by Victoria McClendon-Leggett
We dedicated the majority of day three to exploring the Texas Hill Country. Our first stop was in Dripping Springs. Nestled among the many wineries of the region is the Texas Hill Country Olive Company. It was here that we were able to sample a plethora of olive oils and balsamic vinegars by pouring the samples into a cup and dipping a piece of bread in it. We tried a few flavor combinations such as lemon and peach balsamic vinegar or jalapeño and garlic olive oil before each picking out ones for purchase. We even grabbed a couple of glasses of balsamic strawberry lemonade to try before we left, and we were so glad that we did because it was delicious.
We loaded back into the car and drove a bit further until we got to the town of Fredericksburg. We decided to walk around a bit and look at the various shops. There were candy stores and boutiques, candle shops, leather shops, a pet store, and a winery named “Armadillo’s LEAP Winery.”
We photographed it because it appears to be named for our organization, but of course that is unlikely. Actually, it’s almost impossible. While we don’t know the origin of the name, it’s at least possible that it is named for the fact that when Armadillos sense danger, they “leap.” In fact, they can jump 3-4 feet high…
Scientists speculate that the leap is done to scare predators, but this has an unfortunate side, too. Many a Texas driver has come upon an armadillo on Texas highways, and while in many case the armadillo could survive by hunkering down, the armadillo’s leaping impulse leads to the “thud” that so often accompanies armadillo encounters on the road.
But, back to our Fredericksburg journey….sprinkled among the shops downtown were a few restaurants. We chose a German-themed restaurant to keep with the theme of the town. Der Lindembaum is located on Main Street and serves up classic German fare. We ordered Bratwurst…
…and Weiner Schnitzel with Sauerkraut and German potato salad and weren’t disappointed.
After leaving the restaurant, we walked around just a bit more, discovering that the search for good workers is universal.
And with this news, we climbed back in the car and headed to Wimberley, Texas.
Our first stop in the small Hill Country town was Wimberley Glassworks, which is owned by Tim de Jong. There were so many pieces to look at!
We weren’t lucky enough to see a glassblowing demonstration, but we were able to speak with the owner as we browsed, and he told us a little about each piece. There were light fixtures, decanters, flowers, vases, and jewelry all throughout the shop.
As it turns out, Mr. de Jong knew SHSU well, having completed a piece for SHSU’s Walker Education Center.
Pleased to have a connection between Wimberley and SHSU, we each picked out a pair of earrings and thanked the owner before heading out to explore downtown Wimberley. Given that it was already after 5pm, the shops were mostly closed, but we meandered through the downtown area just looking around. Before leaving, we ducked into a coffee shop for a quick pick-me-up. We grabbed a couple of salted caramel lattes and a scone and then we turned heel and headed back to Austin and to our hotel, exhausted from all of our walking.