Friends from Sweden

swedes

Today my friends from Sweden arrived in the Texas Hill Country. They flew into Dallas and spent the first two days dining on America’s culinary delights from Taco Bell, Outback Steakhouse, In & Out Burger and McDonalds before heading on over to Driftwood for dinner at the Salt Lick. When I saw Marie-Therese, it was as if we had known each other for a very long time and hugged and squealed like long-separated friends who were finally being reunited. They are staying in our guest house, Marie-Therese, her husband Hakken, her 17-year old step son Viktor and her four year old son, Alfred. They could not be more thrilled to be here in the heart of Texas, eating barbeque, swimming in the swimming hole and riding in the back of the pickup truck.

They were in love with Texas before they arrived here; now they want to marry it and bring it home to Sweden to meet the parents!

Truth is, Marie-Therese and I met through Instagram and had never set eyes on each other before today, but there was a certain familiarity, how can you explain? Except to say that Instagram can be a window into someone’s soul and you can sometimes feel really comfortable meeting someone who you follow on Instagram. You could even fall in love through Instagram, but that is a story for another day.

My new friends from Sweden LOVE Texas and their plans for the next day involve cowboy boots, shooting off guns and liquor, but not necessarily in that order. It was so fun to meet a friend from Instagram; I just hugged and kissed each of them as I left them to collapse in their air conditioned house on the river for the night.

Such an adventure!

Keep on Drippin’ in Dripping Springs

So I find myself back in Dripping Springs, Texas; a town I honestly never thought I’d return to — nor wanted to because I never felt I was on the “same page” as this town or its people. It was full of bugs, critters, snakes, Republicans and I was bored to tears.  I never looked back when I left it years ago, so it was a complete surprise to me when I had no resistance to moving back to this Texas town earlier this year.

Downtown Dripping Springs:
pano_drip

It’s a hum-dinger of a tiny town and now there are things to do! Places to go, people to see! There was nothing here in 2005 except a tiny (gross) grocery store, and a newly minted liquor store because Hays County had been the “dry county” for…. well I think forever and it had recently been declared NOT DRY, so yes, there was a liquor store too.  The feed store was about the only business that had wifi and people would line up their trucks out front with their laptops to steal the internet.  It has only been very recently that we’ve been able to get internet service out on the ranch; and even so it’s satellite service, which means we have to pay for each and every little kilobyte of internets.

Where to start?! There is great, local coffee (no Starbucks hooray!!), a big ol’H-E-B, a Home Depot, Mercer Street Dance Hall, a weekly farmer’s market, a gorgeous YMCA, restaurants WITH full bars and not just wine and beer, and even some food that is NOT barbeque! There are festivals with more to come… big news is that the Songwriters’ festival is going to be here this October; I think this could bring some even more awesome talent to the neighborhood.

I do believe, however, that Dripping Springs is just an idea, as there is not much to it (yet), but it’s a place where people want to escape to. It’s motto is the “Gateway to the Hill Country” and many people trapped in Austin and other cities, dream of getting away to the Hill Country and enjoying the Texas countryside, but few have access to it because there are so few parks and wildlife areas.  I am totally grateful for the land that I am living on, with my ex-husband, because it is essentially our own National Park.  I’m know this will change in the coming years, as there’s a mad dash to conquer the Hill Country. For now, I love the small town feel to it, I hear the schools are the best in Texas and aside from the sweltering heat and fiery fireant bites, it sure is purdy.

There is a libation renaissance going on here as well; the laws have been changed recently and now you can find craft beer makers, wineries and spirit makers.  You can schedule a bus or limo to take you on a winery tour that includes sampling Texas olive oil or listen to live groovy music out on the ranch while eating wood-burning-oven-roasted pizza and drinking locally made beer, gin, this vodka or that vodka.

The booze-hounds have CRUSHED Hays County! And I concur it is all very interesting indeed.

This is my slice of Dripping, although I should probably mention that I live in Driftwood, an unincorporated community and even smaller than Dripping with nothing but a wonderful Italian restaurant, a legendary bbq joynt, a post office, a church and a few wineries.  I am totally thrilled and grateful to call this funky part of the world my home for now.

Y’all come back now, and be sure to keep Drippin’ Dripping! (conserve that water dagnabbit!)