Pecan Grove RV Park 7

I wasn’t sure what to expect when we arrived at Pecan Grove RV Park because it’s a bit of a mystery. So old school ~ they don’t even have a website and when you call on the phone to make a reservation, the gentleman on the other end of the line is very brief. I was actually a bit reluctant to write this post because Pecan Grove, as I have now found out, is a treasure. It’s location is downtown Austin, Texas. How can one get better than that? It’s scenically located on Barton Springs Road and sits in a grove of Pecan trees. With restaurants, coffee shops, a small grocery store and Zilker Park right out the entrance of Pecan Grove, you can soak in all the “Weird” that Austin has to offer.

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Directly out the entrance of Pecan Grove you can find Uncle Billy’s Brew & Que, Austin Java Cafe & Bar, Thom’s Market, Zilker Park and so much more. We walked Otis to Zilker Park everyday and it is one of my all time favorite parks I have ever been to. People and dogs of all ages gather at Zilker to exercise, take a mini-train ride, have a picnic or do whatever your heart desires. It’s an amazing park and shouldn’t be missed when you are visiting Austin.

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Pecan Grove is the home to permanent residences. The RV Park only rents out about 10 spaces to overnighters like us. This RV Park is home to many and as you can see from the pics, the neighbors have made it very cozy.

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I walked around Pecan Grove and met many of the locals. I realized on this particular trip that I felt so connected with the city because of the local friends that I had made. When one stays in a hotel, you just don’t get the same sense of local flavor like you do when you are RV’ing in a local hangout. Case in point, I met Linda. She lived at Pecan Grove for the past 20 years and this was going to be her last weekend living in Austin. She sold her vintage Avion and was moving north. She invited me into her trailer to show me around. I was thrilled to not only see a vintage Avion in the flesh but, also to learn Linda’s unique story. She also shared with me her homemade light cover that she is very proud of. I wish Miss Linda all the happiness in her new life. I know that she was struggling with leaving Pecan Grove and her lifelong friends she had made there.

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Our site, Beatrice and Otis! This was our first camping trip of 2013 and our first trip with Otis. He LOVES camping. Our site at Pecan Grove was in the back of the park where there are only three pull-through, full hook up sites. We were in spot B and just loved it. Looking forward to going back to Pecan Grove in November for more Austin adventures.

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Photo source: © Anna Sullivan Photography

Wimberley, Willow City Loop & The Salt Lick Reply

This post is my last stop in the Hill Country before moving onto Austin, Texas. A few of my favorite places in the Texas Hill Country ~ the small town of Wimberley, Texas, the scenic Willow City Loop and The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que!

Let’s start with The Salt Lick. I have shared this favorite spot previously here but, since it’s our go-to barbeque joint in the Hill Country, thought I might temp you with some more pics of our afternoon. Choose from their world-famous pork ribs, brisket, sausage, turkey and leave some room for the Texas style pecan pie!

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The Willow City Loop is a delightful drive especially during Bluebonnet season which blossoms around March/April. But, this year poor Texas didn’t receive much H2O from Mama Nature so the wildflowers weren’t as abundant as usual. The drive is perfect for a slow afternoon to take in the vast panoramic views and natural beauty. Addtional photos from my previous post on the “Loop” here.

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The tiny town of Wimberley, Texas is the sweetest little place I ever had the pleasure to visit. Not only do they still support the “Mom & Pop” concept but, the southern hospitality, the quaint shops and the best restaurant, The Leaning Pear is what you’ll find here in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. “Wimberley is the geographic center and the aesthetic heart of the Wimberley Valley and is located at the confluence of Cypress Creek and the Blanco River. The natural beauty of the softly winding Blanco River, shaded Cypress Creek and the stunning views of Lone Man Creek call to artists, retired folks and anyone seeking escape from city life.”

The Leaning Pear never disappoints. As a matter of fact, we have been here on every single trip to the Texas Hill Country and it’s ever-changing specials and daily soups still surprise and delight us on each visit. We enjoyed immensely the Meatloaf with Scallion Mashed Potatoes & Green Beans, The Leaning Pear House Salad with shallot vinaigrette, spiced pecans, local goat cheese and pear garnish  (my all time favorite) and the Pecan Crusted Black Drum with Spicy Sweet Potato Purée and Cilantro Aioli. I have recommended The Leaning Pear to everyone I know with confidence. I just adore this restaurant, the food and the exceptional service. They are building a new restaurant on the property which I have shown below. Looking forward to dining in the new establishment on my next visit. My previous post that included The Leaning Pear!

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The Wild West Store is simply the best shop to find that perfect pair of vintage cowboy boots you have always wanted. Ulli Johnston is the owner and she is a delight. Ulli is known as the “Boot Whisperer” and since 1993 she’ll prove that to you with a selection of over 500 pair of vintage boots, collectables and Western goods. Don’t tell Ulli what size shoe you wear ~ simply remove your shoes, she’ll take a peek at your foot and then she disappears for a bit. She’ll show up with several pairs of vintage or gently used boots and I guarantee you, one of them will be the perfect fit. I found this stunning pair of custom made Liberty cowboy boots and snatched them up. Thanks, Ulli. We so enjoy you and your fabulous store.

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The charming town square of Wimberley and the big cloud skies of Texas. And much to my surprise, I found a vintage Airstream behind a restaurant in town!

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Photo source: © Anna Sullivan Photography

Favorite Places in Fredericksburg, Texas 4

Wanted to share in this quick post some of our favorite spots in Fredericksburg, Texas. I have previously written about two of our fav’s including Woerner Warehouse and Hill Top Cafe. Friends ask why we keep returning to F’burg and I always tell them it’s a quaint and charming town with southern hospitality and we’ve made life long friends here.

Der Kuchen Laden is my favorite kitchen store. Kathy Lopez has been assisting us with all of our Airstream kitchen needs and some fun items for our home kitchen for the past several trips to F’burg. The staff at Der Kuchen Laden is knowledgeable, honest and just all around great folks. The store is in the historic Keidel Memorial Hospital building which makes your shopping experience that much more interesting. Shopping here is fun!!! Stop by on your next trip to town.

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Vaudeville is one of those “finds” that not many tourists know about. Housed in a historic limestone building on Main Street, upstairs you’ll find an Art Gallery, Giftware and Home Accessories and downstairs the divine French Style Bistro, Wine Cellar and Gourmet Delicatessen. The shopping is impressive and the food is tres magnifique!

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InSight Gallery is one of my favorite art galleries. Only 3 short years ago, Meredith and David Plesko founded the gallery which has grown into one of the nations finest art galleries. Stop by to browse the amazing collections of western, landscape, figurative, impressionistic, still life and wildlife art.

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Dogologie has everything you need for your special four-legged fur kid!  Staff is wonderful and they really enjoy when your pooch comes for a visit. Located on Main Street in downtown F’burg.

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Hondo’s is a locals gathering spot for food, drink and Texas music! I like to sit back, sip on the BEST jalapeno margarita you’ve ever tasted and watch the couples two-step to some great down-home Texas style music.

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Bejas Grill & Cantina serves up some great Tex-Mex right on Main Street. They have a comfortable outdoor patio where we enjoy people watching. My favorite dish is the Grilled Shrimp Tacos and a margarita, of course!

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Photos from around town in downtown Fredericksburg, Texas

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I discovered Smitten on this last trip to F’burg. It’s located in a small cottage just a couple blocks off Main Street on East Auguste Street. Each room of Smitten is filled with unique finds and treasures. It’s a fun place to shop and the staff offers up the Southern hospitality that you become accustomed to in the  Texas Hill Country. Enjoy!

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Photo source: Anna Sullivan Photography

Hill Top Cafe ~ Fredericksburg, Texas 2

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Searching out local hangouts, dives and good eats is a part of traveling that I adore. And I found a winner just ten miles north of downtown Fredericksburg, TX ~ Hill Top Cafe. Not only are you going to experience the totally quirky and “garage style” decor of Hill Top but, the food is exceptional and the music is just as satisfying. Founded in 1980 by bluesman Johnny Nicholas and his wife Brenda, their love of good food and music brought a new dimension to the Texas Hill Country. “Inconveniently located in the middle of nowhere…” You can feel the sense of community when you walk in the front door of the converted gas station and roadhouse. Everyone is family at Hill Top and friends gather to experience the sumptuous food and fantastic Texas music. “Johnny and Brenda both believe that anyone who shares their passions for all things real is part of the family. You are more than welcome, ‘cause like the old saying goes: “If you grin, you’re in!”

The interior of Hill Top is “over-the-top” fun

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You won’t get bored looking at all the vintage paraphernalia that not only surrounds the walls but, look up at the ceiling!

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Main Dining Room and Cavern Dining Area

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Music during dinner in the Main Dining Room

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Our dinner included divine short rib appetizer, local favorite fried shrimp, daily special pork loin and pie for dessert. Oh, and don’t forget my Margarita!!

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Reservations are a must at Hill Top. As you can see, it’s a very popular restaurant!

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Exterior shots of Hill Top and “Hunters Welcome”!!

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Photo source: Anna Sullivan Photography