Do you remember the “59th Street Bridge Song” by Simon & Garfunkel? It goes, “Slow down, you move too fast. You’ve got to make the morning last. Just kickin’ down the cobblestones, lookin’ for fun and feelin’ groovy.”
That song has been running through my head all month. I have been feeling like no matter how hard we try, we just can’t seem to make ourselves slow down. We KNOW we aren’t in a real rush and that we have as much time as we want to see things, but it’s hard to get out of the “vacation” mode where we only have a couple of weeks before we have to get back to the grind! So, my goal has been to try to stay at least 4 nights everywhere we go. And that’s still not long enough. You need at least a day for “chores” like laundry, grocery shopping, home maintenance, etc., and some time to just sit and take it all in. But there’s always so much to see in a place, that we always leave feeling we have missed out. I’m hoping we will eventually be able to slow down and stay a week or more each place. Let’s see how that works out in the future!
So.. we left San Antonio and headed northeast. We were VERY tempted to go back to Fredericksburg, but they didn’t have any availability anyway, so we settled on Lake Bastrop. It is one of the many parks in Texas that are managed by the Lower Colorado River Authority. They, like the Army Corps of Engineers, build dams which create lakes. They build these lovely campgrounds in the areas surrounding them. This was our first one of them and it will NOT be our last! OMG what a gorgeous place! They even have cabins for those who don’t camp.
Our site was in the trees, which provided lots of shade. We could not believe the amazing barbecues they provided at every site! Unfortunately, when they cut down the trees, they left a stump RIGHT in the middle of the site. While spreading out our outdoor rug, I tripped over it and once again went right down! Once again, David refrained from documenting my ignominious tumble, but I think if I go down a 3rd time, he won’t be able to resist! I will say it was a really dumb place to leave a stump!
This was the first time we got to break out the kayak and actually use it to explore the lake. (If you remember, we inflated it at Lake Powell, intending to use it then, but snow happened, so we didn’t get the chance!) It wasn’t a huge lake, and there wasn’t a whole lot to see but it was fun to try it out, finally, and on such a gorgeous day! David also had fun experimenting with his GoPro video software. Here’s what the camera came up with. Not exciting, but fun anyway.
We had fun exploring the local area, which wasn’t far from Austin. We were just driving along through the city when David happened to spot the very famous El Arroyo restaurant whose sign he has been following on Instagram for years! We drove around the block to get a picture of the sign and were excited that they were in the middle of changing it out! So we parked to get a closer look, and much to our surprise, they had a whole crew of people there to do it. Turns out that the cast from the popular TV series, “Queer Eye” was there, and the restaurant was documenting it for the sign. They wouldn’t let us get a great pic but it was fun to watch them. Of course, we stopped and had a snack at the restaurant which was YUMMY!
We also went to the nearby town of Smithville, where we found this adorable little farmstand where people can take what they want and pay what they can, if at all. Others leave what they can. It was so cool to see folks blessing their neighbors with all sorts of free stuff. We had wanted to pick up some fresh eggs but they were all out when we were there. Such a cool idea, though, don’t you think??
When it was time to move on from this lovely area, we found a really cute Harvest Host location called, The Whistling Duck Winery where we spent a really lovely night. It was pouring rain when we arrived, and we were very nervous about parking on the lawn, but they insisted that it would be fine, and it was!
The next morning dawned spectacularly clear and sunny, so we explored a bit and found some fun critters on the farm, including a tortoise. Why DID the tortoise cross the road? We queried, but it refused to answer! We did finally get our fresh eggs here, and of course we had some very tasty wines. I also took the opportunity to gather more of the abundant Texas wildflowers, and had my first encounter with actually fire ants! OUCH! It was weeks before the bites finally healed. I’m MUCH more careful when scrounging in the weed now!
From here we went to Edna, TX where we stayed at a Boondockers Welcome location. It was a private home where we enjoyed a quiet evening visiting with the homeowners, a lovely RVing couple who told us about some not-to-be missed sights at our next stop, Matagorda Bay.
You have to drive across the Intracoastal Waterway Bridge to get there, and we were fascinated at the type of traffic we encountered, as well as the series of locks that are needed to navigate between the Gulf of Mexico and the Colorado River. Of course, viewing the locks took us right back to our Panama Canal Cruise days and now we’re dreaming of cruising again one day!
We had chosen another LCRA park, right on the ocean where the Colorado River empties into the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a very quiet little beach community, way out kind of the middle of nowhere. It was fun to see the colorful cottages up on stilts, a reminder that this is hurricane country!
The Matagorda Bay Nature Park was right at the tip of the peninsula, and was absolutely deserted! I think there were only 4 other RVs there. We soon found out why! The were doing HEAVY construction, which included driving massive concrete pylons into the ground directly across from our site! For 5-6 hours every day, the ground shook from the impact!
After 3 days we couldn’t take it anymore so we left and moved closer to our next destination, Houston, where we were to meet up with my college roommate and her husband, as well as my niece and her husband.
We did find the STRANGEST things in Texas, one of which is drive through liquor! Not just stores, but take-out! Of course we HAD to give them a try! They were delicious!!
It rained pretty much the whole time we were there, so we took advantage of the time to catch up on some reading, YouTube and laundry! We did take one day to visit the Johnson Space Center, which was fun. It wasn’t our first time there, but this time they had an exhibit dedicated to the Spacer Shuttle program, including the 747 that was used to transport it. We got to walk through, which was really interesting!
After a very quiet few days in Brazoria, TX, we were rested up and ready to party it up in Houston! But that’s a story for next time…