Our trip began with a very Steve-esque start…we were scheduled to take off at 2:20pm but over the course of 11:30am and 12:30pm, that changed to 3:05pm, then 3:15pm, then 3:25pm. Meanwhile, the daily summer storm came in at 2:30pm, which caused our plane (coming in from Islip…you know there had to be a bunch of pissed off New Yorkers on THAT plane) to circle for forever and a day before it could land and then, no doubt, continue to circle while “in line” with all the other weather-delayed planes, before they could land. So it was little surprise that at 3:25pm, they changed our takeoff time to 3:55pm and then at 3:40pm it got changed to 4:05pm. We boarded at 4pm and, after another delay while sitting on the plane, finally took off at 5:08pm. The plane staff was very funny, with comments like, “We’d like to tell you all that the sooner you get into your seats, the sooner we can get off the ground so we can arrive in San Antonio on time. (pause) That’s not going to happen though and we’re just trying to get there as soon as possible, so the faster you get settled, the faster we can finally get there.”

We had a slight delay in getting our luggage so while I waited for our bags, Joe got the paperwork done for our rental car. Once we had everything in order and our luggage off the conveyor belt, we were on our way.

The B&B we stayed in was called The Gruene Apple. It was in the town of Gruene (duh), the same town as the B&B we stayed in for the past 2 years…but although we liked the facilities in that place, the breakfast was pretty icky…powdered scrambled eggs and overcooked, reheated bacon every day. So we decided to switch. Anyway, final check-in time for the Gruene Apple was 8pm but with our plane landing so late and how long it took to get our luggage, we were pretty sure we weren’t going to make it. So we called the owner and told him we probably were going to be late. He said it wasn’t a problem; he’d just leave us an envelope with the key and our room number taped to the front door (cuz you can DO that in Gruene TX – population 20. Really…20). As it turned out, we arrived at 8:05pm and as Joe was scraping the tape off the door, the owner opened the door and our tour began:

The front of the Gruene Apple. We were the only ones there that first night. That yellow car on the left-hand side of the picture is our rental. Yes, I picked out the color (grin).

From lobby as you walk in. The staircase is repeated on the other side of the room.

The “other” staircase, as seen from the top of the stairs.

View 1 of the Library

The rest of the Library

There was a Game Room downstairs, with a pool table, board games and snacks.

The extension to the Game Room was on what would be the back porch (converted into a regular, weather-resistant room) and included a Pac Man/Galaxian game, Air Hockey, Foozball, etc.)

Our room was on the 2nd floor, which was accessible by stairs or elevator. We had room 207, which was the “Wild West Room”. Each room had a theme and the theme was carried over into the hallway. Facing our room was this picture:

Which we SWEAR is the predecessor to the mural in the Men’s bathroom of Hoop Dee Doo:

Anyway, back to the tour…

The bed, table, chairs and window of our room, as seen from the door of the room. The window looked out onto our private patio/deck.

View from our patio/deck. We could see/her the Guadalupe river below us, through the trees.

Following clockwise, a better view of the table and chairs, plus the amoire and, hidden behind the chair, our mini fridge.

Continuing clockwise, the entry into the bathroom and some more decorations

The sink was pretty typical

So was the shower, albeit the SMALLEST shower you’ve ever seen. No really, *I* was claustrophobic in there. It was a pre-fab triangular shape, built into the corner. The “wide” part of the shower, where you step in, was a whopping 3′ across and the far end was 12″ I think showers in European hotels are bigger.

But the toilet was neat. Reminded me of Dixie Landings.

And the tub was COOL!

LOVED this

Sex toys, Texas style?

The tour ended at our room and, after taking lots of pictures (gee, can ya TELL?), it was time to find somewhere to eat. It was nearly 9pm so someplace nearby would be best, but not the GristMill, which was within walking distance and not bad, but…sorta grubby. We’ve been there twice before, enough was enough and we were willing to do better (grin). Lloyd (the owner) recommended the The Gruene River Grill, which was only 2 doors down. PERFECT! So off we went.

The restaurant was very nice…had a nice variety of entrees, from beef to pork to chicken to pasta. I got a freakin’ HUGE ribeye steak that had been pan seared in in butter and aged balsamic, while Joe got a the Southwest Shrimp Pasta (shrimp, black beans, corn, ‘shrooms, pico de gallo and garlic tossed with fettuccine in a spicy cilantro cream sauce). For dessert Joe got the Caramel Toffee Apple Pie, while I gorged myself on the Kahlua Fudge Nut Brownie. Both were awesome (we tasted each other’s). But mine was better (grin).

We went back to the B&B and were in bed by 11pm, ready for our first day at Schlitterbahn!