Posts Tagged ‘Smithville’

TueFeb200924

Texas Tea PAPERDOLL PARTY in Smithville

Local Paper Doll Maker, Tom Tierney, is having a Paper Doll Party, March 7, 2009, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  The party will be at the historic 1887 building at 216 Main Street, Smithville, Texas. The building was probably designed by the same architect that designed the Chancellor House, 201 Ramona Street (now the Katy House Bed & Breakfast.

Join Tom Tierney in his studio, the Shangri-La Emporium for a day of Paperdoll fun!  There will be Sales Tables, Show & Tell, and Surprises!

Bring your favorite or new paper dolls for show & tell.

A $10 fee will cover lunch, refreshments and handouts.  Please register by March 1st. Call Katherine Keene at (210) 912-3150 or email Bev Micucci at bevm@centurytel.net


MonFeb20099

Brits invade Smithville

 

 Our visit to the Friendly Texas Town of Smithville:

We’re still not really sure why we picked Smithville as a night stop during our short trip from Houston to Austin but are we sure glad we did.

We knew we had 24 hours to make the trip as our reservations for Austin were not good until the Monday but we didn’t really fancy a Sunday night in Houston.

Smithville looked kind of in the middle on Google maps and a quick accommodation search pointed us towards the impressive looking Katy House B&B website. The property was situated right in the middle of the small town.

Our initial call to owner/proprietor Sallie left us with a problem though. We were just an hour or so away but she was in Austin running errands and would be at least a couple of hours. She did have a suggestion, “You could park up and head across to Huebel’s Bier Garden. A few scenes of the movie, “Hope Floats”, staring Sandra Bullock, were filmed in that bar.”

This seemed like a plan as we were (well, I was) gasping for some beer and the idea of some accommodation within crawling distance of a bar is always appealing to us Brits.

There was one other point we needed to cover though. Apparently something called the ’Superbowl’ was taking place on this Sunday evening and as most of America would be watching it we felt we should too. “Oh, they do have a large TV screen,” confirmed Sallie.

We reached Smithville at about 5pm, parked outside the beautiful (but empty) Katy House B&B and headed straight over to the bar. I must have looked helpless when asked what beer I wanted but as it was my first visit to Texas I asked for something local. I was passed a ‘Lone Star’.

Jo panicked when all she thought she could see was a beer list but was soon calmed by a cold Chardonnay. There was just one other table in use as we sat there cooling off from the drive and it was soon apparent these were the sort of friendly locals we would never have met in Houston. And that wasn’t just because some of them were dressed in cowboy hats and boots.

I guess English accents aren’t heard too often in Smithville so within a few minutes one of them, Tom, had joined us, within five he had bought us another drink each.

It was at this point I remembered a recommendation in one of our guide books that went something like this – just because somebody in Texas comes up to you and says ’hello’ doesn’t mean they are the local lunatic. Trust me, if this had happened in London we would have already been collecting our coats to make a quick exit.

Within a half hour or so Sallie was on the phone informing us she was home. We finished our second drinks, said a temporary goodbye and headed over to unload our bags into the fabulous Bluebonnet room we had been assigned at the Katy House.

Here we got our second warm Texas welcome, this time from Sallie and her dogs, but hey the ‘Superbowl’ was about to start so having freshened up we soon left her in peace and headed back to see our new friends in Huebel’s.

By now we were invited to join their table and settle down for the ‘Superbowl’. Now to us ‘football’ is normally a game played with ‘feet’ and the last time I remember seeing the Cardinals on TV they were playing out of St.Louis but I think we could just about follow what was going on on the big screen.

Some excellent wings and pizza (and some great complimentary cinnamon sticks) came from the ‘Pizza Shack’ opposite and we continued to neck further beer and wine as we were given a fine rundown on the history and economy of our new favourite little town in Texas by our friends. And it seemed there was always another beer or wine on ice waiting for us.

By the end of the evening, after an exciting Superbowl was decided in favour of the Steelers with just a minute or so left on the clock, the bar jukebox was switched on and it wasn’t long before Jo was whisked onto the dance floor by Don (after he politely asked if I minded). Unfortunately his attempts to teach her the two-step were doomed to failure.

At some indeterminable point in the evening we said our goodbyes and headed back to the Katy House, a little the worse for wear but feeling right at home in Texas, for a restful night’s sleep. After an awesome breakfast with Sallie the following morning and an interesting look around Smithville we headed onto Austin.

We won’t forget our night in friendly Smithville in a hurry. Maybe we’ll be back for the 2010 Superbowl. Keep the beers (and wine) on ice.

Matt and Jo, London, England.

P.S. I did go swimming in Barton Springs.  Matt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


FriFeb20096

Smithville Dog picked for film “The Tree of Life”

Terri Krueger, ‘mom’ to Dexter Krueger, explains that Smithville, Tx is more than just a quiet community and home to the M.D.Anderson Science Park.  It’s also become a popular location for movies.  In 1997 it was the setting for “Hope Floats” starring Sandra Bullock, Harry Connick Jr, and Gena Rowlands.   In the Spring of 2008, “The Tree of Life”, began filming in Smithville.   The film features actors Brad Pitt and Sean Penn.  But the real movie star is Smithville is Terri’s dog, Dexter. 

While visiting Galveston one summer, Terri had spotted a puppy lying in the rain outside an appartment complex.  It did not take her long to rescue the six-month-old Heeler, which showed signs of abuse, and bring him back home to Smithville.

Last Spring, Krueger entered Dexter in a casting call for ”The Tree of Life”, and he was selected to play Brad Pitt’s family dog in the movie, which is set in the 1950s. The home used in many of the scenes is just two block from the “Hope Floats” house, and ten blocks from the Katy House Bed and Breakfast.

“I guess you could say that Dexter went from starvaion to stardom,” Terri says.  And yes, she did get to meet Brad Pitt.  “He was very nice, very friendly. I was very impressed how approachable he was…..and he love Dexter.”

After toting Dexter to and from the movie set, Krueger’s next adventure is writing a children’s book about him.  Terri say that “It’s occurred to me that no matter what I may accomplish in my life, it’s entirely possible that I could be known in the future only as Dexter’s ‘mom’.”


ThuJan200929

Why Choose a Bed & Breakfast?

 

Why choose a Bed and Breakfast?

 

Simple answer, because every one is different. Each is a unique and personal expression of the owner/innkeeper’s commitment to the dedication of sharing of one’s home and grounds is the last and greatest form of hospitality.

 

When someone calls and I hear that they only need a place to sleep, I refer them to the motel. I ask questions like: “Do you want to stay in a place, like the Katy House, that will add great memories of your get-a-away?” Want to know where to eat, where to hike, where to shop? Innkeepers are active members of their communities, and are up to date with the area and the activities around them. Smithville is a wonderful small Texas town and we are actively involved here. “Where should we go to dinner for our anniversary?” I’ll give you a different answer to the question than the manager of a local motel.

 

When calling a B&B, you should ask the following questions:

1.                 Do the guest’s rooms have private baths?

2.                 What type of breakfast is served? (Full, or croissants and juice)

3.                 Is smoking allowed?

4.                 Is there adequate parking?

5.                 Can you prepare breakfast for guests with certain food allergies or vegetarian restrictions?

6.                 Are there pets on the property if you have allergies to cats or dogs?

7.                 Is there free Wi-Fi available? (if that is important)

8.                 Are you a member of Hospitality Accommodations of Texas?

 

If making reservations on line, these questions should be answered on the web site.

 

A Bed and Breakfast can be a wonderful part of your get-a-way. Every room is different; you won’t find a “cookie-cutter” bunch of rooms. Years ago, people were worried about the cleanliness and décor of the rooms. The B&B as an institution has become the first line of hospitality. You can see the rooms and read reviews written by other guests. 

 

There is only one state Bed and Breakfast Association in Texas. All members have been inspected and approved, all having met certain standards: Hospitality Accommodations of Texas. It can be found on the web at www.HAT.org . If you choose a HAT property you won’t be disappointed. The Katy House has been a proud member since 1996.

 

Bruce and I welcome guests, show them around and then they are on their own. We might not see them till breakfast, or we may see them when they come into the dining room for tea or coffee. Cookies are baked each afternoon, and the cookie jar in the parlor is a busy place late at night. We live on the third floor of the home, along with Buddy and William, (two Welsh Corgis). We’re always available if anyone needs anything.

 

We’ll have the coffee ready.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


SunJan200925

Adventures in Inn-Sitting at the Katy House

 
 We have known Bruce and Sallie for some time, staying at the Katy House Bed & Breakfast, while playing “pioneers” on our 21 acres of woods and getting it ready for retirement, just outside of Smithville. One morning, at breakfast, I heard my big mouth saying in response to their comments on closing the Katy House while on a 2 week vacation, “Why don’t you let Sharron and I run the place while you are gone?” 

 

From having been guests, I envisioned nothing to do after the breakfast dishes
were done but to sit around watching movies provided for guests and eating copious amounts of free chocolate chip cookies and sipping coffee or lemonade.

 

Well, they took us up on the offer, and after returning from their trip to Canada, two things happened.  One, I realized that there was more to running a bed and breakfast business than it appeared. We finished watching our first movie 4 days before they returned and didn’t start the second one knowing we would never finish it. And two, Sallie, in her diplomatic way, suggested that in the future we would be paid a salary but no more free cookies. OK, so I happen to like chocolate chip cookies.  Is that some crime??

 

Anyway, we have been Inn sitters for the Katy House for the past 4 years and have enjoyed almost every minute of it…except when Bruce shows up and tries to help.  (Just kidding, Bruce!)

We can’t wait till they call us to Inn Sit again!

Al and Sharron

 

 

 


TueJan200913

In Smithville TX Bird Watching is Big

Bird Watching in Smithville, TX

Although we have bird feeders in our garden, here at the Katy House Bed & Breakfast, the birds love all the sunflower blooms and other blooming plants.  To see a large number of different species, I head to the state park. We are lucky to have two state parks nearby. Buescher State Park is three miles from Katy House, and Bastrop State Park is 13 miles away.  The Bastrop County Audubon Society is an active group. See the link below, showing the many species found in our parks.  http://www.bastropcountyaudubon.org/checklist.htm

Bastrop-Buescher State Parks Christmas Bird Count A Huge Success

The Bastrop-Buescher State Parks CBC was held on Thursday, January 1, 2009. There were nearly 50 counters, which is a record. There were 120 species counted, which is the second highest count. Highlights included the Least Grebe and all three Kingfisher species.

 

 


FriJan20099

Katy House Guests See Brad Pitt in Smithville, TX

The movie “The Tree of Life,” staring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, was being filmed about eight blocks from the Katy House B&B and two of our guests decided to walk over to the filming site to see if they could see Brad. These two young adults had been antique shopping all day in Round Top and Warrenton, but found the energy to check out the filming. As their moms sat on the front porch enjoying wine, the girls returned, very excited. They had been allowed to walk down the street between “takes” and saw Brad on a bike, not 50 feet from them. It made their day!

After they left the next day, I found the following entry in the guest book in their room:

 

April 6, 2008
Dear Sallie & Bruce,
            Thanks for the fabulous Katy House “Pitt” stop on the way to antique shopping in Warrenton and Round Top. It was a “Pitty” the rain fell the first day of our visit. We acquired a bottomless “Pitt” of memories when the “Pitt” bull sheriff almost arrested our dis-“Pitt”-able daughters for attempting to photograph Brad Pitt. The photos of Brad, however, caused all of our hearts to pal-“Pitt”-tate!
            We had such fun celebrating our 5th Anniversary at the Katy House while drinking wine on the Katy House porch among Sallie’s gorgeous “Pitt”unias.
            Thanks for an ever so much more exciting trip than one to “Pitt”sburg! This shall be a wonderful memory on our “Tree of Life”.
                                    Love and Hugs,
                                    J.G, M.G., S.A, and N.B.
                                    Seattle, WA, Corpus Christi, and New Braunfels