New places & familiar faces…
It is parent’s weekend here in Aggieland and that is just as wild and busy as it sounds. The wait at every restaurant is extra long, the traffic around town is extremely ridiculous, and the grocery stores…don’t even get me started on the craziness of the grocery stores! But, all joking aside, if you ask any college student, yes, parent’s weekend is crazy, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. The times we get to go home and visit family are amazing, don’t get me wrong, but having your parents and/or sibling(s) here, in YOUR place, and showing them your way of life in your college town is something that is pretty neat. It is especially cool because this weekend is basically a holiday weekend if you are a Texas A&M Aggie. This Friday, April 7th, was “Ring Day” here at Texas A&M. “Ring Day” is an extremely special day for an Aggie because it is when a beloved family member or friend presents you with your incredible, gorgeous, precious, amazing (the list could go on and on forever), Fightin’ Texas Aggie Ring. For Aggies, the Aggie ring is not only a symbol of the 90+ hours of schooling we put in at Texas A&M, but it is a visual symbol of all of the traditions and beliefs of the university that we hold very dear to our hearts. When an Aggie gets their ring, they have a celebration called a “Ring Dunk”. A “Ring Dunk” is a big party celebrating a person getting their Aggie ring. At this celebration the person who got their Aggie ring puts the ring in the bottom of a pitcher filled with a selected beverage and then proceeds to chug the beverage until they get to their ring at the bottom of the pitcher. It is a crazy, and not the most healthy tradition, but it is awesome and there’s truly nothing like it; you can definitely say that! So this being said, this weekend was already set to be an epic one, but our parents and Kaylee being here was simply the icing on the cake! Madison and I had a brunch event for our parents to go to through our sorority, Sigma Phi Lambda, here at school for parents’ weekend. Sigma Phi Lambda, otherwise known as Phi Lamb, is a sorority that is focused on glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and making His name great. It is a great organization and we enjoy being in it very much! So this brunch was the perfect opportunity for our parents and Kaylee to come down to College Station and share some of our favorite things with us. These things included sharing our love for Jesus through Phi Lamb, all things Texas A&M (Whoop!) , and some coffee places here in town.
As you can believe, there were many different activities and events to take part in this weekend for Parents’ Weekend. The Memorial Student Center was bustling with the “Aggie Mom’s club” boutique and raffles, A&M had their spring scrimmage football game, there was an Aggie baseball game, and so much more! Our parents had never been in the amazing “Kyle Field” before, the Texas A&M football stadium, so the scrimmage game in the great stadium was a must see. The Aggie environment was incredible, as always, and the beautiful breezy weather was definitely a nice touch. It was fun to get to have somewhat of an Aggie game day with our parents and share all of the excitements of Aggie football with them and Kaylee.
And of course, Madison and I had to show our family a new fun coffee shop that just opened here in College Station this week! This past Monday there was a grand opening of a new coffee shop in South College Station. The name of this new shop is “Tipsy Bean”. The very first time I saw the name of the coffee shop on social media I was immediately intrigued. The name,”Tipsy Bean”, is just so cute and unique. The name of the shop is absolutely perfect because it captures all sides of the “Tipsy Bean”. This cool shop is a coffee bar but it also serves wine and craft beer. This is something that I have noticed somewhat recently, as several Starbucks have converted to serving wine and craft beer as well. Although, I must say, Starbucks having this concept doesn’t have anything on “Tipsy Bean”. “Tipsy Bean” is located in South College Station in front of the Indian Lakes neighborhood that we featured in one of our other blog posts. Madison and I actually went to the grand-opening of “Tipsy Bean” on Monday at 6:30 a.m. before we had a day full of classes. We enjoyed it then but we wanted to see the other side of it by visiting it at night as well. Something that I noticed the first time we went to “Tipsy Bean” was that they turned off the wifi at 4 p.m. so that their customers could cultivate conversation and enjoy the people they were with. This was something I particularly admired and it distinguished it from other coffee shops in town. This definitely was not a place to study late at night, but a place to gather and hangout instead. This makes “Tipsy Bean” stand out from the crowd of many other coffee shops in the College Station and Bryan area. When you walk up to the coffee shop you are immediately greeted with the plush and spacious outdoor seating area. There’s wooden chairs and tables that fit that of a coffee shop and then there’s nice, white outdoor couches that you would definitely associate with a posh wine bar. When I first walked inside “Tipsy Bean”, I was struck with the color contrast. I’m a sucker for great color contrast, and “Tipsy Bean” did not disappoint. The walls are mostly dark grey but the wall near the bar is exposed light brick. There is also a section to the side, where you grab napkins, creamer, sugar, and etc., that has a colorful backsplash. When you look closely, the backsplash is actually little pieces of colored magazine strips or something. It definitely adds character and a little pizzaz to the shop. The tables are made of light colored wood and the chairs are a mixture of metal and wood. I don’t know what it is with me and the combination of wood and metal, but I absolutely adore it. The menu for the coffee drinks is located directly above where you order on a black board. To the right side of the bar area is something that looks like a large paper scroll hanging adorned with cute writing. This scroll is the menu for the wine and craft beer. They also have an assortment of cheeses to choose from as well to pair with your wine. They also offer an assortment of delicious pastries. I was too full to try any of the pastries but from hearing the conversations of those around me who had them, I’ll definitely be trying them next time I stop in. The almond rolls will be on my list to try next time!
On the opening day I ordered their Jeronimocha which is a blended drink with whip. It was a wonderful blend of sweetness without being too over powering. A cool thing that they told us at “Tipsy Bean” is that they make their chocolate there. I had never heard of a coffee shop doing this before and I really was impressed. That insight made the Jeronimocha taste even better! On the opening day Madison got iced coffee with hazelnut and cream. It was good and strong enough to get her through a long day. The “Tipsy Bean” uses Klatch coffee and 41 and Change Coffee Company. It really impresses me when coffee shops go out of their way to use the very best coffee and make things in their shop from scratch. They also make their own flavor syrups, giving them a unique edge that many other shops can’t compete with. When we went back with our family, Kaylee got the Jeronimocha and was obsessed with it. Our dad tried it and really enjoyed it. He is a really big blended drink fan and has tried many so he is not particularly easy to impress, but he loved the Jeronimocha. And let’s be honest, it’s just a really fun word to say! The manager was even telling us that his brother came up with the name and they had fun creating a cool name for the drink they worked on so hard to perfect. On the second visit Madison and I got the white chocolate mocha blended drink. Again, it was not too sweet or overwhelming at all. Even though Madison and I split the drink, I would have been able to drink a full one without feeling regret at all, unlike other heavier blended drinks I’ve had in the past. On the opening day, so early in the morning, Madison and I tucked into this amazingly adorable corner booth that is really so nice it’s like a couch. This is such a cool hideaway that is directly to the left corner when you first walk in. Above this booth area is a neat piece of nail art. Again, such a pleasant addition that adds flare and fun to the “Tipsy Bean”.
When we went to the “Tipsy Bean” with our parents it was, obviously, much more crowded because it was around 5:30 p.m. and it was the weekend. There was no seating available downstairs so we explored the upstairs sitting area. The upstairs sitting area is cool because it looks down on the rest of the shop and provides an excellent view of the funky large light fixture hanging from the high ceiling. Upstairs there are large windows you can sit next to and enjoy the outside view, especially during sunrise and sunset. In the middle of the upstairs area is an area that has many pictures of people working and gathering together. When talking to the manager, we discovered that these pictures are all from Younglife mission trips in Mexico. The owner of the “Tipsy Bean” is really into Younglife and proceeds from the coffee shop goes to Younglife and other charities. The “Tipsy Bean” uses coffee, for example their drip coffee, from “41 and Change” coffee company. This coffee company is unique because it is located where Younglife does a certain mission trip; this is the place displayed in their pictures. The area there in Mexico used to be a coffee plantation way back when, so they made it into one again and the proceeds from the plantation help to fund the missions there for Younglife. I think this is amazing and adds a true purpose and mission for the coffee shop. The success of the shop is also tied to people in Mexico being told the Gospel of Jesus Christ and getting to be served and loved on by the people in Younglife. “Tipsy Bean” also focuses on giving proceeds to different charities every month that are suggested by their employees. I think that it is incredible that the employees are able to give input and say in what charities they would like to see supported. This is something that I back up and agree with 1,000%!
As if this weekend couldn’t get any sweeter, the craziest thing happened. When we stomped upstairs to the sitting area at “Tipsy Bean”, we settled at a table by the large windows. Getting to the table we had to pass by several men sitting in the comfy chairs under the beautiful display of the Younglife pictures. At first, I did not even realized who I walked right by. I casually sat in my chair and noticed that my dad’s eyes were pretty wide. I did not think much of it until my dad quietly informed me that my chair backed up to the chair of the HEAD COACH OF THE TEXAS A&M FOOTBALL TEAM!! THE COACH SUMLIN!! WHAT?!? It was SO casual and surreal at the same time! I did not even look over at him when I first walked by; I would have totally missed it, which is ridiculously crazy!!! We had just seen him on the field earlier in the day at the spring scrimmage game and there he was sitting right there beside us. He was very kind and agreed to take a picture with us when Madison politely asked him and he was about to head out. We got a picture with him and we’re totally in shock. What a wonderful way to end an incredible day!
Wow, what a weekend. Being an Aggie is something special, and getting to share everything with our favorite people (AKA, our parents and Kaylee) makes everything even sweeter! I pinky promise we’ll probably be back at “Tipsy Bean” next week and you should too! Who knows, you might just see the head football coach of the best university in the world sipping on some coffee and maybe even eating an almond roll or two!
Love, Allie Boykin