I love history and like most Texans I’m proud of my heritage though the same can be said for individuals from any state. I’m also quite fond of my family and every year my girl cousins on the Riley side get together for a weekend get-a-way. Don’t we look like a wild bunch? This year we traveled to New Braunfels and took in some of the surrounding sites.
We met around noon at Landa Park in New Braunfels and had a picnic lunch while gazing out on the Comal River. With the big Cypress trees, it’s a beautiful scene. We even rode the little train that takes you around the park. Sitting in cars designed for small children wasn’t very comfortable for old ladies. There was no leg room and our knees almost reached out chins.
On Friday afternoon, I drove in to San Antonio to take care of my grandson for awhile. The other three decided to raft down the Comal River as I’d informed them, “I’m not getting in that ice cold water.” The had a wonderful time and now I wish they’d waited for me, but there will be another time. I wish I could have been a tadpole floating along with them with a movie camera as from their tales it was a hilarious experience. I won’t name names, but one cousin’s tube got caught between two rocks and she couldn’t get loose.
There are a variety of water activities to enjoy in the New Braunfels and San Marcus areas, as well as beautiful historic town squares with shopping and museums. Due to its popularity, lodging fills up fast, so if you plan a trip get rooms in advance.
Saturday evening we drove to the small community of Gruene (pronounded Green), which is now a part of New Braunfels. We stopped in at Gruene Hall to see all the pictures of past performers which include Willie Nelson, George Strait, Lyle Lovett, and many others. The hall helped jump start the careers of such performers as Hal Ketchum, Lyle Lovett, Lucinda Williams to name just a few. It was also used as part of the movie set for Michael with John Travolta. It boasts being the oldest continually run dance hall in Texas. We didn’t stay long as they were preparing for a concert and people were lined up ready to get in and find a seat.
From there we walked over to the Gristmill, an old water-powered cotton gin that burned to the ground in in 1922. All that remains today is the three story boiler room which is now the Gristmill River Restuarant and Bar. The food was excellent. After seeing their onion rings I wish I’d just order them for my meal. Both Gruene hall and The Gristmill are located in the old historical district of town.
Here are a couple of pictures, one outside and the one to the right is just inside the door you see above. Interesting that it is not air conditioned. The ceiling fans proved a pretty good breeze as well as the the flow of air that enters through the front door and passes through the center section to exit at a similar size door, much like a dog run of an old log cabin.
Sunday morning we packed and our last stop was Riley’s Tavern in Hunter, Texas. Of course, it didn’t open until 1:00 PM so we didn’t get to go inside. What a shame as we wanted to go in and tell them we were long lost relatives and we were hoping for a free drink. Haha! Truthfully, we’re no relation, or if we are, we don’t know what the connection would be. We did get a few pictures for posterity and hopefully we’ll go back one day. Like Gruene Hall they have life music through out the year. If you plan to be in the area, you can visit their website to see who’ll be performing.
I was able to take the inside picture through the front door. We’d wanted to get all four of us in a picture outside but there was no one around to take it. Who know where we’ll be off to next year. The others enjoyed the tube adventure so much I have a feeling I’ll be in that icy water next year!
An interesting bit of history copied from their website.
“In September of 1933 J. C. (James Curtis) Riley, at the age of 17, drove to Austin, Texas from his home in Hunter, Texas, some 45 miles. He was in a Model “T” car with his uncle. The purpose of this trip was to obtain a beer license for his soon – to – be beer joint. It was now at the end of prohibition. He camped out on the steps of the Capital building and waited for it to open. He was the first person in line in Texas and got the first beer license!”
Bull Dawson, New York lawyer, mourns the loss of his daughter, who disappeared from a cabin in Fredericksburg, Texas four years ago. A history book found in his office safe leads him to believe she traveled back in time to 1888 Prairie, Texas. He’s determined that if she can time travel, he can too. Life will be different, probably hard, but practicing law can’t be so difficult back in the Old West.
Widow Dipsey Thackson scratches out a living for herself and her young son on their farm. Shunned by the locals, she keeps to herself. When a man appears in her wheat field one day, life changes for the better. Then her brother-in-law arrives, claiming the farm is his and threatening Dipsey and her son. She fears for both their means of survival and their safety.
Her dilemma will take more than a knowledge of the law, but Bull vows to do his best to protect her and her boy.
Thank you for stopping by and Happy Reading and Writing!