Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Heading to Austin, Texas

We are in a small town just 17 miles south of Austin named Buda - funny name but a really cute town.  We had planned on spending a week or so in Austin to explore the sights and sounds of one of the most progressive towns in Texas.  Neither Betsy nor I had ever been to Austin but it always gets glowing reviews from friends and family so it ranked high on the list of stops in this monstrous state of Texas.

We chose Buda (instead of Austin) based on a little “oops” that happened with the motorhome.  As we were driving out of a campground, the road spontaneously narrowed, the curb shrunk, and the associated ditch grew bigger.  Next thing we knew our back tire was swallowed up in the ditch.  Damage was minor and not very evident – just a minor bend in one of the basement doors, a bend in the mud flat, and worst of all, damage to the windshield from the coach twisting.  So Crestview RV Center (and campground) in Buda, Texas here we come. 
This is real barbeque - cooked on a pit all day.
After we parked the coach, we rushed to our first destination – BAR-B-QUE.  Someone recommended that we make the scenic 20 minute drive to Driftwood and hit The Salt Lick Restaurant.  Upon our arrival we were greeted by the smell of barbeque from a wood burning pit which permeated the parking lot and guided us inside.  This is always a good sign!  Our rustic table and wood bench were cleverly decorated with fresh flowers precariously perched in a cowboy boot.  Turns out this hardwood was a perfectly comfortable setting for us while we feasted on house-made sausage, pork ribs, brisket, potato salad, coleslaw, bread, pickles, and onions.  Once our stomach ached, we asked for a to-go box and justified our big lunch by swearing not to eat dinner.  Yes, we were full of barbeque (which was our goal), but not too full to sample some of the Salt Licks wines.  We moseyed over to the wine cellar and were greeted by an energetic tabby named Mr. Stripey who led us into the tasting room and rubbed on our legs while we indulged in some fine Texas libations.  This was our first introduction to Texas wineries which are producing some celebrated wines and have become a popular tourist attraction.  

Texas-size lunch.
My favorite table decoration - a boot with flowers.
I'll have to try it at our next dinner party.

This place is not fancy, just good!

The story of The Salt Lick began with Thurman and Hisako Roberts and a yellow pad of paper.  Thurman traveled throughout the state working for a bridge construction company but desperately wanted to keep his roots in the little town of Driftwood.  One night he and his wife took out a yellow pad of paper and wrote down 54 things they could do to stay in Driftwood.  Number 14 was to open a restaurant.  Thurman was known for his delicious barbeque that he frequently took to family events.  The idea for a restaurant set in and he and his son built a pit.  Thurman would go to the pit on Thursday where he spent all weekend cooking and sleeping on a cot.  After a few months, he was spending more and more time at the pit preparing for the busy weekend and, alas, a successful restaurant was born.
The restaurant is large and the grounds are beautiful this time of year but we still wanted to get there early before the anticipated crowds.
The owner's son, Scott, and the restaurant GM decided to go into the wine business and are boasting in their success.
There is a wide variety of whites, reds, and a sparkling.  We could not resist the Syrah.
Mr. Stripey...keep petting him or he will bite your ankles.
We anticipate a two-week stay in the area while we have repairs and service done on the coach.  The only reason I think this time frame is too long is because we are camped less than 200 yards from a Cabela’s store that we can’t resist.  Although Spirit is not crazy about her afternoon walk being around a huge parking lot, we have found some entertaining parks for her.  It is apparent to us there is plenty to do in the Austin area and we look forward to exploring the sights, sounds, and food.  


  1. OK, if your back tire went in the ditch, what happened to the FRONT windshield??

  2. We've been to Driftwood, but to the Italian restaurant - hard to believe a town of about 27 people has two great eateries. BTW, in Texas, Buda is pronounced "Bee You Da". It's a Texan thing.

  3. So I'm not the only one that went into a ditch - good to know !! LOL

    My damage is quite a bit though - as I sit here tonight in an RV Dealership parking lot waiting for the quote to be given to me tomorrow.

    Quotes I previously got in the U.S. were between $6,000 - $13,000 !!

    See the pics for yourself !



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