Been trying to finish this "Weekend Update" for several days now. We are both feeling much better and hoping the intestinal maladies don't return. I got better just in time to have about a day to prepare for MrB's mom, sis and BiL to visit. They drove down from St. Louis for a wedding south of town here, so they were not as thrilled as the locals over the *wonderful* soaking rain that started on Friday and still continues today (Monday). We had a good time. They are really nice people, and this weekend proves that political opposites CAN get along and keep things friendly (if you can manage to not discuss politics). That ugly head only reared once when BiL was shocked that there would be a street named after César Chávez - and when MrB responded it's because the population of Hispanics in this area is quite high (the most non-controversial answer possible), the question arose "are they legal?" Actually there are streets named "César Chávez" in many American cities, and a whole town named after him in Texas. I am thankful that the issue of farm labor was not brought up and hashed out in the car. I don't think that anyone wanted that.
With the rain turning that sightseeing trip to the Lake into a bad idea, We took to the shops. Friday we started out at Magnolia Café for a fantastic brunch, followed by browsing Prima Dora, Off the Wall, and Uncommon Objects on South Congress (SoCo), followed by Waterloo Records and Toy Joy. I would like to mention that Toy Joy has a vegan soft-serve that was to die for, and the omnivores all agreed. Also, if you get to visit this town, Toy Joy and Uncommon Objects are must-do experiences!
Friday night we took Mom to the movies, and we finally got to see The Descendants after illness kept us from using our Thanksgiving Day tickets. I saw fewer first-run movies this year than usual, but this is surely one of the best of 2011. We all liked it a lot. One thing I *didn't* like was the fact that when it first opened, I was listening to Fresh Air on NPR, and the guest on that show revealed a MAJOR plot point spoiler. I will not do that, but I will say that one of the things I liked about it was that it normalized the experience of living in a place (Hawaii, in this case) where the people and the culture are often stereotyped, used as a theme, and almost made cartoonish. I've lived in many places (including Hawaii) and those regional prejudices really bug me.
On Saturday the rain was still pouring down, making beautiful mud for our poor old distressed trees, and making a drive around the Lake a bad idea... still, so we went down to the historic Gruene area of New Braunfels. That town was hopping! They had a good-sized tent village of kiosk shops, plus all their regular little quaint shops. We had lunch at the Gristmill restaurant, a huge place with great views - and the server tried to talk us into the smaller order of onion rings, but we were having none of that "small" stuff, just bring us the bigguns.
. The Gristmill is right next door to "Texas' Oldest Dance Hall" Gruene Hall, which is a great place. On weekends they have music all day and all evening, (free in the daytime) so we got to listen to the White Ghost Shivers play for awhile. The place was packed! Here's a taste of the Shivers and their 20s-style Swing Jive.
Saturday night we watched an old Terrence Malick movie, Days of Heaven, on DVD. I really didn't care for Tree of Life (still, I think we can expect to see it in the Oscar lineup for this year) but have been checking out some of his other stuff, esp. since we got to see him in action with Christian Bale this Fall, so now it's personal. Anyway, we liked it (MUCH more than Tree of Life, speaking just for me).
It was a nice time spent with the folks, I hadn't seen them for about 6 years. This coming weekend we've got more stuff planned than we can cram into it. I like working but I live for the weekend.