This past Saturday, we decided to gas up the car, load up the boys and head for Fredericksburg, the ersatz capital of the Texas hill country. These local trips are often tinged with melancholy as I see what used to be acres and acres of ranch and farmland converted into gated developments with names like Vista Pointe, Highland Villas, Bel Terra and other linguistic anomalies. I can't fault the farmers and ranchers for taking good money when they've got hardscrabble land and tough living. I don't blame the towns for enjoying the economic perks and a more stable tax base. All the same, I'm sad to see hard evidence of what has been happening for decades: fewer and fewer family ranches and farms and the slow motion fade of real cowboy culture.
But, hey, let's stomp grapes! It was the annual Becker Vineyards Grape Stomp (yes, we make wine in Texas. Well, we try.). And that leads to lunch at the Rather Sweet Bakery where you better not to fill up too much on lunch so you'll have a big spot for dessert.(this isn't dessert, it's soap. Really.)
Afterwards, skip the candle and country furnishings shops for a bit of culture. And that would be the National Museum of the Pacific War. My dad was in the Marines and we bonded while watching The World at War during the late 70s, so I enjoy this osmotically. Let's see, here's a really big propeller.And then, there's the surprisingly lovely Japanese Peace Garden where boys can ponder how best to catch koi with their bare hands:Okay, Huck Finn they ain't, but they're mine.
There was a slight detour to Stonehill Spinning where I picked up some cream alpaca and black llama for spinning and a couple of Cushing dyes. Pix to come.
On the way back, we skipped the opportunity to visit a Texan president's ranch and just enjoyed the scenery and the local highlights.
I got plenty of time to knit up a hand spun/hand dyed merino/silk scarf which I plan to overdye and give away.
And that's another story...