Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hill Country Hideaway

"Old Friends" - William Martin

About an hour and a half west of Austin is one of our favorite weekend getaways – Fredericksburg, Texas.   This year for Christmas, we rented the Adams Travis House.  Built in the late 1800s and originally located on the San Antonio River Walk, the structure was taken apart stone by stone and relocated to Fredericksburg in 1985 when in danger of being demolished.

This lovely stone cottage was very charming indeed.  With 16” stone walls throughout, the rustic home made me feel like I had taken a step back in time. 

View into the living room

View toward back of living room

Yet, we had all the modern amenities. Arriving on Christmas Eve, the cottage was decorated inside and out with multi-colored Christmas lights, creating a warm, festive environment to celebrate the holiday.

To our surprise there was a fully stocked kitchen.  Had we known, we would've brought groceries with us to cook a Christmas meal. 

After unpacking, we made our first planned stop at the Fredericksburg Herb Farm.  As you might imagine, The Fredericksburg Herb Farm grows its own herbs.  But, they have so much more.

The compound includes a restaurant, day spa, cabins, gift shop, garden and farm. 

The gift shop had a wonderful array of homemade herbal body lotions, bath gels and more.  The scent as we entered inside the shop was simply divine! Christmas ornaments, garden art and essential oils were also featured. 

I found a Santa by Nobility to add to my Christmas collection, which had a secret compartment.

We toured the garden and decided a return trip in the Spring would be a must to see everything blooming.

I found the perfect tree for the Texas drought, one that needs no watering, of the iron variety.

We opted for an early dinner at the Herb Farm's restaurant called the Farm Haus Bistro. 

We knew we were in for some tasty treats when we sampled the homemade focaccia bread and herb butter. The delicious bread was extra crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside.  Gene is still talking about that bread!

We chowed down on our entrees so fast, that there was no time for picture taking.  Gene had the bacon-wrapped meatloaf with garlic mashed potatoes and a fresh spinach and mushroom medley, which was very tasty. 
I selected the cheeseburger, topped with fresh greens, and French fries.  As hamburger connoisseurs, Gene and I both agreed that the cheeseburger's high quality beef had an excellent flavor and was out-of-sight good!

After our meal, we drove into town to tour the art galleries.  Our first stop was Whistle Pik Gallery, and although it was closed for the holidays, Gene managed to introduce himself to the one and only President Ronald Reagan.  He really is larger than life!


The Fredericksburg Good Art Company featured work by a Texas artist, Judy Gelfert, whose hill country impressionist landscapes I liked very much.  
"Creekside" - Judy Gelfert

At Galeria 19, a new art gallery on Main Street, Gene’s attention was captured by the work of William Martin from San Miguel de Allende, who painted “Old Friends” (at the top of this blog).  Gene also really liked William Martin’s “Still Life”. 
"Still Life" - William Martin

The piece I was most captivated by at Galeria 19 was “San Miguel Series #093” by Rhea Gary.  I was immediately drawn to the entire series, but this work stood out as my favorite.

"San Miguel Series #093" - Rhea Gary

Art is so subjective, and we had a great time expressing our tastes and preferences, as well as drinking in the warm hospitality of the gallery owners and employees.  With our creative appetite sated, we headed back to our home away from home. 
As the fire blazed in the fireplace, Gene read his book and I quilted.   Together we enjoyed the peaceful stillness and joy of Christmas in the Hill Country.

Luke 2:10-14
10  And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, saying,
14  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Peace on Earth, Y'all!