Sightseeing Tour: Hill Country Tour
Posted November 24, 2010on:
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It’s Thanksgiving week so my Monday evening class was canceled. I used the free day to visit the quaint Hill Country area of Texas. Monday, November 22nd was a great day to do this outdoor activity because the weather was beautiful; it was unusually warm with temperatures reaching almost 80 degrees (yes, in late November!). I booked this 7½-hour Hill Country Tour with Alamo Sightseeing Tours (adult price is $59.50 plus taxes). There were eight of us plus the tour guide/van driver, Tom, who picked us up in the Alamo Plaza area for a 9:00 a.m. departure.
Our itinerary included a rest stop in Blanco, a stop in Johnson City to see where 36th U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson grew up (we visited his boyhood home), and then to Stonewall to tour the LBJ Ranch (Johnson Family Cemetery, the reconstructed birthplace/home and the barn behind the house) and the Texas White House which are operated by the National Park Service. These morning activities were full of history and culture. I’m not a history buff (history has always been my worst subject in school) but I really liked hearing about President Johnson’s upbringing and presidency. I was born in the latter ’60s, towards the end of his presidency during this conflict-ridden period in U.S. history, but I was too young to know it then. This part of the tour was very informative — lots of facts were provided by Tom and by one of the park rangers who took us inside of LBJ’s remote White House (it’s nice!). We saw several furnished rooms. The park ranger mentioned the significance of this day — November 22, 1963 was when 35th U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated. He said that LBJ’s cook was baking a pie for President Kennedy’s expected arrival at the LBJ Ranch when the news of his assassination spread across the world. We saw the original oven in the kitchen of the Texas White House on the LBJ Ranch. It was a nice coincidence that our tour group visited the ranch on that significant date. As we drove through the Texas Hill Country, we passed several types of animals — longhorns and other cattle, buffalo, deer, emus, and goats, for example.
After our LBJ Ranch vist, Tom dropped us off in Fredericksburg (a charming German town) around 1:00 p.m where we were to spend the remainder of the trip on our own. First, we split up to eat lunch at one of the many restaurants on Main Street. Then, we used the free time to do sightseeing and shopping. At the Peach Pit BBQ Restaurant (the name reminds me of the popular TV show, “Beverly Hills, 90210”), I ate a delicious barbecue meal (beef brisket with green beans, potato salad, and macaroni salad) and drank Hawaiian Punch. This was a comfortable homey restaurant with really good food. Around 2:00 p.m. I strolled along Main Street, looked inside of an art gallery and bath shop, and purchased a jigsaw puzzle (one of my hobbies) and small book from the Spunky Monkey toy store. Then, I returned to the drop-off/pick-up location to meet the van for the ride back to San Antonio. Everyone on the tour seemed to have had a good time. Tom dropped off passengers at their hotels. I returned to the Alamo Plaza area around 5:00 p.m. While there, I went to the Häagen-Dazs shop and treated myself to a kiddie cup of Vanilla Chip ice cream (I came prepared with my Lactaid pills). About ½-hour later, I drove home.