Sunday, September 1, 2019

Tales of the Traveling Tote # 20

~ Rabbit, Rabbit ~ 
Welcome to 
Tales of the Traveling Tote #20
It's been a stay at home kind of summer for us, 
but I've managed to entertain myself.
The Texas Hill Country is a beautiful
rural area just west of Austin.
It's an easy drive and perfect for a day trip.
Follow along below to see what I mean.
 Fields of wildflowers and grazing cattle
quickly give one a sense of calm.
These guys were curious about the
city girl taking their photo.
They decided to come a little closer
to check out the stranger.
It's hot in Texas, so relief is often 
found in the shade of a tree.
Along the way, we spied this:
~ Shot Gun Wedding ~
Unexpected artistic humor, courtesy of a local rancher.
 Camp Lucy was the destination for a day trip with friends,
a day to get away from the traffic and buzz of city life.
Whit Hanks, an avid Austin antiques dealer and collector,
opened his family ranch for others to enjoy the 
beauty and quiet of the Texas Hill Country.
Whit's oldest son lived in Asia for several years, 
and when Whit visited his son, an
unexpected odyssey began.
Inspired by the French Colonial buildings in Vietnam,
when Whit discovered an 1880's Catholic Church
on the brink of destruction, he purchased it, disassembled it,
and brought it to the Texas Hill Country to become the first of 
several French Colonial buildings he brought over from Vietnam.
Click here to read the full history of how Camp Lucy came to be.
In addition to the various reconstructed structures, 
including a repurposed Amish barn built in Ohio c1800,
and newly constructed lodging, Camp Lucy includes
Tillie's, a fine dining experience.  
Read the details and histroy of Tillie's here.
Feast your eyes on just a 
sampling of what is on Tillie's menu.
We are at "camp", so every
meal should finish with s'mores!
Miz Checkers and I had a terrific time
on our visit to Camp Lucy.
Another day, another trip.
The vistas of the Texas hills feed my soul.

This day friends and I headed over to Boerne, TX,
a small Hill Country town making a name for itself.
Quickly growing with an influx of new residents, 
a beautiful historic downtown is home to locally owned speciality shops for antiques, home goods, unique gifts, fashion, jewelry, 
art galleries, wineries, and a variety of fine restaurants.
Do you see this?????
Yes, in deed!  Boerne, Texas is home to
an incrediblly beautiful MacKenzie-Childs shop.
~ Finzeas in Beachant ~
Generally, I have to rely on shopping the catalong online,
so it's nice to know this source is just a conversation away.
Finzeas is just one shop in the beautiful 
Beachant Department Store.
Take a look at all that is offered here.
 We enjoyed a delicious lunch at
The Creek, which you can read about here.
Again, fine dining in the 
Texas Hill Country.
All to celebrate this beautiful 
friend on her birthday.
 After lunch, we returned to Main Street 
to continue the shopping excursion.
Laurie Saunders,  Antiques and Interiors 
is chock full of beautiful home accents and delights for the table.
I was thrilled to discover this source for a favorite brand, 
Hester and Cook.
 Case in point, this fun farm house theme table
done in my favorite black and white.
 Epicure ~ Boerne's Gourmet Market,
offered lots of choices for gifts for "the chef".
Two Trick Pony, an interesting and upscale consignment 
store, definitely deserved a visit.

When back home in Austin, plant centers and farmer's markets are always favorite destinations and a good diversion.

Viveroa new discovery for me,

will definitely be a repeat.

Arnosky Family Farms, my favorite Hill Country flower farm,

celebrated their summer launch of peonies with a Peony Party.

 Miss Merri Mac and I drove over early on a Saturday
morning to take advantage of $2 a steam peonies.

Miss Merri Mac happily agreed to be filled with

peonies, sunflowers, and bright colored zinnias.
Weekends at local farmer's markets are great entertainment,
especially when there are bouquets of farm fresh flowers, .   .   .
And the company of the sweetest
sister a girl could want, along with   .   .   .
these two special munchkins.
Ahh, yes!  ~  Simple summer pleasures right here at home!
Be sure to visit all the adventures below.
Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
 Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul ~You Are Here
Jackie and Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home


The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. You certainly do have a lot of "simple pleasures" close by. I want to go shopping with you!!! The Two Trick Pony sounds like a fun place to find a hidden treasure. All of those shops are just my style, and lucky you coming upon a store that carries M-C!! That could be dangerous!! Your grand nieces are growing up so quickly! Happy September and happy travels.

  2. Your simple pleasures are mine..and may I add I love all yours shoes and accessories LOL..Those pompom espadrilles♥And boots of course..and big necklace..oh lol I just love accessories..OUR decor.;)

    Fun fun fun outings and pretty Littles:)

  3. Sarah, I would be absolutely delighted to have accompanied you on each and ALL of those August jaunts with Miss Merri Mac! Truly, you are continuously finding new and fun places to enjoy leisurely unique shopping and dining experiences. Love the MC specialty shop you found. I say let's gather in TX! Happy September!

    1. Sarah, a postscript comment....after going to the Camp Lucy website, it looked notably familiar and, sure enough, I confirmed from my niece's Facebook album that she was married there in 2013! We weren't able to attend as it was Dec 23 (I was hosting local family for Christmas). It's beautiful, esp at night! If the tribe ever would come to TX, I have quite the family contingent in TX. I may have to plan making rounds with everyone. :)

  4. Seems you have been busy and having a great time. Special friends and family make it even better. Texas cattle seem to enjoy a pose for the camera.

    Wonderful antiquing with great food makes a perfect day too.


  5. What a wonderful time you have had this summer with your friends and your traveling tote. I LOVE MC shops. They are just full of eye candy. This post was a lot of work and you did it beautifully! xo Diana

  6. Sarah, you are always going to such fun and fascinating places whether they are near you in Austin or you are traveling further! Camp Lucy is just beautiful, that is my kind of camping! Tillie's looks delicious and then to find a store full of MKC treasures! Wonderful friends and shopping, what could be better! You always look so cute in your pictures and I swooned when I saw your tote full of sunflowers and peonies!! Gorgeous!

  7. Dearest Sarah,
    Wow, Camp Lucy looks very special and it is quite a story for demolishing that old Catholic Church in Vietnam and bringing to Texas.
    What a joy for having access to such lovely Peonies and other cut flowers.
    And your sweet sister's grands in the photo look lovely.
    Fond memories of summer so far.

  8. Oh Texas really is just bigger and better isn't it? There are so many places to explore and so much fun to have. What a place that Camp Lucy is! I can't imagine importing a church from Vietnam! Your boots while flower shopping are just so adorable. Lucky girls to get to spend time with you!

  9. Oh My Goodness Gracious! What a fun adventure I went on with you and your lovely friends. So much to see and do! Camp Lucy sounds absolutely delightful. Thank you for sharing and wishing you a wonderful Labor day weekend. HUGS

  10. Wow, Sarah, what a great post! I would love to have tagged along on each and every destination. Sounds like great fun. I enjoyed each picture.

  11. You and your friends sure know how to find fun places to visit in the Hill Country, Sarah! Camp Lucy sounds like a fun stop, and so does Boerne. I know how special sister time is, and your grand nieces are just adorable. You always look so fabulous and classy, and perfectly stylish. I enjoyed my tour through your photos! Happy Labor Day!

  12. Sarah, I want to indulge in some retail therapy with you! A flower farm, peony party, MKC fun...I adore the buffalo check farmhouse table! The views of the Texas Hill Country and Camp Lucy are beautiful and so scenic. Sister time is the best. My sister drove up for a visit for the long holiday weekend, I’ll be sad to see her go. Happy September and Labor Day ♥

  13. Sarah, you had quite the retail therapy in August. I would have loved each one of these destinations and my foodie self would have indulged in all of the food. I enjoyed traveling with you and Miss Merri Mac! Have a wonderful week!

  14. Sarah, sometimes staying close to home is lovely. You and your friends must have had a lovely time. Camp Lucy looks wonderful and that menu I would love. So glad you and your sister got to visit. The littles are darling. I love your shot with Merri Mac. How wonderful to find store that has Mackenzie childs. I need to find one around here. Happy Labor Day.

  15. Your Tote, certainly finds some wonderful places to visit. Loved everything, and that food looks out of sight. I just wish we had such interesting places here. Independent businesses seem to disappear faster than you can revisit them! Thanks for sharing!

  16. I'm so glad you shared the Texas Hill Country, and I am intrigued with the French Colonial buildings brought over from Vietnam. What an undertaking! I would love to stroll and shop with you and Miss Merri Mac. My favorite picture is at the end of the post. Family time is best! Happy Labor Day Sarah.

  17. Sarah, your TX hill country is so very lovely. And, such simple delightful pleasures there! How interesting reading about Camp Lucy. Makes a great day trip. I'm sure you were delighted to discover the MC shop in Boerne. What a delightful little town to day trip to. And, looks like you had the best companions while shopping the market, sister time is awesome and you had the sweet little munchkins come along. Love all of your pics, looking fabulous!

  18. I still need to get to the Hill Country - it's been on my list for some time Sarah.
    Great post, can see you've been having summertime fun with your friends.
    We're nervous about Dorian heading toward a landfall here on the coast of NC - fingers crossed things aren't too serious. It's all so scary.

    Hope you and M are well - Mary x

  19. It looks like you had a great summer with your friends and I love all the places you visited. I would love to visit Texas someday. I really enjoyed looking at the photos.

  20. Your traveling tote sure gets around. I had no idea the area was so diverse and pretty.


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