Drones, Dance Halls, Trains and Other Touristy Things
July 20, 2015
With Kennedy off at camp and a quick business trip for me, our week could have been fairly ordinary, but we rallied at the end of the week to turn it into a pretty cool week.
Greg picked me up at the Austin airport on Thursday and we checked out McKinney State Park, a potential campground for our return trip over the holidays, and then we decided to hit a camera shop. I’d been looking at getting a new lens for the camera, and wanted to actually check a few of them out versus just internet shopping so we hit Precision Camera in Austin, which was a really great camera shop with lots of options and very competitive pricing. After looking at a few different lenses, ended up with a Tamron 16-300mm, which should provide a little more flexibility for everyday shooting. We should have stopped with the lens, but when we walked in the shop, they had a nice drone display….it was like it was calling our name. We have had our eye on a drone for a while so, we left the camera shop a little poorer, but with some new toys. We’re studying up on how to fly the drone—and looking for a big open field—so stay tuned for some drone footage. And if we never mention the drone again, you know something went wrong, very wrong. Don’t ask!!
Our new DJ1 Phantom 3 Drone
On our way back from Austin, we took the back roads, which led us back through Dripping Springs and we decided that we would check out the #1 thing to do in Dripping Springs--according to Trip Advisor—which was Hamilton Pool Preserve. (I know, hard to believe it wasn’t the vodka distillery!!) We had no idea what it was, but thought it would be a good place to take a few pics.
Paid our $15 bucks for the entry fee, parked the car, and read the little sign and we were on our way. It was only a quarter mile hike….no big deal…I was in flip flops….no big deal…..it was hot….no big deal (it was a quarter mile hike for pete’s sake)….we had no water….no big deal. Okay, the quarter mile was down steps, through the woods, over the rocks….but when we got there, one word. Wow! This place was a big deal. We were totally blown away at the beauty. It was part water fall, part “pool,” part cave, but ultimately, just breathtaking.
The pics really just don't do this place justice. And yes, the water was that green.
Tight quarters for a part of the hike.
Typically people are allowed to swim in the water, but due to the recent rains, etc. the bacteria level was off and the bridge was washed away, so they weren’t allowing any swimming, which really was probably a good thing. Can’t imagine this place swallowed up with people swimming in it; would just ruin the beauty.
So ultimately would recommend sneakers and some water for the trip….but Trip Advisor did not lead us astray this time.
On Friday, we planned a trip to Luckenbach…cause it’s just one of those things you have to do if you’re in Texas, oh, and because everybody is somebody in Luckenbach (their saying, not mine!!) Well, to give you some perspective on Luckenbach, the GPS doesn’t even list it as a town and the population is 3. Totally explains why everybody is somebody in Luckenbach. The pics below are the town. The whole town. It’s a dance hall, bar, general store, some picnic tables and a snack shack.
Inside the bar
Mom, Dad and Greg grabbing a bite to eat.
Greg on stage
They do have scheduled entertainment, but during the day, random people show up and play music and sing. Pretty cool. It’s rumored that Willie Nelson shows up on occasion just to play, but no sightings on this Friday.
And speaking of Willie, they are trying to set the Guinness Book of World records for signatures on a canvas painting of Willie. The canvas painting is big—like three football fields wide. We all signed it. Not everyday you have the opportunity to play a part of a record-breaking event and we didn’t even have to cram into anything or hold hands with strangers.
Here's mom, dad and Greg all playing their part in setting the record.
This is really the General Store....although it may double as the post office, not sure.
And the inside.
In case you were wondering--according to Trip Advisor, the General Store is the #1 thing to do in Luckenbach and the Dance Hall is #2. That’s it, two things to do.
On the drive home, we stopped at Trade Days, in Fredricksburg. It's really a flea market, with a cool name, but was a nice place to stroll around. Hobie was the only one who scored anything from this stop.
Greg shopping for Hobie.
We passed this winery on the way home; too funny not to take a quick pic.
Saturday, we did a little exploring around New Braunfels, which included a trip to the train museum. Okay, it was hot. We took refuge in the first air conditioning touristy thing we could find.
Train depot and museum
Greg and the Conductor
Inside the museum
Greg playing Conductor
According to the Hobo vocabulary, we're "doggin' it" (of sorts!).
Pretty cool they had their own language and ways to communicate.
Another communication vehicle: interesting hobo signs.
The nice people who worked at the Train Museum also told us about a working artist cottage across the street so we strolled on over to check it out. And just because it was also air conditioned, well, that had nothing to do with the decision....it was for the love of art!!
We had a wonderful conversation with the artist—Mary Olivia MacIntosh—who was awesome and had a very cute little dog, name Butty, who Greg took a liking to. Mary also had done some traveling in a motorhome and has done some beautiful pastels of some national landmarks she captured during her travels. She was a very cool lady and it was a even cooler experience. As we were walking out, Greg said to me, “that’s what this is all about.” I couldn’t agree more.
Mary telling us about her artwork.
Greg and Butty (and Mary) making friends
Well, this week wraps up three months of being on the road. We’ve learned a lot and continue to learn. We haven’t killed each other yet, and on top of that, we still really like (and love) each other. We’ve gotten to see some really cool things over the past three months, spend some awesome time with family, and are excited to see what the next three months have in store for us. Stay tuned and appreciate you following along.