I'm sure just about everyone reading this knows the state flower of Texas is the bluebonnet. And that Lady Bird Johnson sowed the seeds of wildflowers throughout the state, along highways and byways, and everywhere in between. But until you see them in person, in solid blue patches that look like pools of water or covering a field for as far as you can see, you just have no idea how breathtakingly beautiful the bluebonnet is.
Our weekend road trip was supposed to take us ultimately to Kerrville, home of Great-Aunt Ruth. Kerrville is out in the Hill Country about an hour west of San Antonio and about 4 hours away from home. However, Aunt Ruth had a suspected case of shingles this week (yikes!) so we had to alter our plans.
First stop, Brenham. About an hour and a half away is the original home of Blue Bell Creameries which has been around since 1907. After passing the retirement home (we made a reservation for Papa), we took the tour of the creamery, watching the ice cream squirt into cartons and wind its way through the freezer and into packaging. It was just long enough for the kids at about 40 minutes and concludes with a scoop of ice cream of your choice. Dutch Chocolate for the girl and Daddy, Cookies n' Cream for the boy, and Blackberry Cobbler for me. I shared a few bites with William who was ecstatic. (Phones and cameras not allowed inside so no pictures!)
Then it was off to Austin through the off-and-on rain but it didn't damper my excitement over seeing the blue bonnets in person. Incredible. Rebekah wanted to walk through them for miles. Ben wanted to pick up rocks from the gravel drive. If I could only get my kids to all look at the camera at the same time we'd be in business! Still, our first annual bluebonnet picture wasn't completely awful and the view was amazing!
The weather prevented us from doing much in Austin but I did enjoy seeing another Texas city and one that is entirely different from Houston or San Antonio. It's very hilly, hippie, and eclectic. I can't wait to go back and explore the trails and the wildflower gardens, the shopping, and all the history and art museums. Our hotel was in the middle of a great shopping area and all I ended up doing was running into Old Navy for 20 minutes while D occupied the kiddos. Still--a dressing room by myself and leaving with a few new shirts and a pair of shorts (for my mom uniform), not too shabby. The kids enjoyed swimming in the indoor pool and seeing the swans and fish in the lobby and I enjoyed W's nap time by reading a great book and watching HGTV in silence!
We picked Austin for our weekend plans because we saw that Randall Goodgame, one half of Slugs, Bugs, and Lullabies, was going to be playing in town. It turned out that he was the entertainment for a church's spring festival which meant free inflatables to bounce on, free lunch, and free music. Granted, D and I sang along more than our kids who were either bored or star-struck. R refused to go up and meet Randall after the show (she said she would if it were Jill Phillips) but B got to say Hi to him outside the men's room and tell Randall that "Tractor, Tractor" was his favorite song.
A quiet ride home, sleeping in our own beds at night, and a lazy Sunday topped off by homemade chicken nuggets, cheddar-Parmesan macaroni and cheese, and chocolate dipped strawberries for dinner. Aaaah! What a weekend!