I’m trying to pull together a theme for Ringing in the New Year in Texas post. We shared the holiday with long time friends the Hill Country of Texas near Austin. What a fun part of the world to see, even if we weren’t there in March when the Blue Bonnets are in bloom. I hear that is the best and I do want to go back to see the acres of gorgeous blue flowers some time.
But there’s plenty to see and enjoy mid winter when it is cold and snowy in many parts of the world, including the one I’m from.
Fredericksburg which I have written about before (Fredericksburg, Texas, Surprisingly Fun) was a definitely a go-to spot on my list. While the husbands visited the National Museum of the Pacific War my friend and I had a leisurely lunch in a hip eatery and browsed the many cute stores. I found these holiday decorations particularly eye catching.
For my Michigan friends, Fredericksburg reminded me a bit of Saugatuck, Michigan with both cool and touristy shopping and a few yummy places to eat.
I also absolutely loved visiting the LBJ Ranch, seeing the small plane that the Texas President flew from Austin to his ranch in the Hill Country and touring the modest house and the burial spot for the family nearby. Yikes, experiencing cattle, so close that I could reach my hand out the car window to touch was a novelty for a northerner like me. The small gray building below is the one room school house that President Johnson attended.
The Texans in this part of state love their holiday lights. For more images of their fascination with lights, click on this blog post from a few years back. Magical Lighting in Johnson City, Texas. Pretty amazing, actually.
We took at day trip to San Antonio. I’ve been there before but amazed again with how small the Alamo is. Somehow the legend implies a much bigger structure. Now that I look at the picture I took of the fellow below, I’m wondering why he isn’t wearing a cowboy hat. Will have to go back to ask.
This horse and carriage caught my eye. It appeared to me like it belonged more in Disneyland by the big castle in the Magic Kingdom rather than across the street from the Alamo. Would feel like a princess riding in this carriage no matter what city.
We visited the McNay Art Museum, a gift of a very generous art patron. Marion McNay left her Texas mansion with Moorish style courtyard and extensive contemporary art collection to become the first modern art museum in Texas. I particularly enjoyed a couple of recent acquisitions: a replica of an Artist Studio created totally out of cardboard and a cocktail party created out of what looks like oversized Cheetos. Every so often one of the characters would move. Amusing.
The large sculpture on the lawn speaks to the Texan love of anything “big.”
In San Antonio, we spotted this on top of a building near the River Walk and wondered about it. Seems rather far from home.
One can’t go to San Antonio without enjoying a leisure ride and tour of the river. It’s a “must-do” for every tourist–at least once.
I can’t talk about Texas without mentioning the Star. Texans plaster their Stars everywhere–sides of houses, cars, umbrellas, bridges, holiday decor, bars and buildings. Lots of Texas loyalty coming out. Sure must make decorating easy:-)
For more blog posts about this part of the world, click on these links.