Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Chicken Fried Steak and Cafe del Rio...Texas Style

Alabama in the rear view mirror (well, sort of!), we headed down the Natchez Trace last Sunday and scooted into East Texas, looking forward to a visit with Donna and Keith...oh, and of course, to the world famous Cafe del Rio. Donna and Keith introduced us to this "best of the best" Mexican restaurant on our last visit, and those warm tortillas served with honey and butter have been on our minds for awhile. We were not disappointed!!! They were, once again, simply the best!!! And what a fun time we had visiting!!!

How do you like this abode??

You may remember that Keith and Donna, sadly, lost their home in a fire last July. It was such a sad sight to see their once lovely home in ashes. And, adding insult to injury, on December 23rd a tornado destroyed the towering trees, grounds, fences and and some of the lake. It is heartbreaking to see it, remembering what an inviting bit of paradise their home was. They have handled the loss well, and moving on, they purchased a new home and are making it their own. (See photo above! :) or maybe not?)

In the meantime, they are staying at Southern Stable B&B, which is an inviting Texas style home and working ranch. They have the entire B&B to themselves, so we all had a little fun in the purely "Texas style" rooms.....

Donna and Molly in "Miss Kitty's Room"

.....and on the porch............

....and in the yard.......

.... and in the Barn...

Don't Mess with Texas!

Then there was another great dinner at Ralph and Kacoo's in Lufkin.....
...where I had the biggest Chicken Fried Steak I've ever seen.......

mmmm, mmmmm, goood! (Thanks to Keith for the photos borrowed from his blog!)

We played some mighty competitive games of Hand and Foot, in which the gals were the victors, and just enjoyed the wonderful companionship and hospitality of these fine folks!! We hated to leave them but we had more Texas fun waiting on us, so we had to mosey on.

Oh, and that top photo....well, that's just the outdoor bath house for the B&B...Texas style for sure!!


Monday, February 8, 2010

Red Bay, Alabama

Well.....what can I say about Red Bay, Alabama? Not that much, really. Bob and I often talk about the fact that there is always something that we just love about every place we have been, and at first, we thought that Red Bay might prove to be the only place that would not be true of this. It's a little Southern, working class town, in NW Alabama. Not normally too awfully cold in Winter, except the past two weeks have been "exceptionally cold" (i.e. FRIGID!) And we are not that happy about being "stuck" here for what will probably be at least a month....but we are making the best of it.

And , of course, it is the home of Tiffin Motorhomes, that alleged wonderful, quality manufacturer. And for all of the "Tiffinites", coming here is like a pilgrimage to Mecca. We were actually looking forward to our first trip up to Red Bay with the new motorhome. As it turned out to be so cold and the work has turned out to be so invasive, we are not really enjoying ourselves much. The exception has been that we met some wonderful folks from Marathon, FL, Bobbie and Chuck Bayles and we had great fun "feeding" off of each other for new and innovative ways to "redecorate" these new motorhomes! They got "released" this weekend and headed down to Marathon...so we will miss these guys that we enjoyed so much!! But we'll meet these two fun folks again!!!

And then some other SKP's arrived, Norm and Mary Schrer and Beth and Wayne Roberts so we've had some little Happy Hours and even had our own Super Bowl party last night. Beth and Wayne are former Escapade Directors and they have great stories to share; it's been wonderful sharing time with these folks!!

So we are making the best of a not-so-good situation, and we are actually finding there are some things to love about the town of Red Bay...we have become "regulars' at Swamp John's and Katie Kake's....the people here are so wonderfully Southern....and they serve Chocolate Gravy for breakfast!

We're still looking for some of that Tiffin kool-aid, but it has eluded us thus far.....maybe yet, there's still plenty of time left for us here in Red Bay, Alabama.