fredericksburg-2_17923883591_oIt had been more than a year since I had been to Fredericksburg, so when I put together a list of places I wanted to visit during my week off, it was at the top.  Rain was forecast for much of South Texas and the Hill Country for the entire week, so I wasn’t sure what I was going to find, or if I was going to get wet, but I decided since most of the sidewalks on main street are covered, I’d head up there and wander around.

Based on the forecast, I decided Tuesday would be the best day. Which worked out well as far as the weather goes. And since the tourist crowd is much lighter during the weekdays, I had pretty much the run of the town. What I didn’t expect was how…empty…the town looked without all the people walking around checking out the shops. Still, I love the old 1850s buildings that have been repurposed, and even empty the town has its charms. It was fun to remember the old Palace theater where I saw Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when I was in high school. It’s a clothing store now, but the outside looks the same as it did then.

fredericksburg_20May2015_062Normally when I go to Fredericksburg I go up one side of main street and down the other, from the Nimitz Hotel to the park and then back down (from Washington to Adams – which you would think would be very short, but somehow Lincoln and Llano got sandwiched in between). For some reason – well, it’s an obvious reason actually – I never venture beyond the covered sidewalk (and there’s the reason). This time I decided to follow the church spire to the other end of town. There are actually three churches of note on that end of town. Well, two churches, three church buildings. fredericksburg_20May2015_040The St. Mary’s Catholic church is just a block off Main street and the campus consists of the old church, the new church, and a school across the street. I took a few pictures of the outside of both the old and new and then started back. While I was waiting for the light to turn so I could cross the street I was greeted by a young man I had seen walking from the church. He was sitting on a bench there smoking a cigarette. He said, “this town is like little Germany.” Indeed. I learned that he and his father were visiting from Dallas to work on the church organ. He suggested I should go in the old church since I was taking pictures of them. I went back after eating lunch and went in. The church walls are white and the glow of the stained glass windows makes the whole church look blue inside. In deference to the handful of people praying I did not take any pictures inside, but it was worth the return trip.

I stopped in Agave art gallery on San Antonio street to see what “Texas Style” art meant. Sculptor John Bennett stepped away from his work to talk to me about some of the works he had there and give me some great side information about the artists and their art. He was very nice and I did really like several of the pieces there, especially one of the Stephen Napper paintings, but my art budget is modest and even though there was one piece I thought would be nice in my mom’s kitchen (a Melanie Fain bluebonnet etching), I let my more prudent self talk my more wide-eyed-wonder self into thinking on it over a meal.

woernersBeing a German town, there is no shortage of German food to be had. However, I am somewhat ashamed to admit, although I am of German heritage I find the food to be much too heavy, especially for a hot walk around town.  I’ve always gone to The Peach Tree for sandwiches in Fredericksburg, but since John was so personable I thought I’d ask. He said he and his wife like a place right around the corner. When I mentioned Peach Tree he said, “that used to be her favorite.” So, thinking our tastes must be similar I took him up on his suggestion and went to the Woerner Feed Store. Which is exactly what it is/was. It still looks like a feed store on the outside, but it’s enclosed and air conditioned inside. I had a very tasty Spicy Sicilian sandwich which I heartily recommend, and, since my camera was packed up in the back seat, used my phone to take a picture of the rooster that was hanging around outside on the way out. It’s that authentic.

fredericksburg-17_17923758991_oAfter lunch I headed back down to the other end of town to visit the old St Mary’s church and also the other art galleries on that end of town. I really liked the Lutheran church a few blocks away, but unfortunately with the Canon 60D not being full-frame, my 28mm lens couldn’t get the bell tower in the frame without also getting the power cables in the shot.

The one thing I haven’t mentioned, which anyone who knows Fredericksburg is wondering about, is peaches. Poteet is known for strawberries and Fredericksburg is known for peaches. If we had an apple town we’d be set. During peach season Fredericksburg is drowning in road side peach stands and tourists stopping to buy. Some of the orchards will let you pick your own (for a price, of course). Alas, it is not peach season, so despite a few wayward stands on the road out of town and the numerous businesses named Peach something or other, this particular trip was rather devoid of peaches. Maybe next trip.

Other places of note in Fredericksburg:

The National Museum of the Pacific War (in the old Nimitz Hotel) and George HW Bush Gallery

Rockbox Theater – live music, tribute shows and more

Texas Rangers Heritage Center – it’s not open yet, but it looks like it’s going to be great. Already well under construction on the east side of town on 290, phase 1 is scheduled to open Aug 2015.

Have a favorite hang-out or restaurant in Fredericksburg? Let me know in the comments!

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