Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Good Bye Rockport, Hello Hill Country, Wildflowers Galore

Neither Rick nor I sleep well the night before we travel. We both toss and turn, check the clock, roll over a hundred times and try to remember all the things we need to do in the morning before leaving. Usually, around 5:00 AM we both conk out only to realize a couple hours later that it's time to get up! Such was the case for us Saturday night. We were leaving Estes RV Resort on Sunday morning. Once we dragged ourselves out of bed, poured some coffee into us, said more good-byes (carried over from Saturday night) and finally hitched up the Jeep, we pulled out at the crack of 10:45 AM :)

We were headed for the Hill Country of Texas; our destination: Canyon Lake, just northeast of San Antonio. Our trip was uneventful and we arrived at Potter’s Creek COE park around 2:30 PM. This is a nice sized park on Canyon Lake with approximately 50-60% of their sites non-reservable. In other words, it’s first come, first served. We figured that if we arrived on a Sunday afternoon, the weekend warriors would have just left and maybe we could score a lake front site :)  And that we did!

Lucy is nicely tucked into her spot.P1010286

Our view from the side/picnic table areaP1010283

Our view out the front

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The only thing we are missing is some trees! There are no trees in our loop. In fact, there are very few trees in any part of the park. I found that strange but as long as we’re on the water, I won’t complain. The plan is to stay here for 1-2 weeks and explore the greater San Antonio area.

We slept well that night and Monday morning we took off to explore Old Town Gruene (pronounced Green). The roadsides and fields are just loaded with wildflowers! I tried, unsuccessfully, to take a few shots while Rick was driving and the result was this blur :)

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Gruene, originally called Goodwin, was settled by German farmers. Henry D. Gruene established a large cotton farming operation here in the 1870’s and the town became known as Gruene in 1903. A boll weevil infestation occurred in 1925 and that marked the beginning of the decline of Gruene. In the 1970’s, restoration efforts began and in 1975, Gruene was put on the national register of historic places.

Gruene is a quaint little town of shops and restaurants all within approximately a 2 block area. This is where I saw the largest wind chime I’ve ever seen! In the picture below, you see the size of the tree and a smaller, large wind chime to the right. That’s not the one!

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Due to the color of the wind chime and the color of the tree bark, it’s difficult to see the really, really BIG one! It’s a little easier in the close-up below. You really must see it to appreciate the size of this thing! I was tempted to buy one but I figured that wouldn’t be a nice thing to do to our neighbors :) Besides that, we have no trees!!

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As we walked the town, we came upon this magnificent flowering tree.

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A close-up of the blossom. We thought it might be some type of Azalea tree…

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but thankfully, the answer was provided for us :)

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There was no fruit, only the blossoms, but what a beauty she was!

We visited several of the shops while we wandered. One of them had quite the display of red-neck wine glasses!

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If you remember one of my previous posts about Arts and Crafts for Crazy Old People, you’ll remember that some of us made our own version of the Red Solo Cup wine glass. Well, we should go into business! These Red Solo Cup glasses sold for $19.99!

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And these Redneck wine glasses were priced at $29.99!

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I don’t know about you, but a few supplies from the dollar store and I could be in business! Winking smile

Next up, the Gruene Hall.

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One of the oldest dance halls in Texas!

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We wandered right on in…this is the front bar area.

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The back dance hall area

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Carvings made into the wood tables

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No comfort here…strictly wooden benches and tables…

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There was even a stage for live entertainment…of which there was plenty.

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Once we finished wandering, we stopped for lunch at the Gristmill restaurant.

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No photos of the food, which was delicious, but this was our view from where we sat. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but the Guadalupe River is right below, through those trees.

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On our way home, we stopped to take a few more shots of the beautiful, beautiful wildflowers.

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Although I lived in Texas for several years, I never had the opportunity to visit the Hill Country and had never seen the beautiful Bluebonnets that I saw this day.

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On top of the gorgeous flowers, there was an amazing flowering tree. Anyone know what it is?

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One last Blue bonnet photo.

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I think we’re going to like it here. Thanks for stopping by Turtle

12 comments:

  1. I agree with you. It's very nice to be near the water. Enjoy!
    syl

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  2. Oh I would love to have been with you for all those wildflowers. So beautiful! Looks like a great place to be.

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  3. I think you're right, you have found a great area to like. Have fun!

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  4. Nice site and beautiful flowers. Hope the storms missed you today! We'll be in Texas next week, a bit nervous about the stormy weather.

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  5. The PERFECT place! No TREES! I put that on the list for parks. The flowers are talked about the most when it's this time of year. I'm glad you got the chance to see them. I hope you'll stay safe from the storms.

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  6. Bonnets for you; bells for us. :-)))
    This campground gets pinned along with your strategy to score a lake front site. What a great place. A few trees would be great, but like you, I won't complain as long as I have the view.

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  7. I have been following your blog for over a year now and my wife and I hope to follow in your footsteps when we retire in a few years. But what a coincidence I have been working in San Antonio the last couple of months and my wife flew down this last weekend. We went to Gruene on Saturday. Saw Gruene Music Hall, the wind chimes ate at the Gristmill and made the shops. Have fun in San Antonio. Jeff and Stella

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  8. Oh my! I'm afraid that wind chime may violate the "quiet hours" rule in a lot of campgrounds. :-)

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  9. I am so glad you are back on the road and taking us to visit this beautiful places;o))

    Love, Love, Love, the Wildflowers!!

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  10. Love the bluebonnets! Could that tree be a forsythia? Take lots more photos for us!

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