A randomized round-up of interesting things we've seen, tried, learned and experienced on the way from here to there.
Pauls Valley, OK
We stopped in Pauls Valley, Okla. on our way back from Oklahoma City last fall. It was an easy stop off of I35, and is also along the route of the AMTRAK Heartland Flyer. We went specifically to see the Toy and Action Figure Museum, which now houses the collection of my late, great friend who passed in early 2021. Not all of his items were on display at the time, but it was still a fun place to check out. There is so much to see - each exhibit overflows with miniatures, posters, collectibles and other memorabilia. At the same time, each piece was meticulously clean and deliberately placed, so there was a nice order to the chaos. (Which my friend would really appreciate as "bringing order to chaos" was his love language and driving motivation.) The museum is in downtown Pauls Valley, which is a destination in itself with a distinctive look and feel, as well as dining and cultural options.
While small, I would not necessarily categorize Muenster, Texas as being off the beaten path. Many travelers and travel media types stop there at some point for its picturesque main street and German influences. We went early in the year, a cool and clear day, in search of German food and Texas vistas, which we found plenty of. Located in the outer boundaries of the North Texas Hill Country, Muenster is a point where the prairies start to roll a bit. A stop at Fischer's Meat Market for cheese, German mustard and other groceries (no meat for us this time, since we were far from home) and a very large blackberry strudel at Bayer's Kolonialwaren gave us fun culinary souvenirs. We can recommend lunch at Rohmer's, which has schnitzel, sandwiches and more.
One Great Shot In Eastland, TX
We really enjoyed our short stop in downtown Eastland. What I like about this shot, is how timeless it seems. The brick streets, trees and vintage lettering on the weathered sign could be in almost any era.
Here are a few extra notes, sharing things that stand out for planning and inspiring past, recent and future trips.
Independent Bookstore Day was Saturday, April 30. And lucky for us, we found one! But then again, we usually find them. Bookish Cedar Creek, in Malakoff, was hosting a special event that included local authors. What a busy place!
We were excited to stop by there in person, and in spirit we were definitely appreciating our other favorite indies, which include The Bosslight, Nacogdoches; Brazos Bookstore, Houston; Murder By The Book, Houston; BookPeople, Austin; Absolutely Fiction, Lufkin; Beausoleil Books, Lafayette; Kramers, Washington DC, Powell's Books, Portland, Ore., The Strand Book Store, NYC, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle; Collected Works Bookstore, Santa Fe, Skylight Books, Los Angeles; City Lights, San Francisco, Literati Press Bookshop, OKC and of course, our local favorite,