REal Talk Nov 1 2021 – AR Travel Log to Round Top, TX

In this week’s REal Talk, we’re sharing the first of our travel logs! Bonnie Leet Ramsey talks about her trip to Round Top, TX—where and what it is, how to get there, what you can find there, etc. Tune in to get a glimpse of why this town with a population of 88 people (!!) is famous!
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Susie (00:07):

Just a couple of REal talks I think we’ve been posting our webinars and such, but we miss talking to everybody and to each other in this format. So, ooh look at Hattie.

Bonnie (00:21):

Yeah. She likes to climb up and see. She, while I was gone, sat in my work chair all week, she missed me. And now she’s right next to me, so… Nice to be missed.

Susie (00:35):

Where were you Bonnie?

Bonnie (00:38):

Well, I went to Round Top Texas, and I would imagine many people on the east coast have not heard of this, but my mom recently turned 70. So my sister and my sister and sister-in-law, and I decided to give her a trip to Round Top, Texas for her birthday. It is a giant, basically flea market of sorts. There were vendors from all over the country, tons of people from New York actually. And there are these different areas, like the big red tent or Marburger so there’s these sections where they set up these giant tents and they are chock-a-block full of stuff.

Susie (01:22):

But flea market, I feel like gives the wrong impression because when I think of flea market, I think of like junk.

Bonnie (01:30):

Well, there certainly is some junk. There, there are sections. I don’t have a picture of it, but it’s something like where you go to find dead people’s stuff. There’s like this big and truly, it was just like, I mean, there would be like bins and bins of old buttons and costume jewelry and rusted silverware. And just, I mean, anything you can think of, but some of the bigger tents you go in and they are ginormous tents. And then they’re set up with little vendors like row after row. And you might see a gallery that collects art next to somebody who is selling fine China from France next to somebody who’s selling like sports memorabilia from the 1800s. I mean, it’s just like totally random. And it’s kind of the first tent I went into. My heart was beating fast. It’s like adrenaline. You’re like you cannot believe your eyes, how much cool stuff is everywhere.

Susie (02:38):

Just to back up for one second though. I just want to say the reason why we’re using this as a topic for a REal talk is we thought it might be fun to just tell you some of the places that we’re going to since a lot of people are just starting travel again. And I hear a lot of there are a lot of conversations on Facebook, for example, or other social media talking about like, well, when you come back, it’d be nice for you to share. Where did you eat? What did you do? What did you see? And I had never heard of Round Top and looking up on these pictures, I was like, oh, this is not the kind of flea market that I imagined. So I thought it would be fun for other people to hear about your adventures.

Bonnie (03:15):

Yeah. And it was fun because I follow lots of different people on Instagram. So a couple of different people that I follow who sell rugs, for example, new England Loom and Joey Sabb. These are dealers that I follow on Instagram as I’ve been looking for rugs for my house post renovation, and they happen to be there. And my mom follows this abstract painter and we ran into a tent that had her work and she happened to be in there. And it was really fun to chat with her, to give her a big hug. And she bought one of her paintings. So it was really a neat experience. And I discovered some fun, you know, I bought just some fun little things for my house. And I certainly didn’t come back with the kind of stuff that you would buy. You know, most people come down with giant new halls and they leave with trucks full of furniture and rugs and there’s chandelier’s and giant artwork. And, you know, mostly everything I bought, I came home in brought, you know, brought home in a suitcase. So

Susie (04:16):

This event doesn’t take place all the time, right? How often does this happen?

Bonnie (04:21):

So this twice a year, fall and spring. And I believe it’s for three weeks in the fall. And some of the tents are only open for one week. So we went because the Marburger, which is the most famous well, curated tent was open this past week. So we went to make sure we could see that particular tent…

Susie (04:44):

What would people Google if they were looking up information, Round Top what?

Bonnie (04:46):

Round, top Texas. I mean, it’s a population of 900 people live in this town and it expands to something like 60, 70,000 people like people just descend. So it’s interesting. We had trouble finding a place to stay. Somehow this brand new renovated Airbnb, right in Round Rop opened up one of the days, we were looking nine months ago and we got to book that and stay right in town. But people stay on farms and 20 miles out or wherever they can get a room because this town certainly does not have enough housing for everybody. There’s a lot of people camping and staying in trailers. And it’s definitely an experience. There were some good restaurants. We ate at a place called Lulu’s, which was Italian. Then we ate one time in the, in one of the big tents, there was a pop-up chef from Austin who came in and had this little pop-up pre-fixe menu.

Bonnie (05:42):

And then all the drinks were served out of an Airstream bar outside, you know, it’s very picturesque. It was, it was really a cool experience. So if you like, if you like the thrill of the hunt and you like to dig through stuff, and that sounds like your cup of tea, then I would fly into. So I flew into Dallas because my brother lives there and we drove down, it took about three and a half hours to drive down. It’s located between Austin and Houston. So I think a better way would be to fly into Austin. Maybe spend some time there. And then it’s about an hour and a half from Austin. I will say, if you’re going to go book your trip, a good nine to six months in advance so that you can have a place to stay. I know we got dinner reservations six months ago. So this was a well thought out trip. And we only saw a very small portion. I would say a third of Round Top, because there’s just so much, and we spent two and a half full days. Just…

Susie (06:49):

How many days would you go if you had to do it again?

Bonnie (06:54):

I probably, I mean, I was tired. I’m still tired. I think it was just right. But if you really want it to hit everything, I would say you might need four full days, maybe five to really hit everything, but it’s awesome.

Susie (07:07):

You’re going to share some pictures with us right?

Bonnie (07:08):

Oh yeah. I’ll just show a few quick pictures.

Susie (07:16):

Yeah. As I was looking at your Instagram stories and you were posting some of the things that you were saying, I was just amazed. It made me actually want to go. And before, when you had told me about it, I was like, oh my gosh, that sounds horrible. Doesn’t sound like something I would enjoy at all but looking at the pictures certainly…

Bonnie (07:33):

It was fun. Let’s see. Okay. So this is an example of a tent. I’m not sure why they are, and I’m not quite sure why you would need that or want that. But I guess it’s a Curio object you put on a shelf, maybe. I don’t know. There’s something for everyone at this fair. So you can see the…

Susie (08:00):

I love, this art!

Bonnie (08:02):

Isn’t it beautiful?

Susie (08:04):

I love it.

Bonnie (08:04):

Most of these pieces were between, you know, that pink one’s, probably $3,000. There was, you know, it was expensive. Some of it, I did buy some prints which were less expensive and I was able to get them home. So here’s an example. If this was in a more like a barn that was actually built versus some other things were in like loose tents. Here’s one, that’s more historical objects that are these old vintage flags, which were really incredible.

Bonnie (08:35):

This dealer was selling prints and originals from France. Some of them were hand painted. She had just sold a beautiful large picture of a bird that was hand painted in France. And it was $85,000. And someone had just purchased that, which was really incredible. I’ve actually bought these stunning. And they were $3,000 a piece. And I did not want to spend that kind of money. And she finally said, well, would you like to buy a print of these? And I started jumping up and down and she went out to her car and I was able to purchase the prints instead of the originals. Excited about those just, you know, bins and bins of things like wooden letters and numbers and vintage signs. There was a lot of tents of this kind of stuff, a lot of collectors and things like that.

Bonnie (09:32):

So just eye candy for miles. This is a picture of the restaurant, the pop-up restaurant with the chef from Austin. There’s a picture of me and my sisters and my mom.

Susie (09:44):


Bonnie (09:45):

By the bar. There’s that field that night, it was absolutely beautiful, the stars. It was really fun too.

Susie (09:56):

They should print and frame that, Bonnie.

Bonnie (09:58):

I know beautiful. My sister took that picture. It was fun to kind of, you know, dress like the Texans wear a hat and some boots and, you know, everyone was super nice. It really was like a different culture, a different experience. We had a great time. So if you want to gather some girlfriends and make a weekend out of it, I would work out whoever likes to shop. In fact, my husband, Matt would like to go someday. Cause it was really cool.

Susie (10:27):

I think it would be fun to mention,or not fun, but informative to mention, your trip home and why it was eventful.

Bonnie (10:35):

Yes. So you’ll probably see in the news, I just saw it’s still happening, but I flew out of Dallas and that’s the American Airlines hub. And I waited hours and hours and hours to take off because they were short staffed. They were missing flight attendants. Luckily someone showed up that, you know, answered their phone. They were on reserve I guess. And they showed up, but there was a rumor going around. I’m not a hundred percent sure how accurate this is, but because of the vaccine mandate, a lot of people who are not vaccinated are not coming to work. And that’s a lot of flight attendants, some pilots, things like that. So they’re severely understaffed. I think they also didn’t anticipate how quickly travel would ramp back up. I know my sister’s flight the next morning was also canceled because of her flight attendant issue. I’ve heard today, they’ve already canceled something like 600 flights. Every flight to Newark the entire day on Saturday was canceled. So maybe avoid flying American for a couple more weeks until they get the kinks worked out. They did say more and more people are going to be coming back to work that left or were let go during COVID or during the height of, of that. Just because people weren’t traveling, but yeah, we are starting to travel again…

Susie (11:53):

We did speak to somebody who flew Delta this weekend and didn’t have any issues and I’m flying United this coming weekend. And hopefully we won’t have any issues, but my sister is flying American airlines. So we’ll see what happens with their flights and we’ll share…

Bonnie (12:07):

Yeah. I think if you’re leaving from here. Well, I guess it depends if your flight comes in, so it really doesn’t affect every area.

Susie (12:15):


Bonnie (12:15):

So it was unfortunate, but I did make it home in time for Halloween, which was important to my youngest. So I was glad that I got home.

Susie (12:23):

Yes. All right. Well, great to have you back and thank you for sharing about your adventures at Round Top. Yeah. We call it the Round Top round up.

Bonnie (12:33):

Yeah. It was a good time. So…

Susie (12:38):

All right. And we’ll keep sharing our travel adventures. We’d love it if you would share yours, tell us where you’re going, what you’ve seen, what you’ve eaten, it’s important to uswhere you shopped and what, you know, what feels safe, what doesn’t and all of that. So we’ll see you next time.

Bonnie (12:58):

Take care, everyone.

Susie (12:59):



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