Tag Archives: Twin Oaks Ranch

On our way and catching up

Happy March, everyone!! (Really? March???)
We packed up this morning and began our drive to our next ‘neighborhood’!
Although our final destination is Trinity, TX (Trinity Pines Conference Center), we have a couple of stops to make along the way. One of our responsibilities as the Eastern TX Reps is to visit ‘our’ projects at least once a year (hopefully in person – if not, then by phone or proxy), so we’re taking the next couple of days to stop at three projects sorta-kinda on the way. (You can check out the map over on the “So Where are we now” page.) But, before we get into those travels, I figured I’d better do a quick recap of our final days at Twin Oaks Ranch. After two months in the greater Austin area, we finally made it to the State Capital.
Capital 2
So that we could get the big picture, we took one of the free tours they offer. Ours was The Women of Texas Tour. It took us through the building and explained the ins and outs of the building’s history, but focused on the women who influenced the settlement and government of Texas. Full disclosure – we only took that tour because it worked best with our time schedule, but we’re glad it worked out that way since it was so interesting. Here are some of the pictures from the Capital Building –

Door Hinge Woodwork Mariachi watchers
Capital Dome Senate Chamber Texas Stars
Original chandelier House Chamber Looking down
House chamber from the gallery More chandelier Fence

Aside from the terrible time we had finding parking (the Senate and House are both in session, so it’s a pretty happenin’ place right now!), we had a great time. For all of our travels, we have really been remiss at getting into cities (especially state capitals), so I’m trying to remedy that going forward. Since we were already downtown we also checked out the Bullock Texas State History Museum – another must-see in Austin!
Bullock Museum of TX History
One thing you notice about Texas (not just in Austin) is the huge amount of The Lone Star State Pride!
Big TX Star
We even took a quick selfie –
Selfie with star
And although there is so much more to see in downtown Austin, we chose to check out the SoCo (South Congress) area which is full of eclectic shops and eateries.
SoCo streets
We grabbed a bite to eat and made sure that we got at least ONE photo of Flat Stanley enjoying our Monday excursion!
Flat Stanley in SoCo
If you look all the way down the road you can see the state capital. The F. Stanley assignment is officially over, but we may just continue to show him the sights. 🙂
So that was our Tourist Finale for February. Note to self – take advantage of Urban Opportunities. There is so much to see and do!!
Yesterday was spent cleaning, doing laundry, and getting organized for a couple of days on the road. But we did have a special treat at the end of the day. Here’s a little back story:
Earlier this month I got a message from a friend who we had been close to many years ago. His precious wife Barbara, a very dear friend of mine, passed away more than 30 years ago and although our life paths went in different directions (we moved and changed churches, he eventually remarried, etc.) we’d stayed in touch through the years and especially more so with the advent of Facebook. (He’s an amazing photographer (http://photographyworksofart.smugmug.com/) and has always been a great encouragement to me with this blog and my photography attempts.) Anywho – Early in the month he sent me this message –
Barbara’s brother lives in Buda. I can give you his contact info. I am sure they would love to meet you. There is a great BBQ place near there.
I figured, why not?, and got the brother’s information (Art had checked with him and he (and his wife) said they would love to meet us.), and then promptly forgot all about it. (That ever happen to you?). With a little nudge from Art, I finally called last weekend, and made plans for dinner last night. It was pretty unusual heading off to someone’s home for dinner when neither of knew them (and didn’t really even know their last name.). But we’re so glad that we went a bit out of our comfort zone to make new friends! It was a beautiful connection, reminding me of the very special friendship I had with Barb those many years ago, and a lovely evening all around!
Evans and Conrads
So next time someone says – “Hey – I have a friend (distant relative, even) in that area that I know would love to meet you” – say – SURE!!!

We’ve made it to our first stop-over (Camp Tejas, Giddings, TX), and will be having our Area Rep visit soon! We worked here 5 years ago, so we’ll enjoy seeing all the changes!
Thanks for coming along!



Twin Oaks Ranch – a bit of a walk about

One of the best parts of being in the SOWER Ministry is the diversity of locations each month. Although last month we were also in the Austin (TX) area, we were pretty remote and had a 15 minute drive to even hit a main road. And then it was another 15-20 minutes (either way) to the grocery store or the beloved Lowes. Here at Twin Oaks we are just 10 minutes from the Interstate and all kinds of civilization. But the really sweet part of this camp is that it still feels like you’re out in sticks.
It’s a relatively small campus and is geared more towards retreats than full-blown wild and crazy summer camp. But that doesn’t mean it’s not packed full of good things to do. Pool, zip lines, GaGa Ball courts, archery, obstacle course, massive fire pit –
You know, all that good stuff. And they also have a lovely waterfront along the Onion Creek.
Canoeing, kayaking, fishing, rope swing – and did you see the hammock!! Like I said, all the good stuff.
There’s a beautiful chapel
overlooking the waterfront –
Isn’t it lovely?
You can see in this Google map screen shot that there is a neighborhood on north side of the campus. (The blue dot is actually where we are parked, and yes – we do look out the front to a housing development.
But the neighbors on the other side (down by the creek) are pretty interesting –
Yep, it’s an emu. Go figure!

So this is a very sweet camp. One of its distinctive is that it a “perfect space for you and your group to spend time together with God and each other.” And it’s less than 30 minutes from Austin! Pretty much a win-win!
And did I mention the sunsets?

A very sweet camp, indeed!!