Datecation Day #3: BBQ, House Envy, Gelato, and Firefly Vodka

by Rachel on June 24, 2010

Last night may have just been the most perfect date night!

First, Eric took me out to dinner to Goode Co. Texas Bar-B-Q. (Their spelling, not mine.) I ordered the beef brisket with jalapeno cheese bread, Texas baked beans, and coleslaw…

…and a Shiner, a local Texas beer.

And yes, that’s a glimpse of him in the background of the beer picture. I need to get some good pics but I just feel so lame taking those “Here’s us in the car! Here’s us at Bed, Bath, and Beyond!” pictures. It just never feels natural, you know? But I’ll try to get over that feeling at some point since I know that a good number of you are already attempting to Facebook stalk him. (When I mentioned this yesterday, he just said, “You can post pics, but you should know that my wife reads your blog.”)

Anyway, dinner was really good and super low-key. We ate outside on the long wooden picnic tables. And despite the fact that I was tempting fate by wearing a white T-shirt, I actually didn’t spill a drop!

I had told Eric a few weeks ago about some new tea vodka I was reading about and he said I needed to try Firefly, which is a sweet tea-flavored vodka. It sounded like an awesome lazy day drunken Southern mess to me, so I said to count me in! We stopped after dinner to get a huge bottle of it. After that, I asked him to show me some of the most expensive houses in Houston. I love doing this when I get to a new city! I just love looking at pretty things! And I love hearing about how much real estate costs and just wondering, What on earth do you do to afford a place like that? And it was really the perfect time of night to go for a little house-envy joy ride (just before sunset) so that’s what we did.

The houses were ridiculous. And I’m just still completely obsessed with the palm trees everywhere.

I was also really in the mood for dessert but I could not put my finger on what I wanted. I knew I wanted something cold and creamy and fluffy, but ice cream didn’t seem right. I wracked my brain for a good 15 minutes when all of a sudden it dawned on me: gelato! Soooo…we made a detour to Paciugo.

I love, love, love gelato, and, like palm trees, to me, gelato always goes hand and hand with vacation. It was exactly what I needed. Despite the fact that I get overwhelmed with a lot of options in places like this I made my choice really quickly: half black pepper and olive oil gelato and half violet chocolate chip.

Um, WHAT?!?!?

I love black pepper (and that this gelato is the same flavor as my favorite Triscuits is not lost on me) and this was just perfect and weird and amazing. The violet chocolate chip was great too! We were trying to figure out exactly what it tasted like when finally Eric nailed it. You know those Valentine’s Day sweetheart candies? It tasted just like a purple one…except better, because it’s gelato.

We ate outside and did some people watching/mocking…ugh, that plus gelato, you guys…it doesn’t get much better for me!

After the treat, we broke out the Firefly.

Loved this! It tastes just like iced tea, which I love in the summer. Eric mixed it with lemonade and a little Sprite and it was such a good summer drink! It was really sweet though, so I could only finish one…probably not a bad thing. It was a school night after all.

Ahhh…it was just one of those really good summer nights with good weather, good food, and good activities! Today the weather is kinda gross and I don’t feel that great, so I think we might have a chill night and go see Toy Story 3. I read in the NY Times that people our age made up 40 percent of the “nonfamily audience” because we grew up with Woody, Buzz, and company. I thought that was cute…and it’s so true!

So on that note, I’m off! Hope you’re having great Thursdays!

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 MelissaNibbles June 24, 2010 at 12:12 pm

That iced tea vodka stuff sounds amazing. I love anything sweet so I’d probably overdose on it.

I’m so glad you’re having a good time and looking at fancy houses!


2 Ashley June 24, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Where to begin …

1) I need that vodka for my southern July 4 celebration
2) jalapeno cheese bread?! texas bbq beats the hell out of florida bbq so far
3) When you’re from up north, the palm trees are amazing. I don’t think I’ll ever not appreciate them. I’m obsessed, too.
4) I want to go to that gelato place! I missed 99 cent night at my local gelato place last night. :(

So glad it’s so fabulous! When are you moving?


3 Rachel June 24, 2010 at 12:26 pm

@Ashley — I want to smuggle Firefly home with me, but I’m worried about it breaking in my suitcase! I wonder if it’s shippable. Need to Amazon this ASAP!

No plans to move just yet but if I did, I swear it would be for the palm trees more than anything! ;)


4 jenna June 24, 2010 at 1:02 pm

don’t worry about smuggling it back, you should be able to get firefly or another brand of sweet tea vodka at your local liquor store. i just got some at binny’s and they had like 4 different brands :)


5 Becca June 24, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Don’t worry, Meijer carries it! There’s also a Burnette’s version if you’re feeling frugal.

I like mine 1/2 and 1/2 with Simply Lemonade, we call it a John Daly ;)


6 Rachael June 24, 2010 at 12:20 pm

I’m completely living vicaoursly through you this week. I just hope I can find that vodka out here in California. If not. I’m probably moving to Texas.
Also, I love crazy flavored gelato and ice cream. I have a thing for this mushroom ice cream over on the coast here.

Oh and my facebook stalking has commenced, thanks for the reminder/idea. Ha!


7 Rachael June 24, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Snatch. I meant to spell check, haha. I don’t even know if that looks like a word or not. Fuck, I don’t care. You know what I meant. Vicariously.


8 Rachel June 24, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Mushroom ice cream sounds crazy! I want to try avocado ice cream, have you ever had that?

And spell check or not, I knew what you meant! <3


9 Rachael June 24, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Avocadowhaaaaa??? Um, no I haven’t but I’m completely googling it right now in hopes I can find it somewhere … haha!


10 Suzanne June 24, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Dude, Firefly is the best. Honestly, I just drink it on the rocks. MAYBE with a little water, usually not. It doesn’t even taste like alcohol, so it sneaks up on you! Glad to hear your having fun. That gelato sounds delicious, too!


11 Rachel June 24, 2010 at 12:23 pm

@Suzanne — You read my mind about drinking it on the rocks with a little water! That’s exactly what I told Eric last night; that’s how I drink vodka anyway so it makes sense to drink it like that in this case! Regardless, this stuff is the shizzzzznit!


12 The Dating Optimist June 24, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Rachel, this is so much fun to read about. It’s not only the first datecation I’ve heard of…it’s the best! The food and drinks look scrumptious and your date sounds hilarious. What more could you ask for? Have a great rest of your time!


13 Rachel June 24, 2010 at 2:44 pm

@The Dating Optimist — Amy, I’m so thrilled you’re following along! I mean, I give you (and my girl pimp Leah) full credit for the fabulous datecation!!


14 Trinidad Pena June 24, 2010 at 12:27 pm

We do need pics!!! Um… and sweet tea vodka! Yum! This sounds like the best date ever!


15 Midgetkeeper June 24, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Love shiner and firefly! I like to drink firefly with water and ice. Perfect.


16 Lauren June 24, 2010 at 12:36 pm

you’re living the dream! thanks for keeping us updated, you have no idea how fun reading it is about your adventure from behind my computer screen at work ;)

p.s. I always do the same thing with houses, especially out in the Hamptons. whenever I look at those huge estates, I always picture what it would be like to actually live in one… like, when you want to call to your kids to tell them that dinner is ready, what do you do – use the intercom? is there a chamber-to-chamber calling feature? I’d get lost finding the bathroom every morning! (well, except for the fact that each house probably has about 47 bathrooms)


17 Bess June 24, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Firefly vodka is seriously nectar from the g-ds. I like it on the rocks with a splash of lemonade :)


18 Rachel Marlena June 24, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Ummm I tried to facebook stalk him the moment you dropped that his name was Eric butttt you have about 15 FB friends named Eric and I was on the iphone. :/ Pictures PLEASE!

You are giving me such great ideas for my own datecation coming up so THANK YOU. :)


19 Kendra June 24, 2010 at 2:40 pm

No need to smuggle the vodka, you can get that anywhere. My favorite brand of sweet tea vodka is Burnett’s. It goes great with so many things. I generally drink it on the rocks with crushed lemon in it or with a splash of lime juice. Either really help to balance out the sweetness of it.

PS I’m totally living vicariously through you so make sure it ends well. ;)


20 Manon June 24, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Oh how I miss Texas BBQ!!!! And Shiner……oh Shiner….I was a beer girl when I lived in Austin and I contribute at least 12 of the 20 lbs I gained the first year I lived there to Shiner……AND, I need an IV of that vodka tea stuff STAT!!!!


21 Bridget@PavementandPlants June 24, 2010 at 4:26 pm

I totally loved Toy Story 3. I cried for the entire ending. It was so good!!
Not a big fan of Shiner but I do love the vodka tea. In fact, we’re having Texas Teas tonight at happy hour!
I loved how he said his wife reads your blog- he gets points for that!
Hope you’re still loving life!


22 shelby @ eatdrinkrun June 24, 2010 at 5:35 pm

That Firefly shizz is dangerous deliciousness. For serious.

Not that I know from experience, or anything. In fact, I don’t remember much from that night. :)


23 amanda June 24, 2010 at 8:43 pm

I just had some of this firefly vodka while at Coyote Ugly’s in Austin a few weeks ago for the first time as a shot. WOW that stuff was strong!! I am a huge fan of Shiner Bock and looks like your BBQ was delicious


24 Sheena June 25, 2010 at 9:57 am

I loved Toy Story 3, and I’m 27. It was awesome


25 Jess June 25, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Being a GRITS girl I LOVE me some sweet tea, but I was super skeptical about this sweet tea vodka thing….so funny that I read your post tonight, because I had my first taste of it last night and it was AWESOME. We had a pitcher of “19th Hole” which is just sweet-tea vodka and lemonade (so basically what Eric made you). I just love the name, because it’s a naughty version of the classic Arnold Palmer.

PS. Lusting over that gelato. No lie.


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