The holidays are now in full swing in San Antonio. The Riverwalk is all lit up, the houses in King William are decked out, and so much more! There are also other “little” traditions around the city … literally! Last year we highlighted the gingerbread house at the Guenther House Restaurant which is located just a short walk from our Visitor Center – well, it is such a work of art that we decided to write about it again this year. The gingerbread masterpiece, which is a replica of the Guenther House itself, goes up just after Thankgiving after 150 hours of “sweet” work. The 90 pounds of edible goodness include: Peanut Butter Logs, royal icing, Skittles, spearmint leaves, Apple O’s, Starbursts, Smarties, Chicklets, Rock Candy, marshmallows, piping gel, Vienna Cookies, yogurt pretzels, sour green ropes, gum drops, fruit stripe gum, Lego’s Candy, Mother’s Cookies, candy canes, gumballs, pretzels, gelatin sheets, Silver Dragees, and Twizzlers Ribbon – whew! Congratulations to the folks at Guenther House for another job well done!
The Fairmount Hotel less than a mile away from King William also has their own “little” holiday tradition. As guests drive up to valet parking they are greeted with fun holiday decorations, including this adorable little chapel. If you’re into miniatures like some of us, or are just a kid at heart, you will really appreciate this adorable building. If you visit, take a peek inside the chapel – it’s as cute as the exterior. And of course, make sure to see the rest of this beautiful historic hotel … and say hello to Luke, The Fairmount’s famous Hotel Dog Concierge!
The last stop on our “little” holiday journey is our own Villa Finale Visitor Center. We have started our own holiday tradition by exhibiting the Mathis Rockport Doll House for the holidays. The Doll House, a replica of the Mathis family home in Rockport, Texas, was built for Agnes Mathis Bain, sister of Walter Mathis, by the Rockport Art Association as a gesture of gratitude for her generous donations. Completed in 1981, the Rockport Doll House is 1/12 scale, measures approximately 5′ x 6′, has working lights, period furnishings, and is meticulously recreated down to the wall paper – a true work of art! Being a lover of doll houses myself, I know I would be through the roof if I were ever to have one of these under my Christmas tree!
Make sure you visit us at the Visitor Center, take a walk down to the Guenther House, and stop by The Fairmount Hotel. These little holiday traditions are truly a BIG treat! — Sylvia Hohenshelt