Believe in the sun, even when it's not shining

In love, even when you're alone

In God, even when He is silent.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Our (too short) Texas Hill Country vacation, Part I

We began our journey July 20 at about 6:30 am. We stopped and ate breakfast in Columbus when Gracie woke up and not long after that, was our exit in Luling - home of Texas' Tiny Houses. The only reason I knew about them is because there's a big architectural and antique company in Gonzales that I wanted to stop by (it is closed on Mondays - just my luck), but the owner of it also builds the tiny houses - mostly out of reclaimed goods - from the windows to the floors to the tin on the roof. In the picture below, you can see the bed in the loft area, there's a small living space and a kitchen behind the half wall. I guess this one would have to have an outhouse.

There were grasshoppers everywhere and so I guess the decorator thought, "Why not?"
Is it a bird, a plane? No, it's a grasshopper in the bird cage!
We're making our rounds...Gracie is still in awe with all of the grasshoppers and is lagging behind...isn't that little house just the cutest?
hangin' on the porch...
this one actually had a bathroom inside
this must be the doghouse to match - I don't think Gator would fit!
After we discovered the closed store in Gonzales, we headed for Gruene...we still think Gracie is too young for the Guadalupe River, but I can't miss Gruene. I love that little town! Jack and Gracie are posing in front of Gruene Hall - I've always wanted to attend a concert here, but never have...
We ate at the Gristmill - it was so hot, we just shared soup and salad, but it was very yummy nonetheless.

Jack's looking down at all of the pretty scenery below...
our little firecracker -
she's getting sleepy again, but was quite a good sport about shopping after lunch -
Although they have been experiencing the same drought conditions that we have, there was still water and tubers...Mom and I may go back next week just over one night so we can ride the river - it's been about three years since I've been...
We finally arrived at our hotel, La Cantera, in San Antonio, just up the hill from Fiesta Texas

Each night, you could see the fireworks at Fiesta Texas from our added bonus...

This was the next day in Fredericksburg - such a nice thought to add this water feature outside one of the stores - Grace loved watching the fish.

From shopping in Fredericksburg, we went to Stonewall for peaches and then exploring for Luckenbach - it wasn't that hard to find...
"Hondo" Crouch bought Luckenbach in 1970 and his family still runs the post office and general store there today. just thought this was funny...
"Everybody's somebody in Luckenbach" - a few folks enjoying a beer under the trees out back of the general store -
That evening back at the hotel, Gracie befriended this little girl, Alex, from Shreveport, LA. They were waiting in line for smores...
Double-fistin' five year old...bringing one for her Mom and Dad to share, too...we have a sweet girl alright...even though she did give us the one with the burnt marshmallow ;)!
cooling off in the pool after our dinner - yep, smores!

The next day was Fiesta Texas and I have to develop the water camera from that trip yet...that will be Part II!
On the way home on Thursday, Jack and Grace began their day with one final swim in the myriad of pools and she made friends with several other little girls - she's going to be just like her Daddy - she can talk to anybody about anything. I'm glad she has this trait - Mommy stayed in the room and got things packed up and organized and we headed out around noon -
We took Gracie to the Natural Bridge Wildlife Park outside of San Marcos and besides getting a little upset that she couldn't touch all of them, she really enjoyed it. Even though we were supposed to throw the food on the ground, we broke the rules a few you'll see below...
Thankfully, Jack knew what these animals were - or at least offered good guesses for me to post...first up, a nilgi antelope...
fallow deer
a BIG longhorn
we met him up close and personal

I think he would have come home with us if we would have left a trail of food -
auodad sheep
he let us feed him, too
a buffalo and wildebeast
black buck antelope
another wildebeast - these could never win a beauty pageant - my goodness....
oryx - I think he's so pretty...
he reminds me of an Indian in war paint
hardebeast antelope
eland antelope
They gave us special caution about the zebras, as they are very aggressive, but we didn't have to worry about that - they wanted nothing to do with us! They stayed in the brush -
the white rhinos - wouldn't want to meet these guys in a dark alley -

bactrial camels - they have 2 humps
ostriches - I like all of their plummage - I remember being at the Montgomery, Alabama zoo one time. I had red polish on my toes and one of these almost ate my toes that day - he went "pa-yow" just that quick - it hurt!
addax antelope
he let us feed him - I thought he was very pretty, too.
a big, pregnant mini donkey...oh, she must be miserable...sooooooo hooooooottttt!
If you had to take a poddy break out here, you'd be in a world of trouble! With a five year old, these are the things I think about....
Daddy making friends with a big ol' ostrich - I'm glad he was on Daddy's side!

Llamas...and I thought my heiney was big!
Emus - Gracie especially loved the white one.
Gracie in their petting zoo...with a baby goat
...and a pot-bellied pig...
Daddy must have spilled some lunch on his jeans???
a lemur taking a siesta
After a brief stop at Tommy Bahama in the San Marcos outlet malls, we headed home, as we knew it would be around 10 when we got home...I could have stayed another week going from one tiny Texas town to another exploring, but with all of the fun we had, Marmie was waiting at home for us, eager to celebrate her daughter's 39th birthday - yikes - on Saturday.
The boys that have starred on this blog more than once, helped us with our yard work and any other chores Jack deems he can't handle by himself, and are the (willing) entertainers for our daughter when they drop by, Bobby & Kevin, even made me this cake from scratch! Two brothers in their late high school years making a cake from scratch - I'd say you don't find guys like these very often!
Needless to was a great week - look for Part II coming soon!