These are the places we went today on our journey outside the Austin City limits. It was awesome.
The high point was probably Buda (which, contrary to my prior post, is pronounced “Byootah”), but not for the reasons I expected. I was very sad to find that Texas Hatters, where I was hoping to get a custom hat (thanks BrownBlanche!) has closed up operations in Buda. Boo!
BUT, it just so happened that this weekend is the annual Art Festival in Buda, so there was a lot to see. We saw tons of (mostly really bad) art and walked around the great little town soaking up the sun and the smell of probably 20 different smokers producing BBQ treats. I even ate a sno-cone.
But the real reason I loved my trip to Buda was that we stumbled upon – be still be heart – the 51st Annual Buda FireFest. What is a Fire Fest you ask?
A festival for firefighters, of course!!!
YES. It’s true. There were booths and booths of firefighter gear, and there was a Firefighter Challenge set up (including several flights of stairs up which studly firemen were going to compete hauling hoses, I would guess – you can see it in this photo) and again lots of smoked meat. And did I mention the Texan firefighters?!?! Seriously.
It was HOT. In every way. (Well, for me. Kate is kind of “meh” on firefighters.)
And these people are SERIOUS about their BBQ competition.
Here’s a partial schedule from the FireFest website – you better not be late with turning in your meat!!!:
9:00am Opening Ceremoniez
9-5pm Firefighter Challenge
9-5pm Kids Firefighter Challenge
10:00 Cook-Off Turn-In Beans
11:30 Cook-Off Turn-In Chili
12:00 Dance Unlimited
1:00 Cook-Off Turn-In Chicken
2:30 Cook-Off Turn-In Pork Spare Ribs
4:00 Cook-Off Turn-In Brisket
4:00 Liz & Lincoln Acoustic Set
4:30 Modern Day Drifters
5:30 Awards Cook-Off & FFC
After a while soaking in the atmosphere of FireFest, we were both pretty overheated (in every way) so we decided to hop back in the air-conditioned comfort of the car, and head out to Driftwood (population 21).
Neither of us had heard of it, given its name and the fact that there was no body of water anywhere around on which any wood could possibly drift, we decided to check it out.
Turns out there are exactly 3 things in downtown Driftwood – an abandoned gas station (which is a super-cool building that I’d love to fix up), a working post office, and another cool old building that’s been turned into a tres fab interior design and accessory store called Chic + Green Interiors.
We of course went in to that one, and drooled over everything in there – super cool stuff, very spendy.
Outside of town is the famous Salt Lick, but we gave it a pass because we had BBQ leftovers at home and neither of us wanted to deal with a crowd.
We decided to go home via Dripping Springs because – well, because it’s called Dripping Springs. Stopped there for a late (and rather unfortunate) lunch, then loudly bemoaned that decision when, on the road to Austin after lunch we passed an awesome looking joint called the Nutty Brown Cafe. It was packed and looked great, and I if am ever down that way again and the chance to go there, I think I will.
Tonight we are going to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, where they serve dinner and screen movies at the same time – fun! If time permits, we may swing by Cavender’s Boot City… since I am bitterly disappointed that I could not get myself a custom hat in Buda, a pair of boots would likely dull the pain.