A Little Bit Dr. Seuss!
Entering Our Little Oasis
All the colors, made it easy to ignore the drab January weather. We headed towards the porch of the original house, built by a rancher over 100 years ago.
Kate and Bubbles
As we passed through the entryway, we paused to see the 2 front rooms of the house. Both were set up for dining. We had already learned from reviews that breakfast was worth the 565 mile drive from Houston!
Then a set of French doors took us into an indoor pool retreat. Too bad the heating system wasn't quite finished. Don is known for making use of a pool anywhere and anytime. He would have put that one lane to good use!
We exited the pool building and into the courtyard with a good view of all the rounded buildings, constructed of hay bales and paper/fiber cement and painted in bright colors.
Too Cold to Linger
In warmer weather the patio area is where guests can gather for live music or a little food and drink. There was a fire pit and wood, so we could have hung out a bit. But we headed for the greenhouse instead.
Maze of Walkways
Kate wandered with us, pointing out some of her favorite spots to sit. Now and then she'd stop to snap off a dry leaf or lift a watering can.
Coffee and Beer
There were a number of ponds and sitting areas, but Kate pointed out an enclosed space that we were welcome to use. She pointed out the coffee maker and beer on tap and dishes and cups if needed.
Our Domed Hideaway
It's hard to describe or capture in pictures, but the thick Papercrete walls with all their colors and curves, felt like we were in some kind of a fairytale cottage! I've seen attempts at creating whimsical structures that come off hokey and flimsy. But this was amazingly solid with plenty of non-kiddie comforts... wine glasses king bed, stained glass and sconces, fresh flowers and a glowing "fire" within an actual antique stove.
Not a Cave
Again, the curves and domes are not trying to create a Fred Flintstone Land. There is a reason behind this Papercrete construction, which is light-weight and very insulating for the extreme temps in West Texas. But I mostly loved the whimsical design. There were little walls and shelves and built-ins, that were all fun as well as useful!
If only it hadn't been so cloudy, we could have seen moonlight through our tiny skylights in the domed ceiling. Or the sunset! We had our own backdoor and sitting area, looking directly west. What fun it would have been to have seen the sun setting within the frame of our decorated doorway!
Up For a View
I braved a set of icy steps and headed up to a little viewing tower. There were a few colorful and oddly shaped seating options, but it was too cold and there was no sunset to view. But I did have to smile at the sweet Catholic Church across the street. It was right out of a storybook.
Weather was no better in the morning, but it just made breakfast cozier. We headed to the house where Bubbles barked "hello" and Kate greeted from the kitchen.
Old and New
I loved the purple painted cabinets and the bright yellow window of the "old kitchen". Kate invited us to step into the new kitchen, with hanging copper pans and a wonderful yellow arch over the big stove!
Our breakfast feast was all local and organic. Our pancakes were made with whole wheat flour, ricotta cheese, buttermilk and served with a lemon sauce. The homemade Greek yogurt came from a friend's nearby ranch and topped with berries and a flower that Kate insisted we eat. "I don't put anything on your plate that's not to be eaten!" She laughed.
her to sit with us at breakfast, we were delighted at how easy it was to chat half the morning away. We couldn't have felt more welcome!
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!