I just reread the a post I made in November of 2012, at which time I started and I guess ended this blog. Sorry to have kept you hanging this long, but I got side tracked, beginning this new chapter of my life. The difference between then and now is now is that I have two and a half years of living here full time under my belt, credentials I would say for being a real resident rather than a "weekender." And how do I know I have truly reached this status? After two and a half years of shopping almost daily in a store, the merchant finally calls me by my name! I was doing the happy dance!--of course they probably don't know that I am a registered democrat.
The tents are going up and Round Top, Texas (population 90), is about to have a face lift. Twice a year, on mass the Round Top area transforms itself in to a sea of shoppers and vendors from all over the world. Approximately 100,000+ people will be arriving for the Spring 2015 Antique Shows. With over a 1,000 vendors this is quite the extravaganza.
The best kept secret though is that this isn't even the best time to come to Round Top, TX. If you come up between the antique shows there are so many amazing things to experience, from wineries, restaurants, galleries as well as amazing musical venues, just a few miles away
Have you ever heard of Winedale? Certainly if you have read any of Leon Hale's columns or books you would know it is one of Leon's favorite places, and it is in Round Top. Did you know Round Top has a world class symphony hall called Festival Hill that can rival any in Europe. It seats over 1,000 people. You would be surprised at all the cool things Round Top and the adjacent areas have to offer If you are an HGTV fan you know the Round Top is home to the Junk Gypsies.
So, the next time you want a cool weekend trip, think Round Top, TX. Let's get the word out about this wonderful town!
An awful lot has happened since my last post. If you check the records of the residents in Burton, Texas you will now see that I have joined the ranks of country dwellers! My driver's licence, and car registration all reflect my new status as a proud resident of Burton, TX.
With everything going on in the world today, we are told that we all are going to have to settle for a "new normal." When I started to think about the "new normal," I asked myself if in fact that was a bad thing. Sure I am certainly not any happier than anyone else trying to keep my 401k from becoming a 101k, but other than my having to rethink my investment strategy, maybe the "new normal" is the wake-up call I needed to get a different perspective on life.
Knowing that I could never be sure when the right time would be to walk away from my full time job, I found myself at a major crossroad and knew I had to make a decision, right or wrong, so, I chose to slow my life down, to literally and figuratively, stop and smell the roses, which by the way I also enjoyed planting! Choosing to make this choice at a younger age than I had orginally planned undoubtedly will require me to be a bit more frugal, but I realize that having a "quality of life" is not about having stuff, it's about experiences , and spending time with people and pets that matter to you.
With a cup of coffee in hand and Dixie (my rescue Jack Russell) on a leash, I head out for a stroll to greet the sunrise! You can hear a pin drop.--no cars and no light pollution (no traffic lights). I am captivated by the tall blades of grass swaying gracefully in the warm breeze. Dixie must be as well, because she couldn't wait to trot through the tall grass. On our way back to the house we head to the vegetable garden to see what veggies and herbs could make the day's menu. My "new normal", what is there to complain about?!
I can tell, without even looking at my calendar that it is Friday morning. My jaw is relaxed, the tightness in my shoulders is gone, there is a lift in my step and a smile on my face. With but hours away and a mere 80 miles to drive, paradise awaits, destination Round Top Texas. Population 90, my Happy Place!
I know what you must be thinking: this woman is a loony tune. There are families bigger than this town, and you would be right. Just maybe, that is the draw.
Just head up Highway 290 towards Austin, Texas and as you pass Cypress, the road opens up. Take those deep yoga breaths, enjoy the cattle grazing on the ranches and watch your blood pressure drop. Holistic medicine at its purest.
My property is at 8960 Winedale Road, which is 4.9 miles from the center of Round Top, Texas, a town one square mile in size. This little town annually hosts two of the most famous antique festivals in the country, one in the Fall and one in the Spring, attracting thousands of visitors.
It is also home to the Festival Hill Symphony Hall complex which was founded about 40 years ago by famed Houston pianist, James Dick, and which seats 1100 guests. These guests are treated to world class concerts year round. It is where approximately 80 students are chosen from all over the world, lucky enough to have won a spot in the Summer Concert Series, where they have the honor of studying under world famous musicians.
As if this isn’t enough of a draw, treat yourself to dinner before a concert at the Zagat rated Royer’s Café, recently featured on Sunday Morning on CBS and recognized for their delicious pies. It's located in the center of town about a mile from Festival Hill. If you are just looking to chill but want to hang with some great folks, drop on by the Wine Cellar, the local pub where Justin and Glen are always glad to see you. On just about any Friday or Saturday night you can mingle with the locals and join the other weekenders having a cold one, eating a pizza and listening to some pretty great local music.
Most Friday nights you will find me starting the weekend at Los Patrones (which is also in the square) with one of the most generously poured Margaritas I have ever been served!
Round Top, Texas and its adjoining towns, Burton, La Grange, Brenham, Carmine and Giddings, are some of the best kept secrets around. These towns offer the best of city activities with the civility of down home country living. Here time stands still, in order for friendships to blossom. It’s where neighbor is more than a word used to describe the people next door. It’s where the garden you can’t seem to find the time to maintain in the city is lovingly nurtured. Where the tomatoes you pluck from your vines seem to get devoured, before they make it back to the house for the dinner salad. And best of all, at the end of the day, I can come home to my five acres of land, pour a glass of my favorite wine and watch some of the most breathtaking sunsets that I have ever seen.
I invite you to come out some time and experience my dream. Experience our guest house, Bird Song Cottage, where we have gone to great lengths to provide you with a very upscale country experience. Check out the details on this website. As we are totally booked through August, I recommend you book early, as the word about our accommodations is obviously already out!
Leslie Elhai is the proud owner and innkeeper of Bird Song Cottage, located in on Winedale Road in Burton, Texas, 4.9 mi. from the center of Round Top, Texas.