Gramma's house

Trip Start Sep 07, 2007
Trip End Jan 12, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Sunday, December 9, 2007

So today is our first travel day, heading to our final (!!) destination on this trip. It turns out that my Grandma Dee (mom's mom) lives pretty close to our travel route, so we made a slight detour to go see her. This is really nice because I haven't seen her for a couple of years and have never seen her house here in Texas. When I was growing up, Gramma lived in Tucson, but she's been out here for about 8 years now, closer to her family.
When we got off the freeway, we drove through this little town called Luring. Sorry, but, the place is an absolute pit. Note this elegant looking H & R Block, which we found hilarious. The town is in the middle of stinkin' nowhere. There's the occasional mangy lookin' dog, a few cows here and there, and a bunch of broken down, rusty trailers. And a lot of churches. I don't know where all the people are, but apparently they need churches. Amazingly, there is also a Kingdom Hall, which happens to be the nicest looking building in town.   I was really starting to wonder, as we drove through this place, if my Grandma had made a wise decision moving here.
As we headed into the town of Lockhart, things started to improve. Suddenly there were stores and restaurants, and (of course) a Walmart Supercenter. Neighborhoods even started to appear. Cute neighborhoods, actually. With quite a bit of new development going in. Lockhart is only about half an hour from Austin, so many of these people work in the city, but live here where it is more affordable. Seeing that Lockhart is a real place, I started to feel better about Gramma living here.
Gramma's house is so cute. Her street is very small and narrow, so parking the rig was tricky, but the neighborhood is cute. When we pulled up, she was standing outside waiting for us, she was so excited to see us. My cousin Ricky Joe (whom Grandma raised, and who now lives on the other side of town) was also there. We came in, had the grand tour of her little place, and sat down to visit for a bit.  
A couple minutes later, my uncle Brad and his family showed up. They live across the street. Brad has a young son, Jeremiah, who is only 5 years old. Certainly my youngest cousin by far. I've never met him before, but found the little guy to be quite charming.
Our time with Gramma was limited, since we still had a lot of miles to cover, so we didn't hang around for long. We said goodbye to Brad and his family, then headed out to lunch with Grandma and Rick.
First, we drove through the little downtown. City Hall is a large building that has been there since 1898 or thereabouts. There are so many cute little buildings, like the pharmacy and such, that are obviously quite old and have a lot character. It was kind of fun to see all that.
After the tour, we went to Smitty's, a small cafeteria style restaurant that serves what has been rated as some of the best BBQ in Texas.  We were sort of shocked when we first walked in, as we were greeted by a wall of heat and thick smoke. As we turned the corner, we saw this enormous fire pit and barbecue where all the meats are smoked on site. You can buy a single sausage, or buy whatever kind of meat by the pound. We decided to try the pork ribs, beef brisket, and a sausage. And WOW was it good. While we chatted with Grandma and Ricky, we slurped our way through this amazing authentic Texas BBQ. Then we bought more to take with us and eat later.
After lunch, we went back to Grandma's house for just a few minutes. She had made us a pineapple upside-down cake, which we packed to go. We could tell that she didn't want us to leave, and was kind of upset that our visit totalled out at only about 3 hours. I felt so bad. But we're on a schedule, and wanted to reach our stop-over point for the night before it got too late. She understood and, finally, after many hugs and kisses, we were on our way.
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