Enriching Your Life Through Travel

Deep In the Heart of Texas

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Along the San Antonio River, you won’t see any rustic gambling boats or anything close to it. Instead you’ll find tropical walkways, gourmet restaurants and rare boutique shops lining the banks of the peaceful river. In May 2009, the new Museum Reach portion of the Riverwalk opened featuring over one mile of new Riverwalk footage, beautiful landscaping and lighting at night. It begins at the Holiday Inn El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel and ends at the Pearl Brewery Complex just South of Brackenridge Park. On the new Museum Reach of the Riverwalk you will find the beautiful San Antonio Museum of Art, a lock system for the river boats, and the oldest VFW Post in the State of Texas. It is a gorgeous portion of the Riverwalk to enjoy in a boat or on a leisurely walk, be sure to take in as much as you can during your San Antonio adventure.

Every day of this escorted vacation is full of new and exciting things to see and do. Among my personal favorites is the LBJ Library and Ranch. Did you know that Lyndon Johnson’s first career was as a teacher and principal of a Mexican-American school in Cotulla, Texas. He later taught debate in Houston. The Texas White House was officially opened to the public on August 27, 2008. At this time, rooms available for public tours include the President’s Office, living room, and dining room, restored to their 1963-1968 appearance. The remainder of the home is still undergoing restoration. The focal piece of the LBJ Ranch is the LBJ Ranch House, the home of President Johnson and a center of political activity for more than 20 years. Leaders from around the world visited the Johnsons there, and during the Johnson Administration it became known as the Texas White House. President Johnson was the first President to create a functioning White House away from Washington. The Texas White House was donated to the National Park Service in 1972 and after the Johnson’s death in 1973, Mrs. Johnson continued to live at the Ranch part time until her death in 2007. Mrs. Johnson kept on display many of the gifts they received while in public service. The Texas White House is “a house full of gifts that’s a gift to our nation.” Another political tidbit – Lyndon Johnson was the first candidate in history to campaign by helicopter. Known as “The Johnson City Windmill,” it was used during his second bid for the U.S. Senate in 1948.

There is nothing quite like a visit to the Alamo and the IMAX movie make this lore-filled experience even better. Be sure to keep a look out for the beautiful Texas bluebonnets as you travel from destination to destination.

Once you get home from your Texas tour you might want to host a Texan Ranch theme party when showing all your incredible photos to your friends. When hosting your party I have a few recipes that should help you capture the style and flair of an authentic Texas ranch. First send out your invitations about a month in advance and ask your guest to “dress” cowboy style. It’s amazing how coming in costume just about guarantees a great time. Secondly, find some old country music that just feels Texan – you might even contact a square dance group or caller to teach your guests the Texas Two Step. Such fun!! Third, serve your meal buffet style so that tables can be easily moved to get ready for the dancing. And finally – if your time and energy allows play a few hands of Texas Hold-‘em poker!! Remember, Texans do everything in a BIG way so just let your imagination run wild. Your Interlude in the Heart of Texas will give you plenty to draw from. Below are some great recipes that are truly authentic Texas Tidbits.

Crowd- Pleasing Chili
A great crowd pleaser, and good for Texans who refuse to put beans in their chili.
• 3 lbs beef brisket cut into 1/4 inch cubes
• 1 cubanelle pepper chopped
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/2 lb ground pork
• 1 tablespoon cumin
• 5 tablespoons chili powder
• 1/4 teaspoon oregano
• 6 garlic chopped
• 1 large onion chopped
• 1 teaspoon dry mustard
• 1 small can plain tomato sauce
• 1 cup canned whole tomatoes
• 1 small can chopped mild green chilis
• 1 small can chopped HOT green chilis
• 1 beef bouillon packet
• 2 teaspoons brown sugar
• 1 can beer
• 1/4 cup bourbon
• 1/4 cup tequila

Texas Peach Cobbler
1/2 cup margarine
3/4 cups all purpose flour
pinch of salt
2 cups sliced peaches
2 cups sugar ( divided )
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup milk

Melt butter in a 2 quart baking dish. Combine 1 cup sugar, flour,
baking powder, and salt. Add milk, and stir until mixed. Pour batter
over butter in baking dish, but do not stir. Combine peaches, and
remaining sugar, and spoon over batter, but do not stir.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Check out the itinerary for Interlude’s Spring Fiesta, buy a pair of boots and grab a cowboy hat and be prepared to thoroughly enjoy your adventures in The Lone Star State. Just remember that the first word spoken from the moon on July 20,1969 was “Houston” – true Texans won’t ever let you forget it!

San Anonio Spring Fiesta (call for dates and details)
5 days, 4 nights

– Interlude blog team

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