Warning! This post is extremely long…I apologize in advance!
We were up early yesterday as we had a busy day planned! We left home about 8:00 am and arrived at our first stop of the day, The Johnson City Visitor’s Center just a few minutes before 9:00. There are basically 3 parts to this ‘museum’ – the visitors center offers 2 videos, several different exhibits and a bookstore. Across the street is the home that LBJ and his family lived in from 1913 (when he was 5) until his mother moved out of it in the 1950s. Then just down the street a little ways is the homestead of his grandparents lived on for about a year or so.
It took us about 3 hours to visit all the different parts of this Johnson City port of the LBJ National Park but we really enjoyed it. Before leaving we at lunch at Kelly’s Kitchen. It was a gorgeous day so we sat out on the patio under a beautiful tree to enjoy the daily special of wraps. Yum!
Next stop: The LBJ Ranch in Stonewall, Texas. Just 14 miles west down 290 you’ll find the 2nd part of the LBJ National Park. Your first stop is the Visitor’s Center where you are given a driving permit and a cd to listen to the audio tour. Before you begin the audio tour you are directed to visit the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm just a short jaunt from the visitors center.
The Sauer’s and Beckman’s were neighbors of the Johnson’s and one of the Sauer children was a midwife at LBJ’s birth. The farm is still working with a garden, animals and volunteers that provide information. You’ll find fresh eggs & milk in the kitchen….with the milk being made into clotted cream, cottage cheese and/or cheese. There are preserves lining many of the shelves in the various rooms of the cabin.
The audio tour of the LBJ ranch begins as you drive along the Perdanales River that bounds the LBJ property. The stops include the 1 room school-house that LBJ attended when he was 4, the reconstructed home that he lived in until he was 5, the family cemetery, his grandparents farmhouse, the show barn, the hanger and finally The Texas White House. The audio tour is free but there is a $2.00 per person charge to tour the inside of LBJs home. Your are treated to a tour guided, by a park ranger, of the entire downstairs of the president and 1st lady’s beloved home. The home is as it was when LBJ and Lady Bird lived there. The LBJ ranch was Lady Bird permanent address until she passed away in 2007, although much of her time was spent in Austin in later years.
We drove into Fredricksburg for some dinner and then stopped at Walmart to do our weekly grocery shopping. I’d done my research on Yelp for a restaurant with high ratings. My first choice was BBQ but the place with the highest reviews closed at 3:00. My next choice was Panda, a Chinese restaurant. It was very good. Michael had his old standby – Sweet & Sour Chicken and I had the Beef & Vegetables. We always get an order of Pork Fried Rice as well…plus the meal came with soup, egg roll & crab rangoon! Needless to say we have the leftovers in the fridge for lunch one day.
We took a different route home, passing through Luckenbach, Texas. How could we possibly not stop?? Luckenbach is not even really a town any longer – it’s more of a business since the post office closed in 1971. Luckenbach is associated with country music, including Waylon Jennings’ 1977 hit Luckenbach, Texas. The town is still popular with country music fans even though it only consists of a post office, a working saloon, general store and a dance hall – all in 2 buildings. When we got there we strolled through the General Store, filled with all kinds of odds & ends. The back door of the store leads into the little itty bitty bar. That little itty bitty bar was packed to the gills with people. There was a group of about 10 musicians doin’ a little pickin’. It was way cool! We finally found a spot on a bench, Michael got us each a Diet Coke and we sat down to enjoy the music. It was the perfect way to end an already perfect night!