A couple of years ago, my aunt and grandmother moved to Boerne, a bustling little burg outside San Antonio. I often made day trips from Austin to visit them, but until recently, had never taken the time to experience what Boerne had to offer. After spending a day in April exploring the town, I realized I had been missing out.
One Saturday morning, my sister Lauren and I jumped in the car and headed south toward Boerne, a trip we had made together often. But instead of taking our usual turnoff, we made our way along oak-lined Cibolo Creek, straight into downtown. Main Street was really crowded—the norm for beautiful spring days we were told—but this weekend was exceptionally busy because it was Market Days, a fabulous festival held the second weekend of every month in the Main Square.
There was so much to see, it was a tad overwhelming at first. But that feeling certainly dissipated as we made our way through it all. About one hundred vendors were set up selling everything from jewelry and plants to outdoor furniture and metalworks. “We have a great following,” said David Querbach, the director of Market Days. “But more importantly, it puts our best foot forward for visitors coming to town and seeing it for the first time.” He got that right. And to top it all off, there was live music from noon until four in the afternoon. We enjoyed listening to a talented woman singing Jewel songs in a gazebo before leaving the Main Square with our college-budget purchases in tow (my sister’s one-dollar cactus and a quarter pound of fresh saltwater taffy that was quickly disappearing). We launched into the all-important question of where to eat lunch. Meals had always typically happened at my grandmother’s house, so we were excited to try something new. The Bear Moon Bakery and Cafe on Main Street caught our eye.
The quaint little cafe boasted vibrant paintings on the walls (the featured artwork changes every six weeks) and a dining room filled with people. The short menu offered just what we wanted: soups, salads, and sandwiches. (There’s a full-service bakery too.) I flirted with ordering the eggplant sandwich, apparently one of the specialties, but instead opted for the tried-and-true turkey to go with a delicious bowl of tomato-garlic soup. After about 45 minutes, our food finally arrived (a statement at the bottom of the menu warned of a possible 30-minute wait for the “fresh food from the kitchen”). The wait was worth it—our stomachs full, we were ready for more shopping.
Along Main Street, charming old homes and historic brick buildings house clothing boutiques, gift shops, and antiques stores. We slowly made our way back toward the Main Square, darting in and out along the way. Inside Bitter Creek Designs, we found walls adorned with beads and a table of women chatting noisily as they crafted necklaces and bracelets. At the Cinnamon Stick House we were both drawn to the glass display case, which was filled with every type of truffle imaginable. A woman who worked there broke our trance and asked, “Would you girls like some chocolate?” Well, of course we would. After asking the employees for recommendations, we decided to get two different types and split them: butter toffee and lemon chiffon. Ten bites later, we had finished the most delicious chocolate I’ve ever tasted.
There was one last stop: an antique mall across the street. The huge showroom was packed with everything from gorgeous furniture to plastic Happy Meal toys circa 1994. We left with a two-dollar cast iron heart. It was time to visit our grandmother and aunt. We arrived at their house somewhat unexpectedly—okay, completely unexpectedly, but neither seemed to mind. We knew that if we gave our grandmother any time to prepare, she would have had a roast in the oven. We chatted for a while and caught up on the latest news as the sun made its way down the horizon. “Well, I hope you’ll still come back even though you’ve seen most everything in Boerne now,” my grandmother said. We assured her that not only would we be back, but also still had a lot to see and do in the not-so-sleepy town of Boerne.