I forgot to take a picture.
We just had the one afternoon, and really just wanted to hang out together. Since it was so hot (in the 90’s by then), we decided to stay in and watch a movie. We chose The Out of Towners with Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis, and it didn’t disappoint. I’m going to have to check out the remake with Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn.
We wanted to go out and take a walk in one of the wilderness areas, but decided to wait til the sun was down. It was time to think about food again, and this time I was treated to a bowl of batter fried tofu, rice, and sauteed veggies. Again, deliciious and satisfying.
After that we took a short walk through a forested area nearby.
I’ve been to Austin dozens of times in the 12 years since she moved here to go to college. Usually we and siblings who have been along go to restaurants, shops, events. It’s different now, and not just because of the pandemic. This time it was about just being with this one special person, and for me, experiencing anew the gratefulness I have for this human’s presence in my life.