Friday, February 24, 2012

Tasteful Treasures

Some things are worth the drive, which is why my husband and I spent several hours in our car listening to songs repeat on the radio while staring out at the miles of fields sprawled out before us. It was our Valentine’s Day weekend adventure to Hico, Texas. We went on a Sunday to visit two of our favorite spots, and though many of the surrounding towns had rolled up the carpets after their lunch hour we were happy to peel ourselves from our seats, breathe in the clean crisp air, and stretch our cramped legs at our first destination.

I opened the door to Wiseman House Chocolates where a warm mix of spiced cocoas rushed to greet me. The wood planks creaked as we stepped across the threshold into the heart of a Victorian home turned confectionary/gift shop filled with whimsical and romantic items to delight one’s taste.

A burnished haven of hand-dipped truffles and slabs of creamy fudge peeked back at us through antique glass display cabinets. We tasted hot sipping chocolate and mulled over our choices. Venezuelan, Dark Belgian, sweet vanilla, and liquor flavored ganaches—the list went on so we did the easy thing and chose a variety.

We then went to Homestead Antiques & Home Furnishings where the ceiling was lined with the most beautiful greenish gray weathered wood, and light flooded the room accenting each little vignette the shopkeeper had created. It was like walking into the pages of an interior design magazine.

Hanging baskets of scented soaps dripped down from above and swayed against a backdrop of vintage wrought iron and damask. Cupboards, armoires and old doors stood as tall as the ancient stone walls surrounding them. The building, an architectural gem built in 1895, was once an opera house. Inside was a wonderland of treasures from another time and place.

We rounded out the day stopping off at an overlook to take a few more pictures. When we finally left Central Texas we were starving. It took everything in me not to dip into those truffles before we got home—though they didn’t last long once they were opened. Oh, sure, I could have ordered more online and had them delivered to my door (which I may do), but it’s definitely worth the wait to make the drive and visit in person.