It's funny how sometimes it's the things that are least expected that end up becoming one of our favorite things about an experience.

For example, when you go on vacation to somewhere amazing and well-known for world-famous attractions but it's the small moments that leave the longest-lasting impressions.

It would be like visiting Paris, France and really looking forward to seeing the Eiffel Tower. But by the end of the trip, although you enjoyed seeing this iconic French structure, the thing you miss the most is the conversation you had with a random stranger at that one little coffee shop you randomly decided to pop into one morning.

I had a similar experience.

A group of friends had planned a holiday get-together for dinner at TXM or Texas Music City Grill & Smokehouse. One of my friends is a performer and he was doing his thing there, too. And the weather was quite balmy. So, we all sat outside for dinner.

That shrimp etouffee, tho--YUM, Tara Holley
That shrimp etouffee, tho--YUM, Tara Holley

Our friend did a great job performing AND the food was delicious, of course. At the same time, meeting some new furry friends was another one of my favorite things about that evening.

Just outside the property, a family of raccoons had made TXM their unofficial hangout spot. (YES, they were outside the restaurant so no worries about health and safety concerns.) However, the raccoons were close enough that you could really see them.

They were so sweet and docile as they enjoyed sharing the cat food with the resident felines, they could almost have been overlooked as really big feral cats. But then when we saw their little faces--it seriously was one of the most delightful things ever.

I just love that these local business owners didn't feel compelled to freak out about their presence and instead have, at least passively, befriended these "wild" creatures that seem to like to hang out in our general proximity. But they kept a safe distance. It was sort of a magical moment, really.

To be honest, it's one more reason I'll definitely visit again.

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