On Saturday we went to Gruene, did a little Christmas shoppin’, some food eatin’ and, yes, even a bit of beer drinkin’.

It’s about the same down there every year, but then some samenesses are pretty refreshing, whether it’s lunch at The Gristmill or listening to some band I’ve never heard play in Gruene Hall while we put off the drive back up to Austin.

I enjoy walking off lunch and wandering through the old junk stores along the main strip, but my favorite is Gruene Hall. There’s something about sitting around in these old Hill Country beer joints forgetting about the world and everything in it.

Most years the trip to Gruene is when December starts to feel like Christmas.