TRAVEL THERE: THE GEM OF NEW BRAUNFELS
With the Magnolia Silos in our rear view mirror, Deb and I put the pedal to the medal. The Gaines DIY magic hadn’t charmed us, but we’d been through the New Braunfels area before and knew things were looking up.
It’s Pronounced “Green” Like the Color
My friend Shana said the retreat would be in New Braunfels, but Deb and I were looking forward to Gruene. We’d been through about a year before and knew it warranted further investigation. Gruene is a cute little historical district inside the city of New Braunfels. While New Braunfels is famous for Oktoberfest, Gruene offers other opportunities.
The name of the little enclave of funk maybe pronounced the same way as good environmental choices, but there’s a lot of bad choices you can make in Gruene. For instance, at Gruene Hall you can drink too many beers and end up starting a bad relationship. Or you can clean out your pocketbook and overload your credit card in the charming boutiques. And of course, there’s tubing, which means sunburn, puckered finger tips and probably too much beer. I’m teasing, but only a little bit. Most folks go to Gruene to unwind and a large number manage to become unwound.
We’d looked at the map and decided we’d be really close to Gruene, we just hadn’t understood how close and while the pictures of the accommodations looked good, we hadn’t anticipated how good!
Yup, that’s our retreat. It was just around the corner from Gruene’s main drag and in the middle of heaven. We were among the first to arrive and had to wander a bit before we figured out that we had, in fact, arrived at the right place. Soon we were moving in and sampling the goodies Shana had whipped up for us.
Next stop was a large flagstone patio with a circle of brightly-hued Adirondack chairs. We found a seat and got to know our fellow retreat mates. What an amazing group of women. I figured they’d have to be pretty special to count among Shana’s friends.
We spent the evening hanging out around the campfire, swapping stories and laughing – a lot. Shana let us know this was a do-it-yourself retreat. She had plenty of food in the frig and yoga sessions were available, but there were no planned coaching sessions. That was OK with Deb and I. In spite of one too many margaritas, I managed to find my bed and get a good night’s sleep.
In the morning, I pulled on my exercise togs and headed to the patio for some yoga, but it had been a while since I’d yoga’d and the humidity made it a little much for me. I got busy hydrating and dressing for a day of shopping. A good number of the girls were going to tie rafts up to the trees in the river and another bunch were going tubing, but the San Marcos Outlet Malls were calling.
I asked Shana where we should go to lunch and she recommended a place called Palmer’s. WOW, was she spot on! I’ll tell you about it next week.