The Bluebonnet Cafe in Marble Falls was closed so I made a U turn and headed to Johnson City. I'm now sitting at the Hill Country Cupboard which is just what it sounds like--an old cafe with concrete floors and checkered table cloths on some tables. The booth I'm sitting in has business cards and photos laminated all over its wooden top. The menu is a printed page glued to a brown paper grocery bag.
Stacy takes my order for two eggs over medium, homemade country sausage, grits, biscuits and of course, coffee. Stacy can best be described as wirey and grizzled. She's dark tanned and overly wrinkly for her years. Marie would probably say something like "She looks like she's been rode hard and put up wet!" She's my age and wears a rhinestone studded cowboy belt and a Harley t-shirt with her jeans and scuffed up ropers.
The view from my booth to the outside reveals my little blue Toyota in a sea of pickup trucks. Mine is the only sedan in the whole parking lot. A camo covered family comes in and sits a few tables away. Mom and Dad order coffee and the teenage boy orders sweet tea. Dad's going to have chicken fried steak and eggs, which explains a lot! Camo to the left, camo to the right. Camo hats, pants, t-shirts and fleece. A bakery case displays homemade pies and cinnamon rolls. An old wooden table next to it holds many bottles of A-1 Steak Sauce and Tobasco.
It is a crystal clear, blue sky, Hill Country winter day. I'm heading to Enchanted Rock for a little hiking and a view of 2011. I buy my day pass and start up the rock. I take a water break on the Summit Trail, which is not much of a trail really, because you just head straight up the rock! People of all ages are streaming past me in both directions, some going up, some coming down. I swear Santa Claus just passed by on his way down. The old coot looked just like Santa and he was wearing a red sweatshirt. People pose for family pictures. "Y'all take a picture by this big rock!" Huh? The whole place is a freakin' big rock!
At the top there are at least 50 people milling around, some of them on cell phones. A young couple walk around looking this way and that at the views. He's very fit looking she's not so fit and she's pissed at him about something. He keeps trying to hold her hand as he says "What's the matter?" and of course she snarls back "I said, NOTHING!" Nice. It's very windy up here and it looks like some major dust is blowing in from the west. Blue sky with a distinct reddish dusty haze. It's noisy with all these people up here, so I head back down.
A park sign at the base of the dome has a quote from a frequent visitor and rock climber:
"My heart feels lighter, my mind feels calmer and my senses feel tuned whenever I see that giant pink rock on the horizon. No matter how I choose to spend my time among the enchanted rocks of the park, I always leave feeling better than when I arrived."
Yea, me too.
I cruise through Fredricksburg and stop at one of my favorite places on earth "Wildseed Farms" I buy a bunch of goodies for Anna and her friends for their little New Year's Eve party -- artichoke hearts, hot pepper jelly, pickled asparagus bullets, marinated mushrooms and Neva Betta crackers. In the Brewbonnet cafe, there is a fire burning in a huge fireplace and a wine tasting going on so I'm a very happy girl. I taste a few then buy a glass as well as a lovely little fruit and cheese tray and plop myself down in front of the fireplace.
I believe I've created quite the perfect day and its not nearly over yet. I'll drive back through the pretty hills of Central Texas to Spicewood and will meet Kathleen and Jerry later tonight for an early dinner. Happy New Year to me!