As I have mentioned before, our two single children always find us wherever we roam and the week of March 12th was Bill’s daughter Sarah’s turn! After relaxing and catching up upon her arrival, we geared up for a full schedule the following day.
Our next door neighbor, Larry, has continually recommended breakfast spots – none of which has disappointed, and our stop at the Chess Club Cafe in Blanco , Texas, was no exception. Where but in Texas would you encounter a rather rustic looking house structure nestled in between a Sonic and a Dollar General out in the middle of virtually nowhere? And accompanying diners on the porch were two hungry chickens! Although our server, Tucker, asked us not to feed our new friends, the adults sitting next to us just couldn’t resist – and, yes, I did say “adults.” The breakfast was indeed delicious – as you can tell from the half-eaten plates – a highlight being the homemade bread.
Since it was still relatively early, we decided to stop in downtown Fredericksburg before hitting a winery. This week was spring break for most schools in Texas, so the town was really hopping, but we made our way up one side and down the other, stopping in some very interesting shops. Ah, to be a cowgirl!
Our final stop of the day was at Grape Creek Vineyard, one of the many vineyards in the Fredericksburg area. On our way there we did make a spontaneous stop at an interesting place named Magnolia Pearl. Housed in a gorgeous barn-style building, created from reclaimed wood and including various unique architectural effects, the store is the flagship for a very high-end clothing store! All of the clothing is composed of vintage fabrics and laces and is displayed throughout the two-story building in very creative ways. We enjoyed the browse as we wondered who exactly comprises the Magnolia Pearl clientele!
Finally, we landed at Grape Creek Vineyard, ready for a tasting. After passing the “welcome” sign – complete with gun instructions, we each tried six different wines, the selections ranging from sweet to dry and including several dessert varieties. Based on our preference, we then enjoyed a full glass of our favorite. We had hope to purchase a snack to accompany our wine but they stop serving food an hour and a half before the wine tastings end for the day – not a real effective marketing approach! But never fear! Bill went into the gift/wine shop and bought cheese, crackers, and salami and we created our own charcuterie – and delicious it was!
Thursday morning we traveled to yet another breakfast place – this one a repeat for me and Bill. Remember Baldy’s Classic American Diner in Lavernia – where you get 2 eggs, bacon, hash browns and a pancake for a whopping $5.00! Sarah enjoyed it as much as we did and we decided to stop at Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard on our way back to San Antonio. I have blogged about this previously, but it is 122 acres of olive trees which are harvested every year in late summer into early fall. Their products range from olive oil to bug repellent and soap and from skin care oil to dirty martini mix! After several purchases, we headed back to the city.
Our afternoon was spent at Garcia Art Glass in Southtown, again a location I have written about, but this stop never gets old; in fact, today it was actually amazing! Visitors are welcome to sit and watch the glass blowers at work and today they were working on a commissioned project for the Diocese of San Antonio. They were creating nine huge jugs with wonderfully ornate toppers that were each going to hold 15 gallons of holy oil, scheduled to be ready for this coming Palm Sunday.
In my previous blog about Garcia Art Glass I likened the creation to a choreographed dance, with each dancer playing his or her part. Well, today it was more like a very challenging surgery being performed by a team of doctors. Today there were 6 people involved in the creation of a tremendously heavy jug that was molded with expertise and enthusiasm to the point where all of the players, as well as the spectators, erupted in applause as the jug was completed and gently placed in an oven for 16 hours in order to “cool down” and solidify – it’s all relative! We stayed to watch the team make one of the jug toppers that were beautiful and multi-colored, and we are even thinking about attending Palm Sunday mass at the San Fernando Cathedral to see the jugs in action!
Our visit with Sarah ended way too soon, but we certainly experienced some unique aspects of San Antonio and the surrounding area. Never a dull moment and we enjoyed every piece of it – especially spending the time with Sarah!
Stay Calm and Travel On…