Second stop after landing in Houston and getting the rental car. Only second because we found a Quizno's first for Matt but I'm a Whataburger girl. Another good reason for loving Whataburger, above, not afraid to say what they think. That's one of the things about Texas that I love-they aren't afraid to put it out there. I am a Christian but also acknowledge and embrace all religions and I would respect any religion that speaks its mind in a kind way such as above. It said to me, "Welcome back home.".
We...as in Patrice, Molly, and I...were lucky enough to have the opportunity of the century to have a home to stay in while visiting Round Top and Marburger. My college roommate and bff and her husband have a weekend farm in the area and we got to stay there. Above is an idea of what Texas protection can be like!
The area is one of my favorites of mine, so dang beautiful.
This is where Lucas and Matt found me when they came to pick me up on Saturday, lounging on the pier overlooking the tank and surrounding beauty and being completely at peace.
Very Texas farm house-so beautiful and comfy-simply wonderful.
The bunkhouse. We got bumped up to the main house unfortunately because someone became ill and had to drop out. The main house is fab but we would not have suffered in the least here either.
Gorgeous bar, lounge, grill, fireplace, a really cool area they added...
...and bluebonnets everywhere.
Within an hour after my arrival we were ready for the Cowgirl Prom. Here I am with Patrice. I was sooooooo late with getting Matt settled in College Station and Lucas, Kristen, and I getting lost for a couple of hours trying to find the farm so they could drop me off for the two days I spent there.
Molly looks beautiful and perfectly fits her favorite era, does she not?!
The big moment I'd been waiting so long for...to meet my stalkees, The Junk Gypsies! They hosted the prom and look how decked out they are! They are also boasting the necklaces that I brought to them as gifts to, hopefully, remember me by. They are modern day Marie Antoinettes!!!
Even their helpers are as cute as can be.
Okay, so only half of us paid attention but if you could have seen what was going on around us you would be impressed that we got this photo at all; it was mayhem in the best possible way.
In JG's photo booth...daytime photo and more of the booth itself later.
Loved this-the Round Top version of those little vibrator things they give you at a restaurant-either a great pinata like we got or a stuffed animal. Everything here is made fun.
Too cute-A Couple Of One Night Stands!!!!!!!!!
The "boys" everyone wanted to have their photos taken with. You can't imagine how many-yes straight-men were dressed in pink cowboy hats, dresses, and all manner of hilarity.
A great group of moms and daughters.
This is Cash, one of the JG's sons. He's five and plays, yep, the trombone! It was hard to believe he could even pick it up to his lips but he played it too! Look at him in his little boots and Junk Gypsies t-shirt. Hovla is the last of the three girls for me to find for my three sons. Lucas has Kristen, Justin has...ummm...not at liberty to say at this point, then I found Hovla here at Round Top for Matt. Look how cool she is in her vintage Brownies dress, boots, and bling. Matt (12) thought it was a little icky that she was only 10 but I assured her he would be just fine with it in a few years.
Here we are in the daylight in the photo booth. I wanted y'all to get a good look at the booth as it had a previous life as a...can you guess?
Not going to give too many details here, these are just a few random photos of the many, many, endless booths. I was only there for prom night and all day Friday and I just saw the tip of the ice burg-you have to see it to believe it. Patrice and Molly, more hardy and not so close to their hometowns, had already cruised some cool shops in Austin before getting there then spent three full days exploring most of the Round Top/Marburger offerings then back to Austin for more cool shopping. Whew, now they know how to make the most of a trip!
Okay, wipe the drool away for the next portion-my hometown visit.
Above, the Hoover (pronounced Hoova, like the British, as it should be...I'll be doing a lot of "hoovaing") I got at Round Top. Having spent my money in Round Top, the only thing left to do was "curb" shop. On a walk to the park with the dogs, Matt, Justin, and I found the wavy folding chair, old drawer, and, below, the cute wicker chair.
I thought this wicker chair looked perfect, not a nick on it and painted my fave color but it did not make the first test trial so became a cute front porch planter for the kids with Mom's addition of moss and plants. Still definitely worth the carrying home.
THIS is the bridge I thought I'd found last time but hadn't. I won't bore you with the long, simplistic story of it except to say it brings back wonderful memories of childhood and I was very happy to find it again.
Chillin' in the beautiful weather after a long, wonderful walk to the park with the dogs. Total bliss. I think I really was in the middle of saying "cheese".
The Queen Theater. A historic site but not for too good a reasons. I can't believe it's still standing. The owner committed suicide in the theater and it was open for decades after-one screen-of course. It was always creepy to be there but that's where they showed the horror movies that Becky (coming soon) loved to see so I would go along and spend most of the time with my hands over my eyes. Caveat: I got an email from Becky telling me that it was her great uncle Sam who owned the Queen and killed himself in the office there! She'd never known it until now when she spoke to her brother, Sam, about this. My favorite landmark, The Carnegie Library. It was replaced with a new building long ago and is just a historic site that was restored a few years ago. I bought a piece of the original column during a trip there several years ago; it's one of my most prized posessions. Caveat: Becky also told me that her great grandfather was the first mayor of Bryan and the one who dedicated this library when it opened! We have a good friend, Betty Ann, whose dad was mayor when we were growing up there. Her cousin is now mayor I found out through the newspaper and who knows how many Conlees there have been in between and perhaps Betty Ann some day...?
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, the church I grew up in pretty much every Sunday of my life. My parents were very involved in the church. My dad and his best friend were the backbone for a couple of decades there. Everywhere I looked I saw something that my dad had built or designed with his own hands.It's so beautiful inside and out and fills my heart 'til overflowing.
And I found childhood friends there. Above are Robert, the older brother of a good friend and my first crush with an older man-me, 6th grade, him, 8th grade. He married my childhood friend Elaine and they have been together for 28 years and have a wonderful son, Dustin, who just finished his committment in the service after three tours in Iraq. Elaine, again on the left, and her sister, Melanie, right, give the service in the children's chapel. Our families were best friends growing up-very close like cousins. We took vacations together, did everything together. They had six children, five girls and one boy. Kurt was lost at 24 to cancer. We met when I was four so it's been a while.
Umm...once related to me, Greg was my sister's husband when I was 13-17. He joined the church when he and my sister were married there. He and his wife and children have been the backbone of the church for at least the 30-something years they've been married.
One of the cool places I've been reading about since I get the hometown paper in the mail daily, The Village Cafe'.
We ate there twice while we were there. They serve only organic and locally grown produce and it tastes delicious!!!
It's also an art gallery as you can see and they provide big couches and great reading material to relax and enjoy at your leasure. Above, if you click on the pic to make it bigger you'll see the joke...they are all nearby towns...I love it. Just a great place to eat and hang out.
Lucas and Kristen happy and relaxed after a meal at the Cafe'. Gotta put another pic of Justin but here he is "fresh" from a day in the body shop at the dealership. He's talking to a friend from Maryland, Daniel, when I took this.
Another of the "kids", Texas well-beloved cat in a house with three dogs...I can kind of relate.
Matt fell in love with B/CS after making fun of me every time I would go off on one of my hometown tangents. He's hooked now. Jane, my sis's bff and our whole family friend and fellow St. Andrew's member, me, Glen, and Becky, from childhood.
Jane, soooooooooo special. A teacher working with autistic and aspburger's children, which tells you a lot about her and her heart. She's also a rancher, quarterhorses, throughbreds, and donkeys. The donkeys are her passion. I'll let y'all know when I get her blog set up for her.Did I say Robert was my first crush? I lied. It was always Glen since first grade. Can you see it? Tommy Lee Jones-oh yeah. And just a great guy and friend after all these years.
I had a friend, Lisa, from 1st grade until she moved away in 3rd grade. In 2nd grade we became friends with Becky, above. After Lisa moved away Becky and I were inseparable for many, many years; well, always, really. She went away to school in late junior high so it was just vacations and some summertime. We've kept in on/off touch since, meeting our children when babies, younger, and now. She's a true bff after 47 years, doesn't that qualify? She's just amazing. She's had a book-worthy life, both good and not so good, and has the most (again, so what?) amazing outlook on life. "Happiness is always an option." , is her favorite saying and a choice that she makes constantly. What a great influence, heart, being, friend to be with. I dare you to try to be grumpy around her, she'd never notice, and you'd never notice that moment when she's turned your mood completely around seamlessly. If you see me grumpy or moody, slap me and send me to this post so I can remember exactly how blessed I am when I forget. How blessed can one person be? Well I can only show you a little of what I have to fill my heart, you'll have to imagine how wonderful it is to feel it completely.