Janice Williams Loves Austin And sometimes I write about it.

March 27, 2011

Our First Bluebonnet Trip of 2011

Filed under: Bluebonnets,Cemeteries — Janice @ 10:40 pm

I stress that this was our FIRST bluebonnet trip this year because I am bound and determined to get more than one.

Mark and I got married in bluebonnet season on purpose in 1993 and took a fabulous honeymoon with bluebonnets along the roadways everywhere from Dallas to Austin to Fredericksburg to Bastrop to Jefferson to Mount Pleasant and back home to Dallas. After that, we took a “bluebonnet trip” each year in the spring to celebrate our anniversary and to see bluebonnets. We had some great trips.

Then we moved to Austin in 1999 and suddenly we were surrounded by bluebonnets on every trip to the grocery and downtown and to work and back. We quit taking bluebonnet trips! Oh, we still occasionally made some trips out to the Hill Country, but we kind of lost some of the specialness of a specified bluebonnet trip.

We started back on that bluebonnet trip path last year with a great Sunday outing on Easter Sunday and we went to LaGrange. We stumbled upon a beautiful cemetery just overgrown with bluebonnets and I discovered that combining three of my favorite things:  Mark, cemeteries, and bluebonnets, into one day is a wonderful thing!

This weekend was Mark’s first days off in 3 weeks. SXSW is just a nightmare in his job and the work didn’t end when the people went home. He had worked all day and into the night every day this week so we planned on running away on Saturday and not answering a phone.

We started the day in the barbecue capitol of Texas: Lockhart! We stood in line a while at Smitty’s, our favorite place, and decided we were too hungry to stand in line, so we moved on to Black’s Barbecue. I’ve always liked Black’s because they have real side dishes and real silverware and they even offer barbecue sauce. I find them much more accommodating than the other 2 barbecue joints in town. (oh, btw, I know there is another one, but that place is the WORST and I don’t even count it when I’m thinking about Lockhart and bbq).

After we ate a LOT of brisket, sausage, ribs, and great side dishes, I chatted with Mr. Black a little bit. He’s 85 now and as sweet as can be. I met him when I did a radio lunch down there in 2007. He’s a very outgoing, friendly man. He said he’s turning the business over to his sons and grandsons most of the time now. He was visiting with a grandson that was about to begin working in the business on Monday.

After lunch we made our way toward Smithville and then LaGrange. We stopped by Plum, Texas, where we found the spectacular Indian paintbrushes last year, but there was no field of them, just a few. It might still be a bit early or it might just be a bad year. In LaGrange we went back to the cemetery where we found so many last year and found the same thing there. The best plot still had a lot on it, but they were sparse through most of the cemetery.

So on to Independence, Texas, which was our destination all along. We barely got there with enough daylight in the day. There were lots of people around the pillars that mark the beginnings of Baylor University in Independence. Many were taking pictures in the bluebonnets, including a couple of brides having professional shots done. We bypassed the people when we saw the sign that said “historic cemetery” and an arrow and we drove north until we found a beautiful cemetery and a nice mound of bluebonnets!

We parked and had a great time admiring the stones and mostly the bluebonnets. I always try to take a picture of Mark taking pictures:

We read all the stones and were surprised (spooked?) to discover that two of the graves that were covered in bluebonnets had died on March 26… the day we were visiting. Each in different years. Kind of an odd coincidence.

Mark has the best pictures from our trip, I hope, but I haven’t seen them yet. These are all from my phone (which gave me a heck of a time getting them! I ended up having to email each one to myself.).

Here is one picture of us, bluebonnets, and graves in the heart of Texas Independence on the eve of the 175th anniversary of the Massacre at Goliad. History, bluebonnets, cemeteries, and time alone with my best friend and sweetheart. It was a fabulous day.


  1. Is there any better place for walking and pondering than an old cemetery. They are some of my favorite parks.

    I think the bluebonnets are sparse this year — I saw a few little maverick bluebonnets popping up on my walk today that are just coming up so maybe we are jumping the gun a little. But the prairie verbena (purple wreath flowers) are abundant around here.

    We have trekked through cemeteries from Laredo to Kaua’i. Kaua’i is called “the Garden Isle” for a good reason. People put stalks of birds of paradise and other tropical flowers on graves and they take root and grow, like the wonderful wild antique roses on some old cemeteries in central Texas. People put leis and Hawaiian relics on graves over there.

    Thanks for sharing. We may have to go next weekend.

    Comment by Diana Finlay Hendricks — March 28, 2011 @ 1:08 am

  2. Great pictures of the cemetery, bluebonnets and photographers.

    Comment by Pat — March 28, 2011 @ 8:34 am

  3. More and more bluebonnets popping up at 360 & Bee Caves, you may have to ride out this way.
    Nothing like last year but the most I have seen in the area.
    Great picture of you and Mark!

    Comment by Denise — March 28, 2011 @ 11:29 am

  4. Great pictures. Thanks for the ideas.

    Comment by sandy — March 29, 2011 @ 6:28 pm

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