Saturday, March 12, 2011

Brenham, Texas

This is the perfect time of year, in Texas. Things are not too cool, not too hot. Spring days are SO nice. Last weekend we were all cooped up (our own fault) and I said NO NO NO, not next weekend. I wanted a nice, hour to two hour road trip. Lunch at some place we had never been. Maybe some shopping, maybe something historical. Just wanted to get the heck out of dodge. Enter: Brenham, Texas - home of the Blue Bell Ice Cream Company. They are 60 miles away, we got there in 50 minutes and I believe the town dates back to 1844, so it was really fitting everything I was looking for. Conrad agreed and we set off today ...

First up, the shops Downtown. They were really cute. There was this shop that was sort of funky and eclectic - and they had tons of painted furniture which I happen to love. I snapped this pic as inspiration for when we get the house built. I can totally see this in an entryway. LURVE IT.

They had some fun clothing and jewelry boutiques too. I can never resist putting on a hat. Especially straw cowgirl hats with bejeweled fanciness. I am a queen!

Then the sirens call of LUNCH! We decided on the Brenham Grill downtown. It's attached to an old hotel with was rennovated in 1995. In the hotel they had articles framed from my two favorite magazines - Southern Lady and Southern Living. If those guys say this Inn is the place to be, I believe them. So we stopped here. I got the meatloaf and Conrad got the chicken fried chicken. I give it a good solid 8.

We also hit up the Breham Historical Society Museum and it was ok. It was only a dollar to get in. It's very much devoted to WWII vets and they did have some cool stuff, but nothing to write home about. They had three guns on display, so Conrad got his jollies worth.

The true O.M.G. moment for me happened as we were leaving downtown - I saw The Book Nook and ducked in for a minute. Small, used bookstore, downtown in a tiny town - meh ... whatever. I went in and hit the mecca. I am so sorry for saying this store was going to be musty and dusty. Well, it was - but they had something I wanted.

I discovered Southern historian and cookbook writer, Damon Lee Fowler, on the Paula Deen show. He lives in Savannah and writes cookbooks about the old days and the reasons behind dishes, why people ate them, what they were made of, etc etc - I have wanted one of his cookbooks FOREVER. I think he has 6-7 of them. Problem. They are freakin' $30 EACH. NO WAY JOSE. Not for Ms.Cheapie.

I walked into The Book Nook and there was a shelf so close to the front door my right arm literally was touching it as I walked in. They had ONE SMALL shelf devoted to cookbooks - it was maybe 2 feet long and had about 20 books on it. I am getting out of control on my cookbook collecting so I just quickly scanned the area for anything I "need" and BAM two Damon Lee Fowler books. Wait, TWO? Two DIFFERENT books. So I pulled them off the shelf- $26 each, CRAP, but marked down to $9.95 and then marked down AGAIN to $7.95. I was like a loony woman with magical powers. I whipped those two books off the shelf and SPRINTED to the cash register praying there was no mistake. Don't worry - I wasn't harmed! Standing by the shelf, my butt was literally touching the side of the counter/cash register. It was not a long run! $17 later, I was a proud new cookbook mama and I have renewed hope in old, musty dusty bookstores. I am going to STOP being a snob and go in there. Who knows what treasures await. MAJOR score. It was a perfect day. We were only gone from the house 4 hours.