Let’s talk for a bit about Fredericksburg, Tx! What a great time we had on our recent girls’ trip. I had a great excuse for going—a book signing at The Christmas Store. Yes, I spread the news of Gracie Lee to the Texas Hill Country / Wine Country / What More Could You Want Country while talking with readers about cotton farming and growing up in the groovy seventies and all the various social issues woven in my novel that are oh so timely today. Whew, long sentence.
My second time to visit, I learned a bit more about Fredericksburg.
Fredericksburg was founded in 1836 near the Pedernales River by German immigrants. The town was named after King Frederick of Prussia. (Okay, I learned that via Google.) Today, this translates into tasty German food, rich history and architecture with a German-Texas twist. If you’ve never traveled through the Texas Hill Country, add it to your list right away. Driving the back roads, the rolling countryside will deliver you straight to another time and remind you of Larry McMurtry, Ladybird Johnson, Waylon, Willie and the boys. Downtown Fredericksburg is a shopper’s delight with over 150 retailers and artisans. And hello—walking around with a glass of wine is an expected and welcomed thing!
As I think back on the weekend, I have five random takeaways—things I learned or remembered or realized about myself, about being a newbie author, about life in general.
Some dedicated folks who really truly enjoy my writing will travel great distances to attend my book signing. That’s a thrill for me. And folks who love to read southern fiction become giddy about buying a signed book for a Christmas gift. Another thrill.
On the other hand, there are those shoppers on a mission who will do most anything and everything to avoid making eye contact with me. They are strictly in the store for Christmas decorations or holiday themed gifts or to use the bathroom. I get it. I do the exact same thing to the perfume-spraying ladies at Dillard’s. It’s all good. And yes, you can still have a cookie.
I was reminded again of this always true adage—there are no friends like old friends. As a child I lived in Wilson, Arkansas across the street from (identical twins) John and Don Mooring, owners of The Christmas Store. Our families vacationed together several times to exotic locales such as Monterrey, Mexico. These memorable road trips involved federates (not really but always a strong possibility) and kids-being-unattended shenanigans. Forty years later, I still nearly peed my pants reminiscing.
Do not underestimate quaint little towns across Texas and the South. They have much to offer in the way of history and hospitality. You don’t have to go far or spend a bunch of money to have a fabulous time.
On the other hand… yes, yes you can. It’s highly possible to spend a chunk of change and enjoy an unexpected, truly spectacular meal in a small town. And it will be so worth it.
We celebrated my mother’s upcoming birthday dinner at Vaudeville in Fredericksburg, Tx. The braised Akahushi beef absolutely melted on my plate, and what attention to detail(!)—from linens to utensils to the luxurious bathroom—seriously scrumptious everything at this place. When we left, ain’t nobody feeling no pain.
As much as I love living in Northwest Arkansas, I realize I miss Texas. After living in Waco and Dallas and after spending half of my life in the Lone Star State, I left footprints all over. A part of me will always live deep in the heart of Texas.
I desperately need a haircut…#haint. If anyone has a hairdo recommendation, send it to me pronto.
So. Onward to next week. Ready or not, Christmas is coming, y’all!
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
P.S. Thursday is DECEMBER 1st! Come back and visit because I’ll be launching a holiday giveaway soon!
Waylon & Willie, Luckenbach, Texas