I just loved this scene – 3 apparent sisters sitting and sharing. Its funny, my grandmother came from a family of three sisters, my cousins are three sisters, Annie is one of three, and in my dining room hangs a paining of three apparent sisters. The painting is entitled The Three Graces. In Greek mythology, The Three Graces are the goddesses of such things as charm, beauty, and creativity. When I look at this photo it conjurs memories of all of them. Even more so, it reminds me of the secret language that exists between sisters where they can almost Intuit each others thoughts.
At the end of the day though, they just seemed to be having a grand time…..
It was only after having devoured a sizable helping of BBQ that I realized I was sitting in the path of the smoke from the grill. It made me giggle. Years ago a good friend of mine suggested that the best part of eating BBQ was smelling like it the rest of the day. It may be true. Fully satiated, I thought of how terrific the meal had been and the aromas lingering with me. It was truly a production and as the day wound down I watched as they began dismantling the grills and smokers used to create all the days food. It was an impressive undertaking and they worked at dismantling under the watchful eye of Chloe, the dog, until well after we had returned to John and Suzies. I made a point to thank them – hindsight being 20/20, I am not sure I did an adequate job for all that was entailed.
And before long it was time for the Barbecue…. Not just any BBQ. This one was such a unique blend of robust Texas personality, a dash of jalapeno hot, big gulps of wonderful wine, large laughter and supersized Happy. It was so much fun. Nothing but Cowboys and Kids kicking back.
Mid way through, our hosts, John and Suzie, raised their glasses to toast good friends, good food and good cheer. I found myself reflecting over the few days we had been together. In short order the common bonds of food and friendship made me appreciate how fortunate I have been to meet Annie. We joke about FOA – but it is true, once a friend of Annie’s you are one for life. And all of her circle of friends share golden threads that bind them together. It was that way with John and Suzie, Simon, and now Paul.
It’s hard to explain the personality of a place as it shines through its ambassadors. Annie and John love all things Texas. And when you are in their company its infectious. The weekend was about as authentic and real as one can get – a total lack of artifice and superficiality. It seemed cloaked in simplicity – folks gathering with common interests to share a special time.
There are some people just born to make others feel good. As I looked around the pavilion there wasn’t a person without a big smile or laughing. How wonderful to be able to connect people in that way.
As we were saying our goodbyes the next morning, John said to me “once a friend, always a friend”…. I sure hope so!
And to my two new friends John and Suzie a BIG TEXAS Thank you….. It was fantastic!
OK.. I know we were there to look at the Longhorns but as we made our way up to the Barbecue there was this little mini herd of Donkeys. My God are they cute and sweet looking. They make a horrific noise which you can all but forget if you just look at their faces. They just made me smile. And every time I look at this photo I smile. It seems to me they are slightly maligned for not being too smart, not being as proud as a horse and not being as special as a Longhorn. That said, I found them endearing and sweet natured and were the circumstances different, I would have one of them today.
Fredricksburg – as the name implies – was originally a German settlement. 120 Settlers arrived in 1846. The history of Fredricksburg is a study in how culture and community intersect. All the settling the 5 of us did was into a table at the lovely Vaudeville with a spectacular bottle of champagne. Walking down the street you are transported to a different time where the shops are more reminiscent of years gone by – with the divine exception of Vaudeville. It makes one connect to the possibilities in this part of the state. It is as if you were in Napa 20 years ago…..
My opinion, the key to a great Bed and Breakfast experience is just that… the bed and the breakfast. Having enjoyed a good night’s sleep the only challenge remaining was the caliber of the breakfast. And we were not disappointed. It was delicious – and adorable. At precisely 8:30 each morning the proprietor would gently knock on the door and deliver a picnic hamper filled with the mornings fare. Dishes of Fresh Fruit, warm baked muffins and brightly colored hot pots of egg concoctions. It was like sunshine in a picnic basket. Surprisingly, I found myself looking forward to the mystery of our second morning. It was equally delicious. Normally not much for the B&B thing, the experience was so charming I would recommend to anyone looking for a different type of getaway. It was perfect for the weekend.
Songbird Meadows Bed and Breakfast is a darling nest of 3 cottages tucked up in the hills above Johnson City. Upon exiting the highway you twist and turn up a long dirt road that ends at Chickadee cottage.The experience can only be described as quaint and sweet. Time didn’t allow for walking the multitude of trails extending outward but each morning started with bird songs sweet and pleasant. It was a delightful little escape and worth the trek up the hillside to find. The accommodations comfortable and the gentle welcoming consistent with the experience – charming.