Posted by: morrowsl | April 24, 2019

Road Trip to Spring

About this time last year, as our mother was moving through the final weeks of her journey here on the big blue ball, I decided that, whatever was coming, my sister and I would some day have time to meander and play again. We had always included Mom in such events, taking her to see the bluebonnets in bloom or to eat a juicy burger at a stop along the road, strolling through garden centers and nurseries or combing the aisles of antique stores.
But I knew Mom wasn’t going to be with us when we went the next time.

I made a point to make sure there would be a next time.

Thankfully, we recently got a rare overnight trip south and a good friend to join us. It was an adventure filled with shenanigans and laughter. Very much the sort of thing I imagined when Sister and I were sitting at Mom’s kitchen table in her little apartment making notes about pills and water intake and output while the world spun around without us.

There is nothing like a sick room to make you long to be outdoors.

And nothing quite like springtime in Texas to make you happy you’re not sick!

56956535_10161666444835201_7741867001320046592_n (1)

B is the driver and Nira the navigator. I, for once, just get to ride!

Our destination was the Spring native plant sale at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. We would shop on Saturday as non-members. So we drove down on Friday and spent the night in Buda.
None of us are fans to I35 with its ugly roadside piles of junk and perennial construction. So we opted for the slower pace of US67. This ribbon of asphalt has been as much a part of Sister’s and my life as is our family name. It was the highway that led to our grandparents’ little house on the Brazos River. And later to our parents’ house on Lake Whitney. As teens we took fishing and camping trips to the banks of that river and lake. It is as familiar as the veins in the back of my hand. Eventually we’d leave US67 for smaller roads we were less familiar with and towns we’d only heard names of but had never visited.

Our lunch stop on the trip down was in Hico. I’d heard of it from a co-worker years ago, but wasn’t ready for just how cool this little spot really is!

We shopped a bit (too expensive!) and ate lunch outdoors on a huge slab of stone near a little log house. The day was sunny and cool, with a bit of a breeze. Perfect!


B and Nira, enjoying the sunshine.

On the road again and heading for our hotel in Buda. We saw so much we wanted to stop and explore, but we’d already spent so much time just making the halfway point.

We had dinner and a swim and some hoots in the hot tub (big enough for a party of twenty) then showered and settled in for a good sleep. That lasted until 2:00am when we were all awake and trying not to disturb each other.

Three Gray Hairs on a spree!

On with the TV and a three-hour movie to lull us back to sleep. Worked like a charm for me. I woke to an empty room and daylight streaming in the window. B had gone down to look for my glasses (misplaced, but found in short order) and they’d brought me coffee. I could travel like this ALL the time!

The skies were threatening and we knew it could end up a washout, but Nira had the forethought to get us all rain ponchos at the dollar store and we were determined.
We checked out of our hotel paradise and made our way back up MoPac to LaCrosse. Of course I drove into the parking lot from the wrong direction. And of course the skies darkened as soon as we stepped from the car. But we bought our tickets and pulled our little wagon along the walkway lined with so many healthy native plants.

I wanted one of everything!

Nira, who we’ve known since High School, is a master gardener and madly successful at pretty much everything she attempts. She has utilized every square inch of her back yard and patio already, so her buying was limited to only those things she’d have space for.
Sister wanted trees. But a few perennials found their way into her box as well.
I didn’t buy one of everything after all, since the sale includes succulents and I always manage to kill them with overwatering. But I did find a box full of natives to add to my beds.

Shopping done, it was time to explore! The rain held off, giving us a good hour to walk and ooh and ahh our way through seventy-five percent of the space.

Having been before, I had a couple of “favorite” spots to check. On my last trip, I don’t recall nearly as many bluebonnets and tons more butterflies. So the gardens are as diverse and changing here as they are most anywhere. Quite a lot has been added since my last trip more than three years ago. And it looks like quite a lot is yet to come. I am thinking this means I’ll have to go back in another two or three years, just to see!


This is the door leading out of a restroom shelter. It looks entirely different from the last time I took this same image. But just as lovely.

All too soon, the skies darkened and the wind picked up, signaling us to load our purchases and head north again. Sure enough, we no sooner got in the car than the rain began to pour. The radar for the area showed us driving out of the deluge about a third of the way home. So, we settled in and made the most of it. A quick jaunt into Saturday morning Austin traffic to make us grateful for our time among the flowers and for Lady Bird’s vision of beauty all around. If you live in Texas or are planning a visit, I highly suggest you put the Wildflower Center on your agenda. You will not be disappointed.

Eventually, B spied a sign along the road boasting the best pie in all of Texas.

Challenge accepted!!

We found the Florence Diner on Main Street in Florence, Texas, easily enough. The town is a tiny pin dot on the map and the diner is just about the only thing there. The waitress was really friendly. But her news, not so much. The pie used to be the best in Texas. Now, with new ownership, the pie is store bought instead of homemade. And the choices were limited to two. B opted for cherry. She also order the stuffed avocado (avocado half stuffed with chicken salad), while Nira ordered a chicken salad plate and I got the chicken fried steak sandwich (which, according to the sign inside the restaurant, was also the best in Texas). I happen to be a CFS sandwich snob, so I was curious about this.

While I hesitate to dis a restaurant in a small town, I do have to say that not much about what was said held true. If store bought cherry pie and a greasy CFS is the best Texas has to offer, we need to move to someplace else.


I think the pictures tell the tale.

Back on the road, the storms had moved east and the skies were clean and fresh. We saw field after field of wildflowers that surely looked like carpets of color from a higher vantage point.


If only that bush hadn’t photobombed.


Somewhere between where we’d been and where we were going.

Finally back on home turf, we unloaded our treasures and agreed we’d go back again. There’s another sale in the fall!


A bit damp, but damn happy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


The Trailhead

Life and death and sleeping on the ground

Trailhead Arts

Useful and occasionally irreverent fabric art

just ponderin'

life's wHeirdness and wonder

Insane for the Light

A guided tour through a blindside divorce

Rose's Cantina

The world as I view it

The View from Here

The world as I view it

%d bloggers like this: