Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Long-distance BBQ

I had a great Saturday.  After talking about it for a long time, we finally organized and did the "Taste of Texas" dinner.  One of the dad's from playgroup (Stefan), is a pilot and owns a four-seat Mooney (see here to get an idea of what it looks like).  Stefan and I took off at about 10am and flew from Sugarland to Boerne, TX, just NW of San Antonio (about 1 hour in the air).  There we borrowed the airport car and drove to the SisterAcres winery and picked up a few bottles of (rather good) locally produced wine.

From Boerne, we took a quick hop to Llano (20 minutes), a tiny burg in the hill country.  We swung by Cooper's Pit BBQ, where they, well, BBQ stuff in big brick pits.  We got brisket, pork tenderloin, ribs, and chicken.  Dipped in sauce and then slapped on a plastic tray.  They wrapped it up for us in some trays and we were off.

Next stop was Brenham (another 20 minutes) where we grabbed a pecan pie from the on-site airport diner.  After that it was back into Sugarland and back to Stefan's where the playgroup had assembled.  Then we ate, had some wine, and tried to keep children from mangling each other or the poor dog.

The flight was great. You get to see everything on the ground, and can see how the climate completely changes from swampy/humid in Houston to scrubby/dry out in the hill country.  It was windy, so one of the landings was a little bumpy, but otherwise it was pretty slick.  There is a lot more to flying one of those little planes than you'd think.  Especially around Houston, you have to stay alert at all times for instructions or requests from the air controllers (and yes, its the same controllers working the commercial flights).  The information input is overwhelming, and by the end of the day I had some ability to translate the communications Stefan was getting from the controllers.  But only a little. 

By the way, the BBQ is unbelievably good.  I'd drive the fours hours to pick it up.

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