Most Austinites and pretty much the rest of Texas know about Gruene, but maybe you’re not from around here. First of all, forget how it’s spelled, it’s pronounced Green.
Now I’d always heard about Gruene, but I’d never been there. Most of what I heard made me think you either had to be into tubing or antiques to enjoy it, so I wasn’t too worried about the fact that I hadn’t been there. However, since I was officially “rambling” to San Antonio, I thought it deserved at least a fly by.
I was traveling with my copy of the Texas State Highway Guide from http://www.traveltex.com, so I whipped it open and read the blurb about Gruene to Bill. “I really just want to drive down the main street,” I told him.
Well, we found the quaint little town, drove through it and then ended up right by the Comal River where all the tubers jump in. Not that there were any tubers on this chilly day, but there was some pretty scenery. Bill parked right by the water’s edge, even though the signs all warned him that this was private property and hauled out the good camera. Once that was in play, I knew we’d be there awhile.
After our time at the riverside, we wandered back into town and found a place to park. The picturesque town begged to be photographed and Bill obliged. He started with a nearby B&B, checked out the dancehall and just kept clicking away.
Now the dance hall is of some significance. Gruene Hall has a lot of history tied to it. When Gruene was a small rural town, rather than part of New Braunfels, the dancehall was an integral part of the community. How else were farm girls going to meet farm boys and get together to make little farm children?
The tradition of the Saturday night dance is probably what kept the little town alive all these years, but nowadays, it’s more likely going to be frat boys and frat girls from nearby UTAustin getting together, rather than any one from a farm. Anybody who’s anybody in Texas music has played there and I’m sorry we weren’t there when the toe tappin’ was a-happenin’.
Then we found The Gristmill River Restaurant and Bar. Unfortunately, our hearty breakfast was still sticking to our ribs, but they let us come in and peek around. I decided I’d be coming back to Gruene someday and when I did, I planned to be hungry.
After The Gristmill, we returned to the Gruene Mansion Inn and explored their backlot. Lots of photo opportunities there, too. In fact, I’m just going to shut up and share some more of the great shots Bill got, but come back next week, because after our quiet visit to Gruene, things got a lot more exciting.