Monday, January 29, 2007

Trip To Fredericksburg, Texas

My wife and I completed our Third Annual Honeymoon yesterday, which was a trip to Fredericksburg, Texas. Fredericksburg is a nice, touristy-type town in the Texas Hill Country, a little south-west of Austin and a little north-west of San Antonio.

During our visit we stayed at the Main Street Bed and Breakfast. This was the first B&B experience for both us, and it was quite nice. The rooms for this particular B&B are situated on the second floor of an older building, upstairs from shops and a B&B reservation service. The room was a little on the small side, but very nice and clean. A very nice breakfast was delivered to us every morning between 8:30 and 9:00 am. A lot of attention paid to the decor of the room, with pictures on the walls, antique furniture and a 4-poster bed. My favorite part of the room was a giant spa tub in the bath. It was large enough to fit the two of us quite comfortably and was equipped with lots of jets. Since the water heater was situated in the closet of the bathroom, there was more than enough hot water to fill the thing. Very relaxing - I loved it.

Fredericksburg seems to be known chiefly for 4 things: the German heritage of it's founders and residents, shopping, wine and the National Museum of the Pacific War.

The German theme is noted all along the main street (US Highway 290 and is appropriately named "Hauptstasse"). There are a number of German-style restaurants and many of the shops sell German-themed goods.

We ate at two very good restaurants during our stay. The Brewery combined Tex-Mex, German and American food with a microbrewery making for a great dining experience. The food came in generous portions and the beer was excellent. We waddled out of there more than a little full. The onion rings were particularly tasty. "Der Lindenbaum" is a small restaurant set up very much like an authentic German Gasthaus. Here, the food was excellent and tasted very authentic. I'd rather have had spaetzle with my Jaegerschnitzel instead of mash potatoes, but I think making spaetzle is an art not too common in America. They had the Franziskaner Dunkelweitzen beer on tap - very unusual outside of Germany. That was a great capper to a great meal.

There are a number of very good specialty shops along Main Street. One of the more interesting was Rustin' Bob's Texas Gourmet Foods. This store features a very large variety of Texas-produced goodies, home made fudge, and the largest collection of hot sauces for sale I've ever seen. My wife picked up a jar of jalapeño peanut butter, which she said was quite tasty (I think it's an abomination - but that's a story for another time). We picked up a 1/2 pound of fudge, but I think my wife ate it while I wasn't looking. I did get enough of a taste of the free samples to know that fudge is among the best I've ever had and would run a close race to Mackinac Island Fudge. There was also a unique bath shop which I forgot the name of. They had the funniest rubber duckies, including a Mr. T one. (I've had enough of your jibber-jabber. You stink! Get in the tub, fool!).

There are a number of wine shops in Fredericksburg. We visited two: Texas Vineyards & Beyond and the Fredericksburg Winery. Texas Vineyards & Beyond features wines from all over the world, and especially from Texas. I knew there were some wineries in Texas, but I had no idea there were over 100 as wells as a number of excellent vineyards. The people there were very helpful, and of course, assisted with some samples. The Fredericksburg Winery makes their own wine for sale. Some of it was excellent and bought a couple, three bottles. The owner is also a big supporter of our troops overseas, which is a big plus in my eyes.

I think the highlight of our trip was our visit to The National Museum of the Pacific War (originally called the "Nimitz Museum" because Chester Nimitz was born in Fredericksburg, and the museum was once housed in a hotel owned by his family). The museum holds a vast collection of artifacts, displayed in chronological order from the opening of Japan to the West to the signing of the surrender in Tokyo Bay. It was almost too much to take in. We spent almost 3 hours walking through and reading all the displays. There is even a Japanese mini-sub which was part of the attack on Pearl Harbor, but missed its target and ran aground elsewhere on Hawaii. A few blocks from the main museum is a tour of displays depicting an airfield, a PT Boat base and a typical beach head as it would have been defended by the Japanese in those days. This tour took about an hour and was well worth it.

All in all it was a great trip. I highly recommend a visit to Fredericksburg.

Note: I was not compensated in any way for any of the opinions given here. They are my own and I am not paid to endorse any product or company.

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