Unexpected Stay in Kingsland, Texas
Don and I haven't been been seeking out hotel adventures during this pandemic year. But in late March, we ended up with a little getaway by accident.
We had stopped at our cabin in Sunrise Beach and discovered issues with frozen pipes. We could have managed a night with no water, but we were tired. We headed for the nearest hotel, which happened to be the historic Antlers Hotel in Kingsland.
It was a little before 5, when I put on my mask and headed into the lobby. The woman at the desk looked up with an somewhat worried expression. I could see it, because she wore no mask... which is a lot more common in smaller towns of Texas.
I don't think the woman thought I was going to rob her. Surely she's seen other masked guests. She was mostly a little anxious because I had arrived, just as she was closing up for the evening. 5:00? Wow. That's early.
March 24, I Think?
I studied the little date thingy, while the host typed into the computer. They did have one of those. I wondered if that metal calendar had been there since the Victorian hotel opened, in 1901.
Probably not. The resort hotel only had a brief heyday. It closed after 22 years. Then after about 7 decades of sitting empty, a couple from Austin purchased. They renovated and opened, in the 1990's.
The hotel offered some cabins, as well guest rooms in the main hotel. I knew our poor host wanted to go home, but I asked if I could take a peek first.
She graciously put on a mask and took me through to the back of the hotel, so I could see a room. The one story room on the far right, held the Antlers Suite. I took one peek and said it would be fine.
After grabbing Don and our bags, we rolled our suitcases over the brick, to our cute little entrance with screened door AND screened transom, plus our own porch table.
There was only one other couple staying in the hotel. They were upstairs and the opposite end. Yay for isolation!
After dropping off the bags, I just had to peek at the other side of our building. What a treat to have windows on 3 sides of our suite.
Our suite had about 8 windows and 2 doors. I wondered what was with that below ground room. ?
We had tons of space for our one night stay. High ceilings, woodwork and wood floors, made it feel like a 120-year-old hotel.
The furniture was an odd mix. Antiques here and 1980's decor there.
There was an equally spacious bedroom, that felt open and airy. Best of all there was no one above or under us! No one within hearing distance! Don and I were ready for isolation.
We I had come to our cabin, at the end of a road trip home from Oregon. In Portland, we spent 3 months lowering our voices, in an Airbnb basement unit. (Owners above us, liked quiet) I was a loud and giddy guest, at Antlers! TV sound up! Voices at full (even loud) volume, after 9! I could even wear shoes inside if I wanted. Woohoo!
We'd expected to be in our cabin on the last night of our journey. Instead we were in an historic hotel. Suddenly I was okay with being in a hotel.
It was a lot more fun peeking around at the woodwork and curious pieces of furniture, when I realized what we could be doing.
We were killing time at an old hotel, instead of calling plumbers and trying to figure out where our broken pipes were. What fun, to turn off the cabin water and retreat to this old place.
By 6, we were ready for Happy Hour. We decided the little iron table & chair set near our door, was not comfy enough.
Since the hotel was closed for the evening, we took over the front porch. I put the camera timer on, while we sat in rockers and sipped our wine.
We rocked away and watched the skies brewing above the Grand Central Cafe, across the road. There was a tornado watch, but the people sitting on the dining patio didn't seem bothered a bit.
The crowds also did not seem bothered by the pandemic. I did spot some wait staff in masks, but there were no covered faces, coming or going from the parking lot. This was an odd welcoming, back in the state of Texas after months in Oregon. Finally, the dining crowd thinned out and I picked up carryouts for dinner. We dined at our own table in the Antlers Suite.
The sky was blue in the morning. We'd woken a few times to storm drama. Oh how I've missed Texas storms. Luckily no tornado!
I headed out the door early with my running shoes and cell phone. So many beautiful things to see on my quiet morning run.
Sunrise in Kingsland
What fun to be back in Texas, just in time for Bluebonnet season! And the pathway down to Lake LBJ, was pretty in morning light. The hotel even had kayaks available for guests. If only we'd had time to linger.
I spotted the red caboose, as well as the others. Don and I actually spent a night in that caboose 6 years ago!
I ended my run, looking at the front of this beautiful hotel, with porches and rockers. I spotted the double doors on the left. The Kingsland Coffee Company now serves coffee and baked goods, in a space that once held a sitting area and kitchen.
I headed back to the room and showered. Don and I made numerous attempts to make appointments for vaccines back in Sugar Land. We would deal with the cabin later and head home with fingers crossed. There was a good chance we'd likely be dealing with pipe issues back home as well. Darn that Big Texas Freeze of Feb 2021! But mostly our fingers were crossed that we'd get the Covid vaccine soon!
We loaded the car and I put on my mask to check out. A different woman at the desk greeted me and made no attempt to find a mask. I chose to not fret. Instead, I asked about the history of that underground room near our suite. Something about bootlegging! And some kind of elevator or contraption that carried the liquor to upper unit, near ours. I love a fun tidbit of hotel history.
Then, I headed to the coffee shop and found myself once again the only one in a mask. Staff and guests looked at me like I was some kind of paranoid old granny... or a bandit. Coffee was complimentary to guests, so I happily took 2 coffees for the road.
Minutes later, I got through to my doctor's office and I got two appointments for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, for the next day!
I love this sweet Texas hotel. I don't love that they paid no attention to the fact that our country is still in the midst of a pandemic. I will always remember that I was annoyed by that, but my glee outweighed my annoyance! I will always feel like this hotel adventure marked the beginning of getting back to exploring and traveling! At least I hope so!
Texas Hill Country Inn
That was long before we were searching for "Notable Night Hotels". But we were intrigued by the inn and the small town... pronounced like Bernie.
The Kendall Hill Country Inn
In January, Don and I returned to Boerne and spent a night at the hotel. The canopy was no longer green and a sheep had been added to the logo. The "Ye" was gone.
There was also a new set of critters. A sweet mama and baby buffalo, greeted us out front!
Then and Now
The town has nearly tripled in size, since we first stopped through, in 2003. I knew the town had grown, but I was eager see what had changed at the inn.
We arrived on a sunny January afternoon. The town of over 17,000 was buzzing with activity. The exterior of the 160+ year old hotel, had changed little... except for the entrance.
Home & Hotel
The hotel history goes further back than this aged image. The old photo was taken after Mr. & Mrs. Reed's Southern Colonial style home (from 1859) became the Boerne Hotel. The original Reed House is in the center.
Early on, the Reeds ended up renting out rooms in their home, to travelers. The Reed Hotel became the Boerne Hotel in 1878. Wings were added to both sides of the old house.
The black and white photo shows lots of land. It's nice that some of that open land has been preserved in a city park.
If we'd had an upstairs room, we could have looked out over the park.
But near the main doors, we found lots of open rockers... and a pair of dogs. We could have rocked away and pondered history for hours! We could have thought about all the activity that occurred on that open property. Instead we wandered and pondered.
Cowboys, Cattle, Horses... Camels!
The grounds around the hotel were used as a key stopping point for cattle drivers and military men. Cowboys and horses camped out on the land.
Before the Civil War, camels also spent some time on this land. Jefferson Davis stayed as a guest in the hotel, while 33 camels from Tunisia were tied up outside. It was part of Jefferson's experimental "Texas Camel Drive"!
Into the Inn
It was about 3:00, when Don and I headed inside to check in.
Clearly, the hotel had spiffed up since our last visit. There was a great blend of old and new.
Then and Now
It felt brighter! When I pulled up some of my old photos, I could see changes. Lots of light paint and fewer rugs.
Don headed for the desk and I checked out both sides of the lobby.
Nicole checked us in. She was wonderful, showing us around and sharing a little history. All the staff seemed enthused about our interest in the hotel's past.
I wanted so badly to stay in one of the original Reed House rooms, at the top of the stairs. But out of 34 guest rooms, only a few are available in the old section.
Out We Go
We weren't sure what we had booked... except that we usually go for the lower priced rooms. We followed Nicole out back.
The hotel doors opened to the back porch. There was no view of the park, but there were nice sitting areas, overlooking the courtyard.
There were tables and trees and strings of lights, to make things festive at night.
And there was a long, one-story addition that made me think... motel?
I was a little bummed when I realized our room was in this new addition. I had hoped for a 160 year old room. But once I learned the addition was from the early 1900's, I was fine.
Our sweet-suite at the end of the porch, was a pretty nice deal!
It was January, but nice enough that I sat on the cushioned chair with a little ivy for privacy.
The suite was small, but we could sort of spread out in two rooms for a bit.
I used the little sofa for some reading. The horse kept me company.
Comical Heating System
The room with queen bed, was cozy and quiet... except when the heat went on.
The sound came on with a distant clanking. The sound made me think of kids, racing up a metal fire escape. Then a rumbling roar, like a jet liner taking off... followed by a simmering, humming vibration in the wall. The sound was more amusing than annoying. Don and I had a hard time falling asleep, because we were giddy with anticipation. Honestly, I've never fallen asleep on the verge of laughter. But somehow we both slept!
The bed was comfy and the bathroom had nice marble and tile. The robes were just the right weight for Texas weather. I can't handle heavy robes.
The cozy, clean space gave no hints of the past. Most guests probably appreciate that, but I kind of missed having creaky doors and floors.
Luckily there was lots more to experience around the hotel.
Right outside our door, we spotted a fireplace. We wondered if some of the fireplace could have been part of the original kitchen.
We found some additional guest house buildings, past the courtyard.
The carriage house was original, but the church and school had been moved to the property, in recent years. All can be rented. We didn't get a chance to use the little soaking pool.
Food and Drink
The hotel's restaurant changed hands and had a new name, since our lunch years ago.
It was Friday, so we peeked in early to see about dining.
This photo shows just one end of the dining room. On a warmer day, there would have been extra dining options on the wraparound porch.
I remembered the cozy bar from our last visit. The colors and decor had brightened, just like the hotel.
There were a few people getting the weekend started before 4.
Past the bar, there was a classy little lounge space, with a scary critter. Without guests, I could get a good look at the puzzle of limestone, covering the walls.
Restaurant or Bar?
We returned at 6 and the restaurant was filling up. We were able to get a table in the bar, where we watched lots of regulars, greeting and gathering together.
We shared a dish of Mac-n-Cheese and devoured Chef Bohanan's, Chicken Fried Quail. An amazing dish, with cornmeal Johnny-cakes and Maple Cayenne syrup!
Night at the Inn
After eating, we stepped out in front to see the building lit at night.
Then we grabbed some coffee from the lobby and headed for the courtyard.
The winter chill, meant we got to enjoy the fireplace! The winter season also meant, we didn't have to share the courtyard with family reunions or wedding parties. I'm sure it's not always so quiet.
We scooted the chairs closer and enjoyed a real wood fire. My camera flash made things way too bright!
Nice Stay and Town
In the morning, we walked a block to town and had breakfast. We strolled through shops and studied old buildings. What a curious history with the town and hotel.
I wish we'd had more time to learn about the community's past. It was first inhabited by German "Free Thinkers". That's an interesting tangent right there! Around the turn of the century, Bourne was attracting visitors with health concerns. The hotel became sort of a health resort for guests suffering lung ailments. So much to think about!
So what will I remember most? Our one night stay was a good combination. Our welcoming inn, plus a quaint town, along with some intriguing history. Having our hotel a block from town, meant we got sort of a package deal. Hotel, Town & History! Perfect!
Fresh Look for The Fredonia!
Our night at The Fredonia, was a perfect ending to a weeklong road trip.
But the historic town of Nacagdoches was right on our route. And one peek at the hotel website, showed me that the place had made some recent changes. We booked.
November in Nacogdoches
The drive into town was a breeze. The lack of SFA State University students, could have played into that. It was the Sunday, before Thanksgiving.
We arrived to find the sun shining, on the sprawling brick building. I could just imagine the excitement in 1955, when The Fredonia opened. The community got the first-class, modern hotel that they'd craved.
The People's Hotel
As we approached the entrance, I admired the "Creole Modern" wrought iron. I didn't know the term at the time, but I recognized the style. I'm pretty sure my Great Aunt Marguerite had some of that white-painted iron work, with acorns and leaves. I had no interest in it that look, as a kid in the sixties. It totally amuses me now.
The plaque near the door, reminded us that the hotel was built by the town! In 1952, residents saw the need for a modern hotel and the residents came together and raised funds. Could that even happen today?
I altered my photo to look like an old postcard. I love motel and hotel postcards from the fiftie & sixties. Actually the stylish white lettering is new. The hotel changed names from the 1970's until it closed in 1985.
It regained its Fredonia name when it reopened in 1989. That was back when mid-century modern was not so hip. The 1950's decor disappeared.
We checked in at about 3. The staff was welcoming and pretty cute, in their purple checked shirts.
I was thrilled to see the photo mural, spotlighting the swimming pool (with bathing caps!) in the fifties.
I noticed the glowing, pink terrazzo floors, later that evening. I'm glad they were saved, during recent renovations. I was also glad to see the mid-century furnishings were back... at least the style.
I liked the retro look of the stairs. I'm not sure where the stairs went and I'm not sure why I failed to find out. I'm usually a better explorer.
And then there was the purple guy on the wall, near the bar entrance! The angry Lumberjack, was a reminder that we were in a college town.
First City Cafe
The hotel's spacious, main dining area was recently given a new look. A new name was given, to put a spotlight on Nacagdoches, which claims to be the oldest city in Texas.
I loved the bright, space age feel. It looked like it could have been a dining room, at the NYC World's Fair in 1964.
The curved shape of the room was extra mod. The view of the kidney-shaped pool and patio, was pleasant on a sunny afternoon.
It was close to perfect weather, for dining outside near the pool.
I liked the critter, watching over the pool and garden. I asked the desk staff if that was a bunny and if so, did it have a name? They laughed and said no one had ever asked about a name. I will name him Astrobunny, after my one and only bunny pet.
The pool/patio was totally enclosed by the restaurant, hotel and the one-story motel addition.
We wanted to stay in the tower section, because it was the part of the original building in 1955. But, the motel came soon after. I would pick the motel experience, next time. There are 10 "Cabana Suites" overlooking the pool.
Staying in November, wasn't the best time for enjoying the pool area. But there were a number of standing heaters and a fire pit.
And the trees still had some leaves. There were about 3 amazing trees, on that patio! They obviously built around them, in 1955. Beautiful.
We always ask for higher floors when we book. We hoped our room on the 6th floor might have a view.
We stepped out of the elevator on the 6th floor and found a nice little sitting area. There was hot coffee available in the morning.
Our room was small but luxurious. (We usually book the cheapest) The bed linens were lovely, with simple, green stripes.
Don graciously gave me the side, with the desk. There wasn't room for two bedside tables. small room, meant the TV felt huge. There was a nice soundproofing feature.
The bathroom was also small, but very sleek. I wore a comfy robe and enjoyed coffee in the cute mug. The serious owl watched from above.
My favorite renovations, don't remove all reminders of the past. The room felt fresh and new, but that funny window, happily took me right back in time. Why did they place it so high?
The height and the condensation, made it hard for me to get a perfect view. But it was a fun one, when I stood on my toes. I spotted a few fall colors and church steeple.
Autumn in Nacagdoches
One of the nicest things about our stay, was being able to step outside the building and explore the historic old town.
We had the most glorious afternoon walk, as the sun lowered. Next time, we'll take in more of the town's history.
9 Flags Bar and Grill
In the late afternoon, we peeked into the hotel's bar. The sun was illuminating the glass bottles in the window. There was some very intriguing decor, that was very 21st century. Copper stools and lights, dripping from the ceiling like Spanish moss...
We weren't able to peek in the hotel's other restaurant, Republic Steakhouse. It was closed on Sunday. For dinner, we had to decide between the Cafe and 9 Flags Bar.
We decided on 9 Flags, since it seemed cozier and had an interesting crowd at about 7. The menu looked intriguing. We ordered a chicken Caesar salad and "Gruene Chicken Enchiladas". The cornbread croutons on the salad were good enough to be an appetizer. The Mexican dish was an amazing mix of sophisticated flavors! I can't begin to explain! Yum!
After dinner, we headed out to the patio and enjoyed the view across the pool and building, bathed in pastel lights.
The temps had dropped quite a bit, so we asked at the desk about the fire pit. It took a little while, but before long the fire was lit. What a treat! We sat outside on that chilly night, talking about our past week traveling through OK, MO and AR. A nice way to wind down.
We were pleasantly surprised with our stay! We got to enjoy a retro modern hotel, in the oldest city in Texas!
I'm glad the the DeWitt family stepped in, to bring this hotel back to the community in 2017! What a great job.
Don and I have stayed at some wonderful historic hotels in Texas.
We love the small town gems, with easy access and lots of history. This past June, we chose an historic, high rise hotel, in the midsize city of Lubbock. Easy and interesting!
We arrived on a warm and windy, Saturday afternoon. The bricks on the street and the hotel, seemed to be absorbing the sunshine.
The 11-story, Renaissance revival structure, is no longer the tallest building in the old downtown. But it was the most impressive. Impressive and quiet, for a Saturday.
The hotel didn't look much different back then... except it was 5 stories shorter and there were Model Ts parked nearby, instead of SUVs.
We arrived and parked in the lot, next door. Yay! You don't get free parking with big city hotels. Then we headed towards the side door and Don pulled up the code from his phone. The Pioneer Pocket Hotel was a fully automated hotel! We weren't exactly sure what that meant, but we were eager to give it a try.
This is how the lobby would have looked, 50 or more years ago. There were 142 guest rooms and lots of people to take care of those guests.
This is how the lobby looked, when we walked in on Saturday afternoon. There was no desk and no bellman. We knew that ahead of time, but it was still odd.
There was nice seating, in the modern space. But there were no people using the tables or velvety chairs. That's because most of the people who walk through this lobby, are coming to dine or drink. Others are heading up to their homes, since the building reopened with condos in 2012.
Up We Go
It felt strange to breeze through the lobby and head straight for the elevator. There were two. One was for the condo residents and the one with the vintage hotel image, was for hotel guests. We headed up.
307 - The Pioneer Room
The 10 hotel rooms were on the 3rd floor. It was oddly quiet when we walked down the hall. No cleaning carts or hints of hotel life. We punched in the code to our room.
Each room had a name and theme. Vineyard, Windmill, Cotton... Our Pioneer Room, had no covered wagon or bonnet decor. Instead it was filled with wonderful vintage photos of the Lubbock area. From the days it was called Pioneer Hotel?
We chose the cheapest of the rooms. There were 8 suites and 2 rooms, to choose from. Ours was cozy, with only 310 square feet. But it felt fresh and clean and was less than $100.
I would suggest getting 2 slim tables and moving the queen bed into the center.
All the Extras
Luckily, our room was well equipped. There was a Keurig coffeemaker and a fridge and room sink. There were nice Poggesi bath products and even a toothbrush kit. There were extra pillows and linens. If we'd decided we were needing something, it would have been a little trickier, since there was no front desk to call.
By 4:30 the lobby was brighter. The sliding doors to the West Table Restaurant were open. The restaurant looked classy and comfortable.
I had read about all the events that had been held in the glamorous space, over the years. But there was no access. I peered down from a railing and enjoy the lobby view, instead.
Curious About History
I love exploring old hotels and usually the desk staff can point me in a good direction. It was a little frustrating, having no one there. But, I let the wall art, with old downtown images, give me some hints about the past history.
It was fun imagining the downtown, before the businesses moved out towards shopping centers and malls. I wondered what the area looked like in 1975, when the old hotel building became a low income retirement center. Or in 1994, when the 11-story building was in disrepair and closed down for good.
Hungry and Thirsty
By 5:00, Don and I were ready to make use of some of the food & drink options, in the building. The Coffee Shop was closed, but it looked like a pretty fun space.
The Brewery LBK
Don loves a local brewery and this one was right off the lobby. The atmosphere was inviting, with some fun table games and dartboards. I helped Don sample a flight, but mostly I loved the complimentary popcorn.
We had a view out the door, of the patio area, with a pair of loose chihuahuas that had arrived on their own. The tiny dogs were cute, but not nearly as cute as the entire worried staff, that kept appearing from the kitchen in their aprons, fretting over the poor lost pups. The dogs' stressed owner, eventually arrived in her car and everyone quietly cheered.
We read some stellar reviews about the hotel's restaurant. But the menu was a little pricey and we weren't hungry enough to indulge. We decided to head on down the street, to get something lighter.
One Quick Pic
Just before crossing over to our hotel, I had to pause to admire the old brick in the alley. There was something a little unsettling about our wandering, but it's nice to know, this area is being rejuvenated. I'm so glad they have held onto the brick.
The West Table Bar
It was fun to see how lively the restaurant, bar and brewery had become. Hungry now, Don and I took 2, of 4 stools at the bar, where "Cousin" and his amazing mustache, served us well!
Best of all, we enjoyed the good humored service of Cousin and his sidekick, Jameson, while they worked behind the bar. What a great team they were. I loved hearing stories about Cousin and his youth... the land he grew up on, changing from cotton to peanuts to vineyards. From Jameson we learned about Lubbock's dramatic weather. Specifically, a recent wall of dust, (known as haboob) that struck the town! What entertaining talk!
We slept well in our cozy Pioneer Room. I rose early and headed out with my camera to take one more photo of the hotel. Besides the wind, which was still blowing, all was quiet, that Sunday morning... until I heard a voice yelling. I looked up to see a man staggering down the sidewalk. He was waving some kind of sign, as if it were a flag.
I gulped and aimed myself towards the entrance. "Don't panic. Don't panic." I reminded myself that I needed to remain calm, or I would fumble with the code and not get the door open. (I know myself) I got safely inside and pulled the door behind me, before the creepy man got to the corner. Whew.
Off We Go
Don and I packed up and headed out by 8:30. It was quiet in the lobby, as expected. There was no one to ask about our stay. No key to hand over. We drove out of town, through the Depot District, down Buddy Holly Avenue. All was quiet and empty. I wish we'd found this area, the night before.
Our Pocket Hotel experience was easy and comfortable, clean and attractive.
Yikes! I guess I'm glad I didn't have that notable bit of information, before we stayed.
Newly Renovated, in Hico
The afternoon sun was shining brightly on the corner entrance when we arrived. The wood column was impressive.
Across the Street
The hotel faced Pecan Street and its welcoming red sign. We had to help out, to create the missing letter.
Later, we wandered the street and enjoyed some wine at Silver Spur Winery and some popcorn at Hico Popcorn Works. I love a hotel with walkable stuff!
Rebuilt in 1896
Hico was a cotton and cattle town in its earlier years. The original corner hotel opened in 1893, but was destroyed by fire.
The new brick and stone hotel reopened in 1896. By 1907, the town was bustling with cotton sales and 95 businesses. This corner would have been jammed with wagons and horses. But by 1909 a boll weevil infestation ended cotton farming. The Midland Hotel was vacant for nearly 70 years.
Renovation and Restoration
I'd seen many photos and I'd read about the recent restoration. But I was even more impressed when we headed into the lobby.
The beautiful wood floors and limestone walls, were accented by fun art and antiques. I love curious chairs and I spotted 2 right away.
Reclaimed and Repurposed
Evidently the building had been empty since the 1970's. The interior had to be totally gutted, but much was saved. The walls now reveal stone and brick. Reclaimed wood has created a beautiful ceiling.
Fixer Upper Style
The open staircase offered a closer look at the ceiling. The lovely lobby below, looked like a setting for a movie... or a TV show.
Actually, the hotel had a TV connection. Chip and Joanna Gaines (from the Fixer Upper show) were involved with this property. Their Waco home is just an hour away and their real estate company, Magnolia Realty, handled this hotel.
Playful Old West
Don and I have stayed in numerous, historic Texas hotels. There's usually a lot of cowboy and cattle decor... which means lots of taxidermy. I loved seeing a little taste of Old West, in non-aged, art for a change.
Even the saloon had a fun-modern nod towards the Wild West. The rounded bar was shiny and bright, with a beautiful brown and blue horse painting, above. The Texas longhorn on the wall, had no fur.
The Chop House
The Chop House restaurant was fairly quiet at 4. I took a peek from below and above.
Thick, velvety curtains were pulled at night, so the sound stayed below.
Hotels get extra bonus points from me, when they have useable porches! The Midland's second story porch, had lots of sunshine at 4:30. There was also a lounging porch in back. Later there was a pleasant evening glow, but there was too much wind for enjoying.
After checking in, we lugged our bags to the second floor. The stairway was wide and so were the halls. They seemed to go in all directions.
I was glad they were able to salvage the original doors. Some had clever coverage, for the old glass transoms. The room across from ours, used a woven rug piece, to block out the light. It also had a mailbox! I was jealous.
We found numerous little sitting areas, while roaming upstairs. This one was at the top of the stairs.
At the end of hallways, we found more cozy lounging nooks.
Modern West Benches
I'm not sure if these seats and benches get much use, but they all looked pretty fun.
Room 201 - Lynch Brothers Room
All 14 rooms are unique and named for historic figures or places in Hico. Our room was named for the Lynch Brothers. The screen door that decorated the wall, framed an image of the hardware store that the Lynch Brothers owned.
Across the Street
When I opened the blinds, I saw the very building across the street. "C.L.Lynch Hardware" was painted on the brick. The painted ad for Bright and Early Coffee and Tea, had faded over the years. I love old ads on buildings.
We were pleased with both of our rooms. Pat & Susan had a suite over looking the balcony and Pecan street. Exposed brick was framed like art.
Our room was smaller, but the high ceilings and large mirror made it feel spacious. The shape of the room was odd, but I like a room with more than 4 walls.
Near the door, there was a table holding a Keurig coffee maker. The orange-painted, metal table pleased me and I wasn't sure why. Don recognized the once common typewriter table. I suddenly had memories of the gray metal table that held my family's typewriter. I could picture my mom typing away... sometimes late into the night! Extra points for a hotel that gives me a fun, deja vu moment!
Entertainment at 6!
We made sure to head down to the Saloon around 6, for live entertainment. In a town of less than 1,400, you have to be thrilled if there's anything going on. By 6:15, this cozy bar space was hopping. The middle table was taken over by an extended family. Evidently the family reserves every Thursday, for music and burger special.
Music, Drinks and Food!
We grabbed a table not far from where John Young (from Stephenville, TX) was performing on guitar... and ukulele! He was a talented young man, with a smooth voice and a nice repertoire, that leaned mostly towards country.
We sipped wine and beer and downed some incredible tenderloin sliders, among other yummy appetizers. It was fun to see many locals enjoying the evening. A number of kids came through from the Chop House area, to add to the tip jar. It was a nice evening, that ended at a reasonable hour... for tired travelers.
The next morning, we had to hit the road at 8:30. There wasn't time for lounging on the porch, but we did snap a photo. We headed downstairs with our bags and left the keys on the desk. The hotel has no attendants in the morning. But as we loaded the car, a young man walking down the street, introduced himself. He had been our chef last night and he hoped we'd had a nice stay. That was a good way to end our visit!
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!