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Monday, December 16, 2013

Coffee Shop Review

Hi readers! I am working on a Fort Worth coffee shop review. Comment below, or email me ( to tell me all about your favorite coffee shop in Fort Worth. 

I will help get you started by listing a few local watering holes for the caffeine addict. 

  • Avoca: friendly, loud music, hipster, love the bright atmosphere, great coffee, purists, no toaster oven for their baked goods (just a toaster, which the bagel weenie doesn't fit in), fast internet, have milk alternatives*.
  • Brewed: very friendly, business as mission, warm and inviting atmosphere, good coffee, expensive, music at reasonable volume, fast internet in bar area, food too expensive for what you're getting, have milk alternatives. 
  • Buon Giorno: strip center, fast internet, friendly, quiet, good coffee, not-so-good atmosphere, have milk alternatives. 
  • The Cup: amazing frozen hot chocolate, don't bring your messy toddler because the owner might say something, not-so-good atmosphere, expensive, great snacks, Illy coffee, inconsistent and short hours (7 a.m.-12 p.m. for now), no internet because owner doesn't want people parked in shop for too long, convenient location, local hangout, have milk alternatives. *The Cup now has a side business called Sip. They serve wine and heavy hors d'oeuvres
  • Craftwork Coffee Co. : This place has the BEST service and are consistently kind. The atmosphere is inviting and coffee is amazing. Try their funky drinks like a "stormy chai." Locations on Camp Bowie and Magnolia. 
  • Paris Coffee Shop: diner, familiar, comfortable, friendlyno internet, not-so-good coffee, no milk alternatives, some of the best pies in the U.S. according to Bon Apetit magazine. 
  • The Kimbell Art Museum Café: drip coffee is only option, but delicious, wonderful food, atmosphere is perfection and designed by the noted Louis Kahn, no internet, short hours (11 a.m.-3 p.m.), no milk alternatives.
* Milk alternatives are coconut, almond, soy, rice or hemp milk. 

Am I missing anything? If so, let me know.

You don't have to have or be a little girl to see the Nutcracker

I don't care how cool or mature you think you are, you have a little kid inside of you that loves to play. If you don't, he or she has run off and you need to find them. 

Mine is hyper and needs fun things to do often, so naturally my sister and I gathered a group of willing grown kiddos to go see Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker at Bass Hall

We left the boyfriends, husbands and actual children at home. Before the show our group met at Del Frisco's Grille for some bar snacks and wine. It is always great to catch up with friends no matter the occasion. This is a Fort Worth event I recommend for everyone, except my husband, father, son and father-in-law. 

Parents who look at this like a burden you must endure year after year with your child, stop. The music is more sophisticated and beautiful than anything you will hear on your favorite top 40 station. They sell adult beverages if you need a little help with your restless leg syndrome, and the dancers with Texas Ballet Theater are the real deal. The show takes you out of your monotonous daily routine and into a little girl's dream of an Arabian prince and princess, waltzing flowers, fighting rats and a sugar plum fairy. 

WHAT: The Nutcracker
WHEN: Dec. 13-Dec. 27
WHERE: The Bass Hall in Fort Worth, Texas
WHY: Because some culture with girlfriends never hurt. 
HOW MUCH: Ticket's start at $20 and go up to $105 on the lowest balcony. 


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Fort Worth's Ice Storm Stops the Noise

The ice starts to melt, and I'm not sure I'm ready to go back to the way things were before. 

For three days we’ve lived in a city laminated in ice. The temperature never climbed above freezing until this easy Sunday afternoon. The sheets of freezing rain that fell Thursday begin to soften. 

For reasons still unknown, this North Texas ice storm enchanted me. Maybe it’s that the world slowed down long enough for me to see it passing. Or the time I spent with my new little family. Maybe it's the desolate roads, taking me to another place or time. Whatever it is, it prodded me to stop and think about why this weekend was so different from most. Please allow me this platform to make a few guesses, and see if it means anything to you as a person probably wondering the same.

The world stopped. But our overly productive selves never stop except on those rare holidays—Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Black Friday started on Thanksgiving night this year, and Starbucks now stays open year around. 

This ice storm left me three days to be at home with the possibility to not be productive. Wait, that's impossible. I have so much to do. I. Never. Stop. 

But I thought I would practice. 

A morning spent trying to keep my 22-month-old fireball entertained left me whipped. I tried to nap during my toddler’s three-hour siesta, but instead I lay there disappointed that I wasn’t being productive. I could write that travel article, get ahead or clean this house a second time. What about those homemade chocolate chip cookies I wanted to make? But sitting and just being was a waste of time, I wistfully thought.

This morning I woke up to my Sunday morning e-newsletter, Brainpickings Weekly, and after my failed napping experience it slapped me in the face.

“’How we spend our days,’ Annie Dillard wrote in her timelessly beautiful meditation on presence over productivity, ‘is, of course, how we spend our lives.’ And nowhere do we fail at the art of presence most miserably and most tragically than in urban life – in the city, high on the cult of productivity, where we float past each other, past the buildings and trees and the little boy in the purple pants, past life itself, cut off from the breathing of the world by iPhone earbuds and solipsism… But while this might make us more efficient in our goal-oriented day-to-day, it also makes us inhabit a largely unlived – and unremembered – life, day in and day out.”

We don’t know how to slow down, and we unwittingly balk at leisure, which is something I say I value when seeking life in an ivory tower.

But this weekend it wasn’t safe to drive on the glossy roads, so this busy city and busy girl were forced to stay in. 

My husband stayed home from work Friday, and the two of us spent the weekend sharing sweet and simple moments with our baby boy. The snow outside was quiet, and our house even quieter. It is as if the ice muffled the obnoxious buzzing of the outside world, which is especially loud during the holiday season. 


We went to the store this morning. Everyone was unusually friendly. Strangers even spoke to each other. People must have been tired of being alone. The same butcher that normally bellows “NEXT” to an army of customers engaged me in small talk about driving on ice. He was cheerful, not stressed. It was as if I was living in a different world for a few moments.

Is this what life could be like if I spent my days differently? I wish to practice presence over productivity more than I have. So I thank this ice storm for forcing me to stop chasing goals and rest with the achievements right under my nose.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Photo Essay: Kimbell Piano Pavilion

West Wing
After days of freezing rain, the sun comes out 11.26.2013

View of the original Kimbell building designed by L. Kahn from the new Piano Pavilion lobby

Piano elegantly frames Fort Worth history—The Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum and its allée elms

The Kimbell's Kahn Building the night of the Piano Pavilion Grand Opening Party 11.24.2013

What was once architectural silence, the lawn is now a space where Piano weaves the sacred (art viewing) with the profane (socializing). 

Friday, November 22, 2013

The New Kimbell Building Shows Much Respect to Beauty and What Came Before

View of original Kimbell building from the new pavilion.

I pulled my car into the Kimbell Art Museum's sparkling monochromatic underground parking garage. The museum's Renzo Piano Pavilion opened to members this morning, and after months of research I'm afire. 

Talk about whether this building will complicate or take away from the original Kimbell Art Museum designed by Kahn have swirled internationally for years—whether the green space that once represented silence will be ruined, whether the jewel box masterpiece actually needed to grow, and why one should augment something that is considered a perfect work of architecture. I grew up close to this museum and was distraught when they erected the ugly tarp and dug into the sacred lawn I once sat by myself and sketched the allée elms or read philosophy texts. 

After three years of digging the tarp is gone, and much of the green space intact. I jump into the transparent, glass elevator, float onto the lawn facing the Kahn building, exit outside, turn left and enter the pavilion. It is the Friday before Thanksgiving, drizzly and 34 degrees outside. This seasonal weather becomes a part of the pavilion because of its transparent nature. Architects' (of museums) most powerful tool is their use of natural light. It's organic, ever-changing, and the best way to view artwork. How they translate that light determines the success of their building. It also determines the atmosphere of the building. Today the sun is dimmed by freezing drizzle. The artificial light is soft and warms the galleries. The balance is delicate and light.  

And the Kahn building looks stunning from here. Before now, I never stood on the lawn 65 yards across the Kimbell and looked at it. I never knew that was the intended original entrance as so many Fort Worth natives do not. The Renzo Pavilion offers a new vista onto the lawn and the Kahn building. 

The ceilings of the lobby are high bringing my eyes up toward the glass roof. The windows throughout frame various aspects of the cultural district, but the front lobby's glass wall perfectly framed the Kahn building—the star of the cultural show in Fort Worth. The concrete walls looked like melted white chocolate, so subtly smooth behind the powerful paintings that grip their audience. Here a rapport between a patron and the artwork can easily form. Flirting comes easy. 

Walking deeper into the south gallery, I notice a floor to ceiling window framed the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum. It is as if the architect says, I didn’t forget that you’ve been standing there for
nearly 80 years. Walking into the underground east gallery, I see yet another framed view of the same memorial, but this time with one of the allée elms planted in 1936 to line a street that once jutted out of the coliseum's main entrance. The street was removed when Kahn’s building broke ground in the 60s, but the allée elms remained.

I couldn’t help but smile thinking of Renzo Piano’s thoughtfulness and sincerity.

It’s these polite gestures that create the “conversation” between buildings. They speak through nods, winks, and deference. Some conversations are arrogant, some are cowardly, but this one is polite.

Renzo also speaks to the architect of Fort Worth’s Modern Art Museum, Tadao Ando, through his concrete walls. Renzo visited one of Ando’s latest projects in Italy and admired the silky texture, so he brought it here using the same technique (more about that later).

Click here to read my article in Fort Worth, Texas magazine about how he speaks directly to the Kahn building.

Framing history

An acoustic guitar plays in the pavilion's new auditorium with Renzo's signature red chairs made from Australian wool.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Kimbell Art Museum Expansion Project is Complete!

The Kimbell Art Museum Piano Pavilion will open to the public this week after three years of construction. As a father would do upon arrival of his newborn child, architect Renzo Piano rushed to Fort Worth to nurture, protect and proudly present his latest architectural feat.

Piano said if the original Kimbell building designed by Louis Kahn was an introvert with its windows facing interior courtyards, then his new pavilion is an extrovert with its windows forming walls to the lawn and life buzzing outside. Hence the name, pavilion. A pavilion is traditionally a short distance from the main building where people escape and find relaxation.

Piano said his building is an open and inviting building where people can meet, hear music, participate in classes or view art, in his talk A Conversation with Renzo Piano Nov. 19 in Fort Worth's Will Roger's Memorial Coliseum. Piano has a history if mixing the sacred and profane, which he does with this building. The profane are the areas the public uses socially, and the sacred is the metaphysical experience of viewing art. He said  in an interview with KERA's Krys Boyd that this new building is not about growth, rather he is adding something new, which is the aforementioned space for public use. A large foyer acts as a meeting place. And the lawn that was once an open silent space is now closed forming a room between the two buildings and yet another space for social use.

I plan to talk to area architects about their reaction to the new building. Piano said our perspective of the building will change over time. As it becomes a part of our daily ritual it becomes more a part of our home. I will also be going on a member-only tour today and will write about that later! I find all of this so exciting! More to come...

Read all about the international conversation surrounding this expansion project by clicking link below. After all, I wrote it!

Link to story: KAM Expansion by Jocelyn Tatum

On the construction site for interviews. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Words on Wheels: The WOW Bus

WOW makes its debut at Arts Goggle Fall 2013 

Some of us have a love affair with books. We walk into the bookstore and wonder which book we will meet today. We narrow our options by going to the sections where we know we will find the one. We look at their covers, feel their pages, and read the synopsis inside the flap. Sometimes we meander over to staff picks to see what professional bookworms recommend. Then we whittle our decision down to one or two books and rush home to dive into another world.

Words on Wheels is a school bus converted public library that moves up and down Magnolia Avenue in Fort Worth, but without a checkout system, making it possible for anyone and everyone to court the book of their dreams. 

This young man found a Harry Potter book.
After Borders bookstores shut their doors in 2011, and she heard Barnes & Noble plans to close two Fort Worth locations in January, founder Tina Stovall decided to open WOW. She wants to give people yet another avenue for experiencing books. After all, some of us haven’t converted to the Kindle just yet.

You can step inside the bus, read books or peruse magazines while not having to make a commitment. It’s
roomier than you think, and the atmosphere is kind with hardwood floors, curtains, bookshelves, cushioned benches and natural light coming from the bus windows.

You can even leave with a book and return it later, or bring one you’ve finished and make a trade, or drop off old magazines and books collecting dust depriving someone else of a good read. You can even host a book club with up to eight people inside the bus (and they will provide coffee). Or you can just leave with a book to never return.

Stovall just hopes you pass it on to someone else once you’re finished reading it (and that you don't fall asleep in her bus). 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Lots of Change in the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens

Maybe you grew up playing in Fort Worth's Botanic Gardens. Maybe you didn't. It's a magical place where children dream of fairies and knomes, and adults escape the hum drum of the city life roaring just outside the garden's gates. This place means something different to everyone, but either way it is important to the city of Fort Worth, and for this reason people who care deeply for the gardens have come together to return the favor. A lot is about to change for the better. 

As the oldest and largest botanic gardens in the state of Texas, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden is nationally recognized as a historical site and for it's beautiful rose gardens.The garden's history started in 1912 when a small portion of land was roped off for a large city park. In 1933 it was purchased by the Fort Worth Park Commissioners. Originally 38 acres, the gardens now encompass 109 acres in the middle of the city.

This year the Fort Worth Botanical Society just nominated their youngest president ever, 34-year-old Rattana Mao. She's a ball of energy and ready to make this place even more magical then the place where she remembers and grew up playing. She grew up in a poor family that fled Cambodia during one of history's worst cases of genocide under Pol Pot's death grip. She did lose four siblings to starvation and illness while in Cambodia, but when they came to Fort Worth new happy memories were created at all of the free places our city had to offer. Her favorite escape from poverety were these gardens. This became her happy place where imaginary worlds came to life at no cost. She's here to give back. 
Sarah Junek volunteering in the Backyard Vegetable Garden.

In April the gardens opened their Backyard Vegetable Garden. It is a place where anyone in the community can learn how to tend and grow a garden. The garden has harvested so much organic produce that they have had to donate tons to the Tarrant Area Food Bank. Soon they will offer "farm-to-fork" cooking classes using their seasonal vegetables. Children starting at age 18 months can now participate in free classes in the vegetable garden. Adults can learn how to grow potted citrus plants on their own back porch, learn about sparkling wines in the Japanese Gardens, and even take photography classes. 

August 21 the gardens broke ground on the new Victor and Cleyone Tinsley Rock Springs Garden. The Rock Springs were the original 38 acres I previously mentioned. They were never manicured into a rose garden or vegetable garden. Largley unused, the Rock Springs had fallen by the wayside. Now they are putting in four lakes surrounded by walking paths, Texas native plants and covered with bridges. This project should be completed by Spring/Summer 2014.
Plans for the Victor and Cleyone Tinsley Rock Springs Project

And, the Japanese Gardens will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year. Expect a large festival and fun for the whole family coming November 2013!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

What You Need To Know About Mountain Biking

 Biking in Telluride, Colorado
The More Forgiving Path

Mountain biking—the most terrifying and exhilarating thing I’ve done since that crazy horseback ride through the mountains outside of San Miguel, Mexico. At that horseback ride, the guide handed us a beer and a flimsy straw hat when we arrived at 9 a.m. He pointed to the horse we were to mount in a few moments. No waiver was signed, no lessons or tips given. If you had to take a bathroom break there was a small blue bucket in their outhouse. Oh, and my horse’s name was Tornado.

For three hours we galloped through steep canyons and splashed through creeks and river beds. And yes, some members of our group were in tears making their peace with God. I, on the other hand, was in heaven. 

I figured out quickly that mountain biking is a lot like riding a horse in the wild. I’m not talking about group trail rides that move slower than a hoveround. I'm referring to the fox hunting style of riding—fast and furious. Like horseback riding, you have to have confidence, control of the handlebars and the rest will follow. 

The experience of bike riding through Telluride Mountain can never be replaced. It was more than I dreamed of. I thought I might die as I plowed over tree stumps and large rocks and slid across gravel all along a foot-wide path that curved up against a 40-degree angled slope straight down the mountain. At one point I went flying off the side of the mountain within the first half mile.  I ended up hugging a tree.

Here are a few things I learned on my first intense mountain biking experience down Telluride Mountain. Again, no tips from the guide, but at least we got a helmut and signed a waiver. 

  1. It is actually better not to go slow than wobble down the mountain. That’s when you end up hugging a tree…or dying. Speed gives you more control, believe it or not, and an amazing rush.
  2. Riding a bike down a mountain is like loping a horse—loosen up or you’ll get thrown. Hanging on for dear life may cause you to lose that life. like Jello on a board, my horse trainers used to say. 
  3.  Encountering tree roots at full speed is just as terrifying as encountering large rocks. They are everywhere. Think fast. Think fast. Think fast. 
  4. Keep your friends close and your mountain bike closer.  Once we became buds, I was able to more confidently attempt to kill myself on a rock as opposed to being scared when killing myself. 
  5. Learn very quickly how to change your gears at a moment’s notice.
  6. Figure out which is your back break and your front break. If you hit the front-wheel break flying down a bumpy mountain you will launch yourself over your handlebars. Although I didn’t go over, I was halfway there.
  7. Trees are actually your friends—they will catch you when you go flying off your bike. 
  8.  HAVE FUN!

We survived and are blissfully high on adrenaline
Why do we go on an adventure? To see the unknown. To experience something new. To learn something about ourselves in the midst of a challenge. How we deal with these physical challenges tells us something about how we face other challenges in life. Me, I’m a why-not-type-of-girl. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

We Have A Lot To Learn From The Wild

For speed was a profoundly different way of moving through the world than my normal modes of travel. Miles weren't things that blazed dully past. They were long, intimate straggles of weeds and clumps of dirt, blades of grass and flowers that bent in the wind, trees that lumbered and screeched. They were the sound of my breath and my feet hitting the trail one step at a time and the click of my ski pole. The [trail] had taught me what a mile was. I was humbled [by] each and every one...

...It had nothing to do with the gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era or even getting from point A to point B. 

It had only to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles for no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. 

  ~ Cheryl Strayed in Wild

This morning my husband and I hiked the most strenuous and difficult hike on Telluride Mountain. We started at 8:30 a.m. and made it back into town about 1:30 p.m. Climbing 2,500 vertical feet to find ourselves more than 12,000 feet above sea level, we could see everything and hear nothing but the cool wind.

Descending 3,500 through rocky switchbacks against the steep and unforgiving mountainside, we finally found relief in a forrest of aspen trees and evergreens where the trails leveled out and softened under our feet with pine needles. I stopped periodically to admire the aspen trees--when the wind brushed up against the leaves they flutter like green glitter, exposing their paler green underbellies. And then there was the fear of bears. We didn't bring bells or a whistle, and we were not a large group, thus making us a decent target. But then I realized we are in their world, not in our world. This, too, was humbling.

The total hike was 8.3 miles of challenging ups and downs, but being alone in the wild for the better part of a day was profound. We never passed another hiker until the last mile on the trail. At one point we were on top of the world and at another we were gliding alongside waterfalls and creeks. Afterward, we could barely walk and needed calories more than I have ever felt before.
There's always a time where a you have to overcome your mind on a trail. Sometimes you want to give up, quit and cry. But it is in getting through those tough parts that reward comes. In the end, the reward was amazing.

Friday, May 3, 2013


I've been going to Mayfest since I was in my mom's tummy. She used to volunteer with the Junior League setting up and working the booths. We went EVERY year and the happy memories have stayed with me ever since.

I can hardly wait to see what the logo will look like every year. I'm a huge fan of this year's—it has a simple vintage flair. I still wish I had all of the T-shirts I collected over the years. I especially loved one from the early 80s with butterflies on it.

Beyond the shirts, how could I forget getting my face painted like a little animal or the wood crafting section.  It was my favorite! Building doll houses and tables made me feel like I do and could make anything.  Smashing confetti eggs on cute boys' heads was the BEST way to flirt in middle school. Face painting, Dippin Dots and turkey legs never got old. I loved getting dressed up for the dance recitals we performed in.

As an adult, we drink a beer and mingle with old friends. This is always a good time to share stories like when we all dove for cover under folding chairs during a hail storm that devastated the park.  We were 13 at the time. Those were the days. We share stories of battle wounds and about that time my best friend Rachel and I dressed in sumo outfits and wrestled. I laughed so hard I almost wet the suit.

It's that time of year again, and I get to take my baby boy for his first time. I hope to get his face painted and smash a confetti egg over his Dad's head. There are more memories to be made and I can't wait to head out there tomorrow!

Head out to Mayfest in Trinity Park! Don't forget to check out the 5 or 10k Mayfest Run on Saturday morning either!

Later Saturday evening ...
My boy's first confetti egg experience

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Wine, Flowers and More Wine ... Fredericksburg, TX Road Trip in Spring

Pop! The first bottle of wine to be consumed spits its cork out. We pour our first glass, sigh and settle into our adorable rent house just off Llano street in Fredericksburg, Texas. 

We passed these Poppy Fields at Wildseed Farms on our way into town. 

Our first stop in this little German getaway is dinner at The Nest. The cozy house-converted restaurant has everything to offer from fresh fish shipped that day to rack of lamb. The atmosphere was delightful and comfortable, and the service was punctual but not bothersome. 

I ordered the salmon smothered in a rich garlic sauce with a side of sauteed spinach and roasted beets. The salmon was falling apart tender and cooked to perfection. The sides complimented it perfectly. And most importantly, it was piping hot when brought to the table. For those of you who know me, if it's not hot, I can't enjoy it. I know, first world problems, but nevertheless, important. 
Salmon, roasted beets
and wilted spinach

I also tried my friend's turnip mash potatoes. AMAZING. They were still the white fluffy old friends we are used to but with an added layer of flavor that sent the sophisticated side dish sailing to the top of my favorites. Both of my friends enjoyed their meal immensely, and as my third time to go to The Nest, I have yet to be disappointed. You must make this one of your stops when visiting!

The next morning we had a pile of things on our list to do—shopping, the Lavender Festival at Becker Vineyards, Hilmy Cellars for wine tasting, and the Music Festival. We started our day at 8 AM with the 20th annual Wildflower 5K run. It was such a great way to explore the sweet neighborhoods of Fredericksburg on foot. The sun hadn't yet warmed the day, so the weather was perfect. We got to see renovations new and old, cottages traditional and modern while sweating the wine out from the night before. I once heard that the secret to a good trip is to do the things you love to do at home. I love to jog, eat and drink coffee. Hence dragging my friends out of bed to run with me. 
antiquated cabin with central air!

Alas, after the race we headed to Sunset Grill. There isn't a reason to try any other breakfast place in town because this place was so incredible, although the Rathskeller  on Main is a close second. It was hard to order because it all looked so good. I almost ate the menu

I happily settled on the Señorita omelet with hatch chilies, pepper jack cheese, tomatoes, onions and a biscuit to keep things honest. It was perfectly spicy and so full of flavor. And my friend didn't finish her eggs benedict with smoked salmon, cream cheese, red onions, and capers topped with a warm poach egg, so I got to eat half. OMG, the salmon and cream cheese melted in my mouth along with that warm runny egg on top. 

After a long shower, another cup of coffee and a fresh change of clothes, the day was halfway over. No time for lunch, so we went straight to the shopping. If you haven't shopped in Fredericksburg you're missing out. It is not one of those small towns filled with kitschy or shabby chic stores that leave a tacky taste in your mouth. Beautiful furniture and clothing stores line Main Street.

Most furniture prices are totally doable, too. The pieces are unique and stunning at Red on Main Street. Mid-century modern pieces juxtapose timeless antiques and chairs that could rest in a museum as contemporary art. I've been looking for chandeliers for years and haven't found any that are worth a dime from my wallet. The chandeliers at Red were awesome for lack of better words (pictures below). 

A man making lavender oil
at the lavender festival
This travel piece has already gotten too long, so I will offer a photo essay about the rest of the trip. The only mishap from our trip was to the well-known hideaway 10 miles outside of town, the Hilltop Cafe. The place was run by twenty-somethings, service was slow and the food was just OK. I know there are so many other delicious places in town worth trying. 

All in all, this trip was a blast and so easy to get to and plan. We left Friday afternoon and were home Sunday afternoon. Considering all of the events going on that weekend, I didn't have to wait for a table or parking space. The crowds didn't seem too big either. I recommend! 
Visit Wildseed Farms

You've got to hike Enchanted Rock. It's another beautiful Texas treasure. 

Chandeliers at Red