Go See Do Photography

A Lot of Travel, A Little Bit of History, and a Whole Bunch of Photos

Tag: winter (Page 1 of 6)

Fredericksburg, Texas

Fredericksburg Christmas Lights

When planning our time in the Texas Hill Country, I did a ton of research, saving places to TripAdvisor. When I looked at the map, most of those pins were near Fredericksburg, so we planned to spend extra time in that area. Fredericksburg was also mentioned heavily in the Hill Country episode of Samantha Brown’s Places to Love which I have written about in previous installments of this trip report as one of the inspirations for this after-Christmas trip.

Fredericksburg, like many of the other towns in the Hill Country,  was founded by German immigrants in the mid-19th century fleeing from religious persecution back home. Today, the German feel is alive and well in Fredericksburg and from the architecture to the food. We had a wonderful German meal at Austlander, right on Main Street downtown. We also had a great breakfast and took some amazing pastries back to the hotel from The Old Germany Bakery. Honestly, the pastries may have been better than the ones we got from Naeglins in New Braunfels.

Fredericksburg Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights in the Marketplatz

Fredericksburg is also home to the National Museum of the Pacific War. Fredericksburg was the home of Admiral Chester Nimitz who was a fleet commander of the United States Navy during World War II. One of the sites that makes up the museum is the Admiral Nimitz Gallery which is housed in the old Nimitz Hotel that was run by Nimitz’ grandfather when it was built in the mid-1800s.

The museum is dedicated exclusively to the Pacific theater of the war. Part of the museum is the Pacific Combat Zone which features a re-creation of a Pacific island battlefield, including a Quonset Hut, a PT boat and base, a Japanese tank, palm trees, and machine gun placements. In the 1970s, the museum was gifted with a Japanese Garden of Peace and in 1995, the museum added a Plaza of the presidents that pays tribute to the ten United States Presidents who served during the war.

Another big draw to the area is the many wineries. If you read the trip report outline of this trip, you know we visited a lot of them. I will dedicate next week’s blog post to that exploration!

Thanks for stopping by! To read more about this trip, check out the Texas Hill Country Road Trip Report. To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my updated Gear Page.

Wordless Wednesday: Riverwalk Ducks

Ducks in Water

One Day in New Braunfels

Ducks in pond in Landa Park
Landa Park

After landing in Austin, we drove halfway to San Antonio and stopped for the night in New Braunfels. New Braunfels featured heavily in the inspiration for this trip, Samantha Brown’s Places to Love. One of the spots she highlighted was Naeglin’s Bakery, the oldest bakery in Texas, known for giant streudel. For a weekday, the bakery was busy and it was warm so we took our baked goods and sat outside to enjoy them.

  • Jelly Donut
  • Cheese Danish

After enjoying our pastries, we headed to Landa park (top) to enjoy the warm Texas air. Landa Park offers a lot to do with a family including a golf course, mini-golf, paddle boats, aquatic park, and even a mini train, many of which were closed either due to COVID or because of the time of the year. There is also an arboretum and nature trails to explore any time of year. It was overcast but much warmer than the frosty Michigan weather we left behind.

After burning off some calories from our pastries, we took a drive through Gruene (pronounced green). With our experience with Texas limited to Austin and New Braunfels, Gruene felt like what I always imagined Texas to be like. Greune is a small town full of businesses with green pun names such as a boutique named Gruene with Envy and the Christmas store Red and Gruene. It is also home to Texas’s oldest dance hall, Gruene Hall which was also featured in the above Samantha Brown special.

After our lunch in Gruene, we continued on the road to San Antonio. Be sure to stop back next week as I continue recapping our winter escape to the Texas Hill Country! Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my updated Gear Page.

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Wordless Wednesday: Fredericksburg

Wordless Wednesday: Savanna Meadow

The Savanna Meadow

Wordless Wednesday: Family Garden

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Waterfall in the Family Garden

After climbing Mount Bonnell, we were looking for somewhere else to explore outside of downtown Austin to enjoy the beautiful Texas sunshine. Even though it was February and I knew there wouldn’t be much blooming, we headed to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Located 10 miles southwest of Downtown Austin, the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center is the state botanical garden and arboretum of Texas.

First Lady Lady Bird Johnson opened the gardens in 1982 as a way to showcase and protect native Texas flora. The wildflower center has five distinct zones: the central gardens, the family garden (top), the Texas Arboretum, the Savanna Meadow (below), and the hill country trails. Even though we visited in February and there weren’t a ton of flowers in bloom, there was green to be seen.

The Savanna Meadow

The hill country trails are a unique area of the wildflower center with 70 acres set aside to study prescribed fires and how they affect the growth of native plants. There are about a mile of trails in this section that give visitors an up close look at fire and land management.

The Texas Arboretum features 16 acres of native Texas trees. A mile long path takes visitors through the arboretum to see the variety of maples, oaks, and more. One of the most unique features of the arboretum is the Hall of Texas Heroes which features offspring of some of Texas’ most historically significant trees. Trees on display include the Battle Oaks, Heart O’ Texas Oak, and the Matrimonial Oak. These trees grew from acorns harvested by Arboretum staff from the famous trees and planted on the grounds of the Wildflower Center.

If you are planning a visit to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, visit their website (wildflower.org) ahead of time to discover what is in bloom and get a lay of the land.

Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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Wordless Wednesday: Stevie Ray Vaughan

Hiking Mount Bonnell

The view from Mount Bonnell

After our rainy first day in Austin, we decided we wanted to get out of the city since the sun was shining on our second day. We rented a car and headed to Mount Bonnell, the highest point in Austin. We first glimpsed Mount Bonnell on our tour of Austin and the Hill Country and I knew that I wanted to return in the sunshine and climb it!

Located in Covert Park, Mount Bonnell stands at 775 feet above sea level and is a great way to get a view of Lake Austin and the many impressive mansions built on its shores. As our tour guide suggested, we started at the trail at the end of the parking lot that is a more gradual incline. That way, we saved the 102 steps for our descent. The park at the top is a great place for a picnic and enjoy the beautiful Austin weather! If you are looking for an outdoor experience during your trip to Austin and you have a car, definitely check out Mount Bonnell! It was an easy hike and the view cannot be beat!

Being that Mount Bonnell is a big tourist destination, it is an area that sees a lot of break ins. There are signs all over the parking lot not to leave valuables in your car. If you are planning a visit, make sure you leave valuables that you don’t want to tote up the mountain wherever you are staying.

Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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Rainy Day Tour of Austin

Our recent trip to Austin, Texas was a short one; we only had 2 days to spend in the city. And of course, our first day was chilly and rainy. We talked about doing the double-decker bus tour that day as a way to see the city, but tours were canceled because of the weather.  So we went back on TripAdvisor looking for a Plan B and we found a tour of Austin and the Hill Country from AO Tours instead.

The tour was a small group in a Mercedes Van which was much nicer than the recent bus tours we’ve taken in Belize and Beaver Island. The tour provided a pre-recorded narration of the sites with our guide peppering in her thoughts and updates as we went along.

The tour started in South Austin before heading to the Hill Country, which was not something I was planning on seeing on this trip, but absolutely blew me away. We ended up renting a car on our second day to see more of that area. We returned to the city and saw the Capital and the University of Texas campus. We also got to hear about the history and see up and coming East Austin.

Overall, this tour was a great way to see the city and pointed out places that I would not have checked out otherwise, including The Austin Public Library, and Mount Bonell. We learned some of the history of the area and it was a great way to relax and stay out of the rain. Our tour guide, Ari also gave a lot of good restaurant recommendations as well.

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to come back next week to hear more about our trip to Austin! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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