If you find yourself in a car from Austin to Dallas

You must stop at these places. I'm getting nostalgic for a taste of Texas over here on the West Coast, so I thought I'd drop some of my favs down for those of you who can explore those hot ass highways in my place.

 #1. Style Station. Found just outside of Waco city limits, this gem is hidden on the feeder road going South on I-35 back towards Austin. It's an old gas station turned vintage shopping mecca. We pulled over on a tip off from rumor that it was amazing, and we were not left empty handed.

An old Cadillac convertible greets you with seated and waving mannequin passengers, surrounded by live cacti growing out of the trunk. The place is owned by a couple who are crafty, collectors, and total conspiracy theorists (at least the dude was). We were greeted by a wonderfully friendly (thank you Texas) host, his 6'5" + frame clad in overalls (yes), mega large (talking pre-hipster here) glasses that magnify his entire face, and an inquisitive look. He began with "do you folks know who happened to be present at JFK's assassination? Let me tell you..." And ended with a story about a midget who was a multi-millionaire working as a garage tech in the 70s in Austin...

We left with two beautiful Samsonite vintage train cases (one to hold our awaiting alice pieces when on the road, the other for our talented friend Margo Valiente to hold her albums when she's on tour). Andy nabbed a killer red plaid linen pearl snap, with a custom Style Station logo/image screenprinted on the back. And for $1.40 I got a sweet brass Peru bottle opener- reminding me that I need to legitimize this souvenir and get down to Peru.

#2. Czech Stop Kolaches. If you haven't yet tasted the heavenly dough and fillings of a true kolache, please make this your next vacation trip. (I mean, I'm not talking 4 star hotels or anything around here, but I could totally guarantee at least a 4 lb gain) My first acquaintance with the Czech Stop was late night mid summer years ago coming home from a road trip and seeing the glowing lights of the yellow sign as an omen for a snack outside a gas station or drive thru. At 2am there was still a line. Serious! And at the head was a woman who was literally dripping soaking wet and bare foot- like she abruptly pulled herself out of her pool and said "I need kolaches, Now." She left carrying 2 huuuuuge shopping bags of kolaches. Necessary? If there were a kolache shortage I know who to find. Overindulgent? Totally. West Texas? Hell yeah.

If you're feeling ambitious and far from the Czech Stop, try making your own! Here's a recipe found on simplyrecipes.com for Poppy Seed kolaches. Although I have to admit my favorites are either cream cheese topped with brown sugar or the simple ham and cheese mmmmm.


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