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Been a long (and very interesting) year…

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Been a while since I was active on here (thanks to the AI art thread for drawing me back in). We have had a really busy year out here on the ranch. We built 6 airbnb’s and we are now open (since first week of January). The first week we were open we had a hard 2 day freeze, lost power,
and blew out all of our water infrastructure lol. It has been a total high wire act since. Internet issues, HVAC issues, couple of lawsuits with shady contractors along the way (they sued us and we won both easily). Trying to build a ground-up project like this during the supply chain and labor issues post-covid was quite the roller-coaster ride. We went from that to booking guests within days so it went from bat sh!t crazy to insane with no discernible difference in the level of crazy. 

Cooking has taken a back seat for the last year. We have essentially eaten at restaurants or cooked like college students when we are at home by just shoving whatever leftover is available in our mouths while standing up in the kitchen lol. Our level of wine consumption has seen a noticeable uptick as well (we are taking a month off as we speak just to reset the liver). 

As crazy as it has been, it’s been fun and very fulfilling. TFJ pulled these out of her head and designed and built them from the ground up. We didn’t have a road, water, power, or septic at the build site. To say we learned a lot (both what and what not to do) would be an understatement. 

We are getting booked pretty hard out of the gate (and this is the slowest time of year) and we are getting rave reviews so it appears all the craziness might be worth it in the end. We may have to host a forum get together on the ranch one day when things settle in a little. You guys come see us if you are ever in the area. We have over 100 wineries, several distilleries and breweries all with 30 minutes of the ranch. Fredericksburg is a cool little party town too. Good food and drink, all 10 minutes from the ranch. 

You can see what we have been up to here: 

Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
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Comments

  • johnmitchell
    johnmitchell Posts: 6,581
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    That looks fantastic and has a “Out of Africa” look. Congratulations and good luck with the venture 👏👏
    Greensboro North Carolina
    When in doubt Accelerate....
  • lousubcap
    lousubcap Posts: 32,375
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    Way to press thru and begin to reap the rewards of your perserverance. Reminded again of your beautiful grounds.  Congratulations on clearing the major hurdle of getting up and running.  Now to keep the guests happy!!   B)
    Louisville; Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!  Seems I'm livin in a transitional period.
  • ColtsFan
    ColtsFan Posts: 6,342
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    Congratulations! It looks pretty awesome. 
    ~ John - https://www.instagram.com/hoosier_egger
    XL BGE, LG BGE, KJ Jr, PK Original, Ardore Pizza Oven, King Disc 
    Bloomington, IN - Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!

  • Foghorn
    Foghorn Posts: 9,842
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    It is as beautiful as it looks in the pictures.  Hope we're able to get together soon.

    XXL BGE, Karebecue, Klose BYC, Chargiller Akorn Kamado, Weber Smokey Mountain, Grand Turbo gasser, Weber Smoky Joe, and the wheelbarrow that my grandfather used to cook steaks from his cattle

    San Antonio, TX

  • GrateEggspectations
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    Beautiful concept and setting. Congrats for pulling it together. 

    You failed to mention the discount code for your fellow Eggheads. 😉😉

    Enjoy the well-deserved fruits of your labours. 
  • lkapigian
    lkapigian Posts: 10,765
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    Welcome back , thanks for the great write up 
    Visalia, Ca @lkapigian
  • The Cen-Tex Smoker
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    Foghorn said:
    It is as beautiful as it looks in the pictures.  Hope we're able to get together soon.
    Come on over!
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • The Cen-Tex Smoker
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    Beautiful concept and setting. Congrats for pulling it together. 

    You failed to mention the discount code for your fellow Eggheads. 😉😉

    Enjoy the well-deserved fruits of your labours. 
    I’ll set one up! We do offer friends and family rates so I can roll it up under that. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • The Cen-Tex Smoker
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    Foghorn said:
    It is as beautiful as it looks in the pictures.  Hope we're able to get together soon.
    Make sure Jody reaches out for the Animal Defense League gala this year. We are in to donate a weekend. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • Stormbringer
    Stormbringer Posts: 2,082
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    That's a nice looking setup you have there. Which ones have BGEs for cooking? :) 

    Welcome home, bud. 
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    | Cooking and blogging with a Large and Minimax in deepest, darkest England-shire
    | My food blog ... BGE and other stuff ... http://www.thecooksdigest.co.uk
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------


  • The Cen-Tex Smoker
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    That's a nice looking setup you have there. Which ones have BGEs for cooking? :) 

    Welcome home, bud. 
    No bge’s for most guests but mine is available for certain folk very close by. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • kl8ton
    kl8ton Posts: 5,429
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    Looks amazing!  That is a metric crap-ton of hard work.  I can visualize the paperwork alone!  How does your jurisdiction recognize you?  Motel/Campground/they don't know...?  
    Large, Medium, MiniMax, & 22, and 36" Blackstone
    Grand Rapids MI
  • Ozzie_Isaac
    Ozzie_Isaac Posts: 19,085
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    Wow!!  That is amazing.  What a cool project.  Go big, or go home!
    A bison’s level of aggressiveness, both physical and passive, is legendary. - NPS
  • The Cen-Tex Smoker
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    kl8ton said:
    Looks amazing!  That is a metric crap-ton of hard work.  I can visualize the paperwork alone!  How does your jurisdiction recognize you?  Motel/Campground/they don't know...?  
    Thank you sir! I am unincorporated so they don’t have any jurisdiction over me. That’s why we chose this spot. I could not have done this (not as easily anyway) if I were a mile closer to town. I’m only 6 miles (10 minutes) from our Main Street but the ETJ (zoning district) only goes 5 miles out lol. And…there was no paperwork. Another benefit of being outside the ETJ. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • TechsasJim
    TechsasJim Posts: 1,909
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    Man that’s awesome, congrats!    May be able to hit you up for a weekend as my in laws are about 30 mins away and Lord knows I’d rather stay off-campus during one of those runs.   
    LBGE, 28” BS, Weber Kettle, HCI 7.8 SE Texas
  • The Cen-Tex Smoker
    The Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 22,970
    edited February 19
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    Wow!!  That is amazing.  What a cool project.  Go big, or go home!
    Thank you! That’s kind of the price of entry out here. Everyone is trying to outdo the last guy. It’s a super touristy area with tons of airbnb’s. Town of 10,000 people that turns into 30,000 every weekend. All the wineries and distilleries are doing the same thing. The new one has to be cooler than the old one. This is mostly a drive-away vacation spot for Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Houston people. Since they don’t have to buy plane tickets, they splurge on places to stay. That’s why we bought the 100 acres with all the wildlife. Kind of protects us from what most people can or will do to catch us. So…we did go big haha. Hope it works or I will be living in one 😂
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • DoubleEgger
    DoubleEgger Posts: 17,180
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    There’s nothing wrong with betting on yourself. Wishing you all the best. 
  • The Cen-Tex Smoker
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    Man that’s awesome, congrats!    May be able to hit you up for a weekend as my in laws are about 30 mins away and Lord knows I’d rather stay off-campus during one of those runs.   
    Haha. I get that. That has been one of the nicest things about having these so far. When we have guests, they stay up there and not in our house. They have their own home base where they can come and go as they please, wake up/go to bed when they want or just get away for a while. They are starting to fill up though so we may not have that luxury for much longer. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • alaskanassasin
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    Great update. Best of luck on your new venture!
    South of Columbus, Ohio.


  • Battleborn
    Battleborn Posts: 3,359
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    Those are awesome! We need to get back down to Texas to spread my FIL’s ashes in a bluebonnet field like he wanted. We will definitely stay when the time comes. 
    Las Vegas, NV


  • The Cen-Tex Smoker
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    Those are awesome! We need to get back down to Texas to spread my FIL’s ashes in a bluebonnet field like he wanted. We will definitely stay when the time comes. 
    Please do. There is a massive bluebonnet field 5 minutes from here. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • shtgunal3
    shtgunal3 Posts: 5,654
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     Congratulations on getting up and running. Got any hunting cabins?  ;)

    ___________________________________

     

     LBGE,SBGE, and a Mini makes three......Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

  • dmchicago
    dmchicago Posts: 4,516
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    Dude!
    Philly - Kansas City - Houston - Cincinnati - Dallas - Houston - Memphis - Austin - Chicago - Austin

    Large BGE. OONI 16, TOTO Washlet S550e (Now with enhanced Motherly Hugs!)

    "If I wanted my balls washed, I'd go to the golf course!"
    Dennis - Austin,TX
  • kl8ton
    kl8ton Posts: 5,429
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    Does TFJ mainly run it or did you quit the 9-5 and you both run it?
    Large, Medium, MiniMax, & 22, and 36" Blackstone
    Grand Rapids MI
  • The Cen-Tex Smoker
    The Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 22,970
    edited February 20
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    kl8ton said:
    Does TFJ mainly run it or did you quit the 9-5 and you both run it?
    She runs all of it and I run support as I have time. I kept my day job. I have always worked from home though so I do something almost every day. It’s nice for both of us for me to be able to pop in and out as needed. They are only 100 yards from my house so its easy to do little things throughout the day or take a few hours later in the afternoons when I have time. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • The Cen-Tex Smoker
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    dmchicago said:
    Dude!
    I fought hard for bidets but lost. I hope you’ll come see us anyway 😂. I’m still pissed about the bidets. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • The Cen-Tex Smoker
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    shtgunal3 said:
     Congratulations on getting up and running. Got any hunting cabins?  ;)
    These are the hunting cabins. We used them all season and people used to sleeping in 30 year old travel trailers or hunt camps were very happy. It will be interesting to see how all that shakes out next year. Although 100 acres is large if you have to mow it, once you get 12 guests and a couple of hunters, it gets small pretty quick. Trying to balance suburban housewives sitting in the hot tub after going wine tasting and shopping all day with my camo clad neighbor hauling a dead deer down the hill will be a challenge haha. We will probably have to set 2 weeks of the season aside just for hunters so we can properly manage the herd. 100% of our hunters are friends and family and we don’t charge them anything to hunt. We can arrange weekday hunts for the most part so that will help too. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • lkapigian
    lkapigian Posts: 10,765
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    AWSS7 In the future ?
    Visalia, Ca @lkapigian
  • The Cen-Tex Smoker
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    lkapigian said:
    AWSS7 In the future ?
    For sure. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • StillH2OEgger
    StillH2OEgger Posts: 3,746
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    I tend to be risk-averse myself so I always admire those who tackle challenges like this. Congrats and good luck moving forward. It all looks wonderful from here!
    Stillwater, MN