Road Trippin’…….Wimberley, TX


Logbook entry April 16, 2017………….Trip #3 on my year long adventure of discovering my state was in Wimberley, TX. A little gem hidden in the rocks and hills of the beautiful hill country of Texas. It was an easy 4 hour drive from my little island and I drove straight to my first destination arriving about noon.
First stop Jacob’s Well. A natural rock reservoir that’s 35 feet deep and then takes a turn under the rock and goes out 135 feet. The reservoir is fed by under ground springs and is 66 to 68 degrees year round. It was a little hike to it, but nothing to steep or strenuous. It is well worth the trip. The water in the creek is as clear as bath water and the water in the “well” is the most stunning indigo blue. It was a natural beauty. Swimming is allowed by permit only and begins in May. Swimmers are allowed to jump from the high rocks into the “well”. I can only guess it must be exhilarating as the “well” is not that big in roundness! I will never know! LOL

That little hike made me a little bit thirsty, so off I go to find my first winery. Wimberley Valley Winery is a beautiful little winery that backs up to a farm that has miniature horses, miniature donkeys and miniature goats. The winery has picnic tables, swings and settees on the back property and they encourage the customers to visit the animals. The animals love the customers.

Gabrielle was my sweet hostess. When she was waiting on another couple I heard her say, “Oh MY Lanta!” My face lite up. My son’s sweet girlfriend is the only other person I have ever heard use this phrase. I knew Gabrielle and I would be fast friends. We were kindred spirits. She loved the beach and she loved wine. Young and beautiful, she is studying to be a sommelier and was inspired to run her own winery. If I had a tasting room, I’d recruit her to work for me. She’s bright and bubbly, educated and informative. I loved her. We had a grand time together. But I was on a time schedule. I couldn’t drink wine and talk to animals at one place. I had to keep moving. She recommended a restaurant for dinner, then sent me on my way.

I was off to find “Old Baldy”. I wanted to hike to the top and check out the view. After driving around and around this “hill” in a neighborhood, I realized I was making circles around “Old Baldy”. No parking lot. No signs. Only a set of stairs leading up to the sky. 236 stairs to be exact. 236 steps up to utter quiet peace. I spent 25 minutes on the top all by myself. Soft wind and sun. The butterflies my only company. It was complete bliss. And the view; well it was not to shabby either.

Evening was moving in and it was time to find my restaurant. I head downtown to find The Leaning Pear, the spot my girl Gabrielle recommended. Kindred spirits indeed! This little place had a farm to table menu that was right up my alley. Good wine and craft beer loaded the menu as well. It was a perfect choice for me. As I walked up to the restaurant, I noticed in the parking lot, a life sized cowboy boot (5 foot). It was all painted up by an area artist. I thought it was a rather odd place for a boot to be. It was a parking lot for pete’s sake!

After dinner I decide to search out some dessert. According to my little cellular device, there was a fro-yo place just around the corner, so off I go to find it. To my surprise, guess what else I find? Life sized cowboy boots! All painted differently! Of course I had to google it and see what was up with all the boots. It seems it was a project in 2014 started by the Wimberley Valley Arts and Cultural Alliance to bring recognition to the arts and enhance cultural tourism. It is lovingly called “Bootiful Wimberley” and there are 50 total scattered throughout the town. I found 23. If I had more time I would have made it a goal to find them all, but since it was not on my list of things to see, I was happy with the 23 I found. It was dusk and I could hear my momma calling………”time to come in, play time is over”. I was satisfied with my day and ready to relax in my hotel.

I had to start my day early. I had things planned to do and a 4 hour drive to make it home by dark, so every minute counted. It was dark when I arrived to my hotel the night before, so I didn’t get to check out the property. It was the first thing to do on my list the following morning. Nestled back in a subdivision is a jewel. Although a little older, the room was large and comfortable. To my surprise the property is surround by a beautiful creek with falls. It was quiet and serene. The Lodge at Cypress Creek is a place I would stay at again. It was much more than I expected for my set budget and wished I’d had more time to spend there. But…..adventure was calling, so check out I did and I hit the road.

Although Hamilton Pools was not on my list of things to do on this trip, I was only 30 miles away and decided to take a chance………………..
Word of caution to free spirits like me………..
Arrive before 9 a.m. or call before making the trip.
They have 72 parking spaces. When those parking spaces are full, they start a line; when they reach 72 in the line, they turn people away. No matter how far you drove…….they turn you away. Arrive very early if you plan on getting in. I guess you know…………

I did not get in. My mood was not dampened, it was not on my list this trip, so I turned around and headed for the wineries!

Driftwood Vineyard and Winery was on top of a vista; up a road so steep and windy, I’m sure when it rains they have no visitors. But oh; the grounds and view of the vineyards is spectacular. The wine was a little pricey and only a few actually were from the Texas vineyard. Most were from their sister vineyard in California. I guess that explains the price. None the less; the view was worth the climb.

My last stop was Bella Vista Ranch. This is a working Olive grove and vineyard. Producing Olive oil and wine. Thank goodness for GPS, as this ranch was several miles down a single lane road. A 2 hour lecture, tour and tasting of olive oil and wine. It was the most informative tour I have ever taken.

The owner……………masters degree in physics and financial accounting…….decided he was tired of the corporate world and left California and in 1998 moved to Texas to become an olive farmer. You go dude!!
Olive trees are hearty, sub-tropical, stone-fruit bearing trees. Texas is ideal and not so ideal for these trees. They grow well, but the sudden change in Texas weather can be detrimental to a harvest and can destroy a grove. The ranch’s first harvest was in 2003 and it’s been operating and growing on “a wing and a scotch” ever since. It is the first olive ranch in Texas and now one of 15 producing olives.  Olives are harvested in September and they are hand picked from the trees on this ranch.  If you were to eat the olives right off the tree, they pack as much heat as a jalapeño pepper; very different from what we know olives to taste like.  This visit was well worth the $15 spent.

And with all good things………….there comes an end.

My time in Wimberley was over. It was to short as there was so much more to see.

Another time, another trip………..

My weekend ends Easter Sunday with a sunrise baptism of my son’s sweet girlfriend, Jessie, a visit with my mother and sister and an afternoon at the place I love; doing the things I love most………

hanging with the seagulls and writing about my adventures.

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Road Trippin’………..Wharton, TX


Logbook entry January 15, 2017……….First stop on the map of discovery fell into a category (when googled) as “a small town with unique things to see.” I’d never been to Wharton, it’s fairly close to home; only 97 miles, so I decided this would be good place to begin my year long journey of discovering new roads.

This would be good 1, of 2, day trips on my year long plan.

It was gloomy and rainy when I got up; causing me to want to change my mind. “No Jeri, stick to the plan. Hit the road.”

It’s about an hour and 45 minute drive and I wasn’t looking forward to driving in rain and traffic (I hate to drive).

But I set out……….

I put my destination in mapquest and closed my garage door.

First stop before the freeway…….Starbucks. I needed coffee to deal with rain and traffic.

About 20 miles down the freeway my GPS takes me off of the freeway.

“Why am I getting off the freeway?”
“Damn it! Already I’ve screwed up!” (my ditzy, directionally challenged mini me screamed in my ear). Anyone that knows me or has read any of my stories, knows that I am seriously directionally challenged…..it SUCKS.
I argue with myself, “NO! I haven’t screwed up! I’m following the GPS!”

The further I went the less populated it became. The rain had stopped and I began to relax in my drive. I realized the GPS shortest route was down back roads. I found myself driving down 2 lane country roads where there were no Starbucks, no Buckees, no Loves Truck stop and no traffic. Only miles and miles of cattle pastures and long country roads.

Who knew less than 50 miles was one of the largest city’s in the states…….Houston, TX

I arrived to Wharton to find a quiet little town, with a Junior College, life sized dinosaur (in one of the city parks), a quirky Tee Pee Motel; built in the 1940’s and still operating today and a beautiful courthouse.

I took a chance taking my first day trip on a Sunday, most of the little shops were closed. But I found one shop on the historical courthouse square with so much hodge podge, it kept me busy for an hour. My next stop was the city park where I was greeted by a friendly dinosaur. I felt like he was watching over the iron bridge that was not longer operational; but still lead passage over the Brazos River to the other side. It began to rain, so I bid my friend farewell and headed out in search of the quirky Tee Pee Motel.

There on the outskirts of town, in the middle of no where stood 10 structures in the shape of Tee Pees. When you round the bend, it was an unusual sight. One that makes you turn around and go back. I pulled in to check them out. They were indeed quirky! Lucky for me I walked upon one being cleaned. The girl cleaning was very friendly and laughed when I asked if I could check it out.

Much to my surprise; it was round inside! I guess I was expecting a square room in a round tee pee……..LOL! It had all the modern conveniences; queen bed, sofa, flat screen TV, shower and air conditioning. The only thing missing were windows. Go figure! She explained they were rented just like regular motel rooms at $75 per night. I thought it was a little pricey, as I didn’t find much to do in this quiet little town. I graciously thanked her for letting me poke around and I jumped in my car and headed back to G-town.

I came.
I saw.

Although it was not a grand adventure, it was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon and a good beginning to my goal of discovering new places.

February’s destination ~ Waco, TX, where Dr. Pepper was created!
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Road Trippin’ 2017


Social media is a wonderful tool. It allows us to spy on our enemy, keep up with our family and friends and live vicariously through your 31 year old cousin.

Ashley and her son Kayson live in Utah.

Ashley has traveled all over the world with a back-pack and roll away suitcase.

I’ve lived Ashley’s adventures through Facebook and Instagram.

She is single, yet she hits the road and lets nothing hold her back. She is a great inspiration.

Each December; like most people; I reflect on the previous year and make plans for the new year ahead of me. A few years ago I began using a “vision board”. Most are probably familiar with them………Using visual aids such as pictures from magazines, pamphlets or hand written index cards; they represent the goals you have for yourself for the year and/or your life. You group these things together on a “board” and place it in a “visually” predominate place so you can see it everyday. Mine hanges on my closet door. They are very effective. Last years “vision board” had a beach condo on it. I closed on my beach condo May 21st, 2016. I removed that “vision” from my board. That vision is now a reality.

Did I accomplish everything on my vision board for 2016?

No…………

Are they still dreams or visions?

Yes…………

I just moved those things to the 2017 vision board and then added to it.

Ashley took her son to Paris and the surrounding areas this year. Then they were skiing on Christmas Day. As I looked at her pictures I asked myself, “Why can’t I do that?”, and a little voice said, “You can. You can face your fears and you can do anything you set your mind to.”

I allow being single to hold me back from doing things. I don’t like to go to places alone. Who does? But I miss out on things because of my fear of being alone.

What if something happens to my car?
What if something happens to my reservation and I have no place to stay?
What if I lose my phone?
What if someone talks to me?? God forbid!!!!

The “what if’s” were holding me back.

As I worked on my plans for my 2017 vision board, I watched it evolve into a year of discovery. Discovering new roads and places……..literally. I realized there are so many places in this big state of mine, that I have never seen.

And the wheels began to turn…………

Visit one new place every month.
Incorporate it with work holidays so I don’t have to take time off (save that for my Cayman Island trip).
Stay and do on the cheap.
No more than a 4 1/2 drive (I hate to drive).

So to the internet I went. Google, mapquest and Pinterest were my best friends for a couple of weeks.

I searched.
I pinned.
I mapped.
I reserved.

I have booked myself 12 trips to places I’ve never seen; to do things I’ve never done. Ok……..a couple places I’ve been before……….Waco, TX. My grand babies live there, but I’ve never explored the city. In February, while visiting; I’m going to the Dr. Pepper museum and The Silos (or Magnolia Market, Chip and Joanna Gaines shop from HGTV). In May I’m going back to Fredericksburg, TX to hike Enchanted Rock and watch the bats take their evening flight from an abandoned railway tunnel. I’ve been to Fredericksburg twice and never knew these things existed.

Wimberly, TX to see Jacobs Well.
Lampasas, TX to Colorado Bend State Park to hike Gorman Falls.
Fulton, TX; a little beach town (you knew I’d have to through a beach trip in here somewhere)
Mineola, Tx to a yoga retreat
Brenham, TX to the Blue Bell Creamery, wineries and lavendar farms.
Ft. Worth, TX stockyards
Rusk, TX to ride the train.
Wharton, TX to visit the Tee Pee Motel.
Schulenburg, TX to tour the painted Churches.
Shiner, TX to visit the brewery where they make Shiner Beer

Though the places I have choosen are not as grand as Ashley’s travels, she has inspired me to do grand things…..for me.

Leave the “what if’s” behind.
Leave the fears behind.
Just hit the open road and make 2017 a year of discovering new places.

Road trippin’ 2017……………..

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