The Hill Country

My how plans can change!  I guess that’s one of the beauties of having one’s home in tow, the freedom to wonder on a whim; the freedom to change plans and directions as needed or rather as wanted; the freedom to move when you don’t like the weather.Fredericksburg

A.D.D.There are days I feel I have about as much attention span as the dog featured on the cartoon movie Up….. “squirrel”.  However, instead of returning to the conversation, I’m off and running.  I’ll admit, it’s kind of fun being distracted and so noncommittal.

After the month of January in Rockport, we thought we’d spend the month of February exploring parts of San Antonio, Austin, and Fredericksburg. We settled into a gorgeous campsite at the Cranes Mill Park campground at Canyon Lake allowing us to easily explore San Antonio and the surrounding area, but weather and an appointment had us rearranging our February schedule.Canyon Lake

We had a wonderful time exploring San Antonio’s downtown: The Alamo and River Walk are sights not to be missed.  We would’ve loved to have experienced even more of this great city but weather and time were not on our side.

Projected inclement weather and an appointment in Phoenix had us on the road sooner than planned.  We had to prioritize our must see list and seeing the town of Fredericksburg was high on that list. We originally had the intention of spending several days in Fredericksburg, but since Mother Nature was not in a kind mood we’ll settle for a day trip.

LuckenbachThank you to all who commented or sent emails to me on things to see and do in the area.  Your recommendations were wonderful and we tried to take in as many sights as possible. What we didn’t have time for on this trip, we will definitely make time for on a future visit.

It’s a Wednesday morning and we get an early morning start for our 65 mile (105 Km) trek through the Texas hill country.  We take a series of country roads with a side stop at the small town of Luckenback, Texas.

Fredericksburg TexasLuckenbach is an out-of-the-way hill country place preserving a small piece of Texas history.  We pull up to the post office / general store / saloon (talk about multi-tasking) and are greeted by free roaming chickens.  We step inside the building and it’s like stepping back in hall

10 acres of rolling hill country surrounded by large oak trees, a couple of creeks, a dance hall, store, and beer joint is the perfect place to kick back and enjoy a festival; chili cook offs, a mud dauber festival, music fests, the annual Hug-in around Valentine’s Day are just a sampling of fun things to experience here in Luckenbach.

Waylan Jennings even wrote a song about going to Luckenbach to escape the rat race of city life and Willie Nelson has held a couple of 4th of July picnics here.  Since it’s a blustery winter morning, nothing much was happening except for a nice warm fire in the pot belly stove for Al, me and the 2 ladies working to stand near and chat while warming our hands.

Fun stop indeed, but Al and I were getting hungry.  We didn’t have any breakfast before heading out that morning and thus continued the trek to Fredricksburg.  It doesn’t take us long before we find the highly recommended “Old German Bakery” and indulge in some yummy pastries and coffee.  It did not disappoint and we left with a box filled with more delectable treats to take home and enjoy.Fredericksburg

We explore Main Street before heading over to the Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park checking out RV Parks along the way.  The municipal park offers RV parking as well as the Fredericksburg RV Resort and the Oakwood RV Resort.  All three look like they would work nicely for a future visit.  There is also a KOA Campground on the outskirts of town that I’m sure would also work.Fredericksburg

And then of course we have a little shopping to take in.  I’m always on the lookout for unique gifts for loved ones.  “Honey, do we have room……. ”

With that tidbit of business out of the way, we head on over to the Admiral Nimitz Museum and the National Museum of the Pacific War.  The museum honors the eight million Americans who served in World War II’s Pacific Rim against Japan.  Among those who served was a Fredericksburg native; Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz.museums in FredericksburgWar museum

Der LindenbaumUnfortunately time was not our friend that day and our museum tour was somewhat abbreviated and cut short by our growling stomachs and a quest to take in as many sights as possible.

We make note that the museum admittance is good for 48 hours, allowing guests to take their time visiting this special tribute.  We contemplate returning after lunch.

Fredericksburg has a strong German heritage and therefore German food is usually the popular choice with visitors.  Al and I consider lunch at Der Lindenbaum, another highly recommended restaurant, but for some reason we just weren’t in the mood for German food.

That morning while driving up and down Main Street getting a feel for this quaint hill country town, Al noticed a place at the far west end of Fredericksburg called Catfish Haven.FredericksburgIt appears Catfish Haven is a restaurant frequented by locals.  As patrons entered, the staff would routinely welcome guests by name as well as most of the diners all knew each other…..typical small town joint that we always get a kick out of.  And the food was delicious.  Yes, we had good ole fashioned fried catfish with a side of tater totes and hush puppies…..yum-mee!  We’ll start that cleanse next week….LOL.

Next up, we visit the LBJ Ranch…..Fredericksburg


55 thoughts on “The Hill Country

  1. Cranes Mill Park looks great. We haven’t been to Texas in years, but I remember really loving the Hill Country. Where are you headed next?

    • We’re in Phx now and just missed you guys when you were in Tombstone. We spent a week in Benson and explored the area. We really had a great time in Texas even though the weather wasn’t the greatest 🙂

  2. What great sights you took in while in the Hill Country. Thanks for the great tour. Our trip there was a bit of a whirlwind as well but we did spend quite a bit of time at the LBJ Ranch.

  3. For a quick visit, it looks like you hit the highlights. Hope you are hungry for German food the nest time. Der Lindenbaum is excellent
    LBJ Ranch is a treat. Paul and I had a wonderful visit. Be sure to take in all the “OLD” items in the kitchen of the “Texas White House.” I can remember so many items in my mom and dad’s house when I was growing up.

    • We got so caught up at the Sauer-Beckmann Farm with all the old things we started running out of time. I know next visit we’ll definite allow more time to take it all it. It was fun getting an overall tour of Fredericksburg so we know what to expect next time.

  4. Wow, thanks for the whirlwind tour! We’ve spent quite a bit of time in Texas, but not in the Hill Country — it’s definitely on our list. Got a laugh out of your reference to “Up” — it’s one of my favorite movies. 🙂

    • My daughter was the first one who told me I acted like that dog….”squirrel”. I call it multi-tasking LOL. I’ve been going back to your site and reviewing your Texas travels to see what we missed and should catch next time. Love your bird photography!

  5. What a fantastic journey! Your writing makes me want to visit. I love the little all purpose store in Luckenbach. Cute town! I’m sure I could spend tons of time looking around. My husband most definitely would enjoy the Pacific War Museum. Great post:)

    • I would definitely recommend Texas. There’s a great deal to see and do. Our next time through we hope to take advantage of all the state parks.
      Hey how about we send John and Al through the museum and we’ll go do ‘girl’ things? Those museums just can’t seem to grab my interest.

  6. I loved the photo of the post office come all else.. the “please do not strike firelighters in store” really had me smile…
    No other birds flying around… chickens and geese will do… certainly sounds like a place I’d return to… loving this trip…

  7. Did you hear any locals speaking German? I had at one time been told that area (which is several towns) is the largest German community outside of Germany. Will have to try and look that up to see if still true.
    I will look up the address of a hill country winery that I think is the best we have been to. Do not have experience with a lot of wineries. This one is in the back woods in the area you were at and very popular. Remind me if I do not get you the address.

    • There seems to be a lot of wineries in the area and some very pretty ones at that. We didn’t happen to hear anyone speak German but since it was a cold blustery day, the streets were pretty empty. I’m not sure it hit 40 degrees that day and with a cold wind it kept people inside. We look forward to coming back when it’s warmer!

  8. I look forward to our next visit to hill country. When your not in the mood for German it’s hard to go wrong with catfish. When I visit an area, one of my first questions is where do the locals eat. I much prefer the local dives with good food to the tourists places with just okay food at higher prices. Sounds like you found one.

    • The catfish was awesome and we totally agree about finding those local places. The hill country was definitely a fun stop, one we look forward to repeating 🙂

  9. I’ve read and seen enough of Hill Country that it’s the place to visit…whenever we get ready for that Texas haul…plan is to be able to take it ALL in….ha! Thanks for sharing your insight…especially the local hot spots. All calm in AL….finally beach weather. Lacking substance and motivation for a posting…soon the activity really heats up here with Mardi Gras, etc. Happy travels….C

    • Since you enjoy needle work, etc. you would probably enjoy this place. There’s a quaint country charm and hospitality. Next time through, we’ll plan at least a week so we can also get up to Enchanted Rock SP. Enjoy that beautiful Gulf weather 🙂

      • TX on our radar…just be lazy over there in LA. Had so many recent expenses with rig change, etc. and Mark’s exit plan got a bit weary.. Thinking about camphost (almost to late), troubled in going too far from Jerry’s mom, where to go for summer…just a mindful. Still time to rejuice…glad to be here figuring it out. Like feet stuck in mud! 🙂 Enjoy that SW…one day I’ll be reporting on it too 🙂

  10. The pacific war museum would hold great interest for me.
    Sunny here, in the 60’s yesterday and today there are birds chirping and I sense that I will actually survive this dreadful winter. You two drive safely and stay well.

    • They had a great model of the USS Nimitz that we really enjoyed. I was on the real deal when it was in port in Coronado years ago. Al could have spent the entire day at the museum.
      Glad to hear it’s warming up for you. 80 degrees today in Benson AZ

  11. Sorry we missed you while you were in San Antonio! We are on our way to Las Vegas this Saturday, stopping at Lake Pleasant Regional Park northwest of Phoenix for two nights, then we’re off to Lake Mead RV Village for five nights. We plan to see relatives in Henderson and Las Vegas, NV. How long will you be in Phoenix?

    • I would highly recommend a visit. Mar/Apr I hear is the time to visit. Fields of blue bonnets and other wildflowers to warm a gals heart. 🙂

  12. We have never been to Fredericksburg and the hill country area. So thank you for the preview for I know we will surely hit that way one day 🙂
    I was grinning the moment I saw your roosters and the ducks at the end. Why? Because we have seen a lot of those roosters at Key West and the ducks here at Davie. Looks like we are on the same bird track these days!

  13. Glad you enjoyed your visit and will look forward to your next post as well. I think the museum is so smart to allow visitor’s that 48 hour time-frame, as it actually helps to support the local businesses for food and shopping breaks while still giving visitors a good opportunity to take in all the museum has to offer without having to feel rushed. Sorry you didn’t get to eat German food, though! It’s pretty awesome there.

    • I still can’t believe how much we packed into one day. I look forward to a return visit when the blue bonnets are in bloom and we can also check out Enchanted Rock SP. Yes, one day was definitely not enough. We could have spent an entire day at the museum and another at the LBJ Ranch. We’ll try the German food next time 🙂

  14. Den and I will be at Crane’s Mill this Wednesday and stay for 2 weeks. Did you by any chance bury a bottle of wine at your site..we are just next door. Our Uncle Clarence was in the Pacific Theater during WWII and was in Tokyo harbor at the signing of the Peace Treaty..MacGyver and I need to get to that museum..Glad to hear it gives you 48 hours…Also glad you found Luckenback…During March, almost every Sunday afternoon you will find pickers and players doing their music in that old General Store..ya just gotta love that Texas Hill Country..(another fun place in Bandera, home of the Cowboys!)

    • Sure, I’ll give you the coordinates when you get there as to where to dig for that bottle of wine 😆 I already told Al I want to spend the month of March in Fredericksburg next year. I’ve got grand plans for Texas and hope there’s no return of that polar vortex cr*p. That sure put a damper on things, didn’t it! The weather is gorgeous here in AZ but I’m missing the Gulf. I don’t think I got my fill 🙂

  15. I love the ‘squirrel’ reference. We are of kindred spirits in that regard Ingrid. How wonderful that you can just move as you see fit. Did you have room to buy the large artistic windmill? 🙂

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