Hill Country Spring
Since my little car wouldn’t hold all of us, we rented a mini van for a couple days and headed off into the Texas Hill Country. The Hill Country is one of the prettiest places in Texas, as well as having a fascinating history.
Many of the early settlers here came from Germany, Czechoslovakia, and other parts of Europe in the middle of the 19th century. They were escaping the political and economic turmoil of the times, but they brought aspects of their culture with them that persist today. A few people still speak the dialect known as “Texas German,” and we still eat kolaches, delicious Czech pastries. We found so much to see and do in Fredericksburg and Johnson City that we never got around to touring the frescoed “Painted Churches” that are scattered around this area.
When your friends live in Mexico or Costa Rica, any trip can quickly turn into a shopping spree for stuff you can’t get outside the US. Fredericksburg is the perfect spot for this–we didn’t think we’d ever get Polly and Phoebe out of the Kitchen Store! We also spotted a strawberry farm that provided us with 5 # of luscious snacks for the next few days.
Just down the road from Fredericksburg is Johnson City, the boyhood home of President Lyndon Johnson. The LBJ National Historic Site includes his boyhood home in Johnson City as well as the LBJ ranch along the Pedernales River. There was too big a crowd for a guided ranger tour, so we walked through the boyhood home on our own.
This is wildflower season, and I have always heard about the Willow City Loop but had never driven it before. This area is all private land with a narrow road winding through, and visitors are advised not to stop on the road or block access. On the weekends in wildflower season it can turn into a huge traffic jam, but luckily we were there on a Wednesday and were able to gawk at the bluebonnets, prickly poppies, and other spring beauties without causing much trouble.
Not sure if this was meant to be a parade float, or just someone’s idea of humor, but we spotted the toaster in the Visitor Center parking lot in Fredericksburg. The butter-dish trailer is a nice touch.