Family Fun in Central Texas, Part Two: Austin, Johnson City, and Fredericksburg

This is my second post about our family's travels to Central Texas. I suggest reading the first post before this one. Because I blog about educational travel, I received free admission tickets, media rates, discounts, and other benefits for some of the attractions we visited throughout the trip. This has no bearing on my reviews. Everything I'm sharing is something that I recommend whole-heartedly. If you notice any gaps in my narrative, it's because something wasn't worth mentioning.


Austin, Johnson City, and Fredericksburg, Texas

On Saturday, April 6, we got up early and had a delicious breakfast at the Embassy Suites before heading out to do the Austin Trails Urban Adventure Quest. Well, two of us did. Trevor opted to sleep in and have a late breakfast while Steve and I were out Questing. His loss.


If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know how much I love Urban Adventure Quests. Each Quest takes you on a walking scavenger hunt with around 15 puzzles you solve at the most interesting and historic places in that particular city. We've completed UAQs in 28 different US cities and hope to one day complete them all. 

As always, the Quest took us to places we wouldn't have found on our own and taught us so much about Austin. I love that. 

Bats are amazing. They're basically the size of a chicken nugget and weigh even less, yet they eat 2/3 of their body weight in insects each night. That's a LOT of mosquitos, flies, and midges.

Austin was in the path of totality, too. There were a lot of signs about the upcoming eclipse. 

After we finished the Quest, Steve's sister, Teri, picked us up in Austin and we headed west toward our eclipse destination. But first we made a stop in Johnson City to see Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park

We started in the Visitor Center. It is packed full of interesting information about LBJ and Johnson City. 

We've been to the LBJ Presidential Library, so the Visitor Center added to the knowledge we already had. 

Visitors were encouraged to write where they would be when the solar eclipse happened. It was neat to read all the different locations. 

After the Visitor Center, we walked a block to LBJ's boyhood home. 

It was interesting to see the house and stroll through what used to be the gardens. 

The Texas White House Complex is currently closed for renovations so we didn't get to see that. Next time, hopefully. 

From Johnson City, we continued west to Fredericksburg, where we stopped at the Texas Rangers Heritage Center. It honors the Texas Rangers, the investigative branch of law enforcement in Texas, formally dating back to 1835. 


Texas Rangers have five character traits: Courage; Determination; Dedication; Respect; and Integrity. These are displayed prominently here on the Ring of Honor and throughout the facility. 

The Heritage Center currently has a large pavilion, with information about the Texas Rangers on each pillar. 

Soon, there will also be a 26,000 square foot Heritage Center building that will focus on the values and traits of the Texas Rangers. It looks like it will be spectacular. 

The grounds at the Texas Ranger are gorgeous. 

They're covered with bluebonnets, the Texas State Flower

Time for lunch! (Dinner?) It was about 3:30 when we arrived at Altstadt Brewery

We ate at the restaurant, but they also have a bar, biergarten, rathskellar, and grand hall. It's quite a place! 

As I mentioned, we ate in the restaurant. 

Everything on the menu is German. Between the six of us, we ordered half of what they have on the menu. OK, maybe not quite. But we did try a bunch of different items. Everything was outstanding. 

With full bellies, we headed to Firefly Resort, our 399 sq. foot home away from home for the next four nights. Dave, Pat, and Teri were staying in their RV, catty-corner from the tiny home we rented, #80: Hugelhaus

Inside, we had a small living room and kitchen, a spacious bathroom, a small bedroom for Steve and me, and a low-ceiling loft where Trevor slept. It worked well for our family. 

Out back, we had a deck plus a great seating area around a firepit. 

We had no rear neighbors - just a gorgeous view of Texas Hill Country. 

After we got settled in, we walked through the entire resort to get a lay of the land and to check out the amenities. 

Back at our place, we relaxed as the sun set. 

It had been a full day and we had an early morning planned, so we headed to bed. Tomorrow I'll tell what we did during our next two days in Fredericksburg. 


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