Sunday, March 22, 2015

O Tannenbaum

Yes, friends, it's almost Easter and I'm blogging about Christmas.

We went on a mild, very sunny afternoon in early December to the Double Shovel Christmas Tree Farm in Post, TX, about 40 minutes from Lubbock. We had picked up a tree last year at an Ace Hardware in town, a pretty standard douglas fir, which is the Christmas tree I grew up with and still love very much. But we like supporting local businesses and want to embrace the West Texas experience as long as we're here, so we found what we think is the only cut-your-own establishment for a couple hours in any direction.

Double Shovel grows Afghan pine trees out on U.S. 84. I gather those particular trees do well in our dry climate and high-ish altitude. They weren't immune to the drought conditions we had in 2014, but the folks at Double Shovel had a drought discount. I think we paid $40 for our 6-footer? You couldn't beat the experience, though. Charlie was thrilled to run around the trees and check them out. Pretty sure he didn't know why, but he had fun. Can you tell he was really excited about his peppermint stick? The cute little elf was nice to treat him to a coloring book about Christmas trees (surprisingly informative), some pens, and more candy. It was pretty easy to cut down the tree, and they bagged it for us right there.

Somehow we got through the Christmas season without a single picture of our tree. Dur. It wasn't the Christmas tree of my childhood. It was sort of wind swept, bald in a couple of places, but by golly it was, straight-up, a West Texas tree. So we absolutely loved it.

Afterwards we treated ourselves to Holly's Drive Inn on the other end of town. You guys, this place makes the best bacon cheeseburger on the planet. In fact, the first time I went there, the bacon cheeseburger triggered a gallbladder attack that I had to suffer through all the way back to Lubbock, but it was so dang good, I went back for more. Only positive associations and good vibes with this place. Pretty sure we will do the exact same outing--Double Shovel and Holly's--next Christmas.

Friday, March 20, 2015

East Texas Parks

1. Teague Park, Longview, TX
2. Caddo Lake State Park, Karnack, TX
3. Spring Hill Park, Longview, TX