We’re going to Texas – YeeHa!

March 27, 2012 by  

In early April I’m off to Texas with the family, on a road trip that will take us from Houston to San Antonio to Austin and back again. Texas is a darn big place and although I’d love to head west to the Big Bend Park for a landscape of cactus and tumbleweed or north to Fort Worth for the cowboy culture or south to the borderlands with Mexico, I think there will be quite enough to entertain us for 10 days in the Houston, San Antonio and Austin neighbourhoods.

As excitement rises in the Cowper household you might ask ‘Why Texas?’ – of all the places in all the world this Easter hols, how come we’ve chosen the Lone Star State? If you are a parent of teenage children you’ll know how tough it is to please everyone and Texas seemed to tick all the boxes.

Texas Cactus Photo: Houstonian

Texas Cactus

For Mum there’s the promise of warm spring days, with sunshine that might pass for a heatwave here in Bristol. Dad has been there before and loves all that outdoor stuff plus the folks are just so friendly! Big son aged 19 is up for the huntin’ shootin’ fishin’  and fancies some live music in Austin. Little son aged 14 has just been to Europe too many times and is ready to see the US of A and the Princess aged 17 fancies herself as a cowgirl and is up for a bit of adventure.

We’re flying in and out of Houston and will base ourself there for the first and last day of the holiday. Top of our list is to see the Space Center Houston on the edge of town that coined the phrase, “Houston, we have a problem” Apart from that I’m sure the kids will be only too ready to spend my hard earned dollars in the enormous Galleria shopping centre while I might seek out a spot of culture in the Museum District.

Alamo in Texas Photo:VisitSanAntonio

Alamo in Texas

Next we head for San Antonio, one of the must sees for any Texas Tourist with the Alamo (small chapel with big significance in the history of Texas as an independent state) and the San Antonio missions. We want to soak up some of the Mexican flavour, eat Tex Mex (anyone for menudo?) and stroll along the River Walk for the vibrant nightlife.

Texas Hill Country Photo: by Smalloy on Flickr

Texas Hill Country

Not so far out of San Antonio and we’re into the Texas Hill country where we hope to spend some time on a ranch and soak up the Cowboy culture. This part of Texas is known for the rolling hills, interesting small towns, wineries and ranches, especially near the town of Bandera, which has cleverly branded itself as the “Cowboy capital of the World” (I gather that Texans like to think big). We’re all new to horse-riding (or horse-back riding as the refer to it over there) so I’m hoping that the horses will be gentle and we won’t be too saddle-sore by the end.

Riding in Texas Photo by Blake Rea on Flickr

Riding in Texas

Further north and we’ll be spending a few days in Austin over the Easter weekend, a city known for its quirky independent spirit (keep Austin weird), parks, lakes, springs and of course the live music scene. We’ll have just missed the South By South West festival but I’m sure there’ll be plenty of places to hang out and stay cool, bikes to ride and lakes to swim in.

The Broken Spoke in Austin Photo: Visualist images on Flickr

The Broken Spoke in Austin

In between we hope to stop in diners and eat mountains of barbecue, slices of pecan pie and enjoy every mouthful with a ‘tomorrow we diet’ spirit. My food inspiration has come from the Sterns on Roadfood.com where I read mouthwatering tales of beef brisket and kolache pastries. The website has some great Eating Tours pointing out the best places to eat including Heart of Texas Barbecue belt, Houston Heading West and (I’m drooling over this one)Texas, deep in the heart of Pie & BBQ.

By way of research and inspiration I’ve been listening to a few podcasts on the way to work and have enjoyed the following podcasts about Texas;

Amateur Traveler – Travel to San Antonio – Texas

Amateur Traveler – Travel to Texas

Texas Walking tours for Austin, Houston, San Antonio as well as Dallas, Fort Worth and Corpus Christi

There are some great Texas Videos on the Texas Tourism site and a useful list of Texas bloggers over at Wanderingoff.com

I hope you’ll follow my trip to Texas between 3-13 April when I’ll be sending pics on Instagram to Twitter & Facebook and posting a few postcard entries on the blog whenever I get a spare moment, and of course you’ll be seeing the posts, videos and podcasts in the coming weeks too – Texas, here we come!

Check for the best hotel prices in Texas and book here.

Texas Hill Country by Smalloy, Broken Spoke Austin by Visualist Images, Riding in Texas by Blake Rea, Alamo by VisitSanAntonio, Texas Cactus by Houstonian

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Comments

16 Comments on "We’re going to Texas – YeeHa!"

  1. Camels & Chocolate on Tue, 27th Mar 2012 3:12 pm 

    Oooh you are going to LOVE Austin. one of my favorite U.S. cities, hands down. I think this sounds like a really fun trip!
    Camels & Chocolate´s last blog post ..How to Spring Break as an Adult

  2. Ross Corbett on Wed, 28th Mar 2012 1:25 pm 

    Sounds like a fantastic trip Heather. I’m sure you will all have a great time and I am looking forward to following along via Facebook.

    Am I jealous? Yes! :)

    Happy travels.

  3. Heather on Wed, 28th Mar 2012 9:05 pm 

    @ Kristen Yes, I’ve heard that Austin is a really cool city – looking forward to it

  4. Ashley on Thu, 29th Mar 2012 5:44 am 

    Heather,

    It’s so funny that everyone agreed on Texas! That’s awesome.. It is a great state; so much to do! Can’t wait to hear all about the road trip. :)

    Ashley

  5. Heather on Thu, 29th Mar 2012 8:23 am 

    @Ashley – Yes it’s such a big state – shame we can’t see and do everything

  6. Sunee on Fri, 30th Mar 2012 3:48 pm 

    Sounds like a fun trip! Enjoy! Can’t wait to read all about it :)
    Sunee´s last blog post ..High Tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel

  7. Lauren on Wed, 4th Apr 2012 12:18 am 

    Heather,
    I’m your vacation rental host in Austin, Lauren with VacationCake.com. We’re really looking forward to having you in. We both love playing “visitor bureau” so please don’t hesitate to call either of us to ask for our recommendations while you’re in town. Also, thought you might be pleased to find out that the Broken Spoke is right at the end of the same street as the house you’ll be staying in!

    Lauren

  8. Heather on Wed, 4th Apr 2012 2:53 am 

    @Lauren – looking forward to our stay in Austin and I always like to take the local recommendations on what to see and do

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  15. Nancy D. Brown on Fri, 11th May 2012 5:43 am 

    How was the horseback riding in Bandera, Texas?
    Nancy D. Brown´s last blog post ..Horseback Riding Vacation in Paradise, Kauai, Hawaii

  16. Heather on Sat, 12th May 2012 4:01 pm 

    @Nancy We had a 1 hour ride at the Silver Spur Ranch, to feel that we’d ticked off that cowboy Texas experience, although the hour wasn’t really long enough – wish we could have actually stayed on a ranch to get the full treatment.

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