Queen of Hill Country*

Trip Start Mar 30, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Voted one of the best small towns in the U.S. by Southern Living magaine, Fredericksburg certainly has the tourists to show for it. It's visually charming, filled with a wide variety of shops and restaurants, and surrounded by beautiful country and terrific day trips. With lots of parking and good sidewalks, it's also easy to get around. But Fredericksburg has a dirty underbelly: with few exceptions, the people just aren't very friendly! Not rude like Houston, not at all, but certainly not warm or welcoming. A full day of popping in and out of stores, and only three people greeted me. Three. It continually blows my mind that people persist in opening retail businesses yet don't want to deal with people. What a hoot!

Regardless, I'll continue using this as home base since I love my motel and this is a great location, but I have to amend Southern Living's description: Fredericksburg appears to be one of the best small towns, as long as you don't peek behind the Oz curtain. I'll post town photos tomorrow - of the pretty part, not the underbelly. ha

Speaking of my cool motel, take a look at the Dietzel! If you added a bed and a kitchenette, this would be every hotel my family stayed at when we drove to Florida and the Smokies in the 1960-70s. Clean and comfy with a tiny pool, and a huge window that looks out over a beautiful field and woods.

I took a great roundabout drive on farm and ranch roads to Marble Falls and Llano, enjoying lunch and a gallery visit along the way. The most memorable part of the day, though, was the amazingly beautiful sky! Windows down, perfectly tangled hair, left arm sunburned, blasting new music on the iPod: James McMurtry, The Derailers, The Lost Pines. I had additional family vacation flashbacks on the drive: the highways here have little picnic spots on the side of the road, which made me remember eating fried chicken and pimento cheese sandwiches out of the cooler, drinking chocolate milk over ice with my mom, dad and little brother. I wonder if today's McDonald's drive-thru builds those same memories for today's kids?


* "Queen" refers to Fredericksburg, not me! :-)
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