Years ago, when I was on a long road trip that often followed in the tire tracks of John Steinbeck and his standard poodle Charley, I found the wonderful hill country town of Fredericksburg, Texas. I loved the vintage town and the old neighborhoods with their rambling homes, wide porches, and bountiful gardens. But what I really loved were the tiny, charming "Sunday Houses"nestled among the others. They stole my heart.
Why were they called "Sunday Houses?" The history that was related to me came from an old Texas family that built their own replica to house their growing family of grandchildren. They told me that ranchers and farmers who lived far from town would build these tiny homes for their weekend visits to buy supplies, visit friends, and to attend social functions and church on Sundays. Thus, "Sunday Houses."
Some of these historic late 19th century-early 20th century homes are now vacation rentals.
My favorite. I don't know why, but maybe because of the sheltering arms of the ancient tree.
A book about tiny houses.
While we were in Fredericksburg this trip, we stopped by the Fredericksburg Herb Farm, originally started by the Varney family years ago, but now tended by Rosemary and Dick Estenson, who have built a spa, a restaurant, and 14 "Sunday Houses" for overnight stays. They're charming. We were only in one of them, but it was beautiful and immaculate.
The new spa. The windmill pumps water into a koi pond. The raised bed with the pumpkins is the "cake garden."
The herb garden outside the restaurant.
"Sunday Houses" behind the herb garden.
The food was fresh, local (farm to table), creative, and perfect.
Rest in peace as you wait for your table.
Jeff's bison chili.
A view from the restaurant into one of the garden areas.
I loved this engraved stone.
Jeff and I look forward to visiting Fredericksburg again, hopefully during bluebonnet season, when the sky blue lupines make the bee-humming air smell sweet as honey.
We've traveled over 5,600 miles so far on this book tour, met hundreds of fabulous people, visited gardens, homes, and restaurants we'll never forget (some restaurants for the WRONG reasons). We're heading westward to Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona, for a presentation this Sunday, and then home. Home to family, friends, and a little grandson who I've never had the chance to hold, but will soon. Luke now weighs six pounds–and if we're lucky, we will really have a wonderful and more thankful than ever Thanksgiving.
Onward and upward,
P.S. One of my favorite television shows (and blogs) is Central Texas Gardener on KLRU TV 18 in Austin, Texas. Solid information and inspiration are shoveled out in equal amounts. In this photo, host Tom Spencer looks like he is getting ready to fly out of his chair. This taped segment about birds will air in early 2013.