Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Blue Bell and Brenham, TX
Our latest little road trip was to Brenham, TX. Brenham is a little town about an hour and 45 minutes east of Austin. It's a scenic and easy drive through farm land and small (tiny) towns. We've had Brenham on our list for a while because it's the home of Blue Bell ice cream! For the most part, I hate ice cream. Not a fan at all. Except for Blue Bell's Homemade Vanilla. I think this has come up before. That's the best ice cream flavor in the world and the only one I'll eat. It makes the best chocolate shakes and a scoop topped with some Hershey's chocolate syrup, is pretty unbeatable. I grew up on that nonsense. Brendon loves ice cream like any normal American, all varieties.
The Blue Bell Creameries were awesome. The tour is $6 and you get a huge scoop of ice cream at the end (I think there would be riots if you didn't). I love seeing how things are made in these little factories. It was so fun to see all those fancy machines crank out the ice cream I've been eating my whole life. But even though a ton of it is automated, there's still so much that is done by hand! The place is super cute too, the employees wear the sweetest hats and get to eat all the ice cream they want! They're motto is something like, "we eat all we can and sell the rest". I am on board with this philosophy.
There were no photos allowed on the tour, so I didn't bring my camera along to Blue Bell, so iPhone photos it was!
After Blue Bell-ing it up, we ventured to downtown Brenham for a little exploring and some lunch. We also saw the original Blue Bell Creameries (they upgraded to a bigger facility, but still use this little one too):
Although it was something like 100 degrees out, we had a great time exploring. They have an exceptionally cute and well maintained downtown. There are tons of shops and places to eat. Too often I feel like small Texas towns' downtown areas get abandoned and historical buildings become rundown. I like seeing pretty spaces taken care of and in use! We ate at a little restaurant called Ernie's which was actually pretty awful. It looked promising (I was lured in by a vegetarian entree) but the service was terrible, the food was bad, and their choice of music was horrendous. Accoustic covers of overplayed 90's songs? No thanks. But we had good company and a nice view, so we were happy enough.
On the way home we attempted to break in to a power plant. JK, kind of. While passing through Bastrop we saw one of those little brown signs that said "LCRA Power Plant Park" and automatically assumed it was an actual park. We go down this little road for a couple miles and then boom there's a giant power plant AND a gate and armed guard. Although we tried to sweet talk him, he wasn't havin' it. Apparently when you have more than one power plant together it becomes a "park". Who knew? But really, I think camping and hiking in Bastrop needs to happen soon. Those pine trees! So pretty!
We are running out of small towns to visit! I love these little day trips with Brendon. They're such a fun thing to do and really so affordable! Aside from gas, most of what we usually end up doing is on the free if not cheap cheap cheap. Day trip it, y'all. It's the best.