Blue Bell & Texas Wine Country

It’s been a while since Bella and I have had any Teardrop adventures. Not to say we haven’t had adventures because in September I made my first trip to the UK and on November the 1st, I became an aunt for the first time.  I have also done traveling for work and started working towards getting my Project Management Professional certification. With all of those things and other things going on, the Teardrop has had some down time, as is life sometimes.

We are back at it with lots if plans for the upcoming year. We started a couple weeks ago at Lake Somerville State Park’s Birch Creek Unit. I didn’t make reservations far enough in advance to get a site on the lake, but I loved the private, secluded nature of their inland sites.  All sites also have a fire pit and grill, which was well used on our weekend, since the weather got colder than expected for the weekend.  Now that my Thousand Trails Pass has expired I plan to try to stay in state parks as much as possible.  They are cheaper and nicer and even though I can’t use my external shower, I generally don’t need to because their facilities are better maintained.

Although it was still February and I knew fishing and other outdoor activities would be questionable, it was good to get away and there are plenty of fun, unique things to do in the Brenham area, near by.  I also needed to get my driver’s license renewed and figured a small town would be the perfect place to do that.

Lake Somerville State Park Birch Creek Unit
Lake Somerville State Park Birch Creek Unit
Lake Somerville State Park Birch Creek Unit
Lake Somerville State Park Birch Creek Unit

I haven’t really made any major changes or upgrades in the off season, except replacing the battery with a larger one in anticipation of upcoming boondocking trips.  However, I was pleased to find that my new laptop fits perfectly on my table over the charging center.

My only real addition was an external thermometer, that was just an accident that I ended up with it. I put heat lamps in my greenhouse for the winter and one came with an aquarium thermometer.  It works perfect to stick outside the front window to get real time outdoor temps.  This will be especially beneficial in areas without cell coverage.

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I didn’t really do much in the way of fancy food this time out, but I did make good use of the grill.  I arrived Valentine’s day so I made sure to pack myself wine and chocolate.

While she was excited to get in the truck and go, once it got cold, Bella preferred to experience her nature from inside the camper.

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I was not a good momma on this trip and did not pack her a sweater, so I ended up going to Dollar General and buying her a toddler’s hoodie, which worked out really well.  It improved her mood and she eventually decided to join me outside.

While I was there I finally made it to Blue Bell.  If you have never tried to go, let me warn you, part of the issue making it there is that they are only open during the week, till 5:00.  It just so happened I was finally in the area on a day they were open.

Blue Bell Creameries Brenham, TX
Blue Bell Creameries Brenham, TX

The visitor’s center gives a nice history of Blue Bell and the view from the observation deck while the ice cream is being produced are definitely things to see.  The old delivery truck and statues out front have some nice stories too.

Blue Bell Creameries Brenham, TX
Blue Bell Creameries Brenham, TX
Blue Bell Creameries Brenham, TX
Blue Bell Creameries Brenham, TX
Blue Bell Creameries Brenham, TX

If you do make it, you must visit the ice cream parlor.  It has a nice retro ice cream shop feel, right down to their $1 per scoop ice cream.  The gift shop also has some novel things, such as shot glasses shaped like Blue Bell ice cream cartons at reasonable prices.

Blue Bell Creameries Brenham, TX
Blue Bell Creameries Brenham, TX
Blue Bell Creameries Brenham, TX

On Saturday, when the real cold and rainy weather started, I looked for other options to get out, since hiking and fishing were really out of the question.  I found there are few Texas wineries in the Brenham area. The first one I visited was  Saddlehorn Winery. It had the most interesting drive, which included a one lane road under a stone bridge and a wooden bridge leading to the winery.

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Saddlehorn Winery

They offer a tasting and had a lot of great wines.  I particularly enjoyed the Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Black Spanish, which I took home.

Saddlehorn Winery

The other winery I visited was Pleasant Hill Winery.  It definitely met my quaint and quirky needs for the weekend.  It is located in an old house that has been converted into a tasting room and gift shop. They also offered a great Cabernet Sauvignon and a couple blends I took home.  The day I visited they were offering a mulled wine as part of their tasting.

Pleasant Hill Winery
Pleasant Hill Winery
Pleasant Hill Winery

Luckily on Sunday the sun came out a little and the rain stopped.  With Bella’s new hoodie, she would go outside.  We spent the day at the campground reading and relaxing.  All in all, it was a nice relaxing weekend and I’m looking forward to getting back out in the teardrop this year.

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