Monday, September 20, 2021

Some History, Some Food, More Wine and Fun


So after we left Tyler we headed to Kilgore to go see the East Texas Oil Museum. It's something David really wanted to do and I was game. We pay the cashier so we can go through the museum. She gave us a few tips and asked if we'd like a guided tour and motions to a gentleman in overall's and a big smile. David and I look at each other and go sure. The gentleman's name was Rick. He lead us into a seating area where we watched a short film about oil discovery in the 1930's and the people's lives.  After the film was over Rick started talking and asked how much time we had to spend.... Uhhh time.... He goes, 2-3- 4 hours. We were there so let's see where it takes us. The guy gave us so much information and inside stories to the people, places, and things. He really made the whole experience interesting.  After another 20 minute film that lead into our 4 almost 4 1/2 hour tour Rick said we were almost done and the museum was about to close. Holy cow we had been standing, walking, and listening to all the stories for almost 4 1/2 hours. Our legs and backs might have told us it had been a long time but it was a great experience. David kept apologizing for making me go and no apologies were necessary because I enjoyed the tour and I actually knew what a few of the oil well tools were. Shocker!. We looked at our watches and it was after 5 and we needed to get back to our rooms to clean up and get ready for our anniversary dinner.  

We got dressed and walked out to be seated. We ordered an appetizer called DUCK "CIGARS.  When Tami and everyone else recommended these and described them I was apprehensive.  They are fried wraps filled with shredded duck, chopped jalapeno, cilantro, served with fruit relish and plum sauce.  They had me at duck. I've never been a fan but oh my they were so good. Very good. We also ordered a bottle of their wine to celebrate the renewal of our marriage for another year.  

For dinner we ordered the special steak, shrimp, garlic potato's and green beans.

Another aha moment. So good! The steak was soooo tender and all the flavors were spot on. Our server Alixi was such a sweetheart. She was a purebred East Texas girl. Accent and all. 

Since it was our anniversary David and I shared a dessert. A Sourdough Bread pudding with a brandy caramel sauce, pecans and vanilla ice cream. Oh Lordy!

  We walked in hungry but left very satisfied. We had planned on walking around the corner to have a night cap but we were so full and tired that we had to pass.

 Great Anniversary dinner! Thank you so much David. You've out done yourself.

Friday (9/3). We got up and went to another great breakfast. The staff and service was excellent.  I had their Georgian French toast and he had the Farmer's Breakfast.  Forgot to mention the restaurant faces a wooded area and pond below. Very relaxing to look out while eating.

Oh and have I told you that East Texas Loves Whataburger.  There is one every few blocks. Honest.  It's kinda like that old commercial that said if you can't find a 7  Eleven you're lost, well replace 7 Eleven with Whataburger. Even a couple of the smaller towns we went through even had a Whataburger and of course if they had a Taco Bell they had made it to the big top according to David. LOL

After breakfast we headed out for some more wineries and adventures for the day. First we drove up the hill to the Kiepersol tasting room for me to take some pictures of a quilt I finished for our newest Missouri great nephew coming on the 12th. Can't show pictures yet since I didn't get it mailed and I want the design and colors to be a surprise. I'll share as soon as I can. From here we were in search of antiques and wine.  

We ended up in Athens, TX. We stopped in one shop that had a few antiques but most of it was more new that was made to looks old. We walked down the street to the next shop that held a bunch of the stores we were looking for. LOL.  Took our time strolling through all the goodies. We walked out with a couple items. Between the driving and the shopping we were kinda hungry. So we walked down to the Athens Brewing Company on the corner. They brew their own craft beer and have various wines. David ended up ordering a Liquid Gold Summer Ale and I got a Blueberry wine. For food he got chicken tenders and I got a grilled chicken southwest salad. The servings weren't skimpy. I couldn't finish my huge salad.  David is ready to go back here and so I am. The staff gave us several winery suggestions including their sister company Tara Winery. 

We first drove to 3 P's in a Vine then Castle Oak. But to our surprise they didn't open until 5pm and closed at 10pm.  Okay so Wineries in East Texas are totally different than Hill Country. In the Hill Country 99% of them close at 5 or 6 and open on Sundays.  In East Texas we'll be prepared better next time because some open at 11 and close at 7 or 8. Some open at 5pm and close at 10pm while others are only open on Saturdays. A few are open on Sundays and we were able to find a few with no problem. LOL   So today we ended up at Tara Winery.

Tara Winery even had a B&B that  David had checked into staying but the rooms were upstairs. Maybe next time.  Again we found very friendly staff. And we were the only ones inside. 
We both chose to do tastings and might have walked away with some bottles. Now David is seeing how it happens when Pamela and I come home with so many bottles. LOL They had a great photo spot with Tara B&B  and the vineyards in the background.
We headed back to Kiepersol to go back to their tasting room but before we got there we stopped on M6 Winery. It was on the way back. We did another tasting and talked with the only person in the place, The server.
The wine wasn't bad and David found some he liked. So a couple more bottles were packed away in the back of the car.
Back at Kiepersol we did a couple more tastings of wine plus David tried their bourbon and I tried their Texuilla blue agave. Both went down smooth. I just needed some salt and lime to make it perfect. LOL. We bought some bottles of wine that we liked and David bought a bottle of their bourbon. We didn't close the place down this time but it was 6:30 and we were getting hungry. Everyone has been suggesting the Villa Montez that serves fine Latin cuisine. So off we went. 
Siri never took us anywhere on the same road. We saw lots of new areas around Tyler. It's really a pretty area. All the changing terrain and elevations.
We got to Villa Montez  and it looked packed. Plus I was like 'Oh Crap' how am I to get up all those stairs to get to the restaurant. This picture doesn't show how long and high the stairs were. There was no parking in the front so I was hoping the back didn't have a hundred stairs. And it didn't but it had a steep incline but I was determined to go eat at this mansion. It was just a slow pace to get there with maybe 8 stairs. Better than 100. LOL.  Once inside it was very nice. They had a nice outside deck area too but still a little warm to sit outside.  David ordered a Spicy Watermelon Rita. Dang he's being adventurous, since this was something he normally wouldn't try. Must be age and retirement.  Me well I'd had enough alcohol so I ordered a plain ole tea. For dinner I had their Pollo Durango
(Pan seared chicken simmered in tomatillo cream sauce with onions, mushrooms and cilantro. Served with rice and beans) and David had the Chicken Enchilada Suiza (Two shredded chicken or vegetarian enchiladas topped with melted cheese, tomatillo sauce and sour cream. Served with rice and bean

We were very please with our meals and very full. The people behind us were a little noisy but we still enjoyed our meals.  It's been a fun long day so after dinner we headed back to Kiepersol for our last night there. Again so tired and full we didn't stop for a night cap at the bar.

Saturday (9/4). Bah hum bug we have to leave but the trip isn't over. We get up and go to our last breakfast at Kiepersol. Today breakfast was wonderful once we got it. They seated us, brought us our drinks but never came back. David finally flagged down the waitress from the other table for a coffee refill. She asked how we like breakfast. Well we don't know since we've sat here for 30 minutes and it hasn't arrived. It was ridiculous. Our waiter came over and made stupid excuses. He never came back to the table and the manage never even asked how things were going. He refilled the coffee at the tables next to us but not us. What the hell! We took a bath and dressed. We finally got our breakfast after about 45-50 minutes. This service is not what we had experienced the first 3 days. Today David got the Eggs Benedict again and this time I got their pancakes which were very light and fluffy. The food was delicious but the service sucked. Oh an by the way I stated in the previous post that the Eggs Benedict was made with beef tips last but it was Filet Mignon tips not ordinary beef tips. LOL  Makes a big difference.

Today we're off to find new places and adventures. Final stop is at the Lavender Mermaid Farm B&B Sunflower cabin where we'll stay for the next two nights.   

I'll stop here for now. Trip will continue on my next post.

Until then...“You’re the only one I want to annoy for the rest of my life. Happy anniversary David!”


Linda said...

I'm loving your anniversary trip!!!

Handywoman said...

Wow, you took a long trip! I LOVE that B&B sadly I'd not want to have to be upstairs either unless they had an elevator! The food looks so good. Now I have to go eat something!