Thursday, October 28, 2010

Gonzales, Fredericksburg, Austin, Brenham, OH MY! :)

Well, last weekend I took off by myself to rejuvinate after a LONG, TIRING week. No drama, no nothing...Just me and the open road.

I began last weekend in Gonzales, Texas where the first battle of the Texas Revolution took place! It's about an hour East of San Antonio. I didn't know if I should wager it but I took a gamble and ROCKED IT!
I came to Gonzales because of a write-up in Texas Highways on the Gonzales Food Market, serving great barbeque. They are most known for their ribs because they cook them in the oven after barbequeing the meat. It leaves the outside of the ribs CRUNCHY and man, oh, man is it good!
Upon entering the restaurant you see what appears to be a smart grocery mart on the left. It's where you pick up your bbq to go and then hit the chips, candy and soda aisles. But I decided to stay to the right of the counter and eat here.
I got the pork ribs. They had an abundance of choices for sides...I had a really hard time choosing! But I stayed true to bbq tradition and did the beans and chose corn for my veggie. The ribs had too much fat on it for my taste. I like my cut VERY LEAN but it was more expensive. Since I didn't plan on eating too much I figured I could just find the regular meat on these. The outside pieces were so delicious, with that extra crunch. Yummy! The people at the restaurant were very nice. When I sat down the tv was on the Michigan St game and was NOT on the UT game!! I asked the cashier and then the other eaters if I could change the channel and they all said "YES!" then helped find the channel. Lol it was fun to see that everyone kinda started talking to each other then about how the team was doing that day. Love that Texas friendliness!!
While in Gonzales, I stopped at the Sam Houston Oak that was also in the same article with the Food Market. It's not marked, so I used to Google to help me find where the Oak would be (about 10 miles outside of town). The marker here was placed in 1936 for the Centennial celebration of Texas Independence. This marker was right off the highway.
Here's a shot of this small marker on the open highway...Lol, I hate that Gonzales doesn't have more support to showcase our amazingly brave history!
The Sam Houston Oak is in front of this property/house, the McClure-Braches House. The property is closed off but there were people walking around on the porch...
The proposed sight of the Sam Houston Oak. Here, Sam Houston led the families of Gonzales on foot to get out of town because he knew Santa Anna would be there soon. To help from giving them extra resources he ordered Gonzales burned to the ground. The families were taken Southwest, knowing that the Mexican Army would take no mercy on ANYONE, as known by word of the Battle of the Alamo where all women and children were killed, except for Susana Dickinson, sent as a messenger back to Sam Houston.
I think it's terribly sad that this historic property is closed to the public!!!
I just loove these Oak trees. They are so majestic!!
The good part of this is I had plenty of time to make it to Fredericksburg AND there were two other cars pulled up here, so I didn't feel extremely creeped out in the middle of nowhere.
So, after Gonzales, I took off to Fredericksburg (about 2 hours Northwest). My GPS took on back roads (yay! because San Antonio and Austin have HORRIBLE traffic). I got some good pictures of the lovely Texas Hill Country.
Finally, in the early afternoon, I made it to the Fredericksburg Food and Wine Festival. I had never been to one of these and was a bit nervous (lol, I'm weird, I know this). I just didn't know how they worked and what the courtesies were. The entrance was $20 and it came with a souvenir wine glass and enough tickets for 3 tastings or 1 full glass of wine.
There were also two long tents full of vendors selling sweets, olive oils, cheese and jewelry. Here was a toffee company that I loved their white chocolate cranberry toffee, so I purchased a small bag for $6.
The festival was in the Marketplace or Marktplatz in the native German language of Fredericksburg. This is the Vereins Kirche that is part of the Pioneer Museum. This part of the museum is free to the public so I went inside for a short time. It was actually closing so I did a quick walk-around but it wasn't very big so it didn't really make a big difference.
Historical marker!! :) The history of the community is well represented here with lots of photos and artifacts from the past century or two. The most fun thing here was the wholly mammoth tusk found by a boy scout on a campout!!!!
Around the Marktplatz is this beautiful garden area. The water wheel turns and makes a very peaceful running water sound. If it weren't for all the people behind me as I took this picture I could have stayed and written in my journal here for hours.
This was the wine area. About 15 wineries were around the edges. Tastings were 2 tickets and full glasses were 6. There were only Texas wineries here, so it was very nice to taste local wines. Each of the 4 glasses I tasted were wonderful.
Llano Estacado has a white wine that I loved the most. I went to buy a bottle for the rest of the night but you had to go to a different tent and bring back a ticket and blah, blah I couldn't find the tent and I just gave up. It's not like a travel with a corkscrew anyways.
Far away of the tent area...while the wine tastings were behind me where I was taking the picture.
Tried the Brennan Vineyards...yummy.
A lovely view of the Vereins Kirche...and the statue is of the founder of Fredericksburg.
And siiiiiiiiince I was just beside the Main Street shopping area I had to endulge. ;)
I had never been in Earthbound before. Found lots of great, outrageous earrings for $3 and LOTS of OUTRAGEOUS glasses and costume-y stuff for our Red Day at school for Red Ribbon Week. It was fabulous :)
While the stores were closing I got a nice shot of the old bank at sundown.
One of the most plain County Courthouses in Texas, I believe. We usually have such intricately designed.
I love the plaques honorly the fallen men who have died for our country in the different wars. I may not always live in Texas, but Texas will always live in me! For anyone who reads this who knows of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of our citizens my heart thanks them tremendously!
Signs says it all but I don't know much about the building or what goes on here, I'm sure I'll discover it next time :) But still loved the building.
Beautiful tree trunk art!!!!!
When the shops closed in Fredericksburg I headed towards Austin where I planned to spend the night. Found the Barton Creek Mall. Shopped at Macys and Dillards and found 4 more dresses Lol addicteddddddddddd
Stayed the Hampton Inn by the Airport again, since it was the cheapest in the area. Love my Hampton Inn!! Got stuck in traffic while heading to Brenham the next day, so I started taking pics lol. DORK!!
I went to Brenham to eat at It Must be Heaven, a fun restaurant that friends have recommended and also advertised in TX Hwys. But, it's in the downtown area which has LOTS of fun shops. So to build up my appetite I thought I'd do some shopping first. :) At Fancy That I found a lot of jewelry and Indian-type items.
But in one rooms they had all these glass ornaments! It completely put me in the Christmas spirit so I ended up getting my grandma, dad, and Jimmy a Christmas ornament gift.
Then my FAVORITE stop was the Hermann General Store for their homemade CRAFTS. I actually found some GREAT, original UT stuff here. Got a picture frame and gifts for Heather, my UT partner in crime.
Then I found this booth with lots of ADORABLE fall crafts and the prices were SOOOOO CHEAP. I asked if they took American Express and they said YES, so I ended up getting some yard signs, UT stuff, and more. I loved it.
Then it was time for a late lunch at Must Be Heaven.
The menu was FANTASTIC with soups, salads and sandwiches. This side of the place was the restaurant but there was also another area on the right for the soda fountain. I came in at 2pm when they said it was closing at 3. By 2:30 they were turning people away and vaccuming while I was eating. The staff was really ghetto and I didn't appreciate that very much. But, bad service didn't stop the fun atmosphere at first, and the yummy food. I bet it's much better during the main times of being open.Then, after lunch, I took some more time to explore the downtown area. Found the courthouse... Interesting plaque that you hardly even see when walking by!!
Then I headed to the Rose Emporium that was also advertised in the TH October Issue. It was a beautiful place, but I'm not a gardener, so others may appeciate it even more. It's actually in the city of Independence that is about 10 miles outside of Brenham...but definitely worth the drive. Just make sure you have gas, because there are no stations out here!! The gravel parking lot. Cute entrance, huh?
Cute posts help you get around the area.
This is a chapel that holds weddings here. It's closed to the public visiting the Emporium but was nice for pictures and walking around the garden area.
Butterflies!! I think this is the middle of the Southern Migration for our Monarch Butterflies so there were so many in the area.
The gazebo where weddings are also held. Very pretty area...
Dun.....dun, dun dun....(The wedding song lol).
The fun Water Garden...but the water was kinda merky lol...Not good for the effect.
Loved the windmill in the picture. This was more the area to actually buy flowers. And here was where the workers were that offered to help me find some merchandise. I just have no green thumb...
My favorite rose that I found that day!!

And my favorite shot was the garden shot with the pond and Peter Rabbit's home.
Overall, I had a FANTASTIC weekend away. It was just what I needed since the school year is kinda rough this year.