My buddy, Trudi, moved to Washington last year. Whidbey Island, 30 miles north of Seattle, has long been on our bucket list. So, I flew up from Denver to spend a 3-day weekend with her on Whidbey Island, right before Halloween. As usual, we succeeded in cramming in as much in as possible and having a blast! We’d forgotten that it was Halloween weekend, and still ended up having the best Halloween ever.
On day 1 of our Whidbey Island weekend, we explored the dark corridors of a spooky old fort, the perfect Halloween haunted house. Then we stumbled upon a local brewery with great food, brews, and ambiance where a surreal Halloween party was underway. We attempted to communicate with an inebriated forest wizard over beer and watched a parade of elaborately costumed local folks dance to rockabilly.
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Spending Christmas with my mom in Kerrville, I got to reminiscing about all of the times I’ve been to the Texas Hill Country, my favorite part of my home state.
I grew up in Texas and lived there for almost 20 years. It’s a big state and I’ve been in just about every corner of it (except down by Big Bend National Park and that’s on my list for 2018)! Listening to live music at the South by Southwest festival in Austin. In San Antonio, eating Mexican food and drinking margaritas on the Riverwalk, getting splashed by whales at Seaworld, and touring the Alamo. Visiting the Houston Underground and the Dallas World Trade Center.
While these cities and sites are definitely worth visiting, I’m a small town country girl at heart. I’m so glad my mom lives in Kerrville, in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. The Hill Country is a great alternative to the big city scene. Surrounded by the beautiful and rugged Texas countryside, with outdoor activities, live music, great food, wine country, small town vibes, historic dance halls, and the Guadalupe river, going there is tons of fun. Here are a few of my favorite things to do in the Texas Hill Country.
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Palo Duro Canyon State Park, in the Texas Panhandle near Amarillo, features the second largest canyon in North America (after the Grand Canyon). The park offers 30 miles of trails with a fun variety of technical levels. A 700 foot descent to the bottom of the canyon includes striking colors of four geologic layers, southern high plains landscape, and many rock formations to explore. The Lighthouse, a 310 foot rock pillar, is the most popular Palo Duro Canyon hike destination.
Continue reading “Palo Duro Canyon Hike – The Lighthouse – Hiking, Horses, and Hoodoos”
On a Friday night in Kerrville, Texas, I was at my momma’s house getting ready to go to the honky tonk, just as I have hundreds of other times. Going through my normal “going to the tonk” process, I pulled on my blue jeans and cowboy boots and made my hair bigger than usual, extra hair spray. I was looking forward to hearing some live music by south Texas local musicians. Except there was one major difference this Friday night—this time, I was one of the musicians performing, at my first solo open mic.
Texas honky tonk? On a packed Friday night? Performing in front of country music loving two-steppers, by myself? Holy frackin’ shit.
Continue reading “It’s A Honky Tonk Thang – My First Solo Open Mic”