We turned the 4th into a five-day weekend to recharge the batteries somewhat before heading into a challenging rest of July. On Thursday we headed to Fredericksburg, a lovely German Hill Country town about 1.5 hours west of Austin. Europeans to this day attribute good quality construction to solid materials (as in solid rock), and there's a lot of it in Fredericksburg. We're big fans of German- and Alsatian-influenced vernacular architecture of the Hill Country. It's romantic and solid, kinda like Fabio (choke, gasp, gag...). The Germans, ever practical, were attentive to thermal loading (deep overhangs for south facing buildings, few windows in east and west facing walls) and passive cooling.
What really gets us off our butts and out Fredericksburg way are wine allocations at Becker Vineyards. We're big fans of Dr. Becker's (and his wife Bunny's [no joke!]) wines and are wine club members. Every three months (for a fee...) we get an allocation of three bottles, so we have to get out there and pick 'em up! We also stopped at a new place along 290, Four Point O Wine, that has somewhat inspiring Hill Country Modern architecture (and pretty good wines!).
Peach ice cream, anyone?