Texas Hill Country Road Trip

Texas Hill Country Road Trip: Day 2

Texas Hill Country Road Trip: Japanese Float Plane
Japanese Float Plane

On the 2nd day of our Texas Hill Country road trip, mother and I went back to the war museum and finished off the rest of the Bush Gallery. We also checked out the outdoor exhibits and the adjacent Admiral Nimitz Museum. Some of the highlights include:

  • Battle at Leyte Gulf
    • An entire room dedicated to what is said to be the largest naval battle in history thus far
  • Hall featuring the life-size Admiral’s barge and Japanese float plane
  • Liberation of the Philippines
    • Includes details on the battles that led to the recapture of Manila and Corregidor Island
  • Iwo Jima and Okinawa
    • Video and accompanying voice narration about these two bloody ground battles
  • A Terrible New Weapon
    • This exhibit room provided details involving the decision to use the atomic bomb to end the war with Japan and the aftermath
  • Unconditional Surrender
    • Poignant exhibit featuring a Japanese Val Dive Bomber and an accompanying video that plays the translated radio address made by Emperor Hirohito to the Japanese people as well as video reels of the celebrations around the world when the war formally ended

After the museum, mother wanted to get some pie so we stopped by the Fredericksburg Pie Company and Gift Shop. The place is small but it had an area for guests to sit and eat. There were plenty of options but we settled on a piece of peach blueberry and coconut crème pie to take with us on our drive to Austin.

Driving to the State Capitol

It was nearing lunchtime when we left Fredericksburg and headed east on our Texas Hill Country road trip towards an off-road barbecue place called Opie’s. I read that pit masters (those who specialize in smoking meat) have rated the joint as one of the best ones in the state with an awesome fall-off the bone baby back ribs and smoky and spicy brisket.

Texas Hill Country Road Trip: Baby Back Ribs and Sides
Baby Back Ribs and Sides

We arrived at the location a mere 45 minutes after we left Fredericksburg and was relieved to find out that the lunch crowd has subsided. Upon entry, we were greeted by a large cast iron grill that contained all the meats available for purchase at the moment. I got the baby back ribs and my mother opted for the smoked chicken. For the sides, we shared their signature creamed corn and tater tor casserole. Thick, placemat-sized wax papers replaced plates and the additional complimentary sides were gathered in the middle of the hall. The ribs were good as expected though a bit spicier for my palate and the chicken had a subtle smokiness to it without the overwhelming taste of salt.

The Texas State Capitol and Donuts

Texas Hill Country Road Trip: Texas State Capitol
Texas State Capitol

The whole purpose of stopping by in Austin on our Texas Hill Country road trip was to show my mother the Texas State Capitol. We’ve driven down and visited the city twice but somehow never made it inside. The weather was gorgeous that Sunday so we were able to appreciate the scenery for the remainder of the 40-minute drive to Austin from the barbecue place. We arrived at the Texas State Capitol and walked around the enormous structure before heading inside to gaze at its famous dome and visit the congressional and senatorial chambers.

Our final stop before heading home on the Texas Hill Country road trip was a food truck trailer park where the famous Gourdough’s sits. Gourdough’s is one of the best donut places in America because of its dough and indulgent (and sometimes unusual) toppings. One item on the menu named the baby rattler consists of a donut with fudge icing, crumbled Oreo cookies, and a gummy rattlesnake. I got the Funky Monkey and mother got Son of a Peach.

Still full from lunch, we took our donuts to go, but couldn’t resist trying a couple of bites. Each order was so large it took an entire Styrofoam container to fill and must have weighed close to 250 grams.

And so we drove back home, leftovers in hand, and arrived slightly exhausted at the end of our Texas Hill Country road trip, but pleased to be able to spend some time together. It was my last full weekend in Texas.

About Iris A

Website: http://www.travelingwithiris.com

Born in the Philippines, but grew up in Texas, Iris has been traveling and writing about her experiences for well over a decade. Her work has been published on well-known travel sites like Hipmunk (#hipmunkcitylove) and D Magazine Online Travel Club. She has been all over Europe, the US, and has recently started exploring Latin America. She loves trying local cuisine and visiting UNESCO deemed World Heritage sites. Her favourite city is New York, with London, following a close 2nd. You can follow her on Twitter @sundeeiris or through her travel blog, Traveling With Iris.

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