Hangin’ Out In The Hill Country

Man, I love Austin and the surrounding Hill Country!  It’s my favorite city in this awesome state, besides The Sparkling City by the Sea, Corpus Christi (my hometown).

Corpus Christi

We spent Christmas with my parents, then headed back a week later for a multi-event for a few days.  Emma made the trek with me, yet again, and this trip took us to so many gluten-free restaurants, that it made my head spin and yearn for more.  When I talked to my hubby on the drive back, I asked ‘can we pleeeeese move to Austin?’ to which he replied, ‘we’d be soooo broke!’  That’s okay; I don’t need much…just some land, a few chickens, and a garden.  I’m a simple girl-in my frizzy head anyway.

The point of this trip was a trifecta of reasons.  First, was a dear friend’s ‘reception’ at a country bar, second was my dad’s birthday, AND third was seeing Young House Love for the third time!  Yes, you read that right, I saw them at every stop in Texas.  You know it’s bad when John and Sherry see you and get excited and offer up hugs.  I’m not a stalker…just hopelessly devoted a big fan.

Young House Love book signing in Austin,TX

Besides dealing with the boatload of rain our ENTIRE state got, Emma and I had a nice trip hanging out with her Nonna and Granpy, so it wasn’t a total bust.  Plus, it didn’t help that I hit up my Find Me Gluten Free App and only stopped at four gluten-free places…though there were more than the stomach could bare:

#1)  Cool Mint Café in San Marcos, Texas.  *They offer garden fresh produce, herbs and fruit, organically or naturally grown by Hill Country farmers, naturally raised beef, pork and poultry, and fish approved by Monterey Bay Aquarium “Seafood Watch .” (pictured: bleu cheese burger with tomato soup)

Cool Mint Glutenn Free Cafe in New Braunfels, TX

#2) Wild Wood Bake House & Café in Austin, Texas.  *They offer vegetarian, vegan, soy free, dairy free, or lactose free options. Everything is gluten free! (pictured: battered and friend calamari & sweet potato chips)

Wild Wood Bake House & Cafe in Austin, TX

#3) Galaxy Café in Austin, Texas.  *They serve ALL NATURAL, free range, hormone and antibiotic free beef, chicken and eggs. (pictured: club wrap with side salad)

Galaxy Cafe in Austin, TX gluten free

#4) Mama Fu’s in Austin, Texas. (pictured: steamer bowl with chicken)

Mama Fu's Asian House in Austin, TX gluten free steamer bowl

#5) The non-existent Red Oak Bakery in New Braunfels, Texas.

Are you seeing a café theme here?  I sure am.

I found all of these places on my trusty Find Me Gluten Free App on my oh-so-smart-phone.  That thing sure does help in a pinch…especially when I went to Atlanta for a conference and didn’t preplan.  In other words, download that Free puppy stat!

If you have ever thought about visiting Austin or the surrounding area, do yourself a favor and GO!  I have lived in south, central, and north Texas, but my heart belongs in the Hill Country.  I can remember since I was very little, travelling to Schlitterbahn every summer and loving it!  Schlitterbahn is the world’s most amazing waterpark, nestled in the little German town of New Braunfels (say: brawn-fuls).

Schlitterbahn

Schlitterbahn New Braunfels Waterpark is the #1 Waterpark in the World for 14 Consecutive Years! Not only is Schlitterbahn New Braunfels Waterpark the most popular summertime waterpark in the United States, but it is also ranked as the #1 Kid-Friendly destination in the state of Texas. The park is located on the banks of the spring-fed Comal River in New Braunfels, between San Antonio and Austin, in south central Texas.

Need a family vacay for Spring Break or the summer?  Get thee to the Hill Country!  There’s so much to do, see, and eat, that it’s ridiculous.  They have museums, waterparks, good BBQ, the world’s oldest dance hall-in Gruene (say: green), and gorgeous views.  Oh yeah, don’t forget about the Bluebonnets!  This post wasn’t supposed to be an ad for VISIT TEXAS, but sure is sounding like it.  If you can’t tell, I’m not that found of the city I live in now, and yearn for a place that’s crunchy, has water to play in, and where people venture outdoors for fun.

As I mentioned in my Christmas post, I found some amazing local olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and can’t wait to share it with you.  The info, not the oil and vinegar…unless you want to come over for a few shots.  Ha!

Don't Mess with Texas

Alright, enough mumbling.  Have you ever been to Austin, the Hill Country, or Texas, period?  Have I piqued your interest in visiting this great state, where EVERYTHING IS BIGGER?  It’s kind of true; and yes, we are proud of being Texans.  If you need ideas on where to go or what to do, just ask.  I’ve lived in Texas 32 years and can definitely steer you in the right direction.

Note: Photos are from here, here, and here.

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2 thoughts on “Hangin’ Out In The Hill Country

  1. So fun! I too am into real food / natural living, AND into following Young House Love! How fun that I found you. :) Just subscribed to your blog updates.

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