Thursday, April 7, 2016


The rainy weather leaving Lampasas, Texas, may have slowed down Lucy & Ethel’s car speed, but it didn’t dampen our shopping spirits. We were eager to get to Boerne and the George Strait Team Roping Classic, but we couldn’t resist distributing a few more greenbacks along the Texas back roads.
Following Highway 281, our first stop that Thursday (March 10) was The Pottery Ranch in Marble Falls (, where Annette bought a small metal bluebonnet and had it shipped home. Continuing to Johnson City, we picked up 290 toward Fredericksburg. We had spent considerable time and money there last year, so we figured we’d just drive straight through. But we went at it from a different direction this trip, so saw some things we missed in 2015.

A model Sunday House

We stopped at a Sunday House model home, where a sign proclaimed that you could have this “historical handcrafted” home built on your own site. The original Sunday Houses were built by early settlers who lived on remote farms and ranches and needed a place to stay when they came to town for Saturday marketing and Sunday church. Some originals are open for occasional tours and others serve as bed-and-breakfasts. I’m guessing that the new versions are being marketed toward the tiny homes movement. (For more info go to

Our next stop was the Messina Hof Winery in Fredericksburg (, where I did a wine tasting. I bought their Paulo Texas limited-edition red blend, their Papa Paulo Port, and a box of dark chocolate truffles infused with port and molded into the shape of a tiny cluster of grapes. Note to self and other wine aficionados: Don’t buy wine and chocolates until the end of your road trip. The wine and port barely survived, and the chocolates melted into unrecognizable blobs.
A few blocks down the road we stopped at Wildseed Farms (, a garden center that specializes in bluebonnets.  It’s the largest working wildflower farm in the nation, and includes walking trails through the production fields and gardens, a nursery, Biergarten, wine tasting and gift shop. We ate a light lunch, then wandered through the indoor shop, buying bluebonnet seeds and some small garden trinkets. It was still raining, so we couldn’t really peruse the trails or get good photos.

We took Highway 16 from Fredericksburg to Kerrville, arriving mid-afternoon. I was in the mood for a pastry, so we popped into the Hippie Chicks Bakery off Main Street. After our snack, we visited Creations, a quilt shop Annette had discovered via the internet ( She bought four quilt patterns and wads of fabric, while I purchased gray socks with horses on them and a book called “Texas Curiosities,” by John Kelso, updated and revised by Sharry Buckner. It features quirky characters, roadside oddities and other off-beat stuff. I read a few paragraphs in the shop and found Kelso, a longtime humor columnist for the Austin American-Statesman, to be a witty writer. I think it would be fun to do an Alabama version.

Creations has been owned by sisters Kathy Thompson and Julie Milam for 38 years. In addition to their shop, they have a building next door called The Main House, where they hold classes and three-day quilting retreats. It has an upstairs lodging area with 24 beds in six bedrooms, nine full baths, plus the downstairs sewing studio.
It will look even better framed and hanging on my wall.
My greatest find of the trip was at the River’s Edge Art Gallery ( in Kerrville. Annette had purchased a colorful print of two longhorns in a field of bluebonnets at the Wildseed Farm. Imagine my delight upon discovering several originals by the same artist, Katherine McElwaine, who painted the original of Annette’s print. I bought an unframed one, and inquired about commissioning a larger piece to go over my fireplace. I’m waiting until I’ve recuperated from travel expenses before proceeding.

While in Kerrville I looked up a fellow member of the National Federation of Press Women. Bonnie Arnold, a staff writer for the Hill Country Community Journal, took a few minutes between assignments to meet us for a Coke and conversation. After Bonnie left, Annette and I had dinner at the H-E-B, a San Antonio-based grocery store chain with locations throughout Texas. Then we headed to Boerne via I-10 East and checked into our hotel.

Annette likes the GSTRC grand prize.
My next installment of Texas Road Trip 2016 will be a yippie-ki-yay from the George Strait Team Roping Classic in Boerne. Lucy and Ethel had too many adventures, big and small, to put this trip into one or two blogs. Meanwhile, here’s a little photo tease for you Strait fans.

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