Posts Tagged ‘timeshare’

They say good fences make good neighbors. Personally, I have a crummy fence and great neighbors, but since my fence doesn’t touch their property it’s probably irrelevant. But I digress… What I really want to point out is that a good fence also makes a great backdrop for flowers. Virginia seems to be full of fabulous fences with equally fabulous flowers…

fence w/black-eyed susans

I'm so recreating this in my backyard.

Here’s the view from the other side:
Cabin & fence view

We spent the night here; more about that later.

This classic combo was at our timeshare. White picket fence It makes a lovely corner to tuck in these especially gorgeous daylilies:

I don't have any this color in my yard. Yet.

And look at this sweet little fence-let:
wee woven wood fence

In case you were wondering what to do with your leftover skinny branches...

Then again, sometimes a fence doesn’t even need flowers to look good:
Yorktown fence

Found this one at Yorktown Victory Center

Biltmore fence

This one is in NC at Biltmore (it might be a railing, but that's fence-ish)

Good fences, every one. (Unless that last one is a railing, I really don’t remember…but whatever it is, it’s gorgeous!)

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No visit to east Texas is complete without stopping to smell the roses, so—even though it was hellaciously hot over the holiday weekend—we popped into the Tyler Rose Garden to do just that.

Tyler Rose Garden, Tyler, Texas

They have acres of roses.

Some were big . . .
Tyler Rose Garden, Tyler, Texas

It's an entire bouquet on one stem.

some were small . . .
Tyler Rose Garden, Tyler, Texas

Aren't they sweet?

and some were just right! Tyler Rose Garden, Tyler, Texas They came in all colors: Tyler Rose Garden, Tyler, Texas
Tyler Rose Garden, Tyler, Texas

We are in Texas, after all.

Tyler Rose Garden, Tyler, Texas

Sorry about the shadow!

Some even came with accessories (aka insects): Tyler Rose Garden, Tyler, Texas It was totally worth sweating our brains out to see all that loveliness.

What I didn’t understand was the wedding venue set up in a corner. Seriously? July in Texas always equals 100-plus degrees. Who in their right mind would plan an outdoor wedding here this month? Thankfully we weren’t invited so we headed back to the timeshare to cool off and rehydrate. Soon after we got there, like a gift from heaven, it rained on our log cabin’s tin roof out there in the piney woods. We loved it. No clue how the wedding party felt about it.

Happy Friday!

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No, this is not a post about how much I love Chick-fil-A (although I do, very much). It all started with a July Fourth weekend trip to east Texas . . .

It was one of those “Don’t you want to upgrade your timeshare?” “No, I really don’t, thanks.” trips. (Pictures and restaurant review coming soon.) On the way home we decided to take the road less traveled, party to avoid traffic from Canton Trade Days and partly because I don’t enjoy driving on interstates. Along the way we stopped by the artsy little town of Edom, Texas, and stretched our legs by strolling into one of the galleries.

And there it was: a metal chicken sculpture, about two feet high, in the most glorious combination of warm golds and reds I have ever seen. I wanted it. Bad. I could design my whole kitchen around that chicken. But I’m about to head off on a vacation and I’m on a tight budget and do I really need a metal chicken?


I glanced at the price tag, assuming it would be outrageous and therefore not an option. No such luck; it was actually reasonable. I gave it one last longing look and ran out the door before I could succumb to this sudden, irrational craving for a metal chicken.

Besides, one chicken would be weird, wouldn’t it? I’d need two. Maybe a rooster. Maybe the chicken and a rooster and another chicken. Odd numbers work better in decorating. Wait, is this how hoarding begins?

WWDRD? (What Would Dave Ramsey Do?) He’d tell me to step away from the chicken, that’s what he’d do. And he’s probably right.

But Dave hasn’t seen this chicken.

Still obsessing . . .

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Gruene Water Tower
I own a timeshare in the Texas Hill Country and at least once a year they invite me down for a “meeting.” This is an opportunity (for me) to enjoy an extra weekend in one of my favorite parts of Texas and (for them) to try to sell me more stuff, which I’m not buying. This last weekend was one of those, and I mention it only to say that when I got to the meeting they were at a loss to explain why I was there. There was no reason to meet with them at this time, they muttered. Wonder why I was invited down?

I know exactly why; it was a God thing. My friend, Vikki, wanted to come down with me so we could drive into San Antonio to visit her husband, Lance, who now resides in the military cemetery there. This trip had nothing to do with my latest “opportunity” and everything to do with Vikki. So we came down, had an unusually entertaining meeting with the puzzled timeshare guys, and proceeded to enjoy our weekend.

As we are both foodies (you’ll see Vikki’s hands in the duck) we naturally organized much of our trip around culinary opportunities. On the way down, we stopped at the Koffee Kup in Hico for their famous pie. After paying respects to Lance, we chowed down on a fabulous burger at Centerpoint Station in San Marcos. And Saturday night, thanks to a recommendation from Rob at the timeshare, we had dinner at Gruene River Grill.

Gruene (pronounced “green”), is a small town on the banks of the Guadaloupe (that’s “gwah-duh-loop” for you non-natives) River and one of the places I always go when I’m in this part of the world. It boasts Texas’ oldest continuously operating dance hall, a multitude of antique stores and quirky shops, and some darn fine food. I’ve eaten several good meals at the Gristmill (behind the dance hall under the water tower), but Rob insisted Gruene River Grill (a few doors down) was the place to go.

Look for this sign

He was so right. Everything about it was wonderful, starting with the décor. It’s what I call Hill Country chic, a mix of recycled barn wood and modern pottery, exposed brick and sophisticated sofas, old tin ceiling panels and silk curtains. The sort of place where you can comfortably park your cowboy boots under the table and idly discuss the technological impact of the Roman Empire on the development of modern civilization while enjoying a fine Cabernet and an elegant meal before wandering outside to go boot-scootin’. It was dark when we arrived, but I’m sure the large glass doors along the back wall open onto a charming patio where, in warmer weather, one can relax and gaze down on the river below.

In the interest of moderation, Vikki and I shared our meal, which turned out to be perfectly proportioned for the purpose. We started with Shrimp Won Tons, jumbo shrimp with mixed cheeses, bacon, and serrano peppers bundled in a wonton wrapper and fried, served with cherry mustard sauce. Crunchy, chewy, and delicious with just the right amount of heat—I want these at my next Superbowl party. Heck, I want these at my next meal.

Gruene River Grill Shrimp Won Tons

For our entrée we followed Rob’s advice and chose Chicken Marsala. A perfectly cooked butterflied chicken breast, moist and delicious, nestled in just the right amount of lovely sauce with creamy garlic mashed potatoes and green beans (also perfectly cooked with red pepper flakes for a little extra interest).

Then, because our pie from the day before had long since worn off, we had dessert. Tara, our server, pitched the Dove chocolate crème brulee, but we opted for the brownie a la mode. This turned out to be a Texas-sized square of fudgy chocolate goodness topped with vanilla ice cream. Yum.

In summary: wonderful décor, excellent service, delicious food, reasonable prices. Should you happen to find yourself between Austin and San Antonio and need a place to park your boots for a spell, take a brief detour off the beaten path to visit the “city” of Gruene and the Gruene River Grille. It’s not far off 1-35 and well worth the trip.

You might have to go old school and use a map to find it, though. Our GPS just looked confused when we entered “Gruene”. We followed our noses and found it anyway. And now that I’ve found it, I will definitely be back.

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