I Dearly Love Thanksgiving
The flavors of fall, the togetherness of the holiday, the Texas weather in November – what’s not to love about Thanksgiving?
Besides all that, there are the endless rounds of family games.
One of our favorites is a card game called Nertz. Ooooh-weeee. This game brings out the best (competitive spirit) and the worst (cheaters, cheaters, punkin’ eaters) in our family. My sister-in-law is the queen of speed when it comes to Nertz. Her cards can fly across a table big as Dallas and still land on the right pile, while the rest of us are still trying to organize our decks.
This year, we played Hedbanz, and it was great fun.
By the time Friday rolls around, though, if you’re like me, you kinda start itchin’ for a little something to do outside.
Shopping? Maybe. More likely, something like a great little day trip.
So we packed a day trip picnic with turkey sandwiches from two loaves of French bread that we could slice when we reached our destination, and loaded them into our insulated bag, along with a bag of chips and pumpkin cookies with brown butter icing.
I really hadn’t thought about doing sandwiches that way before, but I just saw Nancy Fuller make these Whole Hog Hoagies last weekend during my Saturday- morning-cooking-shows-in-my-jammies-with-three-cups-of-coffee routine.
Now, enough of the food talk. On to the scenery!
Since moving to Austin, we’ve heard about the natural springs in the area, and I thought it would be fun to enjoy our picnic at one of the most acclaimed – Hamilton Pool. However, it was closed, so we opted for another scenic spot – Krause Springs.
What a find!
Just a short walk past this beautiful swimming pool …
… and down a walkway of stone steps …
… and you’re there.
We parked ourselves right here on this huge rock formation and just soaked in the view and the nip in the air.
Spending a full day at Krause Springs would be really fun for hikers and exploring types.
There are 30 acres of available terrain with massive trees, more falls, and nooks and crannies where the water decides it wants to go.
Just 15 minutes from here, down Haynie Flat Road, gets you to our second beautiful spot on this fine fall day trip.
STONE HOUSE VINEYARD
Perched on the shores of Lake Travis is this quaint, unassuming, unpretentious vineyard, owned by a spunky Australian woman. Actually, I’m assuming the spunky part. We met her on our first visit to Stone House a year ago, and I thought then, wow, who does that? Who moves across the world, buys a property by a big ol’ Texas lake and sets up a beautiful vineyard? She’d surely have to register high on the spunk-scale, wouldn’t she?
We enjoyed the cheese board and this bottle of Claros. It’s made from a North American varietal grape grown on the estate. I’ve just told you everything I know about this wine – except that it was good and we all liked it.
If you’re planning a winery tour in the Hill Country, I recommend making Stone House your last stop on the way back to your b&b (or fancy downtown hotel). It’s quiet here. No high energy pouring. Just a bottle of good wine, alongside a board filled with figs, cheese and nuts, enjoyed outside with a view of the vines and the water – really? I can’t think of any better way to top off a Friday after Thanksgiving day trip.
Except for maybe another round of Hedbanz. And another tiny sliver of pecan pie.
Encouraging everyday lives filled with intentional adventure, and a fall picnic absolutely anywhere in the Texas hill country,