Last week was Spring Break, so we took advantage of the time off and warm temperatures, and road-tripped south...through the Texas Hill Country. Warning: if we don't share DNA, or you have no interest in visiting Texas, this post might be a whip. (Har-har, get it?)
We live in a big, bustling city full of people and traffic, so we always jump at the chance to take lonely back roads. Texas has miles and miles of ranches and pastures, with creeks around every turn, just waiting to be explored.
Dotted along the way are rustic towns, with scenic courthouse squares, and diners serving the best pie of your life.
Our first layover was in Fredericksburg, a charming town surrounded by fields of wildflowers, peach orchards and wineries. Just outside of town is Enchanted Rock, a 425-foot tall pink granite batholith. Basically, it's a big ass rock made of pink granite, and you can climb to the top.
Or if you're Babygirl, you can run to the top while the rest of us wheeze our way there...slowly.
Fredericksburg is also known for the staggering number of shops lining it's Main Street. I didn't subject my family to a day of shopping, but I did slip away to Red. They have a great collection of modern lines and vintage finds, and is my favorite in town. (Most is also available on their website.)
All the kids need is a hotel pool, and the trip is a success! (It was heated, it's not quite that warm here, yet.)
There was no shortage of restaurants, but our favorite was The Pink Pig, just outside of town. Where else but in South Texas, can you eat a fried beet salad on a stone patio, while watching the cows graze? Oh, and if you spy a treat in the bakery, grab it while you can, because they sell out every day.
From there, we took the back, back road, and stopped to visit the horses, goats and sheep along the way.
Old Tunnel State Park, a deserted railroad tunnel, is a great detour. It's home to 3 million bats that emerge every night, May thru October, in search of water. We didn't get to see them, but the guide said they literally black-out the sky, and you can feel the wind from their wings. So cool, and totally creepy!
From there, we finished up the trip in San Antonio. I'm sure snow-cone stands aren't what the defenders of the Alamo had in mind, when fighting for Texas' freedom.
We split our time in San Antonio on the famed Riverwalk, and at Sea World.
I left my phone and camera behind at Sea World, but the way our kid's faces lit up when seeing the dolphins flip out of the water, is something I'll remember forever. And you can't go to San Antonio without eating amazing Mexican and Tex Mex food...most with charming patios. Our favorites are Mi Tierra, open 24-hours with strolling mariachi band, La Fonda, packed with locals and crazy-good margaritas, and La Gloria, Mexican street food located on the quiet, scenic end of the River.
Shopping in El Mercado or Alamo Fiesta feels like you've crossed the border. I brought home tin luminaries, colorful pottery and fiesta party ware. And a new-found love of otomi...so expect to see it emerge somewhere here soon!
And of course, each night was capped off by a Texas sunset. After all these years, they never fail to leave me awestruck.
Sharing and experiencing this great state with these two lovebugs, is just icing on the Texas-sized cake!
Are you taking any time off this Spring? What are your favorites things to discover on the back roads of your state?