It’s finally that time of the year, when we put up the outside lights, hang stockings on the electric fireplace, and wrap hugely expensive and exquisite presents that we’ve bought for our wives. Of course, nothing portrays the festive spirit of the season like a beautifully decorated leg lamp, and ours took center stage in our window complete with ornaments and a stocking cap. I am, as you can imagine, the envy of all of the men in the park. The women, not so much. Brenda’s been busy baking cookies, cakes, and cheesecakes, while I’ve been doing my part by sampling and offering important suggestions (more chocolate!). It’s a fun time,and we’ve been kept busy as we share some of our favorite places with our next-door friends Rollie and Carol. We took them on a shopping trip to Seguin to visit the Pape Pecan House, where you can buy any of six varieties of pecans (that’s pee-cans here in Texas), along with all types of nuts, spices, and jams. From there, we headed for Buc-ees’s, a beehive of activity along I-10 where we could load up on some delicious Kolache, filled with poppyseed, (my favorite), cream cheese, and various fruits. Buc-ee’s is a phenomenon, always packed with people, and with the most palatial bathrooms you’ll ever find at a roadside convenience store. Read about it here.
We decided a road trip North was in order, so off we went – first stop Blanco, where we had lunch at the bowling alley cafe that serves great burgers, fresh-cut fries, and best of all, pies with 6” of meringue. Don’t believe me? See here. Mightily fortified, we continued on to the LBJ Ranch, the “Western White House” during the administration of President Lyndon Johnson. An interesting place to visit, the ranch is now open to self-guided tours instead of the former bus tours, and you can now tour some of the rooms in the house itself. It’s a beautiful home, striking in the fact that it’s not at all pretentious, just a very comfortable and warm home. Outside, it was a little disturbing to see where Rudolph ended up during last year’s Christmas Eve deliveries – judging by his position on the tree he must have been going pretty fast when he overshot the roof and punched through this large oak. Don’t bring the kids here.
We always stop at Luckenbach when we’re in the area, and this time the little, very little, town was jumping in anticipation of the evening’s Cowboy Ball. It’s such an interesting place, and this time we watched as an informal sing-along began next to a warming fire.
Brenda surprised us all by volunteering to ride a local longhorn steer (it’s real, folks!), and by the look on it’s face it seems to be thinking “how much pie did this woman eat, anyway?”.
We continued on for a quick shopping visit to Fredericksburg, then headed back towards home, stopping at Johnson City to experience the lights in the local park. It’s an amazing scene, every tree is covered with thousands of lights, and they claim over a million lights total. Walking through the park is a magical experience we’ll remember for a long time.
Back home in the park, we also put on a light show, although on a much smaller scale. Brenda and I hope your Christmas lived up to all your dreams and that your new year starts on a positive and happy note. We’ll see you next year!