Monday, February 27, 2017

A Trip to the Texas Hill Country

Last week, we and our good friends, Tom and Judy took a seven hour road trip to Fredericksburg, Texas.  We enjoy traveling together because we get along great, have about the same likes and dislikes and our bladders are on the same schedule.

The last time Dick and I were in that part of Texas was in the early 80's and our friends had never been but had always wanted to go.  That gave us the perfect reason to plan a trip.

When we went through "Fixer Upper" stars Chip and Joanna Gaines home town of Waco, we thought we may as well stop by the Magnolia Store and Silos and see what all the fuss is about.

However, after seeing all the bus loads of people milling around and the long line to just get into the bakery, we decided to keep going.

Tom and Judy had friends tell them we had to take a side trip to Luckenbach Texas, where “Everybody’s Somebody.”  It was only four miles from the main highway and worth the detour because we can now say there really is such a place.
 Established as a trading post in 1849 there is not much there now other than a Post Office converted into a General Store and a bar with live music daily, and an old dance hall still in use every weekend.
This is a regular stop for tourists and especially bikers, where they can sit back under the old 500-year-old oak trees, relax and listen to live music.
 Historical Marker
 If you are a country music lover, you may recognize this place as the name and theme of a Waylon Jennings song.
I am not a country music lover but even I have heard of Luckenbach Texas!
 This colorful rooster and a couple chickens make up the population of 3 in this out-of-the-way place.
After this little stop, we made our way on west a few miles to Fredericksburg.

Fredericksburg was founded on May 8, 1846 by German immigrants under the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas. 

The first few years the town saw great growth. Within two years of establishing the town, the Nimitz family opened their hotel, which quickly became the most famous hotel in Central Texas.  The original building no longer exists but a replica resembling a ship has been built and now houses the Nimitz Museum.
It is the history of this place and its World War II naval significance that makes this such an interesting place to visit. 
Rear Admiral Chester Nimitz, the grandson of the hotel owner, was made Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Ocean Areas following the attack on Pearl Harbor, giving him control of all Allied forces in the central Pacific.  Later, he shared this post with Commander MacArthur.

We spent hours here and in the adjoining National Museum of the Pacific War.  The history recorded here is amazing.
 There are several other museums and one could spend days exploring them.  A casual stroll down any street reveals historic German homes and stores of limestone and fachwerk.
 There are interesting stores on both sides of the main street. 
 Phil Jackson's had some of the largest and most beautiful pieces of granite counter/table tops I have ever seen.  There are three ice cream parlors on this side of the street alone and I can testify to one of them.

Both we and our friends had a cousin living in Fredericksburg so Friday night was spent visiting and catching up with family.  We had a delightful time visiting with Dick's first cousin, Joyce and her husband, Noel and seeing their Fredericksburg home.
On Saturday morning we headed back east toward New Braunfels, which is another German town located between Waco and San Antonio.

Our main objective for going there was to see the small German village of Gruene (pronounced Greene) and have dinner at the historic Gristmill River Restaurant overlooking the Guadalupe River.
We realized that this particular weekend was the first Trade Days weekend of the year, so there were hundreds of other folks milling around all the tents and stores in the little village.

This is the village dance hall with live bands playing so loudly they can be heard down the street and plenty of two-stepping couples moving across the floor.

Landscaping Southwest Texas style.

Before dinner, we found a winery, Winery on the Gruene, near the restaurant and enjoyed a time of tasting some of the local products.  We found three Zinfandel that we liked well enough to bring home.
The historic Gristmill is set in an authentic century-old cotton gin from the 1870's and beneath the Gruene water tower on the Guadalupe River.  There are five levels to this expanse of dining space and we were told they could seat 1,400.

 After a delicious meal, we returned to our hotel where we spent a couple hours playing a game of Mexican Train.  This was a great way to end our most enjoyable road trip with dear friends.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

We are only two more Hodgepodges from celebrating 300!

Thank you Joyce for your dedication and determination to provide interesting, sometimes challenging, but always fun questions to bring us together every week.

So, click HERE and see how others have answered this week's questions.

1. Have you ever been fishing? Did you catch a fish? If so did you keep it or throw it back? If you haven't been fishing is that something you'd like to try?

Yes, as children, we used to go fishing with our Daddy and we always kept what we caught if they were of any size.  They went on the table that evening.  I haven't been fishing in many, many years, and it's really not something I would want to do again at this point in my life.

Fish out of water, big fish in a small pond, living in a fishbowl, packed in like sardines, this is a fine kettle of fish, plenty of fish in the sea, or cut bait...which fishy phrase most recently applies to some area of your life?

For most of my life the "living in a fishbowl" phrase would have applied to me as both my father and my husband were ministers.  We felt that we were under some degree of scrutiny a good bit of the time.  I'm not complaining, but simply stating that a minister's family was/is usually held to a higher microscopic standard.

Recently, "this is a fine kettle of fish" would most likely apply.  We took a Thursday - Sunday road trip to south Texas last week.  On Saturday night, we ate at the Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar in the small Historic German village of Gruene, (pronounced Green) Texas.  I had their fried catfish fillet and it was amazingly delicious.  See more about this trip on Monday.

2. What's something you're always fishing for in your purse, wallet, desk, or kitchen junk drawer?

Chapstick!  I can't stand for my lips to feel the least bit dry, so I have tubes all over the house, car, my purse and in a pocket.

3. Your favorite fish tale or movie?

The first fish story I ever heard - not a tale - was "Jonah and the Whale" from the Bible.  I suppose it would remain my favorite.

4. Are you sunrise, daylight, twilight or night? Explain why you chose your answer.

"Night!"  As a child, nighttime was always my most creative time of the day.  As an adult with a job that demanded that I rise and shine at 4 a.m., my pattern had to adjust.  I still don't sleep well and find that my mind is still going a mile a minute at night, although we try to be in bed by 9:30.

5. What's the oldest piece of clothing you own and still wear?

An Evan-Picone suit that is probably nearing 20 years old.  When you buy quality and classic styles, they just last forever.  This picture of me wearing it was taken 15 years ago.

6. We've got one more month of (officially) winter here in the Northern hemisphere. Are you feeling the need for a getaway? What's been the best and worst part of your winter so far?

We have not had much of a winter here in northwest Louisiana, so spring is already bursting out all over.  As I mentioned earlier, we took a getaway trip this past weekend.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous in south Texas with temps in the 80's on Saturday.  I guess the best part of our winter is that we haven't had to contend with any ice or road closures.  The worst part is that we haven't had a winter with ice and snow to kill the bugs and weeds.  I really do enjoy winter and part of the worst part for me is that I haven't even worn my winter coat or favorite winter clothes.

7.  The Wednesday Hodgepodge lands on National Margarita Day...will you be celebrating? Frozen or on the rocks? Are you a Jimmy Buffet fan? If so, what's your favorite JB tune?

No! Neither!  No!  N/A!

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Spring has Sprung in the South 
"For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.  The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.  The fig tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell."
Song of Solomon 2:11-13

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Rural Louisiana Mansion

Mansion on the Market

Look At This Remarkable Home On 60 Acres In Grand Cane, Louisiana Off Hwy. 3015.

It can be yours for $1,500,000.00!
If you want country living at its finest,
 this is the home for you!
Designed for a large family, this custom designed Mediterranean-style mansion has
over 10,000 Sq ft including porches, and an outdoor kitchen/living area.
It is truly a one-of-a-kind!!
Built with flagstone on the facade, it also features clay tiles on the roofing.

Just inside the entrance is a massive curved staircase leading to the upper level walkway.
The view from the soaring catwalk overlooking the entry and living room emphasizes the soaring height of these two areas.  The large windows encompass vistas of both front and back of the home.

This 7,006 sq ft home has 7 bedrooms, 6.5 baths, an office, and a chef's kitchen!
The hammered copper vent hood is a focal point in the kitchen and this theme is carried throughout the house.
The hearth room also has a large eating area overlooking the back acreage and 3-acre pond.  This kitchen area is ideal for entertaining large groups of people.
The remote master suite would be like waking up in a luxurious resort every morning.
It not only includes a large sitting area, an exceptionally large closet, but also an en-suite bath, whirlpool-jetted tub, double sinks and a large, separate shower.
 There is even a large man cave when the man of the house needs his own get-away space.
The outdoors includes a back porch and open patio with a 25-foot-ceiling, a fireplace and a well-equipped outdoor kitchen. 

This home is perfect for entertaining or living out in the peace and quiet of the country.
And, it could be yours!

For more information contact
Yvonne Davlin with Coldwell Banker Gosslee

Linking to:  Amaze Me Monday

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Lovely Hodgepodge

As I am writing this on Valentines Day, let me wish all of you a very Happy, Lovely Day.
Thank you Joyce for binding us together on this

1. What do/did you call your grandparents? If it's something unusual tell us the story behind the name. If you're a grandparent what do your grands call you? Who chose your moniker?

Maternal Grandparents:  Poppa & Mama
Paternal Grandparents:  Pappy & Grandmother

My Grandmother name is Bibby.  This name was given to me by a nephew and carried over to grandchildren.  I love it.

Dick's Grandparent name by our daughter's children is Daddea.  First grandchild picked up "Daddy" that she heard her mother say and made up her own and it stuck with her siblings.  However, our second grandchild had trouble rolling that off his tongue so his name was shortened to "Da".  His little sister prefered "Da Da".  Then the littlest sister decided "Da Da Da" was appropriate.  Needless to say, we have had a lot of fun with our Granddad names.

2. Ever taken a road trip along the California Coast? If so what was the highlight of your trek? If not, any desire to do so? If you were to take a trip along the California Coast what's one attraction you'd have on your must-see list?

Yes, back in 2004 we and our best couple friends flew to San Fransisco and then took a road trip from there making several treks along the coastline.  The highlight of course was the coastline itself.  Unbelievable natural beauty. 
This is a view from the back of the Ritz Carlton Hotel at Half Moon Bay
 And at sunset
We also enjoyed seeing the Hearst Castle.

3. What are three things you don't know how to do?

Swim, roller skate, speak a foreign language

4. Tom Peters is quoted as saying, 'Celebrate what you want to see more of.' If that's true what will you celebrate and more importantly, how will you celebrate?

In this current day, I think the thing I most desire to see is love, tolerance, and kindness.  The best way to celebrate these things would be to do them more myself and acknowledge and appreciate them when seen in others.

5. Thursday (February 16) is National Almond Day. Do you like almonds? Which would you prefer-an Almond Joy or a macaron? What's something you make that calls for almonds?

I don't make anything that calls for almonds.  Why, when it's impossible to beat an Almond Joy?
6. What does Saturday morning look like at your house?

Saturdays are very relaxed around here.  Dick gets up early to read the paper and start working on his Sunday School lesson to teach the next day.  I get up when I feel like it.  We have a large brunch then do our own thing.  I rarely leave the house on Saturday.

7. Share with us a favorite book you've read this winter.

I have been reading Margaret Truman's "Capital Crimes Series".  She was an excellent writer and I've enjoyed this series very much.  A book I actually listened to while driving was "The Reason I Jump" the inner voice of a 13 year old boy in Japan about dealing with Autism.  It is an excellent book and a must read by anyone who teaches children.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Belated Happy Valentines
Kristen and Danny