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My Van Life: Day 58

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Round Top, TX – Junction, TX

This morning, I woke up in a vineyard. I realize that sentiment can be easily misconstrued and lead you to believe we let ourselves get out of hand at the wine testing last night however, I'd like to clear up any uncertainty and reinforce the fact that it was in fact, intentional. We woke up in our VAN in a vineyard after securing another amazing Harvest Hosts location last night. While the wine tasting was a bit lackluster, Busted Oak Cellars was an incredible host for an evening of good old fashioned southern entertainment and fun.

This morning we were awoken by the crisp morning air circulating through the vents. Another night UNDER the covers. I can hardly believe the luck we’re having as of late. As suspected, the farther West we move, the better the weather. Well better in this case meaning milder. Yesterday was the last hot day in the forecast for a while and it was hot let me tell you. I almost cut my shopping early because it was so uncomfortable walking around in the blistering sun. Not to mention poor Adam who was taking calls from the van. Yeesh. The good news is with all that sun our van charge has gone back up and we’re finally above 50% again! That is a big win and one we certainly needed with this week of driving and travel ahead of us.

Today was our Round Top exploring day. We had nothing on the agenda but walking around, exploring Round Top. It couldn’t have been a more exquisite day for doing just that. I don’t think it got above 70 degrees the entire day. The skies were blue, the air was crisp, the sun was shining, it was the kind of weather that I’ve been craving since we started this trip. We visited some of the haunts we explored when we came to Round Top earlier in the year but also stumbled upon some new ones that were even better than the ones we were familiar with.

The Compound in Round Top was a particular favorite of mine. The White Barn on the property just opened over Labor Day this year (2021) so we were excited to finally see that space and it did not disappoint. Adam and I are itching for a property like that for ourselves after experiencing some amazing venues over the summer – from Celeste’s wedding at TACS Stables and Horse Farm to these exquisite southern venues sprinkled throughout Round Top – we are ideating around what we could do with a space like that of our own. The White Barn is part of a larger complex (The Compound) of various antique and vintage vendors - the kind of space you could easily spend all day. They had food trucks, a bar and live music – why would you ever want to leave? Unfortunately for us, we visited quite early in the day and the rest of Round Top was calling.

Round Top is the kind of place where you admire furniture, design, décor and of course, people watch. Where we’re at in our lives presently, we're not exactly in the position to whip out the checkbook to pick up some of these pieces. Not to mention the fact we don't exactly have a home to put them in. I mean for example I was admiring a bamboo magazine rack that I was ready to take home until the vendor indicated she was asking $120 for it. HUH?? I’ve seen the exact same thing in antique stores in Sacramento for no more than $50. No thank you. Someday we’ll be in a position (and have a home, that would help LOL), in which we’ll be ready to splurge on some serious pieces but for now, we admire and draw inspiration.

Anywho, we drove less than a mile outside Round Top proper, away from the downtown area, where the more reasonable vendors are located. Really it’s just a hodgepodge of vendors who take advantage of the hoards of people who have traveled from near and far to experience Round Top and the subsequent shopping opportunity. That’s where I had all the luck for the day. It can be a bit overwhelming I’ll admit, because there’s SO much to see and in the early/mid-afternoon it can be busy with drunk people stumbling all over swiping their credit cards left and right, picking up random souvenirs from their visit to infamous Round Top but fun, nevertheless. My favorite find of the day was a pair of reworked/upcycled jeans from Blue Bird Originals. This woman started this business in the middle of COVID after walking away from her career as a hairdresser. I was completely transfixed by her, her story and her art. It may seem odd to say but in that moment I was overcome with emotion in the best way possible. I felt utterly captivated by her story, her creativity and the fact that she created this business in the midst of the pandemic like so many people have done and inspired me to follow my own art and creative soul calling me to bigger and better things. Of course I picked up a pair (can’t wait to style them and show you!) and I’m honestly already thinking of reaching out to her for more pairs and to buy as gifts for family and friends.

We wrapped up our shopping day fairly early and decided to get our drive started especially since we weren’t entirely sure where we would have stayed in Round Top should we have decided to stay overnight again. Not to mention the fact that we were craving our newest addiction – Smoothie King – which just so happened to be on the way to our next destination. We drove into Austin, about an hour and a half drive, where we picked up our smoothies and dinner from Whole Foods before continuing the drive to Junction, Texas. Unfortunately we arrived well after the sun had set so it’s a bit challenging to see much of anything here but I have a feeling it’s going to be pretty spectacular when we wake up in the morning.

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