Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 1112: The Tom & Jerry Show
By MsATravlin from Houston, Texas, Fall 2006
Trip Description: September 22 - 25, 2006 My husband and I celebrated our first anniversary in the Texas Hill Country of Concan, Texas.
Destinations: Countries - North America; Regions/Cities - Texas
Categories: Vacation Rentals; Sightseeing; Walking/Hiking; Independent Travel; 2 People
Page 1 of 1: Weekend Adventure
House on a Hill
We reserved a weekend at The River Oaks Cabin Rentals on the Frio River in Concan, Texas. We really liked this place, the first 2 1/2 days of our visit.
Day 1, Friday:
My husband and I celebrated our first anniversary here. We reserved a secluded log cabin away from the cluster of other log cabins in its own gated area called Live Oak #1. After a few wrong turns, driving past the property, and a few heated moments, we regrouped and found our cabin, deep off the beaten path in a heavily wooded area. We were apprehensive at first then we looked toward the cabin and it was just as it was on the Internet.
We walked inside and were immediately impressed. Brand new log cabin, well-constructed and immensely clean. The kitchen had the latest in appliances and was fully equipped. The bathroom was right off the kitchen and had the basic necessities with bath and shower. The kitchen opened up to the main area equipped with wooden table with benches for dining, futon which extended to a full-size bed, gas fireplace, 25” TV with satellite and DVD player. Climbed the pseudo-steep stairs to the semi-loft where the king-size brass bed resided.
The cabin was an A-frame with windows in the top-most area of the frame that looked out on both sides of the cabin into the expanse of wooded area. In fact, there were windows all over the place, which I loved. The spacious deck stretched out through the back door of the cabin. It housed a large four-person Jacuzzi, patio table, fire pit and gas BBQ pit. We were blown away. Hello weekend get-a-way and complete privacy!
We ate a quick lunch and jumped into the jacuzzi. The best medicine after a five-hour drive. Later we walked around our gated property to find a stable full of ponies, deer running free and a pond. I am very scared of wooded areas and the creatures lurking in them but I felt adventurous so James and I took off on one of the many hiking trails. We walked along a portion of the Frio River which was more like a rocky road. The river was completely dry in this area. After an exhilarating walk (and not seeing any scary creatures), we returned to the cabin for wine and chillin’ time. I love the XM Radio stations!
We’d planned on frying fish on the deck that night but the gas grill was low on propane and the flames never got past “blue.” All was not lost, I fried the fish on the state-of-the-art surface range, we lit the fire pit and had a very romantic, laid-back evening on our deck.
Day 2, Saturday:
We started the morning slow and lazy, ate breakfast and headed out to familiarize ourselves with the country-side surrounding us. We found our way to the main road and took a leisurely drive on Hwy 83 to the town of Leakey and back the opposite way to the town of Uvalde. We found an HEB and loaded up on fruit. Took fabulous pics of the beautiful rolling hills and big mountains. They were such scenic and relaxing views.
We found our way back to our cabin without incident or nary a curse word, had lunch and back into the jacuzzi. My husband figured out how to get the grill smoking by adding pieces of that manufactured fire-burning log that can be purchased in stores. He grilled a wonderful slab of ribs that night and we had another romantic, satisfying evening.
Day 3, Sunday:
James awoke to the feeling of being watched. Sure enough two cats were on the deck, one peering through the window at him. (We’d slept on the futon that night in the main room). That should have been an indication of things to come. We ate breakfast and began our day.
First stop was the office to request cleaning of the jacuzzi. The landlady gave James a map and suggested another scenic route to explore. We stopped at the quaint little town store for water and another fire log and I left there with the eeriest feeling of “small town unwelcomeness" that I’ve ever known.
Off we went down Hwy 83, through Leakey and a right turn on Hwy 337. That feeling I had earlier quickly gave way to peaceful tranquility. There were more rolling hills, more beautiful than the day before. We were in awe at the lush expanses of land and the occasional hilltop house perched on top the majestic mountains. This feeling gave way to anxiety as we began to ascend a mountain. The views were startling and we got great pictures but as we continued to go up, up, up so did my discomfort level, being afraid of heights. Luckily we were the only ones on the road and we reached the tip top and began our descent down the mountain as did my anxiety level. We turned on Hwy 187 going through the sleepy little town of Utopia where everybody knows everybody's name. We passed on the opposite side of the mountain we'd just previously ascended but it was flat land this time. Thank God!! We passed by Garner State Park and back to 83 to our cabin.
The jacuzzi had been cleaned to a sparkle once again and beckoned us. We obliged. Later, James grilled a couple of porterhouses complemented by side dishes, Italian Prosecco and a great Merlot. We settled in for another wonderful evening. While relaxing in the jacuzzi, drinking Merlot and listening to great jazz on the XM station I saw a mouse skittle across the window. James, looking like Daniel Boone or Jason of Friday 13th fame, take your pick, got his huge cane knife, ax and BB gun and prepared for battle. To our chagrin the mouse was inside the cabin. I was horrified. James trapped the mouse between the window pane and screen. At that moment our evening was ruined and we were ready to get the hell out of dodge. I could no longer enjoy my Merlot and down the drain it went, off went the jazz and inside the cabin we went. We turned in satisfied that particular mouse would not be running free around us while we slept and looked forward to fleeing this place first thing in the morning. My initial fondness of this property was quickly squashed and my desire to return was forever extinguished.
I was torn from my sleep with a loud thud and crash. I thought someone was breaking in. Keep in mind we were in the wilderness, no phone in the cabin, secluded from everyone and my cell phone provider does not provide service in mountainous areas. My heart was pounding out of my chest and my legs were jell-o. I woke James in a screaming frenzy. He was as cool as a cucumber and simply stated he knew the cat would be back for that mouse. Unlike me, James was unperturbed and NO HELP!! This banging and cat & mouse game went on for the next hour or so and I pictured the glass pane and screen in tatters, an out-of-luck mouse and a full cat. James snored through it all (or at least pretended to). After the mayhem stopped (don’t know if the cat banged himself to death or finally got his prey), I was finally able to drift off to sleep.
Day 4, Monday:
Finally, daybreak. James checked the scene of the crime. Surprisingly the screen and glass were both intact and the mouse was still cowering inside. No sign of the cat. We showered, packed and were at the office before they could get the door opened, to check out with quickness. I was never so glad to be heading home after a vacation.
I really wanted to like this place and it could be a find but for their mouse problem. They also need to rethink their idea of not providing phones in their cabins.
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