Now that the weather has gotten really nice here on the South Coast, you'll be wanting to get out and do some stuff with the family. Here are a couple of suggestions.
Last spring, the bride and I drove up to Texas's linear state park, the Texas State Railroad. It's a neat trip, and the RR has an interesting history. It currently runs between Rusk and Palestine - about a 25 mile trip by rail. Trains run both ways, crossing at a siding in the middle. There's a 90 minute stopover before the return trip, so take a picnic lunch - it's better than just buying a BBQ sandwich at the snack shop. Check before you go - they can tell you whether they will have any of the steam locomotives running. We need to go this year again with the kids and g'kids. They are always in a tight spot financially, so go asap and give 'em a few extra bucks - it's a neat piece of Texas history. Good book from the gift shop (you knew there had to be one) - Steam in the Pines. It's the history of the RR - basically built by prisoners for prison industry. Give it a try. Check it out at http://www.texasstaterailroad.com/. You can get directions, etc. there.
Now for a real Texas culinary treat. We haven't tried this one yet, but I'm pretty anxious. A short (ok, maybe a couple of hours, but it looks worth it) drive up the road to Snook, TX (vicinity of College Station) takes you to Sodolak's, home of chicken fried bacon. Yup, that's right - chicken fried bacon. Served with a side of white cream gravy, although it has been suggested that a side of ranch or honey mustard dressing sounds pretty good, too. Since bacon is one of the best foods ever, this has to be great. Almost any food is improved by the addition of bacon. Well, maybe not ice cream or pumpkin pie, but aside from some desserts . . . Salad - better with bacon bits. Filet - better if bacon wrapped. Cheeseburger vs bacon cheeseburger - no contest. You get the idea. I'll have to learn how to add these directly (oh, that was tough - Edit Html, copy, paste), but here's the link to the Texas Country Cooking segment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfbTO0GlONU They should have "frequent eater" punch cards for this. Full card is good for an angioplasty. If you're a vegan, skip this.
And, speaking of things bacon, check out http://www.baconsalt.com/. I got some of this stuff about a week ago. I've tried the regular on popcorn (good), the peppered on eggs (good) and the hickory on a burger (good). Yup, all good.