Discovering Round Rock Donuts

IMG_9069I’m a big fan of the TV show on PBS titled “The Daytripper,” where you’ll find Texas-born and raised Chet Garner exploring Texas, one day at a time. One particular day, he was exploring Round Rock, and that really got my attention!

After hearing me explain why I wanted to visit Round Rock, my family and I made a trip there one Saturday morning to get our reward!

Round Rock Donuts is located in this Texas town and it is world famous! Since 1926 this yellow/orange donut has been winning the hearts and stomachs of all who enter. This Texas favorite comes from a yeast-risen, bread-like dough, with fresh eggs bringing out the color. This sets them apart from ordinary donuts. And, this is the home of The Texas Donut, which you have to see to believe. Which is exactly why I wanted to visit this place. I wanted to make sure that Chet wasn’t just pulling my leg, so I had to go see for myself.

This Texas-size donut is incredible and, except for the size, looks and taste just like the regular size ones. But you can imagine being on a business conference in Austin and suddenly seeing this big mamma on the breakfast buffet!

We sampled all we could eat, and with a sad and fond farewell, we continued our Saturday, but always remembering what we had for breakfast. It’s something I will never forget…  http://roundrockdonuts.com/

Round Rock ranked among best, most affordable cities in U.S.

I’ll see you back here soon with a look at Georgetown, Texas, which is just a stones throw away. Adios!

 

 

 

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The Three Foodies take in Bollywood Pageant USA 2015

The Three Foodies enjoy a night of Indian culture.

The Three Foodies enjoy a night of Indian culture.

Eating spicy foods, shopping, entertainment and friendship are the things that The Three Foodies enjoy the most. Arceli, Shalni and I celebrated my belated birthday on this day, and I will always remember it with deep gratitude.

On Sunday, Sept. 6, we dressed in our loveliest Indian attire and headed to the Stafford Center for the Bollywood Pageant USA 2015, presented by Bollywood Shake.

But let’s not get the cart before the horse.

First we looked for a place to have lunch and decided on Haveli on Hillcroft Street, in Houston, which offers Indian, Halal and Pakistani cuisine. We sampled almost everything on the buffet, with Chicken Biryani our favorite! We enjoyed a dessert of rice pudding, and it was very good and sweet. The Cashmere tea was a great way to end our meal, before heading to Stafford, Texas, to shop and attend the 2015 Bollywood pageant, all taking place at the Stafford Center in Stafford, Texas.

Shopping was a real treat with vendors offering everything Indian in every color one can imagine! We bought items ranging from a dress, ring, and henna tattoo to Indian tea. Chiro’s owner Jigyasa Anand promised to mail the matching pants for my dress, which she did immediately.

The beauty pageant was exquisite! This event would choose 2015’s Miss Teen Bollywood USA, Miss Bollywood USA and Mrs. Bollywood USA. We enjoyed the entertainment and the beautiful gowns worn and displayed by the contestants. The judges were attentive and, even though we cheered for different contestants, the winners were very beautiful. They all looked like winners! The entire event was a whole lot fun!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH1CKUBzhAw

The Three Foodies enjoying the celebration!

The Three Foodies enjoying the celebration!

Begin again, and again…

Welcome spring!I haven’t been on my computer for what seems like years. In actuality it’s only been months. Why? Because when my laptop crashed in December; I was devastated.  It was my own doing; I didn’t have my files backed up. Yes, I know – always back up your files.

Along with that crashed laptop went not only my writing files, but also my photos and my self-confidence. How did I lose my self-confidence on my computer, you might ask? Well, let’s just say that my work as a blogger, travel writer and journalist had suddenly vanished, and what I thought was my persona was no longer valid – I felt.

So how does one go about finding yourself when you have nothing to fall back on? That was my dilemma, and still is. But I’m determined to start over and try to reclaim myself, and a few files along the way.

My husband gave me a new computer, and he also rebuilt my old laptop. I’m happier with my old friend, the HP laptop, even though it deserted me and left me to self-destruct!

Yes, I can reclaim some files by looking up all my published works and saving them again, if I can find them. It will take some time, but in the end it will be worth it. And I take heart knowing that some of my photos were stored online – Facebook, for example.

In any case, let’s just try to pick up where we left off and go from there, even if we take baby steps. That’s better than taking no steps at all.

I recall that following my laptop crash, I’ve enjoyed adventures with my granddaughters that I wanted to share but just couldn’t find the momentum. Also, outings with my girlfriends (The Three Foodies) have come and gone, and I didn’t find the heart to post.

I suddenly realized that I’ve been missing out on what I love to do and that is writing about my travels, adventures and life’s journeys. It’s time to catch up!

So today is a day of renewal; a day to start again. Welcome spring!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day (tomorrow) to all!

Trilla

Recapping Louisiana’s Holiday Trail of Lights

Loyd Hall Plantation

Loyd Hall Plantation

In November of 2013, I joined a media tour group to explore the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights. From Shreveport-Bossier City, then east on IH-20 to Minden, Monroe-West Monroe and south on IH-49 to Alexandria-Pineville and Natchitoches, each town and each day brought new adventures, sights, tastes and scenery.

Thinking back, I remember visiting each town as if it were yesterday. I found it most impressive that Natchitoches is celebrating it’s tri-centennial! This town with brick-paved streets overlooking the Cane River was one location I decided to return to with my husband. Other very exciting events were The Tree Lighting on the Louisiana Boardwalk, and staying overnight at Loyd Hall Plantation Bed and Breakfast, which is rumored to be haunted! Oh, and I was thrilled to get to see The Steel Magnolia House, which is now a bed and breakfast, also.

Steel Magnolia House

Steel Magnolia House

This week I hope you’ll read my story about the Louisiana Trail of Lights, which appears in The Tribune at http://www.ourtribune.com/article.php?id=17583.

Here is a link to the pdf file of the newspaper. Scroll down to page 6C to view my article as it’s seen in the actual newspaper: http://ourtribune.com/apdf/tn.pdf.

Thrilled to see the "Steel Magnolias" house!

Thrilled to see the “Steel Magnolias” house!

Next month, another version of my story on the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights is scheduled to appear in TravelWorld International Magazine with “Holidays” as the theme for the November issue. When the magazine’s November issue is published, I’ll post a link here.

Thanks for visiting my blog, and remember, I appreciate your feedback!

Until next time…

Antiquing in Livingston with the Three Foodies

Fun Americana Day!

The Three Foodies take in the Courthouse Whistle Stop

The Three Foodies take in the Courthouse Whistle Stop

Three friends, each from different countries and culture, yet we came together in friendship to share our love of food, life and the good ol’ USA.

After our previous daytrip outings to sample Indian cuisine at Bombay Sizzler in Spring, Texas, and Filipino food from Sarap Pinoy Restaurant in Humble, Texas, the Three Foodies were up for some local East Texas fare. We may be in what people consider the southwest, but there’s plenty of southern cooking going on here, too!

So we set the date, and off to Livingston we went. In less than one hour we were shopping at Downtown Treasures Antiques, while waiting to have a leisurely lunch next door at the Courthouse Whistle Stop!

The Courthouse Whistle Stop is aptly named, as it sits directly across the street from the Polk County Courthouse in Livingston, and the railroad passes by the courthouse, as well. Their serving dishes are vintage plates and saucers, none of them matching, which lends to a very down-home, country feel.

photo 3 photo 4 photo 5

From the menu, I ordered the southern-style appetizers for our group, such as fried green tomatoes, fried okra and jalapeno poppers. For our meals, each ordered a different dish, including chicken and dressing (a casserole recipe), grilled chicken sandwich, chicken tenders and chicken Alfredo. Yes, we ate lots of chicken! But the appetizers were what set the stage! We talked about old movies, such as “Fried Green Tomatoes” and “Steel Magnolias.”

The view from our table inside the Courthouse Whistle Stop

The view from our table inside the Courthouse Whistle Stop

Joining us for lunch was a good friend from Onalaska, Nita. My vehicle was full of donations that were delivered to Nita to benefit a favorite local Onalaska charity, Kids’ Free Clothing Exchange (KFCE), which serves the clothing needs of struggling families from seven surrounding counties. So, today was a good day all around!

After lunch, the Three Foodies explored enticing antique stores along Highway 59-S to look for more “treasures.” We found trinkets, gems and more at Junk in the Trunk, West Lake Antiques  and Antiques and More Consignor’s Mall. Arceli found a treasure — a sterling silver blue topaz ring, and for a very reasonable price. I had to drive back a few days later to buy the framed Egyptian papyrus that I spotted that day and should have bought, but didn’t. These things often happen when you’re antiquing or flea-market shopping. It’s all part of the adventure!

Looking for treasures at Antiques and More Consignor's Mall

Looking for treasures at Antiques and More Consignor’s Mall

On our way back, we stopped for dessert at the Happy Days Diner on S-59 at Shepherd. We were hoping for pie, but found cobbler instead! Arceli and I tried two: pecan cobbler and the blackberry one! Both were toppled with soft-serve ice cream! Shalni stuck with the ice cream.

Shalni and Arceli are happy at Happy Days Diner in Shepherd, Texas.

Shalni and Arceli are happy at Happy Days Diner in Shepherd, Texas.

 

Another full day of shopping, fun, food and friendship! Now, we’re thinking about where to go next. Shalni wants to take us for more Indian food in Houston – shopping, too, of course!

 

Can’t wait!

Friends, food, shopping — a great combination!

Shopping after lunch at the Spring Antique Gallery!

Shopping after lunch at the Spring Antique Gallery!

Here is how two friends and I became “The Three Foodies!”

I’ve been friends with Arceli, a native of the Philippines, for several years, as she is also my hair stylist at Mills Branch Salon and Spa, which she owns. I met Shalni, a native of Sri Lanka, under different circumstances, when she owned her dry cleaning business near me. The three of us have become “The Three Foodies” for the love of food and of native culture.

Both of these ladies are strong, smart business women, and I admire their personal sense of style; but most of all I love their spirit! We often get together on Arceli’s day off to explore new and exciting foods, and we like to throw in some shopping along the way! Whether it’s antiquing in the Spring area of Houston, in Livingston or the outlet mall on Rt. 290 — we shop like we mean it! Sometimes we find treasures or bargains we can’t live without. Sometimes we just look and celebrate with the other ones who found their perfect something!

It all started one day when we decided that we should plan a day to go try a restaurant featuring Indian food, with Shalni as our guide. Although there are other fine Indian restaurants in Houston proper, for our first outing Shalni took us to  the Bombay Sizzler in nearby Spring, TX. The menu consisted of a wide variety of Indian dishes, which were served buffet style. We tried everything, including a couple of kinds of curry! The meal was complete with a mango lassi! So good!

On our way home, we happened to be passing by The Antique Gallery of Houston in Spring, so I mentioned that it would be a good way to spend the afternoon. We were there at least two or three hours but only made it through approximately half of the gallery! Next time we plan to search the other half!

Our next outing will be to find some local food of the Philippines!

The Three Foodies discover Bombay Sizzler!

The Three Foodies discover Bombay Sizzler!

Enjoying the Mango Lassi!

Enjoying the Mango Lassi!