|Just down the road on the way to Johnson City are the Lyndon B Johnson State and National Parks, honoring our 36th president. Fines and Pellegrini's took a bus tour of the LBJ Ranch - his Texas White House. The Johnsons gave his ranch property to the nation upon his death to be preserved as a working ranch and a National Monument. LBJ and Lady Bird are both buried in the family cemetary set in a grove of huge old live oak gtrees on the ranch. The house where the president was born has been reconstructed on the ranch property. In the style of the time it has a "dog run", or breezeway open through the middle of the house - with the hope of catching cool breezes during the hot Texas summers. His first one room school house is on the property along with several guest and ranch worker houses. We saw how they cultivated the fields - with ridges rippling through to trap the rain water; the show barn where show cattle and some goats were on display and some of the open land where the deer and the antelope were roaming. Themain ranch house overlooks the Pedernales River. A dam across the river near the house has a driveway constructedurg is the Nimitz Museum just under water level. Johnson delighted in driving unwitting visitors right into and across the river! The Texas White house was originally a stone farm house built in 1894. It has been expanded and wings added over the years to its present size of 26 rooms. It was interesting to get a glimpse of the man, his background and the place he called home.
Fredericksburg is such a quaint old town. It was settled by German immigrants in the 1840's and until just a few years ago German was commonly spoken in the little shops and street signs were in German. Now the signs are English and German, while they accommodate us tourists by speaking English. The old buildings are stone with many tin roofs. Many of the old customs survive - and the food! We had schnitzel and noodles (remember Mary Poppins), grilled sausage and red cabbage, sauerbraten and sauerkraut. Also broetchen (breakfast rolls) and Blue Bell ice cream. Still eating our way across America!
Another interesting place in Fredericksburg is the Nimitz Museum. Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz was born there and he was Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet during World War II from shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor until he signe the peace treaty with Japan. This a huge museum reviewing every battle in the Pacific with a display for each. There is also a Memorial Plaza with plaques commerating sailors and ships, a lot of armament, a Japanese Peace Garden donated by the Japanese to honor Admiral Nimitz, and lots more. Our old sailor Dick found it fascinating.