Rancho Pillow in Texas

Whewwwwwww! That’s about all I can say about the whirlwind of travel I’ve experienced lately.  It’s been such a fun and exhausting time of flying from one city to the next and enjoying so many diversified cultures in this great country of ours. From Round Top, TX and then on to NYC for a few days and this weekend, I’m heading to Savannah for a Georgia Ramble home tour, so that should be fun too (although it looks like the hurricane will mess up that trip).  I didn’t really plan to have all these trips all in a row, it just worked out that way and I couldn’t pass up any of them. And of course, I’ll blog it all too!

My recent travels took me to Round Top, TX where I got to experience shopping Round Top antiques market for the very first time.  You can’t even imagine how big this market is until you experience it in person. I knew it would be huge and it was, but also overwhelming in a good way.  Overload to the max on old and vintage things, French antiques and everything you can imagine in between.  It’s a vintage market paradise for those of you who love to shop like this.  I’m one of those, but it was very overwhelming for me since I really don’t have tons of room in my house to bring home more “stuff”.  I’m sure you know what I mean on that one!  So, I had to be very particular about what I bought, but I did bring home a few things and shopped for some vintage accessories for my sister which I’ll show you later.

This trip came to be from a friend of mine here in Atlanta. I was introduced to Lisa last year who is the owner of The Front Porch of Vinings, a really cute shop in downtown Vinings.  Lisa just celebrated her first year of opening shop and her shop is a combination of vintage goodies, gift selections, clothing, jewelry and more.  She loves to mix things up and has a great eye for the details and she now has a loyal following of women who shop there.  It’s a really cute shop, so stop by there if you are in the Atlanta area.  She doesn’t have a website yet, but that’s her Facebook page and I wrote a post about her shop awhile back and it definitely has that Round Top flavor, since she shops there spring and fall for her shop.  It’s such a cute vintage place!  By the way, Lisa’s Vinings house is absolutely stunning and she is going to let me photograph it and share it with all of you, so stay tuned for that in the next few weeks.

So, when she emailed me a few months ago about putting together a shopping trip and going to Round Top with her and a few other ladies, I jumped at the chance.  I had an idea of what to expect, but it truly exceeded all the fun and excitement I could imagine.  I knew one other friend, Julie, a very talented designer here in Atlanta, who went on the trip and all the rest of the girls, I had not met before, but they were such a delightful bunch of ladies. We had a wonderful time together!  There were 11 of us in all.  Lisa and one of her friends who works in the shop with her, Mary Jo, were our fearless leaders.  We all flew in to Austin, TX on the same flight from Atlanta and Lisa and Mary Jo picked us up in 2 minivans and that was how we all got around the whole weekend.  We were there 4 nights and stayed in the most unique place I’ve ever seen!

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{Lisa, our hostess, is the one in the cute hat!  She’s really good at shopping Round Top and shared her expertise with us.  This is all 11 of us and I won’t try to name them all, but they are all wonderful ladies and I had a great time getting to know them. It was a fun mix of personalities.}

Rancho Pillow is like nothing I’ve ever experienced!  Part commune, wild Western lodge, cowboys and Indians, and Mexico all rolled into one very vivid and colorful place.  Everywhere we looked was inspiring and unique, from the inside of the Red House where we all stayed to the lodge and outdoor showers and bathrooms.  It is one cool place, trust me!  We all split up and had beds in the Red House and had a blast hanging out together.

I will admit that I didn’t last all day on the shopping excursions.  I really felt my age and the first day of shopping, Saturday, was a hot hot and humid day and I just could not take that heat for longer than about 2 pm and then I was ready to head back to the ranch. The girls were very gracious and let us do our own thing and Julie came back to the ranch with me too.  Five or six hours a day of being out and walking around shopping was plenty for me.  I do have to hand it to those other gals, they were on a mission and hung in there. Many of them bought some big things to bring back so they had specifics they were looking for.  It was easier for me, since I really didn’t have a lot of things in mind that I had to  have.  My sister gave me $300 to spend on some vintage accessories for her and I had no trouble spending that.  I’ll be showing you what all we got for her and she is going to repaint and freshen up her great room and kitchen.  We were also very fortunate that Lisa had a truck out there to bring back all the things she found for her shop and we were all able to put our newly found treasures on there too.  It should be back in the next week or so!  It was such a unique shopping experience and I can’t wait to share it with all of you.

In the meantime, today I’m starting with Rancho Pillow!  Cool, rustic, boho, farm to table, communing with nature, relaxing, colorful, western influence, cows, and more…those are some of the words I’d use to describe Rancho Pillow.  It’s only been open to the public as a guest house retreat since March or April of this year, so I’m so happy to share this place with you all.  If you’re looking to get away from it all, Rancho Pillow will take you there!  I’m sure she is booked solid for spring and fall Round Top shopping, but you can always call and ask. My pics do not do it justice, so please go over and visit the website and see them all! The owner, Sheila, is a very sweet lady and it is obvious she loves her special place.

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Rancho Pillow is about 10 minutes out of town from the antiques shopping and a perfect place to get away from it all.  Quiet and out in the countryside, we passed cows and horses every day.

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We were thrilled to stay in the Red House, a colorful home away from home.

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This neon sign was so pretty at night all lit up like Vegas.

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Shooting off like fireworks, such a unique touch.

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The Red House, our home away from  home for a few days.  That front porch was very relaxing too.  We had a mix of weather, from really hot and humid the first day, to rain and cooling off the other days.  A deluge of rain made the fields really muddy the next day, but we persevered.

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The cute house next to the Red house held beach towels for the pool area.

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The pool was a great way to cool off and relax.  I dipped in there once and we sat around it one night when we all got back.  See that first picture up there.

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Inside the Red House is an explosion of color.  Even with the riot of color and things everywhere, it still felt very calming and peaceful.  It’s so quiet out here and truly is getting away from it all.

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Julie and I stayed in this King bedroom with its own bath and it was very comfortable to stay in.

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Lisa and Mary Jo had coffee and breakfast items for us and the kitchen was the gathering place in the morning.

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See the collection of Fiestaware there on the shelves. And that red fridge, too cute!

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Dining area and looking back to the foyer.

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The Red House is a quirky mix of eclectic decor and kitschy items.

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And it was completely warm and welcoming too.

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The big lodge space is bigger than you can tell from the outside.

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Tall soaring ceilings inside have so many interesting places to lounge and hang out. There are bedrooms in here too.

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The ceiling beams were amazing in here, so rustic and western feeling.

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Those are feathers hanging from the ceiling on fishing line, so that wafted in the air.

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All the way up top is another sleeping loft with beds, but you have to climb up that really steep ladder to get there. That wouldn’t work for me, since I have to go to the bathroom too often at night and would fall and break my head.

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The owner, Sheila, opens up the ranch for visitors for dinner parties too, with dinners on the ground prepared by some wonderful chefs.  We got to experience 2 of these while we were there. The first night threatened with rain and so a big tent was erected.  It’s a good thing, as a monsoon came down and we were all dry under the tent for dinner.

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Live music added to the ambience of dinner outside.

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Loved this old turquoise Studebaker truck.

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We loved dinner and enjoyed every bit of it.

The chef came over and took a photo with us.  What a wonderful and memorable meal it was!

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You haven’t lived until you’ve taken a shower in an outdoor shower!  This was so fun and I kept hearing the girls talk about it, so the last night I walked down there and did it myself.  Showering outside is a treat!

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She has shampoo, conditioner and all sorts of soaps and gels, along with towels for all.

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Standing on the concrete and rock floor and showering in the hot water was so nice and relaxing.

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There’s also a soaking tub for those who love a good bath.

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The ranch was such a neat place!  We were all in awe of how pretty everything was and the attention to detail.  Chairs around a big fire pit was a nice gathering spot.

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One night there was a pop up shop going on under the tent.

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The second night was really nice as the weather cooperated and no tent was needed.  Can you get over these long tables set with vintage china?  It was just so beautiful!

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What a fun experience it all was. We felt like we were on a movie set!

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See that big teepee in the background? Well, there are beds and it’s air conditioned too!

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I peeked inside to see how it looks.

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Beds, AC and privacy, what fun is this?!

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I’ve never seen a teepee like this, but I bet it would make for some good snoozing!

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We sure were relaxed out there on the ranch!

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After dinner, our girls group convened under this tent for more talking and chatting.  It was so relaxing on the bean bag chairs and blankets.

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We took a few group photos to remember our time at Rancho Pillow.  Happy smiles on all faces!

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The ranch was so pretty at night with some neon and lights going on.

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On our way from shopping Round Top back to the ranch, we passed these beauties every day.  Longhorns, horses and more animals dotted the countryside.

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Mary Jo got this great shot on her camera.

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And I captured the longhorns and other ranch life.

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We stopped to talk to them and see them close up and they would check us out.

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Such a serene beauty out in the middle of Texas.

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Rancho Pillow wil be in my heart forever and I’ll never forget our 4 nights there.  Talk about relaxing and getting away from it all.  We truly experienced country life at this Texas ranch and being here at the end of a long shopping day was heavenly!

I’ve got lots of pictures to edit and I’ll be back to share lots more on Round Top shopping, as well as my adventures in NYC.  It’s been an exciting time!

 

- Rhoda

Comments

  1. What a unique place! Wow, the pic of the longhorn, like something you see on tv. (I live in metro Atlanta also, and of course, don’t have those here.) Tell Mary Jo she can sell the pic of the white cow!

  2. I’m putting Rancho Pillow on my list of things to do!! Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Judy Clark says:

    Looks like you had a great time in the great state of Texas. That is why I moved here! Those houses are an Austin flare. Keeping up the theme of “Keep Austin Weird”. Can’t wait to head out to Round Top in the Spring .

  4. Gorgeous, and right down the road from me! I need to get back to Round Top and experience Rancho Pillow. I have heard a lot about it over the past few months. Looks like your adventure was spectacular. You sure have a knack for presenting the whole picture. Thank you so much for this view!!

  5. What an amazing place to stay! It looks so unique and fun. Adding this to my list.

  6. You were practically in my backyard! I’m so happy you got to experience Round Top. There are few places like it anywhere. My husband worked for Blue Bell Creameries right out of Texas A&M. Round Top is a stone’s throw from Brenham, home of that little creamery. I can’t wait to see the treasures you found! So fun!

  7. I grew up in Texas, lived there for 25 years before moving to Europe, so I just loved seeing all these pictures. Made me feel homesick. Thanks so much for sharing.

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