By: Pat Austin
SHREVEPORT – I was on the road last week and so missed posting here. We travelled to Fredericksburg, Texas, the Hill Country, which has been a bucket list trip for my husband for several years. It’s only about a seven-hour drive from where we live, so we took the opportunity last week to go.
It was a wonderful trip, but we are exhausted! We had three days to cram in as much as we possibly could; Monday and Friday were driving days. We had to be back home Saturday for other obligations.
Tuesday was a highlight for me: we went to Luckenbach, Texas (if you know, you know.). My husband calls Luckenbach “the Grand Old Opry of Outlaw Country Music,” and I guess it is. The song made it famous, but the musicians made history and if you’ve never read about Hondo Crouch, do yourself a favor and “meet” this man. If only we all move through this life with the grace, love, and humor of Hondo, we would all be so much better off.
Hondo’s daughter, Becky, has written one book about her father and now has another called Luckenbach, The Center of the Universe, which I bought on my trip there and it’s one of those laugh out loud books that you want to read aloud to someone. Hysterical.
Anyway, the trip to Luckenbach was a sort of pilgrimage for me and was a highlight.
The other super cool thing we did was visit the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg. I have read a lot of books and memoirs of the Pacific War and so I was excited about this outing; however, that being said, I can not express how exhausted I was at the end of our visit! I’m one of those people who wants to see it all, read it all, touch all the interactive stuff, watch all the videos, at a museum. You just can’t do it, here. I really needed two days to see this museum the way it should be done. We started in the Nimitz Gallery and learned so much about Chester Nimitz – what a fascinating man! Then we moved on into the timeline of the War, then the various exhibits for each stage. We got to 1943 and had to stop for lunch.
After lunch, my brain was like a sponge that had soaked up all it could hold. Nothing was sinking in. We finished, and man, the finish was fabulous! There is a video display of a submerged airplane while a video takes you through the treaties of surrender and the celebrations. You never forget the price of war.
The exhibits in this museum are awesome and it is so well done. There are exhibits outside as well and most impressive is the Japanese Garden of Peace which was a gift from the people of Japan. It is beautiful and impressive. There is a specially trained gardener to maintain the space.
We did several other things like tour the Texas Ranger Heritage Center in Fredericksburg (not to be confused with the Texas Ranger Museum in Waco), which was cool, and we visited Fort Martin Scott, an Army frontier post.
The landscape in the Hill Country is beautiful and has proven itself perfect for vineyards and so now there are at least forty wineries in the immediate area. Not being a wine-girl myself, we stuck to the German restaurants and breweries, but groups of people go there just to get on trollies and visit the wineries.
It was a fun trip and now I’m trying to get back into my routines, pack up the Halloween decorations, and think about the holiday season ahead.
Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and at Medium; she is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.