From New Orleans we went over to Texas for a few months. Since we were in no rush to head north during the Winter, we took our time traveling this giant state.
Our Thousand Trails membership made staying in Texas so cost effective. There are tons of campgrounds throughout Texas. If you haven’t checked into getting a zone pass….I highly recommend it. Click here for more about Thousand Trails.
Being that we did spend so much time in Texas, we’ll just go over the highlights.
Medina Lake/San Antonio Area
We stayed at the Thousand Trails park at Medina Lake, about 30 minutes from San Antonio, which was technically considered part of the “Hill Country” which we didn’t know. We were expecting just a lot of flat land when we got into Texas, but we were pleasantly surprised with the views around the lake with the hills popping up every now and then. It has been one of my favorite areas so far.
- Of course we went into San Antonio and did all the touristy stuff. It’s free to tour The Alamo and the grounds, so that was a no-brainer (It was much tinier in person..LOL). From there we could walk over to the River Walk and it just so happened to be the night of their Mardi Gras parade. There were restaurants, bars and shops! At one point along our stroll we came upon a little art market with local vendors and artists…a very nice surprise.
- We rode our motorcycle over to Bandera, Texas aka The Cowboy Capital of the World! They host an annual bike rally every March, Thunder in the Hill Country, that we missed by a few weeks :(. We grabbed a bite at the Chickin Coop which had a great patio along Main Street. Then we stumbled upon the 11th Street Cowboy Bar (bring your own liquor, wine and beer only). Where we met some new friends, all the way from Northern Ireland! Biggest regret while we were in this area, was not making the time to go over to Fredericksburg. All the locals we met told us about it, known for its wineries and neat small town feel, they said it was a must-do but we just couldn’t make it happen and I really wish we had.
- We were sure to plan to be near Austin during SXSW. If you aren’t familiar with South by Southwest here’s a quick description. Austin hosts a HUGE entertainment festival and conference where you can see bands from ALL music genres, catch a stand-up show from some of the biggest comedians and learn more about the film industry. Passes are super-stupid expensive. So we didn’t partake in the SXSW official shows. Instead we jumped on the local buses and transit system and rode around to the different free shows, ending on 6th Street where the majority of the bars and venues are. You won’t get to see the major acts doing it this way but we just wanted to be in the midst of it all….well we thought we did. As it got later the crowds grew and grew and there were some interesting folks out there…like a guy just walking up and down the street with a giant boa around his neck..you know..a snake! At one point the crowd just came to a halt as we were trying to walk back to the bus stop and I started to get a little anxious. We made it home and woke up to the news there was a shooting on 6th Street just an hour after we left. ECK! I was not surprised. So the take away…I’m glad to have checked SXSW off my bucket list, but I definitely have no desire to do it again. Also, just start googling as it gets closer (March of each year) and learn about all the free shows, it is possible to go without spending thousands of dollars.
- But a definite must do while in Austin is to check out Rainey Street. A walkable district full of old bungalow houses turned into neat bars with food trucks galore! This is also where we got to meet back up with our new Irish friends, Jill and Andy and will go down as one of my most favorite nights…ever!
- We actually, technically stayed in Whitney, TX (which is where our TT campground was). It was about 40 minutes from Waco….that ‘Texas town where Chip and Joanna Gaines live’. We planned a day to spend in Waco, because I HAD to see the Silos and Magnolia Farms made famous on HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” show. We went, not realizing it was Good Friday, so the local schools were out and I think everyone in Waco happened to be there. We tried to eat at Magnolia Table…we stood in a 20 minute line to get on the 2 hour wait list and promptly left. We regrouped and then went instead over to The Silos. There were multiple food trucks, Magnolia Bakery and of course, Magnolia Market. We grabbed some grub and checked out the store. I was pretty surprised at the price point of the items (I’m also pretty cheap). But $15 for a mug…jeez! There were tables and swings set up around the large astro-turf lawn and other than the fact it was SOOO windy, the outside space was really nice. Again, glad I saw it and can say “been there, done that”, but I don’t need to go back to the Silos. Anyone who knows me, knows that Dr. Pepper is my absolute most favorite beverage on the planet. So a tour of the Dr. Pepper Museum was a MUST!
- We also made the drive over to Burnet, TX for the annual Bluebonnet Festival which was 100% worth the trip, I so love a good festival and there was a pet parade..OMMGGG!.
- But I think the best part of our stay in Whitney was having a photo session with our pups, Penny and Ozzy, in the beautiful Texas wildflowers (click here to see all the cuteness). These ‘stop and smell the roses’ moments have made for some pretty amazing memories and just remind me why we chose this lifestyle.
Albuquerque Sidenote: We’re currently in New Mexico and the annual International Balloon Fiesta is going on next week, which we won’t be able to attend and I’m super bummed. We started looking into getting tickets months and months ago and it was already sold out. So if you’re at all interested in checking this out next year or any year after that…go ahead and start planning now and set a reminder a year in advance to get tickets and book a room or campground. You’ve been warned! 😉